It is no secret that Ubisoft Montreal has decided to change up the standard Assassins Creed formula, introducing new mechanics, exploration and of course, a new protagonist. Assassins Creed Origins has been in development for around four years, following the release of the highly acclaimed Assassins Creed Black Flag and we are creeping ever closer to its release.
With Gamescom having just passed and the stream of Assassins Creed Origins information flowing in like the Nile inundation, it is time to compile it all into one article so you will have all the facts when exploring ancient Egypt.
Who Are Bayek And Senu?
Bayek is quite an interesting character from the get go, as he is older than most protagonists of the AC franchise when we first take control of him. Ubisoft wanted Bayek to have experienced life in Egypt and act as a sort of guide for players to help explore the wide world around him.
Bayek is a Medjay warrior in his 30s, so the player starts off in the shoes of a very experienced and respected member of Egyptian society. A Medjay is a special member of Egyptian culture who is trained from birth and appointed by a Pharaoh to be a kind of law-keeper and protector. They dispense justice for the wider Egyptian people and protect the Pharaoh from harm. Bayek is an important Medjay because he is the last one, so obviously, corruption and danger would be rife in 49BCE ancient Egypt.
Bayek’s high status and respectable position allows for a seamless transition story-wise and allows him access to all these differing layers of society for if he has been tasked by a Pharaoh to carry out justice, he has essentially been tasked by a god. No one would stop a god from going where they wanted.
Senu is Bayek’s constant companion and ally that will be at his side throughout the Assassins Creed Origins experience. Not only will Senu make the world feel more immediately alive, but it will provide players with a unique perspective. Senu can be used as a scout, sent up high to look for interesting landmarks, tag enemies or to just get a feel of where to go next.
However, Senu is so much more than a physical representation of Eagle Vision from the previous games, with players being able to Fast Travel when controlling Senu if you have a visual on a location previously discovered.
Quest System Revamped
Assassins Creed Origins is an open-world experience, no longer a revolving around a linear main quest line with almost insignificant side objectives that do not add anything meaningful to the game. Ubisoft has intentionally blurred the lines between main and side quests so that there is no incredibly major distinction in production value and quality. Even apparent simple objectives can lead to interesting twists, turns and wonderful rewards.
The most important part of this new system is that players will no longer desynchronise or fail a mission/quest if you leave a certain zone. No longer will a wrong flick of the wrist send you leaping out of the area and failing miserably. This also assists with the open world model, with players being able to explore with an active quest and pick up additional objectives on the way.
There are going to be literally hundreds of quests and additional objectives to seek out and complete, that will keep players coming back for more. Check out the above video, done as part of the IGN First series, where you can catch a glimpse (an 18-minute glimpse) of one of the sidequests, entitled ‘What’s Yours Is Mine’.
Customisation: Make Your Dream Assassin Come To Life
An open world RPG type game needs to have some form of customisation and Assassins Creed Origins has you covered. With a huge variety of optional abilities and upgrades, you will be able to choose precisely how you want Bayek and Senu to function. Whether you want to go crazy and grab every single ability from the Warrior, Hunter and Seer categories to make a well-rounded Assassin or just invest in one node, the choice is yours.
These Abilities grant you special boons to combat and other important skills that will turn you into a Master Assassin. From modifying Senu to distract enemies, to being able to chain a stealth kill with a throwing knife, there is something for everyone.
You May Need To Quit Your Day Job: There Is A Lot To Explore
Assassins Creed is known for inserting history into their games, in an almost seamless experience that brings us face to face with some of histories most colourful characters and locations. Origins is no exception, with gorgeous environments and high levels of detail paid to the architecture of ancient Egypt.
With a vast open world, which we will be able to explore entirely from the northern Mediterranean border right down to the southern desert without encountering a single loading screen, there is so much to find and to do. This is a big deal because the world of Assassins Creed Origins is enormous and full of the environments that would have covered ancient Egypt. White sand deserts will be accompanied by lush oases, deep and dangerous lakes, river deltas, rocky regions and blackened badlands.
Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads
One of the cooler things with regards to exploration is the fact that nothing is locked off at the beginning of the game but nothing is handed to you either. You can start Assassins Creed Origins and immediately run in one particular direction, completing quests as you find them and exploring secret areas but the only thing that will hold you back is your level. Players will find enemies and objectives that will be classed at a variety of levels, indicating the challenge they will provide. So while you can run right into an end game content zone, that does not mean you will be successful…at all.
In Assassins Creed Origins, exploration will be a kind of blind adventure, which is what you would want it to be with a culturally rich zone like ancient Egypt. No longer will a minimap be your guide around the world, instead Ubisoft has substituted a compass so you can just pick a direction and run with it.
In a similar vein, Origins will have Question Mark zones, which can be marked via travelling close to them, unlocking part of the map by climbing up onto a high location or by using Senu to scout. Question Mark zones are areas of interest that can be explored deeper to discover new quests, rewards, challenging enemies or more story elements.
Much Like In Australia, Everything Is Trying To Kill You
You may be a Medjay, trained from birth to battle everything Egypt can throw at you but you definitely will have your work cut out. Ubisoft has tried very hard to make the world seem alive, and you will be assaulted by roaming bandits, roaming bosses, random groups of soldiers and rampaging fauna. But who cares about the archer raining arrows down on your head when you have an angry Hippo charging at you, right?
While on the subject of angry animals, in Assassins Creed Origins you are able to tame the local wildlife to assist you in combat or to cause a violent distraction while you sneak around. With the abundance of crocodiles that surround the Nile, it will be a really beneficial game mechanic.
Within the game there are a few basic enemy types that will teach you basic mechanics and in many ways try to prepare you for the more intense boss fights. You have the Brutes, which much like other games of this nature move slowly and hit hard, the Supers who are the commanders or captains of groups of enemies and the Predators, a style of hit and run enemy who uses smoke bombs to get close and deal damage.
Supers are designed to act like captains and as such the rest the nearby enemies will sort of form a circle around you and cheer their commander on. They will still attack if you get too close but they seem content to leave it to their commander. Predators, on the other hand, are stealth characters, so if you ever wanted to feel what it would be like to fight another assassin, you will have your chance.
Then we have the Bosses, which players will be able to discover via quests or even just roaming around the vast world. These fights will be on a grander scale and will offer powerful loot if you are successful in murdering them. These Boss characters will have vibrant and varied personalities so some will be very aggressive while others will be subdued and quiet. To summarise: challenging fight grants big rewards. One thing worth mentioning in regards to assassination targets: the world is alive and as such enemies will roam allowing a brief window to take out a target before they get inside a heavily fortified compound, for instance.
Combat arenas or gladiatorial arenas are fight based challenges in Assassins Creed Origins that will be introduced via the main story quests. There are a multitude of these arenas throughout the game which are historically significant because, at the time, the Greeks had introduced these fighting pits to the ancient Egyptians.
Combat Arenas will differ from small, dense enclosures to vast gladiatorial coliseums where Bayek will do battle with base enemies, animals, deal with traps and eventually face off against a Boss. Additional challenges may be thrown at players like you can only use a certain type of weapon or you can only use ranged weapons. They introduce an optional fight challenge where you can practice your combat skills as well as compete for unique weapons and outfits.
Powerful NPC’s: Get On The Right Side Of History
Throughout the story you will encounter a variety of powerful historical figures who players will presumably assist with whatever power plays they find interesting at the time. These historical figures did interact with each other a long time ago and had wide scale conflicts that affected all of Egypt.
Ptolemy XIII is a boy king, who battles with his sister and ceremonial wife Cleopatra VII for control of Egypt. However, due to his lack of experience and weak will, he is easily manipulated and is just a puppet for some of his advisors. Cleopatra VII seeks to gain her throne back and take back control, with her lethal and skillful use of her followers. Bayek believes in Cleopatra at certain points throughout the game. Of course, we also have Julius Caesar, the legendary tactician who began the switch from the Roman Republic to a Roman Empire, you know before he was killed. He has begun to march on Egypt with a vast Roman army, but according to the Game of Power trailer, his motives are unclear.
However, one of the more interesting characters that we will encounter is Aya, the wife of Bayek and a critical component to forming the Assassins Brotherhood. Aya seems to quite combat capable and has an easy chemistry with Bayek that does not seem too cringe-worthy (at least for now). If you wish, you can check her out in this 24-minute gameplay video. Be aware of spoilers.
Assassins Creed Origins will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on October 27th, 2017. It is going to be a great year for AC and I cannot wait to discover the mysteries of ancient Egypt.