Assassin's Creed Origins review: the wonders of Egypt

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Steven L. Ken
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The time has finally come. That fateful moment, which all of us Assassin's Creed lovers have been waiting for, has finally arrived. The famous saga returns to the field in the lands of the Pharaohs, among dunes, sandstorms, ancient temples and lost treasures, but above all Assassins. Will Ubisoft's pause for reflection have paid off? Introducing Assassin's Creed Origins

Burning sun, which illuminates the desert dunes with gold. Sand that rises from the ground with a puff of wind, but that swirls quickly with the passage of some galloping horses. Hot, very hot. In the distance I see ruins ... a seated pharaoh, a lioness head. Then I turn around and in the background, on the horizon, I see something very familiar. There, where the world seems to end, I see the pyramids. I keep turning and walking slowly, admiring everything around me. The view runs fast and sees everything: nearby things, distant towns, scorpions emerging from the sand.



I feel like I'm in a dream, but at some point the call of an eagle distracts me. I look up and see her circling above me. And at some point something happens, something totally unexpected. I am the eagle, flying over Egypt. Now I see everything, I see all the beauty of the lands of the pharaohs and a single word comes to mind to describe all this.

Immense.

Because yes, Assassin's Creed Origins it is immense. These are the emozioni that, as a great lover of the Assassins saga, I tried as soon as I managed to get my hands on the latest effort of Ubisoft. The impact was extremely exciting, but not just the visual one. I'd rather call it more "historical impact", Because what Assassin's Creed Origins offers is much more than a gaming experience. It's a history lesson, a step back into the past.



Assassin's Creed Origins, the rebirth after two years of hiatus

As we all well remember, after Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Ubisoft has decided to take a break. Evie and Jacob Frye were the Assassins who made us live “the last Creed”, only to stop and temporarily step aside. But why did Ubisoft make this choice? I think the house has decided to take a pause for reflection re-evaluate the brand of Assassin's Creed and find a way to do it return to the hearts of the fans. Because let's face it, the last few chapters, especially speaking of Unity and Syndicate, were particularly subdued.

Now I turn into the personal with these reflections, which should not be done in a review, but I think it should be clarified. Personally I loved Assassin's Creed Unity a lot but, as well as in Syndicate, something was missing. Something that made him special in the eyes of fans, that made him remain imprinted in the gaming experiences of all of us.

Well, Assassin's Creed Origins is the result of ben two sabbatical years by Ubisoft. Did the pause for reflection work?

A loving father and husband, because Bayek is not just the Medjay of Egypt

It is quite difficult to talk about the plot of Assassin's Creed Origins without falling into spoilers. Since before the release of the title we were aware of the name of the protagonist, Bayek in Shiva, and some information regarding his training. Bayek is in fact part of the lineage of Medjay of Egypt, that is a population that occupied the Medja region located in northern Sudan. Over time, however, the term Medjay has also taken on another meaning and that is precisely what concerns our protagonist. Bayek, in fact, plays a very specific role in Assassin's Creed Origins, that is a warrior in the service of the Pharaoh forming part of the elite troops.



This is the information that was no more and no less known already last July, but at the beginning of the game Bayek is shown to us in his most personal sphere. Un caring father and husband, who loves his wife and especially his son, who he teaches to take their first steps into the world and overcome their fears.

A perfect and peaceful life which, however, at a certain point, is crumbled by a tragic event that destroys our Bayek. I deliberately use the term "destroy", because the fact will mark our protagonist in the depths leading him to thirst for revenge. And it is precisely in this point that the real beginning of the events of Assassin's Creed Origins takes place.

Layla, Bayek and Aya, between present and past

After the incipit we are catapulted into the I live from history, where we will begin to explore the vast game world and get to know many characters, among which the names of illustrious historical personalities stand out. During the incredible Assassin's Creed Origins experience we will experience the story from Bayek's point of view, accompanied by his ideas and feelings.

The plot will be further enriched through the possibility of impersonating Aya, Bayek's wife, and Layla Hassan, the protagonist of the present. Aya is a charismatic and self-confident woman, perfect for being next to a man like Bayek. The two did support each other and, as we can also see from the first game sequences, they love each other very much. Layla Hassan instead, researcher from Abstergo, she is the one who brings the Bayek story to life, reliving his memories inside theanimus.


Assassin's Creed Origins, the roots of the Creed ...

I can say with certainty that the plot of Assassin's Creed Origins is pleasant and follows with pleasure. I got involved with Bayek's story and I really appreciated Ubisoft's willingness to bring out his connection with Aya as well. Despite this, however, the plot it does not present an originality that can be defined as unique or particularly important.


Origins' task would have been to tell the origins of the Brotherhood of Assassins, I expect that unfortunately has not been properly investigated. This lack is noticeable from the first moments of the game with the appearance of the leap of faith, a typical sign of recognition of every self-respecting Assassin. The leap is the first aspect of the Creed that is shown within the plot, followed by the introduction of the hidden blade.

… Which unfortunately have not received the right attention

Now what's the problem?

The problem is simple, that is there is no motivation that justifies the inclusion of the leap of faith and the hidden blade. Both are not properly explained and from the beginning of the game Bayek knows how to make the leap of faith. But where did he learn to do it? Same goes for the hidden blades, a gift from Aya for our protagonist. Also in this case the true meaning is not explored of this weapon symbol of the Assassins. Not to mention thesevered ring finger, which in the game is passed off almost as a random accident.

Certainly their presence is linked to Bayek's maturation and growth as Medjay, but the fact remains that an exhaustive explanation of their "being there" has not been given. As we all know these elements have a very deep meaning in the Assassin's Creed saga, and for this reason I believe that they would have deserved more attention.

My eyes, my ears, my guide: Senu, the inseparable travel companion

Among innvovations of Assassin's Creed Origins we also find the introduction of senu, the eagle that will accompany Bayek during his adventure and that has replaced the eagle eye of the previous chapters. Senu is there our guide, essential to progress in history and above all to have one complete view from above of the surrounding environment.

Thanks to her we will be able to identify our mission goals, Over which brand enemies and find out their level. Senu will also show us the location of hidden treasures and materials useful for crafting, but it will also prove very useful during fights. In fact, with a simple command, the eagle will annoy the enemies and we, consequently, will be able to catch them unprepared and eliminate them more quickly.

The gameplay, the real innovation of Assassin's Creed Origins

After mentioning Senu, it is time to move on to gameplay di Assassin's Creed Origins, which represents the revolution of the title and the entire Assassin's Creed saga. The change is noticeable from the beginning of the game, where for the first time we have the opportunity to set the difficulty with which we want to face the game. There are three choices available, namely easy, normal or difficult.

To arms, it's time to fight!

And now let's get to the heart of the gameplay, where I immediately launch into the analysis of the combat system. The watchword is once again revolution, since the combat system of the previous chapters has been completely eradicated, giving life to a completely new experience.

In Assassin’s Creed Origins i fighting they are much more dynamic, unpredictable e challenging. Regarding this last aspect, it depends a lot on the chosen difficulty, but personally setting the normal one I have often found myself in quite critical situations, especially at the beginning.

Attack, defend yourself, parry and dodge… can you repeat the layout of the keys to me?

The first change we come across is the revolution of the keys di attack, parade, defense e dodge.

Tested on PlayStation 4 system, the light attack it is done by pressing the key R1, That heavy evaluation with R2 and instead holding down the key L1 our Bayek he will raise his shield to defend himself. The shield will have a fundamental role in the fighting, since thanks to it we will also be able to shelter ourselves from the arrows of the archers, recovering those that will remain stuck on it. Among the attacks there is also that Incredibly , which can be activated with the simultaneous pressure of R1 and R2 after loading the bar.

La dodge now it is done with the square button and with the pressure of circle button we can break the guard and block the opponent's attacks, obviously if we manage to anticipate them by a few seconds. The parade mechanic is very reminiscent of the one seen in Dark Souls and it is undeniable that it gives one unique depth and never seen inside an Assassin's Creed. The iconic is always present acrobatic race, which is now done with the X button.

Between swords, spears and bows we will be able to equip Bayek to our liking, choosing from a varied paraphernalia and based on our fighting style

To make the most of this revamped combat system, Bayek will obviously need stable and reliable weapons. Well, Assassin's Creed Origins offers us a very respectable paraphernalia, consisting of small arms, heavy e white.

Among the reads we find traditional swords, sharp sabers and daggers, while among the heavy ones figure alabarde, maces and axes. In Origins, a lot of space was given to sidearms, which include various types of arches. It goes from simple bows with a single arrow, to bows that allow you to nock up to five arrows, and you get to the more advanced bows, which allow the use of viewfinder.

The side-quests of Assassin's Creed Origins are not optional and often turn out to be a must

After vanquishing a few marauding gangs and slitting a few throats here and there, an Assassin also needs to relax a bit, and in Assassin's Creed Origins there are tons of ways to do it.

Le secondary missions that the game offers are really many and varied, with the possibility of dealing with them in the way you prefer. You can try the stealth approach or throw yourself out of your chest, although the latter is often not a wise choice. Enemy AI has been significantly improved and very often you will have to face really tough fighters, equipped with heavy weapons that can take a good portion of your life away with a single shot. Archers are also quite annoying, as they will constantly disturb you during hand-to-hand combat.

In any case, the side missions offer one good challenge it's a decent fun, although unfortunately they could be boring in the long run. Not so much for the repetitiveness, because as mentioned they are very varied, but more for the fact that they are rather obliged. To proceed in the main story we will have to reach a certain experience with our protagonist, since if we are of an excessively low level we will have considerable difficulties in taking down the enemies. To level it will therefore be necessary to face the side-quests until you get to the desired experience, but the problem lies in the fact that very often the main mission requires a much higher level than the current one.

This fact then leads us to face compulsory secondary missions to level up, which in the long run could be quite boring and frustrating. The player therefore cannot choose to finish the main campaign and then dedicate himself to the secondary missions, since the latter are necessary to level and progress in the plot.

Assassin's Creed Origins takes us to discover the splendor of Egypt, with a stable game engine but with a decidedly mediocre voice acting

Ancient Egypt, with its mysteries and wonders, it is the setting that makes it Assassin's Creed Origins a fascinating game full of surprises. The locations hide little wonders in every corner, if you know how to search and observe with patience. The bright colors and the feeling of warmth that Egypt transmits is unique, as is the feeling that it is the environment lives with us. The player can do a real blast from the past admiring the architecture of the time, represented above all by the pyramids. Ubisoft has really done a painstaking job with the reproduction of the latter and you will certainly be charmed.

- game environments are dynamic and very realistic, mostly thanks to a stable engine that offers fluidity in the simplest movements but also in the middle of a battle. During my game I encountered no major bugs, other than some pop-up effects and some slightly delayed texture loading.

I found an annoying flaw in the Spanish dubbing, which unfortunately it's enough expressionless and muffled. The English dubbing, which I experienced firsthand, is much more emphatic and personally sent me more emotions than the Spanish one. Bayek's original English voice features very pronounced tones, which blend perfectly with the character's personality.

Assassin's Creed Origins, tiriamo the sum

Accompanying Bayek on his journey was a unique and exciting adventure. Ubisoft has definitely made great strides since Assassin's Creed Syndicate and the change is noticeable from the early moments of the game. I believe that Assassin's Creed Origins is the fruit of many reflections, Comparison of ideas and especially commitment from the team.

Exploring Ancient Egypt with all its wonders is worth as much as one history lesson, a blast from the past that will immerse you in unique locations. The plot isn't particularly original, but that doesn't mean it's completely unsatisfactory.

Unfortunately some elements, especially those related to the Brotherhood of Assassins, have not been properly investigated, but despite this the story is pleasant and pleasant to follow. The side missions might give you some boredom and unfortunately the Spanish dubbing is not the best, but despite this the game features many innovations and it is really worth playing.

Did the pause for reflection Ubisoft took after Syndicate work? Assassin's Creed Origins is the fruit of this and with certainty I can answer yes.

For further information and further information, please also read the our preview, drawn up after trying the game during Milan Games Week 2017.

9 A true history lesson in Ancient Egypt!

Points in favor

  • Pleasant texture ...
  • Notable historical impact
  • Wonderful and dynamic locations
  • Smooth and stable game engine
  • Completely revamped gameplay

Points against

  • ... but not very original
  • Some iconic elements of the saga are not properly explained
  • Often required side missions
  • Mediocre Spanish dub
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