After a disappointing few games and an average film at best, Assassin’s Creed has been dwindling for a while.
But this year saw Ubisoft make its big return to the gaming world at this year’s E3, 2017. The developers revealed their latest title to be the highly speculated, Egyptian-based game – Assassin’s Creed: Origins. I believe that this will be the game to drag Assassin’s Creed out of the depths and back into its well deserved spotlight.
My reasons for this start with Ashraf Ismail, Origins’ game director and leading man for what will be involved in the game. Hardcore Creed fans will know that his previous creation was the notorious Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.The swashbuckling, pirate-themed Creed that took the gaming world by storm rated as one of the best games of 2013 and remains to be my favourite Assassin’s Creed game. So good that it even launched its own spin-off game this year totally based on its naval combat mechanics. And now Ismail is back crafting the potential rejuvenation of the series. RPG questing, pet eagles and pyramids!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the revival of the series is as simple as making it more like The Witcher, but long-awaited change can only be a good thing. On the face of it, Origins continues with the familiarity of Assassin’s Creed with an open world, free-running and a tempting story however it seems to have grown into something much more. Questing has completely shifted to RPG meaning a whole host of different storylines are just waiting to be found. The mini-map has also been removed and replaced by a Bethesda-style compass which simply shows you the direction of your objective. It may seem like a strange difference for the game to take, but I think it’s to encourage players to explore more of the map in a game tailored more at discovery and adventure.
And why wouldn’t you want to explore this spectacle? With the added help of the Xbox One X and its power, Origins seems to glitter under a North African sun with a vibrant art-style. Not only this, but the increased draw distance means that the world is loaded in real-time meaning you can explore the peaks of the pyramids to the depths of the Nile without a single load screen. I believe this is exactly why the focus has shifted to exploration, because the console power gives the developers the capability to create these massive new worlds to discover.
However, for the game to be a true success, a strong story is crucial. And to be honest, they’ve chosen a pretty important part of Creed’s history to focus on. Where it all started, the initial forming of the Brotherhood, the introduction to where all other games are based from. No pressure then. For this to work, we have to hope the protagonist isn’t as flat as previous characters and the reasons leading up to the forming of the Brotherhood are justified. If not, I feel there could be a lot of complaining. But hey, it hasn’t happened yet, so I won’t speculate. But just a heads up, if it is bad, you’ll be hearing from me.
The weapons and combat system is also getting a revamp with the focus shifting to loot and the importance of upgrading and discovering new items. Again, the focus on discovery, I detect a trend. You are now able to wield weapons ranging from spears to bows and axes to shields. The combat system has also changed with the game rewarding players for their timing of attacks instead of the combination of different moves. These changes are arguably change for changes sake but I can only really assess it once I’ve put the combat into practice. My opinion is if it works, and is smooth, the change will be a refreshing addition to Assassin’s Creed.
Then there is the newest feature to the game, taking a leaf out of Far Cry’s book I feel, the eagle. This refreshing take on eagle vision is something I am very much looking forward to. Having your own eagle to control to pick out your enemies and mark certain objectives is a great alternative to ‘eagle vision’. This literal representation is a brilliant way to show how stripped back and ancient the game setting is despite keeping the ideas so fresh and new for an Assassin’s Creed game.
There’s just so much to this game and the potential is so vast that I can’t even predict the amount of things that will be included. I truly feel this is the comeback Assassin’s Creed needs and deserves and I have full faith that Ismail is the man to get us there. I know I haven’t mentioned everything coming in the game because there’s so much. But for now, these are the main things I’m excited for and the best part is, we’re only scratching the surface of what this game has to offer.