Assassin’s Creed: Origins is the first game back after a long break for the previously annualized franchise. Did the long rest allow the series to come back refreshed? While some aspects of the new title have clearly benefitted by the extra time taken, other aspects of Origins feel much like they have for the last several games. That’s not inherently a bad thing, if you like the Assassin’s Creed games then you’ll likely enjoy this one, though it would have been nice if the additional time spent on the gameplay side of things had led to the same refresh that it did on the artistic and character side.
The first thing that strikes you about Assassin’s Creed: Origins is that the game is beautiful, and especially on the Xbox one X (Full 4k). While it’s true that a lot of the scenery is light brown sand, this is Egypt after all, it’s the best looking light brown sand you’ve ever seen in a video game. It’s not the generic gray-brown tint of every shooter of the last decade, it’s the look of a real desert with patches of beautiful life throughout it. Climbing to the top of large structures reveals beautiful vistas as far as the eye can see.
The basic structure of the story is mostly unchanged from previous titles. You have a list of people you need to go murder to progress the main quest while numerous side quests appear along the way to help you level up and provide you with upgraded weapons. However, Origins feels much more linear than previous iterations. Each main quest mission has a recommended character level attached and side quests are placed in your path to help you get to that level. Most side quests also have multiple stages to them, making them feel a bit meatier than they have previously. Having said that, with a few exceptions, they are all still just variations on “go to the place and fetch the thing” or “go to the place and kill the guy” over and over again. Once you complete a number of side quests and get your level up, you can take on the main quest. Then once you do that, you move on to the next area and do it again. It makes the story as a whole feel more cohesive, and the individual missions still allow for a variety of approaches. A few side quests are really quite fun and coming across them is a pleasure.
Add to this a fine line in stealthy infiltration, including being able to scout out areas with Bayek’s loyal eagle Senu and a large variety of bows, and the toolset at your disposal is the most expansive Assassin’s Creed has been.
In Bayek and the glorious Egyptian setting, Origins is Assassin’s Creed’s most exciting exploration of history to date. And the most promising sign for its future.
- Ancient Egypt is a ludicrously beautiful and rich open world
- The new loot system means you’ll find your own way to play
- Abilities mean Bayek constantly evolves
- The modern day element is still there if you don’t like AC lore (but it’s great for the rest of us)
- No co-op or multiplayer???? Hello… it’s 2017!!!!
Rating: 9/ 10