Assassin’s Creed Origins: Review

Ubisoft has tried their hardest to breathe life back into this now veteran series and out of the sandstorm comes Assassin’s Creed Origins, a new open world game, vast in scale and gorgeous to look at.

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a story and a game full of secrets. The RPG elements now added to the game do nothing other than complement it, further adding to an already great experience.

The game itself felt like an adventure filled with great discoveries. The leveling and loot systems added bring so much to the table. Assassin Creed games have been crying out for these kinds of mechanics and it’s pleasing to see how much they work with this formula.

The roughly 30 hour-long main campaigns are told through the character Bayek as he travels through the beautifully recreated land of Egypt. Assassin’s Creed Origins is essentially a prequel that chronicles the beginning of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.

This is the biggest map in any of the Assassin’s Creed games. The multiple cities on offer all feel a little bit different with their own favored gods, culture and even elements of racism. All of these elements combine bringing you a living and breathing story that’s only complimented by the scale of the game.

As you progress through the world and explore the various cities and settlements you’ll meet endless interesting allies and villains that will shape the tale to come. The distinct environments make the setting feel constantly varied, even if some of them can feel a little on the empty side, which doesn’t happen too often thankfully.

The free open world exploration is fantastic and lends itself to Assassin’s Creed Origins excellently. It almost seems strange to think that this wasn’t included in earlier games. I mean, who doesn’t want to parkour your way around an open world?

What becomes even more impressive as time goes on is the lack of loading screens in the huge world. Besides cutscenes and when players fast travel, you really won’t find loading screens in Assassin’s Creed Origins. I love when games implement these features as it really adds to that true wide-open feeling you get.

Assassin’s Creed Origins also has possibly the strongest mission and level design in the series. There is a wealth of varied missions on offer including things like Gladiatorial Arena Fighting, Black Flagship style battles and even some mysteries to solve.

There are also Tomb Raider-ish hidden temples, which without giving any spoilers away, tie in with the main story really well. I loved these puzzle-like sections that really had you showcasing your moves.

As in any Assassin’s Creed game, there is plenty of climbing, jumping, and parkour for you to partake in, and yes, you can climb pyramids. The movement system seems to have been revamped and it feels much easier and smoother to traverse the terrain, almost to the point where it’s as simple as running.

Combat has seen one of the biggest changes from traditional Assassin’s Creed games and I’m pleased to say that it works well. Dodging, Parrying and blocking are all vital components now and you really need to think about how you tackle fights.

There is a really good variety of different enemies which make mastering the combat mechanics a really useful skill. Players can now lock onto enemy targets, which I found great for stealth, but not great for those multiple enemy fights.

The biggest changes come in the form of the RPG elements added to the game. Loot is plentiful in Assassin’s Creed Origins, in the form of weapons and armor. There are lots of weapons to choose from, all of which can be swapped out and have varying strengths and weaknesses. This is great for boss fights and the system forces you to make decisions and think about your loadout before a fight. Unfortunately, a legendary weapon isn’t necessarily a legendary weapon in Assassin’s Creed Origins, as these items are far too common and aren’t actually that good.

All of these changes really help to make combat feel like a richer experience overall and this translates to leveling. Players will unlock new abilities and missions at a nice pace when playing through the campaign. Due to missions having level recommendations, so of the game can feel a little grindy, which means you’ll have to go back and tackle so of the smaller side missions before taking on the big boys.

I must say that from my experience that nothing is more fun than trying to infiltrate high-level fortress. This makes the game as challenging, as you want it to be and I love that.

With all of the good in Assassin’s Creed Origins, there is some bad too and that comes in the form of the dreaded microtransactions. It’s really disappointing to see these creep into another game and I hate seeing them. You can purchase things with real-world money that all you see all locations in the game and even some items are locked behind a paywall.

I also encountered a few bugs along my way, but overall these were not game breaking and I would expect these minor hiccups to be resolved within the next patch or two. A few graphical errors and pop in’s here and there, but nothing I couldn’t live with.

On reflection Assassin’s Creed Origins is an excellent game by and large. Its true vision of ancient Egypt is stunning and surreal and its story tackled themes that resonate in today’s society.

With great mission variety, an excellent story and believable characters to go with it Assassin’s Creed Origins is my favorite game in the series so far. The RPG elements added bring so much to the table and it makes me wonder why these elements were not added sooner.

Assassin’s Creed Origins takes much of what The Witcher 3 did right and sets in a world full of mystery and adventure. I was quietly optimistic when I first heard of this game and I’m pleased to see my optimism rewarded.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.
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