Assassin’s Creed: Origins, the revival of the franchise?

Submitted by Jordy Dieltjens on Sat, 03/17/2018 - 13:45

After Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Ubisoft decided to take a year off with the franchise. The reason was that they wanted to completely innovate the brand so they could regain the interest of their player base. Now after the year off, they finally released “Assassin’s Creed Origins”. Now the question is: Did they succeed with their intention? Will Bayek replace Ezio as favorite assassin?

The story

The story takes place in Ancient Egypt around 48 BCE where our protagonist, called Bayek of Siwa, lives. You follow Bayek throughout his journeys in Ancient Egypt to discover why and how he started the league of assassins. I personally enjoyed the story a lot but the final act was a bit disappointing.

The protagonist

So as I already mentioned, the name of the protagonist is Bayek of Siwa. He is the last Medjay active in Ancient Egypt and he fulfills his duty as a Medjay together with his pet eagle named Senu. A Medjay is a person sworn to protect and help all the people of Egypt, which makes the character very loved amongst the people. For me personally, this was a huge factor why I consider Bayek as my favorite assassin of all time. First of all, he is a high skilled warrior and he has a heart of gold. Normally I am not a huge fan of doing the side quests, but every time I see injustice happen in the game I just felt the urge to help and do my duty as a Medjay.

So to come back to the question, will Bayek replace Ezio as favorite assassin? Personally for me he did. I still find Ezio to be the most interesting character in the franchise, but Bayek is my favorite just because the character is very relatable. His immense kindness to people or the anger he feels when he sees injustice happen, everything feels relatable and likable. And that is why Bayek of Siwa is now my new favorite assassin.

The gameplay

With the year off, Ubisoft decided to change a few of the core mechanics of the game. For instance, fighting is no longer just waiting for your enemy to attack you and then just counter it. The fighting is now similar to an action RPG game but to give a better view of all the changes I will split the gameplay up in multiple parts.

The world

With Assassin’s Creed Origins stealing a lot of trophies from previous games in the franchise, it also steals the trophy for biggest world in the franchise. To put it in perspective, the previous owner of this trophy was Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. Origins destroys this old record with map size about twice as big as in Black Flag. Also something important to mention, is that in Origins it is mostly explorable land whilst in Black Flag there was a lot of sea.

photo pyramids

A big concern that shows up in games with big maps, is that there are a lot of areas that are boring because there is nothing to do. In my opinion this is not the case with Origins, Ubisoft did a great job at filling the map with activities. You can go hunting, exploring pyramids, looting fortresses, … .

The huge variety in the side quests is also a great strength of the game. Indeed some quests feel repetitive, but there is also a lot of unique side quests that feels refreshing and adds great story to the game. What I especially like are the references to some of your previous acts which makes you feel a bit more connected to the world.

The combat

As I already teased, Ubisoft completely overhauled the combat system in Origins. Now the combat feels similar like For Honor or Witcher 3. There are multiple weapon classes like normal swords, daggers, spears, … . Every weapon has an unique charged up heavy attack which makes you think what weapon you should use before starting a fight.

In my opinion this new combat system is a big improvement to the game. This makes fights a lot more action packed then just waiting for the enemy to attack and then counter it. But for the ones that loves the stealth side of Assassin’s creed, there is also still the stealth aspect of fighting in the game. Meaning that you can still go ahead and assassinate people whenever you want. But it is very important to level up your character and upgrade your gear because otherwise you won’t be able to knock someone out in 1 hit. If someone is 5 levels higher than you, then you won’t be able to assassinate them with 1 blow. You can get very creative with killing people in stealth. For instance, you could use a predator bow to assassinate someone from a far distance or you could poison a dead body and see guards die when they go check out the body.

The leveling system

skill tree

What you probably can guess already from the previous part, leveling up is a big part of Origins. If you are not a high enough level for certain quests, you are going to have a really tough time completing these. From leveling up you get ability points that you can spend in the skill tree.

weapons

This skill tree has three branches: Hunter, Warrior and Seer. Hunter is mostly for ranged abilities, Warrior involves everything about hand-to-hand combat and finally the Seer tree is a mix of assassins skills and some random skills like interacting with shops.

Weapons also have levels. First off, you need to achieve these levels before you are able to use that weapon. A thing to note is that an amazing level 1 sword would be really crap compared to a level 30 weapon. However, you can upgrade the level of a weapon to your current level. A quick tip, don’t do this if you are not at max level yet. You always have to pay the same price. If you find your weapon is getting weak, go loot some fortresses for new weapons instead of upgrading your old one.

Although I do like the leveling system because it keeps the game interesting, I am not a huge fan of the skill tree. In my opinion this limits the game a bit and I would have preferred if you learned the special moves from quests. But it's still a nice addition to the game because it keeps it interesting.

 

Some extras

senu flight

Some extras that I would like to talk about is Senu. Senu is an eagle that you can use to scout around, looking for targets or just to enjoy the beautiful view. Although it does remove a little bit of the realistic side of the story, I enjoy Senu a lot. He is very useful to sneak into fortresses and to track people. It is also a kind of replacement for the mini map. At the beginning of the game I really missed the mini map but the further you get, the more you appreciate the fact of having Senu instead of the mini map.

And last but not least, there are cats in Origins and you can pet them.

Conclusion

The answer you all have been waiting for …… yes I think Origins has revived the franchise. Origins is an amazing open-world adventure game which I highly recommend people to try it out. The setting is amazing, a great protagonist with a great story, lots of activities to do in the game, … what more can an assassins creed enthusiast ask for?

Pro

Cons

Great protagonist with great story

Disappointing final act of the story

Beautiful visuals

Skill tree is a bit of a disappointment but it is still a nice addition to the game

The new combat system, Senu, hunting, … give a fresh feeling compared to the previous games.

 

 

My final score for the game would be 9/10 because of the great graphics and uniqueness of the game.

About the Author

Gaming has always been a passion since I was a child. Varying between exploring enormous worlds, building your own empire or competing in shooters to become the best of the best. I love it all, and I love sharing this feeling with others. That is why I am grateful for being a part of this team. Being able to share my thoughts and enthusiasm of my passion is an amazing gift. My goal is to provide enjoyable reviews and articles that help you create a better understanding of the game. My current gaming laptop is HP omen X with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU which I will use to review the games.
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