Assassin's Creed: Origins Review

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Assassin's Creed: Origins is the 10th game in the Assassin's Creed series and is a third-person, open-world, action-adventure game with a combat system that has a non-mandatory focus on stealth.

Graphics

Origins has phenomenal graphics (played on PC, 1440p, high settings). All of the textures/structures/characters are very well detailed. The only negative about the graphics is the cutscenes must have been pre-rendered because they were significantly worse quality than the game.

Since Origins takes place in Egypt, I thought the sceneries would become stale after a few hours; however, that was not the case. There is a lot of variety in the areas you will be exploring, from tiny farm villages to vast deserts to bustling cities. 

Story

As previously mentioned, this installment of Assassin's Creed takes place in Egypt during the Ptolemaic Era. The general premise of the story is that your character, Bayek, is seeking revenge for the death of his son, by a group called The Order. There is more to the story, but I will not go into details to avoid spoilers.

I think the story in Origins is excellent. It has many twists and turns, and always kept me intrigued. It was a pleasant surprise, as I wasn't sure what to expect going into the game, and thought the story would have just been an afterthought. 

The story takes place over what I would consider five acts, and around the middle of the fourth act, I was ready for the story to be finished. With that said, I feel like there was a great payoff in the end.

I am just going to ignore any part of the Animus side-story that has been going on, as I have only played this game, and Assassin's Creed II, so I didn't know what was going on, and I can't fault the game for that.

One of my favorite aspects of Origins is the characters. Bayek isn't a dull protagonist, he, along with almost all of the characters, had an incredibly believable and developed personality, that was consistent through the whole game. 

Even though there was a portion near the end of the game where I felt it was dragging on, I am left feeling very impressed with the overall story.

Gameplay

There is a lot to do in Origins. So much, that it makes me feel like I just scratched the surface even after 30 hours. From the main quests to the side quests, to finding all of the viewpoints, you will always be doing something. It can be very overwhelming seeing all of the "?" on the map you have yet to discover, especially when you are a completion like I am. However, I do not think the intent is for you to find every area. I think you are meant just to discover the areas for the quests you chose to complete. 

Quests are essentially the majority of the game. If you are not at a quest location, you will be traveling to one. There are a lot of side quests that you will be able to access, much more than you will need to do to finish the story. I consider that a blessing, as many of the quests are very similar.  Most of the follow the following outline: 1. Some bandits stole something/soldiers kidnapped someone, 2. Go to the area and kill the bandits/soldiers, recover the stolen item/free the captured people, 3. Return to the person who gave you the quest. By the end of my time with Origins, I was very bored with the side quests and dreaded having to do them to be appropriately leveled for the main quests. With that being said, there are several exciting side quests I came across. These were mostly ones that required you to investigate an area and piece to story of what happened there bit by bit.

When you are presented with combat opportunities, there are quite a few ways you will be able to tackle each situation. You can just run in and fight everyone in the area using your sword and shield, use your bow and fight from a distance, or sneak around and silently kill an enemy one by one, without ever being noticed. At the beginning of the game, I found myself using the bow the most, in the middle, I was using sword and shield, and by the end of the game, I was almost exclusively in stealth mode, silently making my way through all the enemies. I found the stealth method of combat to be the most exciting and satisfying way to approach conflicts. You also have a bird that you can control that can scope out areas and highlight all enemies, making it easier to sneak around.  

Origins takes place in a massive world. Near the end of the game, there will be times where quests are located on +7000m away on the other side of Egypt. Luckily, there are fast travel points, and horses/camels you can ride to make those long treks go faster.

Although, while you are riding in the wild, away from the cities, you are not safe from being attacked. Many dangerous animals are roaming the world, including lions, hippos, crocodiles, and more, and they will attack on sight. 

At a certain point in the game, very high leveled hitmen called the Phylakes will start roaming the world. I was around level 15-17 when they showed up, and the lowest leveled one was 25. I disregarded that level discrepancy the first time I came across the lowest leveled one, and I immediately died in one hit. It made me much more cautious if one was near from then on, as I thought they were very skilled hitmen, so it made sense they would easily defeat me if I was a lower level. However, later in the game, I found out that even just a common enemy will one-hit kill you if there is more than a 2-3 level difference between you and them. That made the Phylakes much less intimidating, story-wise. 

Along with the regular combat, there are also several instances of naval-ship combat too. I did not like these portions of the game. I found them very unintuitive to control, and just wished they would immediately be over once they started. 

After fulling understanding the stealth system, and how to effectively use it, I found the gameplay to be incredibly satisfying, regardless of the repetitive quest structure. 

Verdict

Assassin's Creed: Origins is a very good game. Great graphics, a gripping story full of twists, and an incredibly satisfying stealth combat system all combine to make a great expereince. 

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