Assassin’s Creed Origins is the first Assassin’s Creed game that piqued my interest, despite there being ten installments in the franchise. This is predominantly due to the incredible graphics displayed throughout the game and the fact that it is set in Ancient Egypt, a period of time that I’m incredibly fascinated by.
Assassin’s Creed Origins (“Origins”) is an action-adventure video game by Ubisoft, which is set in the Ptolemaic period. The game essentially is an origin story, exploring the history of the conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins, who fight for peace through the promotion of liberty and freedom, and the Order of the Ancients, who desire peace through forced order.
The game is played in the third-person perspective, as characters take on the role of the Bayek, as he works to protect the kingdom during widespread upheaval, ultimately leading him to become one of the first Assassins.
Gameplay is fairly standard. Players have set objectives and quests to complete in order to progress through the game’s narrative and gain new skills. Players can also explore the open world in order complete side-quests and unlock new weapons and equipment.
The traditional ‘eagle vision’ mode which enables players to locate enemies or objects from a distance through a bird’s eye perspective. This eagle vision mode was challenging to use, for someone who has not had to utilise such a mode before. I understood the advantage of using Bayek’s eagle Senu but despite locking on a target and tracking it, I got easily distracted by other objectives that were much closer and easier to complete. This isn’t a flaw of gameplay, but more my style of playing when there’s just so much to do and a short amount of time to do it.
Origins came with a revised combat system that feels difficult, with a steep learning curve that new gamers, especially those who, like me, have trouble with coordination, will find utterly challenging. The basic combat mechanism involves blocking, dodging and parrying. Being used to shooter games and using modern weapons, I found doing all three was incredibly tough, as the key to combat in this game is rhythm.
Being set during ancient Egyptian times, the weapons available included various kinds of bows, shields and melee weapons like swords. Mastering these proved tougher than I imagined. Once again, coordination and rhythm was necessary and for someone not used to the kind of combat mechanism used in Origins, the challenge proved a bit too much.
Coming to grips with the combat and weapons was slightly intimidating for someone new to the series. Not only that, but getting used to the gameplay meant that I spent far too much time on some objectives and not others. Because of this, the game felt long and drawn out. A more seasoned gamer or those familiar with the play-style of the Assassins Creed games would complete these objectives at a faster pace, and perhaps enjoy the experience far more than I did.
What I did enjoy about Origins though was the game’s plot and graphics. I’m a bit of an Egyptian history and mythology nerd, so having the game being focused on Egyptian lore was a thrill for me. Scouting around and exploring an open world set in Egypt was like experiencing what life was like for the ancient civilisation. There are numerous ways of traveling in the game, from walking, running, parkouring, horseback and even camel riding. With such a vast and open space, exploration within the game feels almost endless.
Graphics in Origins is by far one of the best I’ve seen in a while, especially when playing the Xbox One X enhanced version of the game on the Xbox One X console. The crystal clear visuals were incredibly striking with a level of detail that looked incredible. Of course, the visuals would have been far more advanced and much better had I had a 4K TV but even on a standard LED screen, the game looked breathtaking.
Assassin’s Creed Origins may not be the most user friendly game for those new to gaming, lack coordination or new to the series. However, with revised combat mechanics, an array of weapons and equipment, a plot that’s interesting and an open world to explore, the game will certainly appeal to fans of the Assassin’s Creed games as well as seasoned gamers. While I struggled with the game’s gameplay, I thoroughly enjoyed the game’s plot, exploring the open space, and taking in the beautiful graphics that the game offered. This is exactly the kind of game that inspires me to become a better gamer.