Assassin’s Creed: Origins dropped last Friday and the game has stolen hours of our day ever since, as we’ve been transported back into a turbulent era in Egypt where the natives, Greeks and Romans are *literally* at each others throats.
Two-years after the release of Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed has taken a new turn in the franchise by becoming the latest game to employ a loot-based system that encourages you to level up, find new gear and craft.
That’s been present in the series for a while but Origins takes this to the next level and it’s extremely addictive. For the first time since the release of Black Flag, the series grabs you by the scruff of the neck and throws you into an exciting world to explore.
After a few days sinking our teeth into the game, we can safely say that Origins is the best Assassin’s Creed game to date, and is far better than Hollywood’s attempt of the franchise. If you’re not convinced, here’s five reasons why it stands as the greatest.
Assassin's Creed Origins is full of these little touches. Love it so far. pic.twitter.com/YG1vK96r3M
— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsEG) October 30, 2017
Previous games in the Assassin’s Creed series have significantly lacked variation and have resulted in tedious, repetitive gameplay at times. The story quests were crucial and the side quests were largely insignificant – you could completely ignore them if you wanted.
This time around, side quests are as, if not more, important than the main quests. Without them, you won’t be a high enough level to take down your target and, believe us, you will notice. They also hand out mini-storylines too, which allow you to get engrossed in other characters and plots.
Exploring a tomb with in Assassin’s Creed Origins with Bayek dressed in his best Ezio outfit. pic.twitter.com/p3oEhtKwzX
— FarAwayComplimentGuy (@NowWeAreNowhere) October 28, 2017
Exploration in Assassin’s Creed has always been great and looting chests this time around has an incentive, as the gear you can get as a result is extremely valuable. Chests can be found all over the map, including in towns and enemy bases, but by far the most fun to explore are the tombs.
Scattered across the map, with the biggest being inside the biggest Pyramid of Cheops, each tomb has challenges, hidden secrets and superb rewards. Just be wary of cobras. Contrary to our belief, they’re not as cuddly as we thought – they will bite.
There are many diverse regions in Assassins Creed Origins, user LauriLauri125 captures their trek into a vast desert with Photo Mode. pic.twitter.com/DLCobibVmS
— Assassin's Creed (@assassinscreed) October 31, 2017
Ever since the first trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Origins dropped, we’ve been looking forward to it. Egypt is a fantastic setting for the franchise as it provides wildlife, tombs, deserts, huge buildings, lakes and pretty much everything else you could ever want.
Weather systems are relevant, as a sandstorm will make it more difficult for the enemy to see you, and each NPC character has their own agenda; they will work, sleep and go around the business. Gone are the days where their entire lives revolve around you coming along to say hello.
The best thing is that we haven’t even seen the best of it yet. When the Xbox One X drops next week, Assassin’s Creed: Origins will look even more incredible.
You can have a pet hippo in Assassin's Creed Origins. Instant GOTY pic.twitter.com/1KO7VeaEtB
— Ben Peter Griffin (@GameGriffin) October 31, 2017
You couldn’t have a game in Africa without the wildlife and Origins has animals in abundance. From crocodiles to hippos, lions and leopards, hyenas, and even flamingos, each animal can be killed and looted for things to sell or craft.
We’re still not entirely convinced that hippos live in lairs but we’re willing to let that slide. The most fun we’ve had so far has revolved around animals; releasing a caged lion into an enemy base, taming a crocodile and scaring the locals and setting fire to a leopard. Yes, we’re cruel. No, we’re not sorry.
New Era For The Franchise
— Nic (@BladedMischief) October 31, 2017
It’s no secret that the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been slipping for a while. With Black Flag, a huge leap forward was taken and it provided a different sort of challenge. Ubisoft, however, decided to go back to their roots with Unity and Syndicate – and it wasn’t quite the same.
Origins, as the name suggest, is the origin of the Assassin’s Creed and Bayek could be around for a while. The environment and settings help to set-up the franchise for the future but the same can be said for the gameplay changes, which are excellent.
Improved Combat System
DO YOU FIGHT ANUBIS IN ASSASSIN'S CREED ORIGINS??? pic.twitter.com/qV6uHAyX36
— Tony Polanco (@Romudeth) October 23, 2017
One of the worst things about Assassin’s Creed in previous years was the combat system. Simply hold the block button, counter and viola, you could take down 300 soldiers at once. It made you feel invincible and, for the most part, you were, but it lacked realism and got repetitive.
This time around, that tactic doesn’t work. Enemies will attack you all at once, rather than one-by-one, and they will hurt. It makes the game significantly harder and it does take some getting use too. However, it’s a change we welcome.
Character Customisation & Crafting
Assassin’s Creed skill tree or Opus Magnum puzzle? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/oYsbQ19gvv
— Mark Brown (@britishgaming) October 24, 2017
The biggest change in Origins was the RPG levelling system that allows you to unlock certain abilities and traits one-by-one, rather than becoming a master assassin instantly, and it allows for more player freedom. You can focus on being ranged, melee or using tools to take down your enemies or do a mixture of all three.
On top of this, the crafting system is actually useful. Animal loot can be used to upgrade your armour, which is vital, and upgrading items is beneficial. If you’ve found something early on you love, then you can get it up to your level with some handy coins.
There is of course the grinding that comes along with this, as it takes a while and some luck to get the best gear, but there’s plenty of ways to go about it.
Overall, Origins stands as the new bar for Assassin’s Creed games, and with time and due diligence, Ubisoft may be able to breath new life into their darling franchise.