This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 54 February 2018.
Assassin’s Creed is back – and it was well worth the wait. While it’s only been two years since Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, it’s been a lot longer than that since the series graced us with a truly great game.
So what makes Assassin’s Creed great and more importantly, what makes Origins a great return? Over the last few year’s Ubisoft’s third-person action-adventure stealth game has become bloated with too many ideas and half-baked additions. Origins cuts back on these elements and focuses on a great story, fantastic setting and simpler game mechanic.
You play the majority of the game as Bayek, but there are visits to his wife Aya’s parallel story. After a tragedy strikes your family, you begin your quest for vengeance and to rid ancient Egypt of The Order of the Ancients – who are essentially the Templars before they became known as such. As you may very well have gathered from the game’s name, this is indeed almost the origins story of the creed known as the Assassin’s.
And it’s a story and adventure that will keep you busy for many, many hours, because the game map is huge. HUGE, I tell you. It’s also one that should be explored carefully, as some regions have enemies that will destroy Bayek at his lower levels. Completed encounters and quests award experience points, allowing for levelling up and ability improvements. It also means access to better weapons and gear. With Origins, Assassin’s Creed has completed its quest to become an RPG-lite more than anything, bringing a little bit of crafting, weapon upgrades, plenty of side-quests and plenty of exploration.
The series’ combat system and climbing mechanic have been simplified since the early days, and in Origins, the combat is probably the most accessible yet, with enough nuance to ensure a satisfying first pump after a successful engagement with multiple enemies. The weapons even feel more relevant in combat than ever before, and selecting the right weapon type for the right enemy feels a little more crucial than ever before.
Of course, you could choose to rather use the shadows and long grass to sneak up on your enemy and quietly assassinate them one-by-one. Or take them out with your bow and arrow (or any other long-range weapon or tool option). The game allows you to really play as you please and thankfully never punishes you for choosing a more explosive approach over finesse.
An Assassin’s Creed Origins review would do the game injustice to not mention the graphics, so I will. The game is breath-taking to behold. Egypt is vibrant and varied. There are moments where you could be caught off-guard by taking in the sights and forgetting you’ve entered a wild animal lair. Yes, there are animals and so much more in the game – too much to fit into this review in fact.
Simply put, with Assassin’s Creed Origins, you have a game of the year competitor, and one you would do yourself a disservice by not playing it.
Available for: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Distributed by: Megarom Interactive