Small Screen went to EGX to play some video games. One of those games was Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed Origins. Here are our hands-on impressions.
Assassin’s Creed gets a lot of slack for being repetitive, but I can safely say that Origins feels the least Assassin’s Creed-like game of the series. While the story concerns itself with the origins of the Order of Assassins, some of the gameplay is very different from what we’re used to. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Origins is an innovative game compared to other singleplayer game, but it certainly feels fresh and distinctive from every other Assassin’s Creed game that came before it.
A big part of this is thanks to the changes in the combat system. Hidden daggers didn’t feature in the demo, and instead, our assassin had to make do with a shield and scimitar. This inevitably opens up new possibilities, because for the first time your weapon set is designed for you to fight in amongst the action, rather than stealthily picking people off. That said, you do also have a bow and arrow, so rest assured that a stealthy approach to combat can be taken if that’s your forte.
I felt less like an assassin, and more like an adventurer.
The last Assassin’s Creed game we saw was Syndicate back in 2015, and the extra time given to development really shows here. Egypt looks absolutely beautiful, and it, therefore, comes as no surprise that Origins is an open-world game when you consider how incredible this game looks. We should clarify what we mean by open world though, after all, aren’t all Assassin’s Creed games open world? We suppose so, but this one feels particularly more open than the last few instalments. The open desert really generates this aura of mystique and adventure, and rather than climb through a cluster of buildings, the opening town felt a lot more open than towns we’d seen before in the franchise. I felt less like an assassin, and more like an adventurer.
There was one quest available to try in the demo (minor spoiler warning), wherein the player had to locate some lost gold to convince a priest that the slave he was beating had not been lying about losing it at sea. To find the gold you need to use your eagle vision, but the phrase is literally taken to another level in Origins. Using eagle vision lets you take control of your eagle, Senu, and fly it through the sky, highlighting objectives that you may otherwise have missed. It’s a neat mechanic, and it will be interesting to see the various ways it can be utilised in the full game.
Going into the demo for Origins, it was one of the games that I was least excited about, but it completely defied our expectations.
As for the protagonist, you play as a Medjay called Bayek who is protecting Ptolemy XIII’s empire from his enemies. While the game explores the origin of the conflict between Templars and Assassins, there won’t actually be any Templars in the game. The antagonists are more like proto-Templars and share similar ideologies like peace through order and control rather than actually being the same order. Going into the demo for Origins, it was one of the games that I was least excited about, but it completely defied our expectations. Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype.
Feel free to check out some of our other coverage from EGX 2017, such as our hands-on impressions of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and Skyrim VR. Also have a look at some of our other articles, such as the piece we wrote explaining why LEGO’s new Women of NASA set literally means hope.