After a year of absence, the series will return in 2017 with a refreshed and reworked game, Assassin’s Creed Origins. It looked like most gamers had the feeling of “been there, done that” with the last two installments, but the new Egyptian setting might spark new interest in the series. We got the chance to play Assassin’s Creed Origins at Gamescom this year and have prepared a short write up on our thoughts.
We were lucky enough to try out the game on an Xbox One X unit with a 4K screen, and that was already an added bonus to the game. The Egyptian setting in its full glory, Ubisoft has truly captured a magnificent image of the lands and everything looks really smooth. It adds to the immersion the game presents and, at times, you really have the feeling you are riding around on a horse in this magical land.
From the small part of the game we got to experience, it shows that a lot of work has been put in creating a world that lives and breathes. It is one of those things the series used to be famous for, and it is good to see Origins supports all this.
The gameplay is what you would expect from an Assassins Creed game: The sneaking, the stealth kills, the climbing and yes, even the clumsy stumbling and the frustrated moments when you “accidentally” jump off of a building and die. Not much has changed in this aspect; It has not improved nor has it gotten any worse.
What has changed is that Origins will act more as an RPG, with a lot of gear to collect and different combinations to equip. The game seems to be focused more on fighting outside of stealth. The use of a bow feels really good and it is something they implemented quite nicely. If you’ve played Shadow of Mordor, you’ve got something to compare it with. Fighting with sword and shield also adds another layer of depth to the fighting system of Origins. All in all, I have to admit, I enjoyed fighting in this game a whole lot more than I did in the previous two versions of the series. It is definitely something I am looking forward to playing more.
Another addition to the game, the use of your eagle pet, is somewhat of a strange gimmick as it feels a lot like the drone used in Ghost Recon Wildlands. You fly around with the eagle and scout for NPCs and other points of interest. You can hover in one spot and zoom in to tag an area which will then pop up on your HUD for easy navigation. Admittedly, it feels a bit off in the setting of the game but it sure is a useful tool for scouting your surrounding if you want to go in silently.
Origins has found the perfect setting for refreshing the series. Egypt feels and looks amazing, and I have no doubt that fans and newcomers alike will love exploring this beautiful country. The movement and the climbing feels like it always has. I have encountered some frustrating moments, as in other Assassins Creed titles, it seems like something you have to live with. Of course, I did play an Alpha build of the game, so it’s possible that some of the hiccups might be fixed before launch. The addition of a more RPG-styled gameplay is a smart move, and certainly a move in the right direction for the series. The fighting kept me excited for the entirety of my game session and the use of a bow is on par.
As a big fan of the series, I am looking forward to the release of the full game later this year, but I’m not entirely sure if it can please newcomers yet. Only time will tell. For now enjoy some gameplay footage we took during our Gamescom 2017 visit.
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