Ubisoft proves that taking a break and going back to the drawing board can still work wonders
The Assassins Creed series has been a fan-favorite staple of the video game industry for a decade now. It raised the bar and set the standard for various in-game mechanics and elements upon its initial release. Despite getting off to an extremely fortunate start with the beginning of the series, Ubisoft eventually faced a downward spiral. As a result of consistently poor reception from fans, due to repetitive and buggy games. Many speculated that releasing a new game year after year was taking a toll on Ubisoft. With the glitch-infested Assassin’s Creed: Unity becoming a prime example of why ambition needs to be backed by experience. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, a product of the same, dried-out gameplay – it was time for Ubisoft to take a different approach.
Instead of releasing yet another game the following year, they didn’t. 2016 was the first time in seven years that we didn’t receive a new installment in the main series. Then, in 2017, Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed: Origins, a visually stunning game set in Ancient Egypt. The game explores the origins of the Assassins and their ongoing feud with the Templars. Without giving too much away, Origins is a long-needed, breath of fresh air when it comes to fighting, climbing, and assassins. The thought-provoking story is a fictional take on real events that occurred throughout history. It provides for some of the most well thought out and memorable characters in the series, so far.
Assassins Creed Series Takes the Right Turn with Origins
The immersive world of Ancient Egypt is the most detailed map yet, filled with the most relevant, unique, and entertaining missions to date. The game world provides a unique experience through a combination of different elements and environments. There are sandstorms raging in the desert and beautiful vantage points to be seen from the mountains. The architecture in the ancient tombs is so detailed and aesthetically pleasing that you’ll naturally want to explore every corner. This results in a mixed bag of emotions due to the perfectly emulated ambiance of an ancient, long-forgotten, and filled-with-dead-people tomb. During my first tomb-crawling adventure, I ended up throwing off my $100 gaming headset because of the unexpected, creepy realism of the eerily-crafted environment.
That’s all only on the ground. Origins also lets you dive into and explore any body of water. You will come across wreckage and ancient ruins, in the search of treasure. In order to add a unique variation to this Black Flaq-esque underwater gameplay, the developers added an underwater melee system. The melee system to allow you to fight off hostile animals, like hippos and crocodiles. Awesome.
This time around, we play as the last Medjay, Bayek of Siwa. He is driven by vengeance, yet kept sane through compassion. Bayek is a fairly new take on the protagonist model, finally diverting us away from the failed attempts at recreating the overused personalities of Altair and Ezio. Bayek is the perfect embodiment of being ruthless to your enemies. Still, he is nothing but kind and helpful to his loved ones.
How Origins Stands Out in the Assassins Creed Series
Though the main quests offer some of the most unforgettable moments in the Assassins Creed series, the side quests this time around are also worth mentioning. The side quests have always lacked substance since they mostly comprised of simple ‘fetch this’ or ‘kill that’ missions, but that’s no longer the case in Origins. Now, the side quests are relevant missions which are almost mini-stories, complete with unique NPC’s driven by their own desires and history. Additionally, there isn’t much hand-holding and you’re no longer told how to approach a specific mission.
This game, like most every game in today’s day and age, suffers from its fair share of technical difficulties. However, to be fair, the bugs and glitches are minor in nature and do not take away from the overall, immersive experience that Assassin’s Creed: Origins provides. With many critics claiming it the best game in the series, and many gaming outlets rating it a 9 out of 10, Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a strong Game of the Year candidate, brought about by a long-awaited and well-executed plan by Ubisoft.
Written by – Katreena Lim
About the Author: Katreena is hardcore gamer and aspiring writer from the Philippines