'Assassin's Creed Origins' returns to its roots
Brooke Nicholson | Assistant A&E Editor
Since its initial release in 2007, “Assassin’s Creed” is the one game players know they will get a new game to add to the ever-growing collection every year. “Assassin’s Creed” quickly became one of the most successful video game series of all time. With nine main games, multiple spin-offs, comic books, mobile games, a movie and so much more. It’s no surprise that the franchise has just surpassed selling over 100 million copies.
But, as with every franchise, it begins to fall off the rails throughout its journey. Gamers began to notice that each new game released, the series delved further and further away from its original, with a skewed, borderline confusing storyline, along with the misfortune of suffering from wonky mechanics. Players were afraid that the series was slowly digging itself into its own grave after the ninth game in the franchise was released and still held a lot of the issues the games still have. With the last game’s dropping numbers in sales, Ubisoft, “Assassin’s Creed” game developer and publisher, decided that they weren’t going to rush making and releasing the next game in the series. That’s where “Assassin’s Creed: Origins” comes in.
After taking a surprising two-year hiatus, Ubisoft announced the next installment in the “Assassin’s Creed” universe to be released in late 2017. With the next game’s story taking place during Cleopatra’s Egypt, players were excited yet skeptical to see what Ubisoft had fixed and brought to the table after taking a break. The hiatus was showing to be a success, and just ten days after “Assassin’s Creed: Origins’” release on Oct. 27, things were already looking up for the franchise, as sales had gone up a whopping 100 percent since its predecessor.
“Assassin’s Creed: Origins” follows the main protagonist, Bayek, an assassin and certified Medjay, protector of Egypt. Players scour through sandy dunes, ancient tombs and scattered ruins as Bayek travels through the desert on a personal mission to seek revenge on the men who killed his young son. The ‘origins’ part kicks in when gamers realize that Bayek’s journey and actions as an assassin paves the way for the creation of the Assassin Brotherhood. Players quickly realized a major difference between “Origins” and other AC games.
“Origins” cleans up a majority of the tedious mini-games, no gangs to manage and no headquarters to maintain. “Origins” almost completely redefines itself as the game uncluttered most of the clutter choking the series to focus on what originally made AC great – combat, exploration and checking bad guys off the list. Instead of the usual plot hanging over every AC game, the assassins against the Templar Order, it is refreshing to see an AC game have its main character pursue the Order for his own personal revenge, not for political gain on either side.
With a lack of the famous modern technology within the game, ‘Eagle Vision’ is used very sparingly in “Origins,” characterizing the gameplay with a more rugged feel that forces the player to improvise every move. Side quests and less than generous enemies fill the void of a merciless, desert-covered Egypt along with the absence of long-ranged weapons (other than a bow), really tests your skills as an assassin. The abundance of exploration and quests for treasure gives the player the advantage of memorizing and understanding the giant plot of land.
“Origins” strips away a lot of the annoying traits it picked up over the years, discovered the roots of its origins, and gives the franchise a fresh start it desperately needed. “Assassin’s Creed: Origins” has been positively received by reviewers across the board, pleased with AC’s change of pace, different dynamics and rougher gameplay. Players are already wondering what is next for AC, if Ubisoft will continue with a new AC game every year, and where the franchise might end up at. Maybe they’ll bring back Desmond?
“Assassins Creed: Origins” is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.