While it is the most recent installment to the franchise, Assassin’s Creed Origins is chronologically the first in the series. It follows an Egyptian warrior named Bayek, the Last Medjay. The Medjay were ancient protectors of specific Egyptian nomes (geographic divisions similar to states) that ruled under the pharaoh. Bayek’s desire for vengeance takes him throughout the land of Egypt on a long and blood soaked journey.
I have played two of the three main Assassin’s Creed games for the Playstation 4, and while they’ve all looked good, Assassin’s Creed Origins stands above them both. The environments are large, sprawling, and scenic. Ancient Egypt, it’s famous landmarks and famous river Nile are rendered in beautiful and realistic graphics. Many times while playing, I would stop to take advantage of the game’s photo mode because of how good the game looks.
Story and Characters
Bayek and his wife, Aya scour Egypt, using their connections to weed out every individual involved in the murder of their son. Though Bayek lives with this intense loss, it never keeps him from showing his compassion to the people’s of Egypt. As the last Medjay of Egypt he views all Egyptians as his responsibility. Brutal with his enemies, kind and fatherly with children, attentive to his peers and respective with his elders; Bayek is the most fleshed out Assassin since Ezio of Assassin’s Creed II. He is awkward in small talk and social situations, and does not abide nonsense. Aya on the other hand has found Cleopatra a way to fulfill her duty to her country and gain powerful connections to bring her son’s killers to justice. The only things she loves are her husband, her Queen, and her country. She finds camaraderie with her allies, and gives off a somewhat gruff charm. As capable a warrior as Bayek, she and Bayek help to temper certain aspects of the other.
The story, side quests, locations, and discoveries provide what I would estimate is easily over 100 hours of gameplay. The game uses a new combat system once you break stealth, a fact that threw me off when I first started playing, as I expected the same old parry and attack modes. The use of different bow and weapon types suit can be incorporated to suit the user’s playing style. Bayek’s golden eagle, Senu, replaces eagle vision from previous games. Senu can highlight and distract enemies, trace the path of and hunt animals, and scout out a location before you charge in. These new game mechanics really breathe new life into the series.
The size of the Assassin’s Creed Origins’ open world is truly immense. after completing dozens of side quests and locations, and most of the main story I still haven’t uncovered every section of the map. The combat is genuinely fun, breaking stealth and getting into fights no longer feels like a chore. The story and characters are full of depth and emotion, there is humor and sadness and even side quests add depth to Bayek. Though I encountered several noticeable glitches in the AI, and got stuck in walls more than once, I am unconvinced this game is anything but great.