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Old 11-17-2017, 09:27 AM   #1
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The Evil Avatar Assassin's Creed Origins Review

Title: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Platform: PS4,Xbox One, PC
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
MSRP: $59.99
Writer: Aaron Birch

Assassin's Creed: Origins Review

A very large, literal sandbox

After a brief hiatus, something the Assassin's Creed series was in dire need of, Ubisoft has decided to travel back to the very beginning of the series' history, and Assassin's Creed: Origins lets us explore not only a vast recreation of ancient Egypt, but also the beginnings of the Assassin order.

We step into the sandals of Medjay, Bayek. The Medjay are a form of ancient police force who protected the people of Egypt and the interests of the Pharaoh. They were scouts and elite fighters, well respected in society.

During the time of Origins, which is set in the Ptolemaic era, the country is suffering a great upheaval, as Egypt is slowly taken over by Greek and Roman influences, with the threat of a full-scale Roman invasion. Prior to the game, Bayek had suffered a great loss, a loss that's explained with flashbacks that set up Bayek's character and goals. Eventually, of course, he's pulled into a wider narrative, with events that not only affect the whole country, but also the future of the Assassin order.

Upon firing up the game, I was very happy to quickly see that Origins is, finally, not just another Assassin's Creed iteration, and actual effort and time has been put into the series to produce a truly different and evolved entry into the series. This is more than just a new character and a new time period to roam, Origins is a very different game on many levels, with the obvious familiar features to make it an Assassin's Creed game

Most notably, the combat system, something I've always found to be an issue for the series, has been revamped entirely. Ubisoft Montreal has finally done away with the animation-locked combat that I found to be far too easy in previous outings. Now the game uses a more traditional and challenging combat system that's free form, and more akin to other action titles. You can lock on to enemies, use light and heavy attacks, guard, parry, counter, and so on. It's much improved over the almost QTE like combat of the previous games, and it has a great effect on the challenge of the game. Finally, we have an Assassin's Creed that offers real challenge, and reward of skill.

This new combat goes hand in hand with the new levelling system. Bayek has a character level, RPG-style, and as you level up he gets stronger, has more health, and you can spend points on new skills and abilities, such as advanced bow or sword skills, new tools and weapons to use, and other abilities.

Enemies throughout the world also have levels, leading to encounters that end up with Bayek being overpowered quickly if he's not at a high enough level. To proceed with some missions you'll need to level up to better deal with encounters, and this promotes exploration and participation in side quests and other tasks in order to level up.

There's also a Destiny/Diablo influence with loot drops, and weapons, armour, and other items drop in varying classes, such as rare and legendary. All have different stats, such as DPS, and you'll constantly be looking for better weapons as you progress. Weapons and armour can also be upgraded via smiths found in the world, so you can keep your favourite weapons, and level them up as you go, for a fee. The Destiny influence is also obvious with the game's menu system, clearly stolen directly from Bungie's space shooter. The likeness is truly copyright-worrying.

The game's stealth element is also greatly improved, with far more of a focus on actual stealth play, being able to hide in long grass and bushes, stalking prey from on high, and using the game's new Eagle Vision system, which is an actual Eagle you control to scout out areas. Indeed, the majority of the game's core mechanics have been totally reworked, and this has delivered arguably the best Assassin's Creed in a very long time.

The world of Egypt in the game is also very impressive, not to mention vast. It's been reported that it takes around 3 hours of real time to travel from one end of the map to another, making this the largest map in the series thus far. It's also a surprisingly varied and interesting world. You'd be forgiven for thinking ancient Egypt would be nothing but endless rolling desert and the occasional village, but no. Origins delivers a huge and absorbing world with large cities, iconic locations like the Pyramids of Giza, beautiful oasis, dangerous tombs, and much more. It all looks great, and with the addition of decent combat and solid stealth, it works together to make for a very solid iteration of the series.

Bayek is an instantly likeable and well-rounded character, and the story is also well written and delivered. Assassin's Creed has always been able to immerse us in historic events with a fictional spin, and this is no different. The fact it's an actual origin story only helps to make the game more absorbing, as it plots the eventual formation of the Assassin's, an order now so beloved by gamers.

There are issues, of course. Being such a large open-world title, it's littered with bugs and glitches, some of which are hilarious, such as bizarre animal mutations and glitchy animations, and others that are simply broken physics and collision detection. The new combat system, as welcome as it is isn't as tight as it could be, and the lock on can be a detriment in hectic combat.

Allied and enemy AI is also a little flaky, especially notable when you're escorting some VIPs, who can randomly wig out, jumping off boats or horses whilst moving at speed, or running directly into danger. With many open world games, this seems to be par for the course, but it's no less irksome. There's also the forced integration of the game into the Ubisoft Club, the new guise of Uplay. Some like this, others hate it, so your opinion of this will vary.

Despite some bugs, Assassin's Creed Origins is a very welcome return for the series, and one that successfully advances it in the right direction. It's fresh, challenging, and boasts a wealth of content. For AC fans, this is an obvious purchase, but I'd also highly recommend the game to those who may have previously disliked the series, thanks to the core gameplay alterations. Give it a go, you might be surprised.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

The Good
  • New, improved combat system
  • Improved stealth
  • Massive and impressive world
The Bad
  • Bugs and glitches
  • Some may dislike the grind
The Ugly
  • The usual microtransaction BS
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:24 PM   #2
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RE: The Evil Avatar Assassin's Creed Origins Review

Great review, thanks. You stated pretty much my exact thought when I played it, finishing it last week. Some welcome changes to gameplay and game mechanics, but I did have some irritations, mostly due to keyboard shortcuts. Of course I continually kept hitting the shift key to run, but since there is now no walk/run toggle I just get drawing my weapon instead. It also took a while, but not quite as long, to get used to using Alt to jump instead of spacebar, which goes against just about every fps action game made. But once I got a couple hours into gameplay it all seemed to work very smoothly for running, riding, jumping, fighting, exploring, looting. My favorite AC since Black Flag.
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:46 PM   #3
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