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Assassin’s Creed Origins (Xbox One) Review

October 30, 2017 | Posted by Liam Morrow
Assassin's Creed: Origins
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Assassin’s Creed Origins (Xbox One) Review  

After 2 long years of waiting, we finally have a new Assassin’s Creed title. After the shambles that was Unity and the saving grace of Syndicate, Ubisoft decided to take a year off from AC and concentrate on the better-than-the-first-but-still-underwhelming Watch Dogs 2. The result is Origins, which takes us back to the new kingdom of ancient Egypt, set just after Cleopatra was defeated and removed as ruler. You take on the role of Bayek, a Medjay (the ancient Egyptian version of the police) who, after the murder of his son, is on the revenge path. The game starts with you thrown in to a fight – which is hugely different to previous titles. Instead of the normal evade and counter style we’re all used to, it’s more the style of The Witcher 3, with heavy and light attacks, a dedicated block button, rolling and evading, and parrying. Some people really don’t like this, and I can understand the frustration being such a departure from the others. Personally I really like it. I’m a huge Witcher fan, huge AC fan, and the fact these two have been sort of mixed makes me immensely happy.

Also new is Senu, your very own eagle. Similar to the drone in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, he scouts an area from above, allowing you to find targets, mark enemies, and once you unlock it, the ability to stun enemies making your kill slightly easier. Killing is alot harder aswell. Enemy A.I. is alot better, they all have different weapons, and they know how to use them. There’s alot of strategy involved, knowing what the best weapon to use is – there’s plenty of choice between swords, both single and double, axes, maces, and spears. You’ve got bow and arrows of a few different varieties, and a few tools like poison arrows, fire bombs, and smoke screens, aswell as your trusty hidden blade for assassinations. However you decide you want to fight, you’ll be well equipped.

Your equipment is vast, allowing you eventually equip two melee weapons, two sets of bow and arrows, a shield, and two tools. Weapons are levelled to whatever level you are at the time, and have a number of effects like bleeding, poison, critical hit damage and others. If you find one you like, you can simply upgrade it at a blacksmith to bring it up to your current level. The extras can be sold for cash or dismantled for resources. You’ll need these for crafting armour pieces to give you more damage resistance, and you will absolutely need it to survive some of the more challenging missions you’ll come accross. Missions are also a similar setup to Witcher 3 (there’s a theme emerging here) with your main missions being big kills, and side missions making up the rest. Sides are important as they will help you level up, and some missions are, simply put, brutal, unless you meet the minimum level recommended.

A few differences to previous titles have been added in addition to the overhauled fight system. There’s no eagle vision as such (that’s what Senu is for) but you do have a “pulse”, which gives you an idea of collectibles and loot nearby. Parkour is still a big part, although now it’s just the A button, with B for Parkour down. Free-running is still as slick and easy as it ever has been, but to be honest I think changing something as ingrained as this would be a detrement to the series. Same with synchronisations, which notMounts are back, with horses and camels available from the get-go. And you’ll need them as some missions are set on the other side of massive sand dunes, which are easy to navigate aswell as looking like a movie rather than a video game. Also gone is the need to forfill extra requirements for full sync. There are, however, area specific sub-missions such as killing a captain or finding a certain number of loot boxes. All these add to your EXP, which as you level up increase your health and damage, and give you ability points to upgrade with.

A couple of small gripes now. First of all, loading screens. Now, you may have seen a few videos about Origins, and how they’ve got rid of mini-maps and loading screens. I’ve not found this to be the case. It still takes a while between FMV sequences and getting back to the action. Same with moving between cities, and going from Bayek to the current day sequences. Now, this is an Xbox One-X enhanced title, so whether it’s different with the the One-X’s massive processesor or not is yet to be determined. The other problem is mounted travel. There’s not a problem all the time you are in control, but there’s an auto travel option where your mount will follow the road, or follow to a marked destination, meaning you can take your hands off the pad. However, a few of my friends, and me included, have a couple of issues with this. I found that the horse will sometimes go nowhere near where you want, or travel aimlessly round in a circle for no reason. Someone else has told me it glitched out all together and just run in a small circle until he dismounted. Again it’s expanding one what the Witcher 3 did, but it’s been executed poorly. I’m not sure it was really needed actually, as but they should of made sure it worked properly first. Apart from those little hiccups, everything works, it’s easy to navigate and ultimately rewarding.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
An excellent return to form here, with a deep and rewarding story. Creed purists may not like the new combat system, and there are a few issues that need to be addressed. But if you can get past that, it's an excellent game worthy of the Assassins Creed series.