Assassin’s Creed Origins – Game Review

Assassin’s Creed Origins is the 10th main series game in the Assassin’s Creed series. This one takes the franchise back in time after Victorian era London to the time of Ptolemaic Egypt around 48 BCE and explores the origins of the assassin’s order.

The story of Assassin’s Creed Origins follow Bayek a Medjay, elite protectors of areas of Pharaonic interest in the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt, who swears vengeance against those who killed his son. In doing so Bayek gets dragged into an internal power struggle in Egypt between King Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra alongside his wife Aya. It’s a fairly typical Assassin’s Creed story of a revenge plot that gets tied into big historical events. But by making this one part of the most fascinating and brilliant historical time periods ever, the Roman Civil War between Caesar and Pompey and the fall of the Roman Republic, the whole game goes to another level for me. The very start of the story in the earliest part off the tutorial it is a little hard to figure out what is going on, but once you get into the swing of things it’s a fantastic ride. I may be a little biased as an Ancient Historian, but this is easily the best story ever from an Assassin’s Creed game.

Aside from the main storyline there is plenty to do. There are a huge amount of side quests to complete, it took a considerable number of hours to complete all of these, and given the huge scale of the map there may be even more I have yet to uncover. There are also a number of other activities beyond that, including animal dens to be cleared out, civilians to help, treasure to find, Roman commanders to take out, as well as chariot races and gladiatorial games to take part in. It’s a hugely expansive game, with so many secrets to find, regions to explore, and tasks to undertake, in order to 100% complete would take an incredible amount of time effort.

The actual game play hasn’t undergone any radical changes from the previous games. It’s still built on exploring, and climbing to vantage points, which still has very similar controls. Combat has been revamped slightly from the days where you just stood in a circle of enemies and countered their attacks. Instead there is a little more skill, especially when you face tougher and slightly higher leveled enemies. It depends what difficulty you play them game one, but on easier difficulties as your levels grow the challenge does tend to go out of most combats. Even the later boss fights are fairly easy with enemies on par or below your level not dealing enough damage to really cause you issues. However even on easy difficulties there are still extremely challenging enemies if you seek them out, namely a number of war elephants to take on.

Leading up to the game the developers talked about a radical overhaul of the character progression, where you’d truly be able to specialise your character to make them skilled at certain things. However in practice whilst there are some skills that will need to be unlocked in order to achieve certain things the general gameplay largely remains unchanged. You will also be able to unlock everything with a bit of time put into the game. There are also a number of different weapon options, both melee and ranged, and when it comes to these it’s just about finding what you’re most comfortable with, although I would absolutely recommend using the Predator Bow.

Assassin’s Creed Origins is far from a perfect game. There are certain points where the story moves forward far too slowly. It can get a little stagnated doing menial tasks at some points, or long sea missions that quickly get repetitive. And despite incorporating a good range of different kinds of missions to undertake some are just never fun. Any mission that requires you to follow someone is so slow, and the ever so slightly dodgy AI can leave you frustrated as the NPCs constantly cut back on themselves or stop. But these are only minor inconveniences in what is actually a brilliant overall experience.

As a whole Assassin’s Creed Origins is probably the best Assassin’s Creed game made to date. It feels as rich and immersive as those early games, but with the improved mechanics that they have achieved. Ancient Egypt is a wonderful location to dive into, with so many different landscapes and environments to enjoy. When you combine that with the great story Origins is a real winner, and well worth diving into whether you’re an established fan of the series or someone who has never played one before.

9/10

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