So, after 80+ hours of gameplay, I finally finished Assassin’s Creed: Origins (AC: Origins), and it was GREAT. Before any further discussion, I just want to make one thing straight, I am not your “textbook gamer,” I do love playing video games, I am willing to spend 20+ hours of my life everyday (if I have to) for a game that is worth my time. I can appreciate most game genres and is willing to try new ones, I can say I’m fairly good at it, in sum, I can say that I am just a casual player, a “plain Jane” playing a well-known video game franchise, so please, cut me some slack.
The first Assassin’s Creed game that I have ever played was Assassin’s Creed II (AC2), and I fell in love with the game immediately. When news of the release of AC: Origins came out, I was ecstatic, I cannot wait for the actual day of its release to come. Now that I finished the game let me share my feelings and experience about the game. Stern warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!
I agree with some critics, AC: Origins is not Assassin’s Creed per se, as the title suggests, it tackles the Origins of the Creed, of the “Brotherhood.” You play as Bayek, a Medjay, a father and a husband. He is considered as the founder of The Hidden Ones, but he was not credited as the one who established the Brotherhood of Assassins (Brotherhood). This fact may confuse the hell out of you, but let me clear your confusion. But to further confuse your brain, this game does not focus on the creation of the Brotherhood, as you progress on the game, you will notice that the Brotherhood’s creation is not as elaborate or as shocking as finding out who Amunet really is.
From the outset one may conclude that this is a revenge story, and I tell you, it is. However, as the story progresses Bayek, and consequently you, will find out that his son’s death will trigger a much more complex and dangerous plot. As he travels around Egypt exacting his revenge, he eventually realized that there is more to this than saving his son’s soul.
We are introduced to the Order of the Ancients (Order), unlike the other games in the series, we know who or what we are up against. In this game we are faced with the unknown. The Order was introduced to Bayek as a group of masked men who sought to control Egypt and eventually the world. They were the cause of his son’s death, plagues, corruption, and the creation of the Brotherhood of Assassins.
The Brotherhood of Assassins consists of Bayek, his wife Aya, and several people they met in their crusade. They vow to fight for those people who are oppressed by those in power, but to do this they must remain in the shadows, they became the Hidden Ones. So you see, Bayek was the first of the Hidden Ones, as to who established the Brotherhood, you have to play the whole game and watch the cut scenes.
Story wise, the game tells a great story, they imparted so much history that conspiracy theorists will have a field day concocting stories or theories about Caesar’s death, Cleopatra’s ascension to the throne, Ptolemy’s death, how the Pyramids were built, and so much more. I for one actually thought that all of the events that transpired in the game could actually have happened.
THE GAMEPLAY AND CONTROLS
Ubisoft took their time in making this game, and I think that it was a great decision because we are treated with an open-world game that encourages exploration by giving us incentives in the form of side quests, loots, papyri puzzles, and so much more. We are not limited in one area, we can explore the whole map if we want to, provided we have high enough level to fight the enemies. The leveling-up is not as confusing as Syndicate, and by leveling-up we get to “customize” Bayek’s skills and weapons.
The leveling-up system in the game is actually a great reason to roam around the map. By setting a level “limit” as you progress in the main story, you get to do side-missions that are as interesting and fun as the main missions. The side-missions has their own little story that is somehow connected to the main story. Out of all the side-missions my top three favorites are; (3) Reunion, where you get to save and escort a huge albino crocodile; (2) The Flea of Cyrene, where you get to meet a kid and he asks you to jump from tall buildings and perform the leap of faith; and (1) Shadya’s Rest, this one is my favorite and I believe most of players shed a tear or two in this side-quest, this has more feels than Bayek and Aya’s love story, I Khenut (*cannot* thumbs-up when you get this) forget the sadness that I felt for this side-mission, I actually shed a tear or two.
The looting system in the game is also an improvement from all its predecessors. Loots can be found almost everywhere, from the soldiers you kill, to caves, houses, and the animals that you kill. The loots are not just money and XP points, you get weapons, shields, and resources that can be used to upgrade your gear.
Another new thing in the game is the lack of a mini map, which is a good thing. It actually makes a lot of sense, here we have a great game, with awesome graphics, and lots of sceneries, so why destroy it with a mini map. Plus, there is this sense of accomplishment when you go from one place to another without the help of your map or the fast travel option. Did I mention that the buildings, places, and sceneries were (almost) accurately portrayed? If you ever wondered what the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Sphinx would look like during the ancient times, then I suggest you play this game, not only will you experience sliding down the sides of the pyramids, you can also pick-up some history lessons along the way.
The designs of the weapons, shields, and gears were great. Although Bayek’s outfit does not give any bonuses, it’s still cool to just change his outfit once in a while, especially if you found the special or legendary ones. The weapons, shields, and gears that you obtain from looting “adapts” the level you are in when you got them, like if you got Hepzefa’s sword when you’re in level 30, then the sword’s level will also be 30, so it is best to level-up as much as you can before you get the legendary gears. Also, the mode of transportation is not just limited to horses and carriages, there are also camels, chocobo inspired camel, and unicorns. Yes, you can get a freaking UNICORN as your mount, however said mount can be bought in the in-game store (hehe). The chocobo inspired camel can be obtained during the Gift from the Gods quest. You can also commandeer a felucca, also known as, a boat, which is fun especially when a crocodile or a hippopotamus follows you.
Speaking of hippopotamus and crocodiles, you can kill them and loot resources from them. This may sound barbaric and the hippopotamus was so cute to kill, you need to do this to be able to level-up your gear. The animals that can be utilized for resources are lions, hyenas, vultures, ibex, crocodiles, and hippos, and yes I find hippos cute in this game, just look at them run (sooooo cuute).
This game also made me feel more like an assassin, not just because of the hidden blade but because of Senu. Senu is an eagle who shared a symbiotic relationship with Bayek, her perception of the world can be enhanced by synchronizing with the View Points in the map. With the use of Eagle Vision, Bayek can see where his enemies are, where the loot boxes are, and is very useful in locating targets. With Senu, you can plan the best approach in attacking or infiltrating any restricted area.
The controls in this game are a little different than its predecessors and it takes a little bit of practice. Based on my experience, the controls do not lag, but I had a few difficulties when climbing mountains, walls, and pyramids.
All in all Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a great game full of great promise. Ubisoft made a gamble when they decided to release the game a year late, and their gamble paid off (they should do this more often). The game was well thought of and well executed. I just hope that the remaining titles in the series will be as good, or even greater than this one.
Story-wise I give this game a grade of 4/5. The process of creating the Brotherhood of Assassins was underwhelming, although I somehow feel their genuine intent to help the people of Egypt. Although there was not much emphasis on the Apple of Eden, we somehow get a glimpse of its power and its effect to the people who wields it.
As to its gameplay I give it 4.75/5. I had fun roaming around Egypt, looting, and leveling-up. I love the fact that I wouldn’t have to worry when I steal from someone and I get my notoriety points up because I don’t have to steal just to get money. I love that I get to use Senu and be on full assassin mode whenever I enter a restricted area, I get to plan out the best strategy to use for a certain place or mission. I love that climbing high view-points will give Senu perception points, at least I know there’s some sense in climbing high places like the Lighthouse of Alexandria, other than sweaty hands, high pulse rate, and getting XP points. One thing that irked me though was the fact that Aya does not get the same treatment as Bayek. I mean, can’t she get awesome gear too like Bayek? You’ll understand when you get to the last part, it’s just frustrating to fight in a boss battle without having the option of changing your weapon, or your shield. I just hope that the developers would do something about it in the future, assuming that we see Aya again in future installments. Some of the side-mission were repetitive, but the story of each side-mission is different and it somehow compensates the repetitiveness of the tasks that you have to do.
In terms of control, I give it a grade of 4/5. The controls were relatively easy to learn, each button corresponds to a certain action, although using your bow and drawing it to give it power requires the use of two buttons, but it’s easy to get used to. Running and climbing walls and mountains does not require three buttons just use your analog stick and press X in front of the structure you intend to climb.
All in all I give this game a grade of 4.25/5. Give this game a try and experience the feels that I felt while playing the game.
*P.S. you can find me, or at least my name (Phoebe), in one of the side-missions. 🙂
How about you, did you enjoy playing the game as much as I did? Sound off below in the comments section on your AC: Origins experience.
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Phoebe is a lawyer wanna-be by day and moonlights as the Gladiators’ all around girl. She dabbles in arts and crafts and loves writing about the dark side of the moon. She believes that someday, she’ll learn how to draw a human being and her secret ambition is to be a chemist. She is a contradiction. #Awesome