Friday, 24 May 2024

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Whenever I delve into a new Assassin’s Creed game, I can’t help but feel a wave of nostalgia for the past. The series has taken me on a roller coaster of emotions, swinging between sheer enjoyment and frustration depending on the entry. However, after spending some time with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins, I have newfound optimism for the series’ ability to reinvent itself.

Breaking Conventions

“It is a question we ask ourselves,” muses Origins director Ashraf Ismail. “Is Assassin’s Creed just about a hidden blade and a hood?” Ismail acknowledges that after eight mainline games, it is nearly impossible to capture the essence of every previous game. Thus, to create a unique and modern game, the conventions of the series must be challenged. Origins achieves this by overhauling the fighting system, introducing loot for weapons and armor, and incorporating homages to the series in new and exciting ways.

Assasin's Creed Origins

The World Fights Back

For the first time, battles in Assassin’s Creed are not mere inconveniences on the path to the next objective. If protagonist Bayek finds himself in a tight spot, he is armed with a weapon, a shield, and a bow to fight his way out. As I encountered a fort to conquer, I initially relied on headshots from a distance, only to be swiftly defeated by shielded enemies. It quickly became clear that I needed to abandon my usual Assassin’s Creed tactics and adopt a more aggressive approach. While the game is not inherently more challenging than its predecessors, I had to adjust my mindset in order to effectively navigate its combat.

This Is Not Just Bayek’s Quest

In the 2015 release Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, the game featured two protagonists, telling the story from dual perspectives. Assassin’s Creed: Origins takes a step back from this approach, but not entirely. At Gamescom, the character Aya was introduced as Bayek’s partner and confidant, though it remains uncertain if she is playable. Ismail reveals that there will be more playable characters apart from Bayek, adding depth and variety to the game.

“It is primarily Bayek’s story and journey, and this is the experience we wanted to create,” explains Ismail. “However, we have other playable characters that we have yet to announce.”

Making Side Quests Matter

As the last surviving member of a group of warriors, Bayek receives numerous requests from the inhabitants of the world. Citizens ask for help with various tasks, such as apprehending a child who has been stealing from them. Pursuing this quest led me to defend the child against bandits and delve into the dark secret of his family’s capture. Along the way, I encountered a ship fire and had to convince a merchant to share information. Ultimately, I freed the child’s sister and aided her in seeking revenge. These side quests are not unfamiliar to the series, but this particular questline showcases the depth of world-building and offers a refreshing departure from the typical tailing missions.

The Challenges Of Accuracy

Assassin’s Creed has faced criticism in the past for its lack of cultural sensitivity. Previous games saw Middle Eastern character Altair portrayed by Nolan North, and an entire game set in France featured characters with British accents. Origins seeks to rectify these issues by making Bayek as authentic as possible, from his voice to his skin tone and dialogue. However, not every character in the game achieves the same level of accuracy.

“While we aimed to stay true to different cultures, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, we also needed to strike a balance, like giving Cleopatra a British accent,” explains Ismail.

I left Assassin’s Creed: Origins with renewed hope that this game could potentially redeem the series for those who may have lost interest over the years. While there have been a few disappointing entries, Origins seems poised to be a standout title. We will find out for certain on October 27.

Check out our gameplay of Assassin’s Creed: Origins Here!

FAQs

  • How many playable characters are there apart from Bayek?
  • What makes the side quests in Assassin’s Creed: Origins so extensive?
  • How does Assassin’s Creed: Origins address cultural accuracy?

Conclusion

Assassin’s Creed: Origins breathes new life into the long-standing series, challenging its conventions and presenting an engaging and immersive experience. With its revamped combat system, diverse playable characters, and impactful side quests, the game offers something fresh for both longtime fans and newcomers alike. Ubisoft’s dedication to cultural accuracy is evident, even with some minor discrepancies. Overall, Origins holds the potential to be a game-changer for the franchise, promising an exciting journey for players when it releases on October 27.