Name: Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: This review is based on a self bought copy of the game
Ubisoft had restrained the annual release of Assassin’s Creed games for one year. But did they benefit from it?
Before I head out to review the newest entry of Assassin’s Creed, I’d like to talk a little about the collector’s edition and other available collectibles to AC: Origins.
I picked up my copy of this “God’s Edition” at launch which includes a figurine, soundtrack, map, artbook and other digital entries such as the “Desert Cobra Pack” and a naval mission “Ambush at sea”.
The artbook, soundtrack and other digital entries are fine by me, but it is the figurines of Assassin’s Creed that intrigues me.
The figurine of Bayek, Origin’s main character which is included in collector edition (or Gods Edition) wasn’t as impressive as I’d liked it to be. There are a few good details on Bayek and his equipments and the lion-carved stone he’s standing on. But I can’t lose the feeling that this figurine looks like it was made in a rush when I look at it. Faded colours, edges falling apart and the most annoying thing (have also encountered this on multiple AC figurines) loose parts that won’t fit properly.
But the figurines you can buy beside the collector edition in another hand is something else.
If you can afford the two figurines (yes you need to buy two of them to complete it sadly) of Bayek and Aya, then you got best looking affordable (There is multiple other figurines in greater details and sizes, but these are the most mainstream) figurines of Assassin’s Creed: Origins. The colours might be a little better than the “Gods Edition”, but not much, and the one loose part does fit a lot better. And I must say that I love the touch with the added eagle.
Sadly I couldn’t afford the new hidden blade or the new apple of eden collectible to review for you guys this time.
From what I could understand, Origins was suppose to tell us the story of the beginning of the Assassin Brotherhood. Instead I ended up with more questions than answers, especially one question comes up in my mind: why did they introduce these sci-fi elements into the franchise, if they won’t explore it more?
If you do not already know, this year’s Assassin’s Creed is set in Egypt with an ancient warrior called Bayek who is pledged to protect Egypt, a medjay (I think this is something similar to a sheriff).
Tragic events occurs in Bayek’s hometown which lead him towards different tasks and other events throughout Egypt. I won’t tell much here to exclude spoiling. But Bayek is joined by a another character later on, his wife Aya.
Bayek and Aya’s story goes through a few subjects such as a revenge tale, Cleopatra’s exile, The Roman’s influence on Egypt and the mystery of the Cult. This part of the story is engaging and interesting and leaving me willing for more details. The story kicks off pretty weak and boring at first, but it does get more interesting later on in the game. Perhaps the one thing I wanted more, is to clarify the beginning of the assassins group. Even though the main point of telling us the story of the brotherhood, it sure did gave me some special moments and stories in the side missions or quests.
The world of AC: Origins is massive, and even though they had one extra year to work on this game it still shows a few details that shows this might have been too ambitious. But then again the graphics in Origins are also one of the strong sides of this game. Environmental scenes in large or even huge scales are gorgeous to look at. I easily get the feeling of a warm and exotic adventure coming up, and the lightning work gives an extra touch there. The character designs of the main characters and some of the “side” characters are incredibly made, water effects, draw distances and other smaller details are equally incredible, but then again Origins shows off the ambitious topics. There is a lot of characters that has gone through “copy – paste”, facial animations are strangely made and do not pair up with the voice acting. Smaller details and textures are pretty blurry, and a lot of edges have seen better days.
On the bright side, I didn’t encounter a single bug / glitch on the graphically part.
One of many new things to Origins is the new combat system. Similar to games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Bloodborne they use the “hitpoint system”. One button to use light attack, one for heavy attack and one for dodging, buttons for ranged attack are added as well. And like The Witcher 3 and Bloodborne and all other RPG games, there is nothing new or other things that will separate Origins from all the others. Origins is pretty much on the basic level compared to the others. Personally I do not like that they changed this up, even though the old “counter system” was repetitive and sometimes non-challenging will I still say this was one of the things that brought up the charm of the franchise. I’m not saying this combat system is bad, I do enjoy games with this system, I’m just not quite comfortable with this in Assassin’s Creed yet. With this system added, some of the stealth approaches that gave this series a small charm are now gone, things such as blending in with the crowd. I can say that it sure does bring a “fresh start” for the gameplay of the series though.
Other new things have been added into Origins, as the developers has made the decision to create this game into the RPG genre. Such as the new gear system, leveling system and quests. The gear system isn’t an original system, but it does suits the Assassin’s formula. Weapons, armours and tools are organised in terms of rarity and can be dismantled for crafting materials, once again this isn’t a new thing, and if we add the layout of the user interface (menus, map and inventory system) it sure gets familiar to players from Destiny.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins might struggle a little bit finding its own identity with this decision of creating this as an Role Playing game and with the new combat system. But there is one thing that stood out in this game that is incredible fun and excellently made: eagle vision.
The new way to use the eagle vision is brilliant, it’s complex but easy to use and why they didn’t do this before is beyond me. You simply take control over Senu, your eagle. Flying over locations, fortresses, outposts and so on, tagging enemies and points of interest is incredibly fun and a new way to approach your target.
The AI in Origins might not be the smartest in the franchise though, and that kind of ruined some of the experience, but this is not a game breaking topic.
The controls in Origins are simple, but very hard to master, especially in head to head fights. As said, the hitpoint system isn’t a new thing and the ways to approach targets might differ. But I found myself multiple times struggling to figuring out how to use the dodge button. No matter what I did, I kept being hit and I just gave up and went all in. This might be positive thing as this gives a more challenging game, but it is also a frustrating part.
The world of Origins is massive!
I’m not even close finishing the game even after the completing the story. There is plenty things to do in different activities such as learning more about the ancient Egypt, exploring tombs, taking over outposts, beating your opponents in the Hippodrome (horse racing) or in the arena in gladiator style. Or simply just explore the gorgeous environmental graphics Origins provides and use the in-game photo mode to take amazing pictures. “Sadly” more content is under its way in form of expansions, but starting a new game to play the story again isn’t something I would do.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins might be the best looking AC game, and with genre change it surely does give the series a new feel to it. It is an excellent open world game, not game changing for the genre but it will entertain you for a lot of hours. If you are an Assassin’s Creed fan you might be a little disappointed storywise, but it surely delivers a heck of an experience.
Replay Value: 7/10