Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017, Xbox One)

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin’s Creed Origins is an action adventure game with stealth elements developed by Ubisoft Montreal, published by Ubisoft and released in 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the tenth main installment of the Assassin’s Creed series that has been going since 2007. The game is set in Ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic period and it tells the story of a Medjay named Bayek and his wife, Aya, as they struggle against The Order of the Ancients, who are the predecessors to the Templar Order seen in previous games. It also delves into the origins of the Brotherhood of Assassins.

You’ve been warned

As I said, Bayek is a Medjay, but what is a Medjay I hear you ask? Well simply put, Medjay were like desert guardians and they dealt with any issues that may have arisen in their particular region of protection. Bayek was a Medjay of a region called Siwa. While he was showing his son, Khemu, what it means to be a Medjay, they were both kidnapped by masked men and brought to a place called the Temple of Amun. The masked men wanted Bayek to open a vault down in the underground passes by giving him an Apple of Eden, an artifact that possesses great power which was seen in other Assassin’s Creed games. Bayek eventually gets free from the masked men and attempts to kill one of them by stabbing them, but the masked man moves aside and Bayek stabs Khemu, killing him. Filled with grief and rage, Bayek vows to destroy the masked men and kill every last one of them.

Bayek and Khemu

Bayek, eventually gets around to killing the five masked men he thought were responsible for what happened the year previous. But after he killed the final one, he was told there were a lot more than he had previously thought. Bayek discovers an even bigger conspiracy when he meets a man named, Apollodorus. Apollodorus is an advisor and friend to the deposed queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, yes that Cleopatra. Apollodorus introduces Bayek to Cleopatra and explains that the masked men are from a secret order called The Order of the Ancients. They removed Cleopatra from her throne and installed her brother, Ptolemy as the new Pharaoh of Egypt. All they wanted was someone they could control.

Cleopatra tells Bayek to go and kill more of the Ancients while she asks Aya, who is supremely loyal to Cleopatra to go to Sicily and ask a roman general named Pompey for aid to get Cleopatra back on the throne of Egypt. Bayek starts to believe that he is only a pawn to help Cleopatra get back in power and that she doesn’t actually care that Bayek and Aya had their child murdered by the Ancients.

Bayek and Aya

Eventually, Pompey gets killed and Cleopatra says that she needs to talk to the main man himself, Julius Ceaser to secure the support of Rome so she can oust her brother. Aya, Bayek and Apollodorus sneak into Ptolemy’s palace with Cleopatra wrapped up in a fine carpet as a gift. Once inside Ptolemy’s palace the ruse is up and Cleopatra introduces herself to Julius Ceaser who is immediately impressed by what he sees. Ptolemy is removed as Pharaoh and Bayek is on the cusp of getting his vengeance, especially on one of Ceaser’s men, Septimius who killed Pompey. But just as Bayek defeats Septimius in battle and about to deliver the final blow, Ceaser stops it and Bayek is betrayed.

Bayek fighting

Bayek and Aya are removed from Cleopatra’s favour, while Cleopatra takes the throne of Egypt back. Septimius is also made an advisor to Ceaser which is a further insult to both Bayek and Aya. Their thirst for vengeance increases ten fold as they vow to bring all these people to justice. Bayek and Aya realises that to do this they will need support as they can’t take on both Cleopatra and Ceaser on their own. During the game you meet a lot of characters and do side quests for them, these characters are later called upon when the decision to get help is made.

Apollodorus is found dying in the tomb of Alexander the Great. There he tells Bayek about the leader of the order named, Flavius and how he took an orb and staff from Alexander’s tomb and is about to open the vault in Siwa, yes the same one that Khemu was killed over. Bayek goes to Cyrene to deal with Flavius and the Order of the Ancients once and for all. Flavius goes mad with power and develops all these new skills such as teleportation, splitting into multiple versions of himself and so on, but Bayek eventually beats him.

Flavius with the Orb

Bayek and Aya come to the conclusion that what they are doing is bigger than both of them and if they are going to be successful in removing corruption from the world they must do it separately. They create a group called the Hidden Ones which is a precursor to the development of the Brotherhood of Assassins that will come years down the line. Aya eventually goes to Rome and in the senate, Ceaser gets stabbed by the senators and assassinated. This then ends with Aya speaking to Cleopatra and telling her to rule her people well and with fairness or she will be back to kill Cleopatra. And that is the story of Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Now onto the game play. The game play is very different to previous Assassin’s Creed games, it is a lot more focused on the RPG side of things, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just different. Also I feel that the game moved a good bit away from the stealth elements of previous games and was more focused on actual combat scenarios then trying to sneak around and assassinate targets. I found it a lot easier to just go into a place and kill everyone then having to sneak around and try not to get spotted. During combat you can choose to either block with your shield or dodge, but most of the time I just dodged everywhere. One, because I was better at that and two, because you could recover a lot quicker to land some blows to the enemy. Once you kill enemies or complete missions, you gain experience, level up and spend skill points, pretty standard stuff for an RPG.

Bayek kicking ass

The visuals of the game are stunning. I found myself in absolute awe just going around ancient Egypt and I feel that Ubisoft Montreal got the feeling down to a T. From vast deserts to murky swamps. From sprawling cities to dusty villages. Assassin’s Creed Origins makes all the areas feel unique and very different to each other. You will also be encountering different animals in these different areas and the animals use the areas to their advantage. For example if you go into a swampy area, there is a 99% chance you are going to run into a Crocodile, but the Crocodile stays in the bushes or under the water just before it strikes and when it does, you better be ready. Another example would be cobras hiding in vases that you smash and then suddenly you are bitten by a highly venomous snake. Ouch!

Mounted Combat

There is also a fair bit of mounted and ranged combat in the game. You will be spending a lot of your time on your camel/horse/chariot and as you are going along enemy soldiers might want to have a word with you…with their blades. There is also a lot to be said about using your bow to get out of tight situations and for picking people off which is very handy. There are various types of bows like predator bows, hunter bows, light bows and the like. Some of them are really handy and good and suit my play style. Others I just found to be ridiculous, like the Predator bow where you can actually control the arrow once you fire it, that was just absurd.

There is a hell of a lot of stuff to do in Assassin’s Creed Origins. There are loads and loads of side quests that will keep you busy and there are also some mini games such as chariot racing and gladiatorial arenas. The arenas I was fantastic at, the chariot racing I was absolutely rubbish at and I could not even pass the first tournament, but it was nice that they added it to the game.

The game like other Ubisoft games, lends itself to a lot of exploration though there were areas that were completely barren. You couldn’t have a game set in Ancient Egypt without exploring tombs and that is something you can do to collect money and trinkets that you can sell later on. The game is also a collectathon, which comes as no surprise with Ubisoft but in this one you will be collecting Stone Circles which opens up a small mini game, having to basically match dots of star constellations, Finding secret Papyrus puzzles, Finding Hermit Locations around Egypt, going through Ancient Tombs and it wouldn’t be an Ubisoft game without viewpoints/towers or whatever you want to call them and this game is chock full of them.

Just take time to take in the stunning graphics

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a smooth game with very little to no technical issues (that I experienced) and I thought the game was absolutely stunning visually. The soundtrack was amazing, epic and it was used at the right moments to convey the messages the game wanted to. The story was very good, deep and meaningful that had a lot of layers, though a bit far-fetched. I know since the first Assassin’s Creed game that there were more elements to it in terms of magic and all that but I would just rather a game where it was set in the era it was meant to be set in and forget about the magic and other rubbish. I mean there is a modern story line to this game, but have you noticed that I haven’t spoken about it? Because it’s crap and I don’t care about it at all and I wish Ubisoft would forget about the modern story line, but that is just me. Desmond Miles story line from the first three was okay, but that is done now. Just stop trying to force the modern story line on us.

Again, I’ll mention that the combat was fine, nothing great, nothing terrible. But the stealth mechanics were definitely sacrificed and it was a lot more noticeable in this Assassin’s Creed compared to previous ones. The tools in and out of combat such as sleep darts, smoke bombs and other such tools I found to be next to useless. I never used them, or more so I never felt like I needed to use them. Lastly, while there are a lot of areas of bristling towns and villages and temples full of worshipers, there was so much empty space in this game. If you go to the deserts of which there are a good few, there will be nothing but sand, sand and more sand…and the sun. You might find the odd place or character here or there, but otherwise, if you like sand, Assassin’s Creed Origins is the game for you. So yeah, Assassins Creed Origins is a good game, a very good game…just not a great game.

Graphics: Visually stunning 10/10

Sound: Great soundtrack, voice acting was fantastic and general atmosphere was immersive 10/10

Game play: Exploration was good, Combat was good, Other Mechanics were decent 7/10

Worth: Fun game but it drags on a bit and it does have issues 7/10

Story: Very good story but with some silly parts and a boring and pointless modern story line 7/10

Total: 82/100 B-

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

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