It’s no big secret that the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been going downhill for the last couple of years, with complaints from fans piling up and the last really good entry almost a decade old now. However, it appears that Ubisoft has been listening to the fan’s complaints and with Origins aims to address these complaints. How well they have done this, however, is open to debate.
Origins takes place in ancient Egypt – at the time of Cleopatra, the furthest back in time the series has ever been. You take on the role of Bayek, an Egyptian who is a Medjay – an ancient Egyptian policeman of sorts. Bayek is motivated by the death of his son at the hands of nameless masked figures. Together with his wife, he aims to seek revenge and his travels will take him far from home.
Unfortunately though, the plot soon becomes an over complicated mess. Soon you stop caring about what’s going on other than who to assassinate next. It’s much more interesting to explore the open world, which the game itself encourages with a loose structure.
The three main factors of game play remain the same; stealth, melee combat, and parkour. In the past, none of these elements have been really good individually, with the stealth and combat having been dumbed down and simplified more and more over the years. The stealth isn’t very sophisticated here, although at least it doesn’t restrict your movement like before.
The combat system is entirely new and seems to be influenced by other titles such as Dark Souls. There is a great emphasis on blocks, parries and dodges. However the movement is much too fast and jittery and the lock-on system and camera also have real difficulty dealing with multiple enemies at once. This makes the combat as a whole feel clumsy and imprecise.
The parkour is definitely an improvement over the previous games however it still lacks the grace and flow to your leaps and bounds. It is the most improved of the three main elements though, and makes moving around easier and more enjoyable than it’s ever been.
The graphics are very impressive indeed, with landscapes being expansive and highly detailed. The human characters are less so, however that may be due to how many of them there are. Most areas are barren and empty with little or nothing to do in them though.
You can tell that the developers have been listening to complaints put forward by the fan base, however their attempts to fix these issues are either half-baked or try to replace the problems with new systems which cause more problems of their own.