Exclusive cutting edge Blogs from XBLGamerhub.com
After a break from the series, Ubisoft came out the gates running with their latest iteration of the flagship Assassin's Creed franchise, this time with Assassin's Creed: Origins. The newest entry takes players back to the beginning of the timeline for the Assassin's story, originating in Egypt set in the times of pharaoh's and Roman occupied cities with the country of Egypt.
We journey into AC Origins as Bayek, who is a Medjay (parliamentary police/ protector of the people) on the very original quest for revenge. With events from his past driving his need to seek out truth and justice, this makes for an extremely by the numbers adventure; on the surface anyway.
When you venture deeper into the story you find that not much varies from the standard new Assassin's Creed protagonist, though Bayek as a character makes up for this. Players get to have a first-hand glimpse at the moment that our new hero lost his faith in his superiors, when he loses his child in a very graphic manner. After these events occur we do not see Bayek retreating into himself and becoming another grim and miserable protagonist; instead his attitude and motivation are still somewhat positive towards the people of Egypt. His duty is first and foremost to the people, which come across very clear in the games side quests.
When playing this game you find the world to be a large and daunting place, just be glad you have given a likeable and upbeat character like Bayek to journey with.
The story in AC Origins comes at you pretty hard at the beginning, forcing you into this new world and immersing you within the rich and deep world. Though the exploration of the different regions can be more fun than the game intends it to be, just do not stray too far from the story areas in the early game or you will find yourself very overpowered and outnumbered very quickly. Best to follow the areas where the story takes you to until you are competent and confident in your ability to explore and progress. I recommend always being a level or 2 about the recommended requirement for missions to give you some cushion for error.
In Origins, the Assassin's Creed series has moved away from its Action/Adventure roots and moved more towards a full on RPG adventure. Allowing players more option on weapons and how many to equip, with players being able to wield a bow and a melee weapon while have a spare of each to switch to on the fly during combat. The improved combat allows the switching of weapons and bows to be extremely fluid, while removing all clunky mechanics that could interrupt the ebb and flow of combat.
During combat, the player now has access to a stamina bar, which fills during combat by simple attacking. When the bar is full you have access to a overcharge attack or a period of enhanced strength and speed which can give you an extra help when your back is against the wall. This little addition to the game came in very handy in the early stages as I felt I was not adjusting to the new combat mechanics quite so well.
Shield mechanics have also been added to the game, which seems to draw a parry system not too unfamiliar to Dark Souls players. It may not be the exact copy and paste job from the Souls games, but when parrying in game (once you have unlocked the ability) is made easier with enemy weapons glowing slightly red before the attack. This hint lets players know to ready to parry button which in turn will open enemy attackers to a barrage of your own attacks.
The combat for Origins have been totally overhauled, while long-time fans of the series will have a little bit of adjusting to do; you will sometimes still try to hold down Left Trigger to block and realise your mistake as you take a spear to the face while aiming your bow.
If you are not familiar with the Assassin's Creed franchise then now is a good place to start, as long as you do not want to go back and play the older games. AC Origins introduces a new set of combat mechanics and features to the game that does not exist in the previous titles, which means chronologically the oldest game is the best mechanically to play.
People will find the land itself a daunting mass of sand covered wilderness begging to be explored, with people losing hours of gameplay to hunting and exploring the deserts. If you can see something in the distance, chances are that you will be able to walk (or ride) up to it and climb it. Though the massive swathes of desert are desolate, the scenery does not suffer from this landscape of sand; if anything it shows off the games engine, and simple effects such as the sand blowing in the wind can make you sit back in admiration.
Playing Assassin's Creed: Origins a satisfying experience, there is enough new mechanics to warrant a new game. The team behind the game have obviously drawn inspiration from some of the bigger RPG games in recent years. You can play the game and find a combat system that is familiar to a Souls series player, or explore a large open world with mechanics that are firmly embedded within The Witcher series.
Though everything has been tweaked and worked upon to make it feel natural and at home within this game. Everything in the world feels organic and fluid, when commanding your mount to automatically travel to you next way-point players can take control of Senu (your faithful eagle companion, who also acts as a drone) and explore and admire the surrounding world; all this while your character still moves in the world below you.
At this point I should note, I know this game has now been out for a while. Why am I just now writing a review on this? Well truth be told I was going to have a review up before the release of the Xbox One X, though when I received my console I stared this game over again. I found myself taken aback by the graphics and how much smoother the game ran.
The HDR enhancements on the graphics make for a richer and deeper world, it was not exactly like playing a different game. I just found that whole experience to be wonderful. I decided to explore more of the game rather than replaying the story that I just had played a week before. Instead I found myself admiring views and using the games "photo mode" to capture events that looked outstanding on this console.
Assassin's Creed: Origins has been transformed almost by enhancements on the Xbox One X, it is now my native platform for playing this huge and impressive title. The faster loading times and HDR enhanced graphics make for an overall experience that is just missing on the standard Xbox One, do not get me wrong, it still looks stunning on the Xbox One; it just doesn't meet the mark that the One X now sets.
In summary, the break taken from the Assassin's Creed yearly release schedule has been very welcome. The over saturation of the game every year has allowed people breathing room, more importantly it has allowed us to appreciate the work Ubisoft have put into improving their game series and showing it still has so much more to give.
The Assassin's Creed series in no way winding down, with all of Origins improvements to the series I hope to see more from Assassin's Creed in the future. Though I am in no hurry to see the yearly release schedule coming back, every second year allows time for creativity to flourish and blossom.
You can also follow me on Twitter - @Cetrie
Last modified on