Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins is an action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the tenth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series and the successor to 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 27, 2017. The game is set in Ancient Egypt near the end of the Ptolemaic period (49–47 BC) and recounts the secret fictional history of real-world events. The story follows a Medjay named Bayek, and explores the origins of the centuries-long conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins, who fight for peace by promoting liberty, and The Order of the Ancients—forerunners to the Templar Order—who desire peace through the forced imposition of order.
Origins received positive reviews from critics, with many calling it an improvement over previous entries, who praised the story, characters, voice acting, reworked game play-systems, immersive world of Egypt, historical accuracy and the visuals, while criticizing some of the pacing and technical issues. The game was followed by Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which takes place in Classical Greece and was released on October 5, 2018.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is an action-adventure stealth game played from a third-person perspective. Players complete quests—linear scenarios with set objectives—to progress through the story, earn experience points, and acquire new skills. Outside of quests, the player can freely roam the open world environment on foot, horseback, camel-back, horse-drawn vehicles or boat to explore locations, complete optional side-quests and unlock weapons.
The “eagle vision” mode, which was used by the franchise to give the player the ability to scout an area by highlighting enemies and objects, has been replaced by a Bonelli’s eagle named Senu as a companion. The player can take control of Senu and scout an area in advance, highlighting enemies which will then be visible when they return to controlling Bayek, the game’s main character. The player can also tame various predators which will serve as a companion for the player and assist them against enemies. Naval combat, underwater exploration and tomb raiding return to the series.
The game also features revised combat mechanics. Previous titles in the Assassin’s Creed series used a “paired animation system” whereby the player character would engage with an enemy and combat would be dictated by a series of predetermined animations based on player inputs and scripted AI movements. Origins moves to a “hit-box system”. When the player wields a weapon, they will strike at whatever is in range, allowing them to hit enemies directly, injure individual body parts, and creating the possibility of missing an enemy entirely. Complementing this is the way weapons fall into different categories and are rated on their damage dealt, speed and range. Enemies will be drawn from several basic archetypes that use a variety of tactics in combat which, combined with the hit-box system, will require the player to learn the attributes of individual weapons and tailor their playing style to succeed in combat. As enemy combat is also dictated by the hit-box system, the player has been equipped with a shield and needs to balance their offensive and defensive capabilities. Locations within the game world are designed to enable the player to choose their playing style by offering stealth and open combat as equally-viable choices for completing objectives.
Origins introduces an arena-based combat system where the player fights waves of increasingly difficult combinations of enemies culminating in a boss fight. While the introduction to the arena is incorporated into the main story, the arena mode stands alone from the wider narrative. The game world features several arenas, with a variety of enemy combinations and unique bosses not found in the game world. The player is able to unlock additional weapons and equipment by completing arena fights.
The player takes on the role of a Medjay named Bayek and his wife Aya, as they work to protect the people of the Ptolemaic Kingdom during a time of widespread upheaval: the Pharaoh, Ptolemy XIII, struggles to maintain his rule while harbouring ambitions of expanding his kingdom; his sister, the recently deposed Cleopatra, begins marshalling loyalist forces to launch a counter-coup against Ptolemy; and frequent incursions into the Kingdom by the Roman Republic under the command of Julius Caesar lead to fears of an imminent invasion. Bayek’s role as a Medjay brings him and Aya into contact with the secretive forces manipulating these events and into becoming the first Assassins.
In 49 BC, Bayek, a Medjay charged with protecting the Siwa Oasis, is abducted along with his son Khemu by a group of masked men and taken to an underground vault in the Temple of Amun. The masked men give Bayek a dormant Apple of Eden and demand that he use it to open a secret vault. Khemu helps Bayek escape, but while struggling with one of the masked men, Bayek inadvertently kills Khemu. One year later in 48 BC, Bayek has exiled himself to track down the five masked men to take his revenge. He finds the first one, Rudjek “The Heron”, and kills him. Bayek then returns to Siwa to kill the local priest Medunamun, “The Ibis”, who has been torturing Siwans for information to open the same vault. Bayek then heads for Alexandria, where Aya, Bayek’s wife, has been tracking another of the masked men. Aya reveals that she has already killed Actaeon “The Vulture” and Ktesos “The Ram”, leaving only one target left, “The Snake”. Bayek identifies the Royal Scribe Eudoros as The Snake, but Bayek is disturbed by Eudoros’ last words, which imply there are more masked men. Aya directs Bayek to her friend Apollodorus the Sicilian for more information. Apollodorus introduces him to Cleopatra, who confirms that the masked men form the Order of Ancients. The Order ousted her from the throne and seek to control all of Egypt by using Ptolemy as their puppet.
Cleopatra gives Bayek four new targets: “The Scarab”, “The Hyena”, “The Lizard” and “The Crocodile”. He tracks them down and kills them while Aya convinces Pompey the Great to ally with Cleopatra. Bayek receives a letter from Aya explaining that there are more members of the Order at large, including members of Ptolemy’s royal guard who are the likely culprits responsible for Khemu’s death. Bayek begins to question his mission, believing Cleopatra is using him to kill her rivals. Pompey is killed by Lucius Septimius, “The Jackal”, forcing Bayek and Aya to sneak Cleopatra into the palace to meet Julius Caesar. Cleopatra impresses Caesar and secures his support. Bayek kills Pothinus, “The Scorpion”, but is stopped from killing Septimius by Caesar. Aya watches Ptolemy get eaten by crocodiles when he tries to flee across the Nile.
Cleopatra takes the throne as Pharaoh. Septimius becomes an advisor for Caesar and Cleopatra cuts ties with Bayek and Aya. This causes Bayek and his supporters to realize that Cleopatra and Caesar have now allied themselves with the Order. Bayek gathers his allies to form a brotherhood to counter the Order and defend the free will of the people. Bayek and Aya realize the Order showed interest in the tomb of Alexander the Great, where they find a mortally wounded Apollodorus. Apollodorus warns them that Caesar’s lieutenant Flavius is “The Lion” and the true leader of the Order. He and Septimius had taken the Orb and a Staff from the tomb and are going to Siwa to open the Vault.
Bayek tracks Flavius to Cyrene, where he has used the activated Apple of Eden to hold the population in thrall. He kills Flavius, avenging Khemu’s death and returns to Aya. Aya recruits Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger and Gaius Cassius Longinus to their cause. She heads to Rome with Brutus and Cassius to assassinate Caesar and Septimius. Bayek and Aya part ways but form the foundation of the Assassin Brotherhood when they both swear to protect the world from the shadows. In Rome, Aya confronts Septimius, who wields the Staff of Eden and she kills him. She then infiltrates the Roman Senate and assassinates Caesar. Later, she meets with Cleopatra and warns her to be a fair ruler or she will return to assassinate her. Afterward, Bayek and Aya (now calling herself Amunet)[b] begin recruiting and training other Assassins as they build the Assassin Brotherhood in Egypt and Rome respectively.
In the present day, Layla Hassan, a researcher for Abstergo Industries, is tasked with finding and retrieving an artifact in Egypt. However, she instead finds a tomb containing the mummies of Bayek and Aya. Hoping to find any relevant information that would secure her a position in the company’s Animus Project, Layla decides to relive both Bayek and Aya’s memories using a modified Animus without telling her superiors. When Layla fails to report in, Abstergo sends a team to kill her. Layla thwarts the attempt on her life, but her friend and support officer Deanna is killed [c]. Layla returns to the Animus but is later woken by William Miles, the Assassin Mentor and the father of the deceased Desmond Miles. She accepts William’s offer to work with the Assassins, but stops short of actually joining them. The two depart for modern-day Alexandria. In experiencing Bayek’s memories, Layla may encounter a series of ancient structures built by the First Civilization. Each contains a message that alludes to Layla playing a pivotal role in an upcoming apocalyptic event.
The Hidden Ones
The Hidden Ones is a story-driven expansion that sheds more light on the rise of the Assassin Brotherhood. It is set four years after the events of the main game and takes the player to the Sinai Peninsula region, where they will have to investigate a clash between a rebel faction and occupying Roman forces. In addition to the new story chapter, The Hidden Ones introduces a variety of new items for the player to acquire, including an outfit, two Legendary weapon sets, a pair of mounts, and other weapons. The expansion raises the game’s level cap to 45.
The new educational mode lets the player choose between free roaming the world of Ancient Egypt to learn more about its history and daily life, or embarking on guided tours curated by historians and Egyptologists. This disables the storyline, side-quests, conflicts with enemies, time limits, and gameplay constraints. Discovery Tour was released on February 20, 2018. A standalone expansion with only the Discovery Tour included was also released for Windows specifically for the educational market.
Discovery Tour is based on reliable research results from universities and institutions like the British Museum.
The Curse of the Pharaohs
The second expansion is a new quest, set in Thebes, about an ancient curse that is plaguing the land due to grave robbers angering the gods. The Curse of the Pharaohs focuses on Egyptian mythology, pitting players against famous pharaohs and Egyptian beasts, as they uncover the cause of the curse that has brought certain dead rulers back to life. The Hidden Ones raises the level cap to 45 while The Curse of the Pharaohs increases it to 55. Like The Hidden Ones, the expansion adds new outfits, gear and weapons, these themed around ancient Egyptian mythology. The Curse of the Pharaohs was released on March 13, 2018.