Yesterday, the THG team headed up to the Great British city of Birmingham for a wander round EGX — the UK’s biggest gaming expo. With a tally of over 75,000 attendees, it was tough to get our hands on everything we wanted, but one game we did manage to sit down and play was the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
Now, I’m a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, so I might be a tad biased here, although both Jess and Ryan, self-confessed haters of the saga agreed with most all my opinions on our playtime. So, hopefully, this article is an accurate reflection of what the game represents — and not just a fanboy rambling on about his love for Assassins.
What is Good About Assassin’s Creed Origins?
There is a lot to like about Assassin’s Creed: Origins, so let’s break down the good in the latest Ubisoft title:
- Captivating World — Set in Ancient Egypt, featuring such figures from history as Caesar, Cleopatra and Ptolemy, this world is vast, beautifully designed and captivating. We were immediately drawn in by the landscapes and visuals the second we started to play.
- Superior Movement Mechanics — Assassin’s Creed is known for its easy movement and combat system. It’s also known for being clunky as hell, with gamers often experiencing controller-clenching moments battling with characters that won’t move, or jump in a stupid direction or just do something ridiculous like try to climb a lamppost. In Origins, the movement immediately felt worlds away from what we have come to expect from Assassins. The character’s movements are more dynamic and fluid. It feels natural and a real progression on the system.
- Great Combat System — The combat system in Assassin’s Creed: Origins is widely different from previous games, and we love it. Rolling around, pressing RT/R2 to lash out, it does away with the awkward systems of the old games and flows much better. It’s exactly the sort of combat system we should have had all along.
- Better Voice Acting — Jess was quick to point out that she’d lost interest in other games due to woeful voice acting. In Origin’s though, things so far seem a lot more immersive, with a better selection of cast. The setting of the story also lends itself to some intriguing and unique characters popping up throughout the game, giving the developers even more chances to showcase the voice talent they’ve brought on.
- Strong Physics — We’re always impressed when games go the extra mile. Ryan was particularly pleased that, upon throwing a corpse into the ocean, not only did a realistic looking pool of blood form around them, but the blood floated near the surface upon diving, giving that extra immersion factor.
- Eagle Vision 2.0 — In previous games, pushing a button would enter Eagle Vision, allowing you to see things from the eyes of an assassin. Making decisions, tagging enemies and highlighting objectives. Now, we’ve been upgraded, to scope out enemies with a damn Pidgeot on our side. Flying the new eagle around, spotting missions, enemies and surveying the landscape for the best routes brings a fun new dynamic to the game. One we cannot wait to explore some more.
What is Bad About Assassin’s Creed Origins?
No game is perfect, obviously — except for f***ing Breathe of the Wild, apparently. So what is wrong with Assassin’s Creed: Origins?
- Departure from Stealth Aspects — While the combat was enjoyable, this game steers away from the stealthy modes of the past and into a more, full-frontal, combat system. That means assassinations seem to take a backseat. If you’re a fan of skulking more than bashing skulls, this may not be your favourite iteration of the series.
- Assassinations — Ryan, in particular, found the assassination animations to be a bit dodgy. So few and far between that we didn’t really experience many, what we did were a bit bland and really took you out of the scale of the game. They didn’t feel like the brutal, tactical assassinations of the previous games, more like awkward encounters.
- Much Room Left to Grow? — What we saw of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, we really enjoyed. Despite this, the franchise is now on its 10th title and its 10th year. It continues to churn out these games at breakneck rate. We have concerns about what the game will be like as we continue to explore and get into the greater details. Surely a pace as quick as this doesn’t allow for injections of real creativity and innovation?
- Hand Holding — Games these days feel very easy compared to those of the past, and Assassin’s Creed: Origins is no different. Objectives are very, very clear (although not clear enough for Jess to avoid spending the demo splashing in the ocean and being chased by a hippo); no thought is really involved in completing missions; and, as Ryan pointed out, your eagle will automatically dodge obstacles so you can’t even mess that bit up.
Overall Opinions of Assassin’s Creed: Origins
It was a unanimous THG decision that the new Assassin’s Creed is a step up for Ubisoft and the series a whole. Even Ryan, who wasn’t totally taken by the game, admitted the franchise is moving in the right direction. Jess, who entered EGX firmly against the idea of playing the game, is now set on buying it.
It has its weaknesses, by the improvement in voice acting, combat and movement, plus the enticing Ancient Egyptian world, all lead to a game which is well worth trying. Assassin’s Creed: Origins is out October 27th, and we’ll be jumping in when it launches.
Looking for more THG gaming content? We’ve got plenty of stuff coming up from our trip to EGX and plenty of other articles to explore. Check out our gaming page for more!