Ten years ago we began our Assassin’s Creed journey with Altair in the Third Crusade – since then we have worked our way through history, from the Italian Renaissance to Victorian London – and now, Assassin’s Creed: Origins sets out to: “Reinvent what it means to be Assassin’s Creed.”
Ubisoft’s E3 conference teased us with ‘A Taste of Egypt’ in a brand new cinematic trailer, which is a feast for the eyes as Bayek traverses deserts, oases, and of course Egyptian pyramids – Hey it’s the Sphinx! Still got your nose mate?
Here’s what we learned from the thirty minute gameplay showcased following the Ubisoft conference:
– Reinvented Combat System: The most striking change up from previous Assassin’s Creed instalments is to be found in Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ combat system. No longer focused on reactionary counters and tactical stealth, Origins sets to bring about more Action RPG elements. So, here we have the ever prevalent skill tree system, which is split into three class types: Master Warrior, Hunter, and Seer. The Warrior focuses on your close combat melee, the Hunter is your classic assassin class with ranged attacks and stealth taking centre stage, and the Seer which allows environment manipulation – for example enlisting animals or NPC’s to do your bidding. You can ‘craft your own assassin’ and blend elements from the three ability sets or fully focus on one aspect of your choosing, catering to a variety of playstyles. For example the ranged combat is set out to play like a ‘full blown first person shooter’, if that’s the route you wish to take.
– Weapons and Gear: There are eight types of melee weapons and four bow types, but within this there are levels, properties, and attributes for each. With Enemy Levels a factor in Assassin’s Creed: Origins there are no simple one shot kills, making sure that crafting and weapon management is a key focus.
– Huge Map and full environmental exploration: A myriad of locations feature in Origins’ humongous recreation of Egypt including: Faiyum, Giza (West Giza Nome, Giza Plateau), Memphis, Black Desert, Heliopolis Nome, and Alexandria. You can traverse the land on foot, horseback, by boat (Khufu), or swimming – which includes underwater exploration. Also, viewpoints still exist!
– Mount Collection: You can purchase and collect mounts, from a variety of horses to camels and chariots, and Bayek is of course accompanied by his trusty eagle companion, Senu, the precursor to Assassin’s Creed’s Eagle Vision.
Of course, the more we see, the more we want to know. Does the Animus still feature? We see the familiar desynchronised loading screen, but it’s not clear as to whether this is an aesthetic choice to maintain consistency or if it is a narrative element. Moving forward? The plot thickens. If the brotherhood is formed in Origins, how will the rebooted combat system lead back into the series thus far – or will Origins alter the course of the series entirely?
For the last four years, the team behind Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag has been crafting a new beginning for the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
Set in Ancient Egypt, players will journey to the most mysterious place in history, during a crucial period that will shape the world and give rise to the Assassin’s Brotherhood. Plunged into a living, systemic and majestic open world, players are going to discover vibrant ecosystems, made of diverse and exotic landscapes that will provide them with infinite opportunities of pure exploration, adventures and challenges.
Powered by a new fight philosophy, Assassin’s Creed Origins embraces a brand new RPG direction where players level up, loot, and choose abilities to shape and customise their very own skilled Assassin as they grow in power and expertise while exploring the entire country of Ancient Egypt.
Emma Withington – Follow me on Twitter