Initial Impressions: Assassin’s Creed: Origins

After playing through the first hour of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, from what I’ve seen so far, Ubisoft has made substantial changes to the familiar Assassin’s Creed gameplay, representing a deeper, more engrossing game than prior titles in the franchise.

The skill tree is reminiscent of the skill progression options in two other Ubisoft titles, Far Cry and Watch Dogs, giving the player the choice on how to develop Bayek’s abilities. Whether it is through stealth, weapons, or resiliency, players can allocate earned experience points into different characteristics and skills. What this means is Bayek isn’t a full-fledged Assassin from the outset. In fact, there is barely a hint in the first hour of gameplay that this is an Assassin’s Creed game.

Also new to the series is an actual inventory system. Bayek can equip various outfits, which are reflected visually, but he can also equip other pieces of equipment that modify his stats. A breastplate will add defense, for example. Bayek’s inventory also includes a mount (i.e., camel or horse), which he can summon, much like Geralt can in the Witcher.

Combat is also vastly different from other Assassin’s Creed titles. You might see some resemblance to The Witcher 3, in fact. Bayek wields a shield that can be used to block and parry attacks. He can also equip various types of weapons, like a sword, blunt weapon, or a spear. Lastly, Bayek can use a bow to attack enemies from a distance.

Aside from the new combat mechanics, Ancient Egypt is a remarkable setting for the game. Compared to other eras that the franchise has been set in, Ancient Egypt is perhaps most enigmatic. Ubisoft elicited the expertise from historians and archaeologists to allow gamers to experience what it might have been like to live during the time of Ptolemy XIII, Cleopatra, and Julius Caesar.

Strolling through the dirt roads, it is as if you can feel the hot wind on your face, smell the charred food cooking over an open fire, and hear all of the sounds of a long-gone civilization. It is a true wonder to imaging living through that ancient time and place.

I am looking forward to seeing the story and characters develop, and to just explore this ancient land brought back to life.

This story is based on a review code provided by the publisher.