Assassin's Creed Origins (XBOX One) Review
Game Name: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 and XBOX One
Release Date: October 27th, 2017
Original Review Date: October 24th, 2018
I was excited to hear that this game was getting released in 2017. I had seen the footage at E3 and it looked awesome. I have been a fan since the very first one. I remember having so much fun with Assassin's Creed I. However, I also remember it being very short. Then the second one came along and it improved on the first one.
The issue is that at one point the game started getting more and more buggy and the games were not as much fun. The mechanics were essentially the same for every game and to be honest, the games were kind of boring after a while.
The last one that I played through was Assassin's Creed: Unity. Although the game was fun, it was also very buggy. Then I played Assassin's Creed: Black Flag as it was free on XBOX Live. That was a fun game as well but again it was quite buggy.
The last issue is that there was a new game coming out every year. I think that they did not have time to flush out the ideas. They just wanted to hit the release date. I think that this was a mistake and Ubisoft learned from that.
After taking a year off from releasing a version of this game, they came out with Origins. This is the origin story of how this Assassin's Creed story all started. Let us see if taking a year off was a good thing to get them back on track with this story.
You play mainly as a character named Bayek from Siwa. You also in some missions play with his love interest (wife), Aya. She is just as skilled as you in terms of fighting capabilities. You learn early on that Bayak, lost his son. His son was killed in the hands of some really bad people. He then goes on a mission to find and kill his son's killers.
Egypt is not in a good place and for part of the game, you help Cleopatra claim the thrown. Eventually she does reach the thrown, but she is also accompanied by Caesar.
While Bayek is searching for his son's killers, he and Aya are helping Cleopatra. They are sent to kill the current Pharaoh which also happens to be Cleopatra's brother (Ptolemy XIII). Once the mission is completed they are not compensated. In fact, they were learn that they were just tools, so that Caesar and Cleopatra can get to the thrown and rule. This does not sit well with our 2 heroes.
They plot to get to get to whomever is making chaos in Egypt. They end up killing Caesar and warning Cleopatra. This is the seed that started the Assassin's Creed story line. Once all is done, Bayek and Aya, go their separate ways. Although they love each other, they know that they have a bigger calling. Aya goes to Rome to set up shop in a bureau. However, no one is to know who they truly are. You see her writing some creeds and also training new recruits. Bayek is doing the same but in Egypt. You see him training new recruits as well while reading a letter from Aya.
That is the story inside the Animus. However there is a story outside the Animus. In the real world, you play the part of Layla Hassan. You are a researcher from the Abstrago's Historical Research Division. She wants to be part of the Animus project full time. However she has been shunned the whole time. So she is going to prove that her version of the Animus works best. Although her partner Deanna Geary is concerned about her time in there, she does it anyways.
Through a few scenes, at the end, someone from the Assassin Brotherhood is waiting for Layla to come out of the Animus so that he can speak to her. Bascially, he is offering what she has been looking for. A place to run her Animus project fully, while helping the Brotherhood. She accepts.
If you have played previous iterations of Assassin's Creed, you should feel at home here. The game has the similarities of older games with a few new twists to change it up.
You get to climb things and you get to jump around. Synchronization is back which is always really cool. I always find this is the best part of the game.
I must admit, one of the best things about this game are the visuals. I know that we say this with most Assassin's Creed games, but this one is truly beautiful. There are times on my streams where I would just stay around and look at my surroundings. I only have an OG XBOX One. I could imagine how beautiful it must be on an XBOX One X.
The side missions will be familiar to any player of the series. You have points on the map and you get certain missions. Most of them are similar. Either you go fetch ingredients or something, or animal parts for a farmer or merchant. The others are revenge of some kind. Some one has been either killed or mistreated and you go and seek them out and kill them. You cannot avoid the side missions really as you have to level up in order to complete the main missions.
They added a few new things to the game. Number one you have a partner in crime, in your Eagle. He will be your eyes for missions. Using him efficiently is key in getting some missions completed. You can also upgrade his abilities, so that he bugs enemies or attacks them with the Y button. This can be useful in certain situations.
The fighting system has been revamped. Now, the enemies have levels. So you cannot just run in and beat them all at once. You need some strategy. Sometimes, you will want to avoid their attacks altogether. In other cases you have no choice to kill them as this is how you get the XP for a town that you have just looted. I must admit I liked this new fighting system.
The map is vast and there are a lot of things to complete. So even after the game is completed, you can have some extra hours of completing side missions.
This game is hit or miss for me. On the one hand it is a very beautiful game. You can easily get lost in that world and just discover it for hours, without accomplishing much. The new fighting scheme and the new Eagle parts are really cool.
On the other hand, the game feels very repetitive. The side missions are the same thing over and over again, Then again, every Assassin's game is guilty of this. That was the main complaint in every game, along with the glitches.
Speaking of glitches, this game is not without them. There are clipping issues, everywhere. For Example, your horse or camel just wait for you with half their body out and the other half in a wall. In fact I walked through a dead hippo. See below.
Assassin's Creed: Origins - Glitches
One thing that I think is new to this game was the automatic riding to your custom marker or mission. So by getting on your horse or camel, you could say, follow road and to directly to the destination. Unfortunately, more often than not, this is buggy. First of all, your animal often goes bonkers. You do not avoid people, you keep bumping into them. Also, often, it takes the longest route to get to the destination. You are better off just running and going over the mountains by foot than following the road. Although on paper this seemed cool, it is not very useful in reality.
The main story, had potential, but it ended with a whimper in my eyes. It feels rushed in the last, may be 30 minutes of the game. I felt more satisfaction of completing a mission earlier in the game when the story was not fully flushed out. That may just be my opinion but that is what it felt to me. I wonder if anyone else felt that way.
The stuff outside the Animus, I had 0 cares about. I found that it hindered the game. The few scenes that you do have, don't do much for the story. They could had had a few cut scenes and it would have done the same job in my opinion.
All in all, it is a strong entry in the series evening though I outlined mostly negative things. However, I do not think i would have put it in the Game of the Year category as many people did. It has some strong elements, but in the end there were many other games last year that were stronger. In my case, Wolfenstein II, was better. The story was well written and I cared more about the characters. Again that is just my opinion. You can easily get lost in this world, which is fine, but by the end of the game, I just wanted it to finish already.
I think that for Assassin's Creed it was a good game. There are a lot of positives. I may go back to it, if there is some new DLC.
What do you guys think? Let me know below.