You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The Assassins Creed franchise is one of the poster boys of the term franchise fatigue; where annual releases for a franchise drive it into the ground. Assassins Creed Origins is the first game to be given a gap year beforehand and it benefits from it immensely.
Assassins Creed Origins is set in ancient Egyptian times; one of the most fan requested locales. You play as Bayek, a Medjay (sort of like the local lawman), on a quest for revenge and redemption after an event, I shan’t spoil, early in the game. So yeah, a pretty standard set-up for a story.
Also, the entire make-up of how the game plays has undergone a significant shift. The game has main quests and side quests, which you can choose to do in whatever order you like (to a degree), and a levelling system. As a result, Origins feels more like Fallout 4 than say, Assassins Creed IV Black Flag.
As a result, it’s far less linear, and encourages exploration to seek out these quests, where previously the only exploration really required was to find the numerous collectables.
These changes do have an effect though: this doesn’t really feel like an Assassins Creed game in the traditional sense, for better or worse. You still climb things, but now you can just run up to any surface and leap up it. This is obviously massively convenient, but I feel it removes the challenge of observing the best way of planning and climbing a structure, which was part of the fun for me. The combat is now much more involved (instead of the previous attack/ counter mentality), and crafting items is now almost essential.
You can’t blame them for wanting to turn Assassins Creed into more of an RPG however, given the success of franchises such as Fallout and the Witcher series. And to their credit, it’s very well done.
The game looks great, the environments and detailing is superb. Despite being set in what is, effectively, a desert, there’s always something cool to see or do. Being able to include iconic landmarks such as the pyramids, the Sphinx and the Nile is one of those things that is really cool to experience.
The side quests are varied enough and interesting enough to encourage you to seek them out and finish them, not just for the XP bonuses, and they provide bite-sized blocks for those that don’t want to dedicate hours at a time.
This time of year is blockbuster game season, and Assassins Creed Origins is the very definition of blockbuster. This is a legitimate game of the year contender and a move in the right direction for this once stalling franchise.
Assassins Creed: Origins
For: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: (R13) ★★★★+
- by Simon Bishop