Assassin’s Creed: Origins Review | Irresistible Pharaoh Moans
What is it? After a short break, the Assassin’s Creed franchise returns, reworked and revitalised with updated gameplay systems, visuals and a huge Egyptian open-world setting. In it, you play Bayek, a Medjay (elite military unit) who is wronged and seeks revenge for deaths in his family. – Reviewed on Playstation 4
Verdict: Excellent – The evolution of a tired franchise done right in almost every single way.
It’s absolutely astonishing to see just what taking a break from an annualised franchise can accomplish. While I had found myself bored to tears with the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Origins takes quite a few pages from the Witcher 3 and possibly even the recent Horizon: Zero Dawn and delivers a masterful balancing act that is an incredibly fresh switch to a more RPG-styled approach. This genre-shift means AC now involves proper looting, crafting, weapon drops, upgrades, proper skill progression and very importantly, level progression that means you can most definitely now bite off more than you can chew if a mission is above the minimum suggested level. While it might sound complex, it’s been implemented in a very game-friendly way and the level restrictions are even used to make the world better by limiting missions you can do in an area and giving you reasons to come back and/or travel more.
The story of Bayek (I’ll keep where there is still any Animus future-story bits included a mystery for you to discover for yourself) carries the experience along, with interesting, relatable characters (many that really existed) portrayed with a much higher level of writing and animation quality than seen in previous titles. This includes Bayek’s steamy and notably fresh relationship with his bad-ass wife. While stealth feels the most familiar to previous games, combat took me a bit of getting used to mostly thanks to a bit of a weird button layout, and is way more involved now and offers a much more hard-hitting experience that involves dodging, shields, power strikes and more. You can make use of your eye-in-the-sky eagle to help you out as well by spotting enemies in the camps, finding objectives, navigating or even harassing soldiers. With any open-world game there is going to be a lot to do, and Origins doesn’t disappoint in quantity or quality with a heap of side-quests and collectables to keep those looking for a hours and hours of gameplay happy.
The game looks incredibly beautiful and runs well too, even on a standard PS4 with no 4K or HDR lighting
I originally thought that the Egyptian desert setting would be a little boring and samey, but was heavily surprised to find very unique environments and qualities in different areas that range from the Eqyptian desert and small riverbank villages all the way to the highly sophisticated, beautiful white streets of Alexandria. The game looks incredibly beautiful and runs well too, even on a standard PS4 with no 4K or HDR lighting, so be prepared for eyeball-melting visuals, especially when up high. There’s just such a quality feeling when playing the game, thanks to a wide range of details, from the debris floating in the river water right up to the incredibly lifelike recreations of historic landmarks.
It’s evident that a lot of work has gone into the fine details of the game, from world building to gameplay elements and it ultimately all adds up as I found the entire Assassin’s Creed: Origins experience, fun, engrossing and smooth to play. I’m just so damn happy that Ubisoft took the time off and gave us this wonderful gem of 2017, make sure you don’t miss it.
Want a bit more? We posted our initial impressions of the game here after just getting started and we’re glad we weren’t disappointed.