Assassin’s Creed returns to quality of earlier releases

The Assassin’s Creed franchise has been an ongoing success for Ubisoft and for gamers around the world. The fantastical historical setting is something not seen in games today and provides something that fans of all ages can agree on is awesome.

That being said, the series has fallen off recently. After a year hiatus, from the studio that brought the most successful game in the series Black Flag, Ubisoft took a step back and went away from their current path.

Instead of growing in the direction they have planned, they decided to go all the way back before the first game in the series. The ancient Egyptian setting is an ingenious idea and brings an incredible new form to the series that was much needed.

The game is set 49 years before the current era, during all the drama and intrigue that comes before the downfall of a dynasty.

Some of the most famous characters during the time period make an appearance such as Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. The powerful figures are interpreted in ways I did not conceive.

For instance, I did not realize that Cleopatra was such a stereotypically arrogant and powerful aerie. Her lavish party that you enter when she is first introduced is both non-PC and explitory. It truly shows why she was overthrown by her brother, Ptolemy.

Bayek, the main character, has the most down-to-earth vengeance backstory, but it also brings with it an appropriate intrigue. They do a great job in setting up the reason for his revenge mission, along with throwing curveballs at you through every mission. From allies turned into enemies, the constant wonder about what will happen next is very drawing.

Even the awkward bounces back to the future. In case you don’t know what this is, it takes place in every game. A weird bounce into the future that fails to show the purpose early on. It’s short, and maybe intentionally gives you few details as possible about the current day events related to your scenario. It’s strange, but not totally unneeded.

The rest of the story follows the typical Creed storyline. There’s an intimate relationship exposed early on. There’s a point where everything goes wrong and you have to steal your gear back, and, lastly, there’s an over-exaggerated ending, but this one does hold it’s own compared to the endings in recent past.

The ancient setting of Egypt only sets the story up perfectly with the vast open and explorative world. From Alexandria to Giza, the vast Nile valley is scripted in great detail.

The sandy mountainous dunes only compliment the musty brown water that slides down the middle of the map. The green fauna easily blends with the beige undertones that highlight civilization.

Besides the beautiful in-game landscape, Ubisoft also covers the mysteries of ancient Egypt well, like the tomb of Khufu, for example. The largest pyramid, often known as the Great Pyramid, is crafted down to every little detail. From the entrance to the air shafts, the pyramid is constructed to look exactly like its real-life counterpart. Hieroglyphics on the wall simply described as “relics from the old kingdom” seemed a little lazy and an easy offer into the life of Khufu and the history of Egypt, but besides that fact, it is amazing detail.

Like the Notre-Dame de Paris in AC Unity or the Big Ben from Syndicate in previous games, the three pyramids of Giza are the star pupils of the game. The gold tips that glisten with the pyramids in the sun are a metaphor for the game itself.

Among all the other dried up dirt and boring sand that lies wasting away in the desert sun, there is one positive. In case you didn’t catch my drift, the boring lifeless sand represents the series, while the gold tip explains the peak of the series thus far.

Origins is truly a great game, and before I get into my closing arguments, I would first like to establish the hidden perk for the game.

The combat system provides something that has been lost among the series since the beginning. Instead of strategy spamming buttons to coincide with the attacking enemies, now you have to carefully plan attacks and targets.

The dodge, parry and attack system is the most obvious addition to the game. It makes attacking higher leveled enemies something you have to debate. Constantly switching between bows and melees is a common occurrence when strafing a band of enemies. It is harder to assassinate enemies in pivotal missions.

The amount of time I have to spend on upgrading and looting is maddening and can be the only boring part of the game, but in the end, when I finally am able to execute the next cutscene, I feel a sense of pride and achievement that I don’t feel in other games.

Origins is nearly a perfect game. It personifies the time period so well, and the immense detail is astounding. The combat is great, the gameplay is immersive.

I only have one major gripe. The stupid glitches that plague the game. They are everywhere and are sometimes game breaking. From freezing during the middle of a mission to just shutting down completely. It is not enough to persuade me to not keep playing, but it is something that I find is constantly in the back of my mind.

Nonetheless, apart from the bugs, AC Origins is a great game. The best in the series lately and a very immersive experience. The detailed game is something that will keep bringing fans back, something that past games have failed at.

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