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Assassin’s Creed Origins (PS4) review

On November 16, 2017 by Aaron Meehan

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a tale of chaos versus order, and old versus new as Assassin’s Creed Origins sees Ubisoft revamp many of the franchise’s long-held mechanics.

As someone who grew to like the gameplay of the previous Assassin’s Creed titles, I found Origins revamped mechanics to be a mixture of annoying, sluggish and pointless, but as I played through the game I found myself beginning to enjoy some of the changes Ubisoft made to the franchise. Now, before talking about all gameplay changes let’s look at the story.

Assassin’s Creed Origins takes place in 48 BCE (Before Common Era) where you take on the role of Bayek the last Medjay (a protector) of Egypt, and at different points, in the story you will play as Aya, Bayek’s wife and capable fighter. The story of Origins is primarily a tale of revenge with Bayek hunting down those who killed his son, but in his quest for revenge he becomes embroiled in a war for Egypt with a mysterious group known as “The Order of the Ancients” spreading chaos across the lands of Egypt, Bayek finds himself aligning with Cleopatra in order to restore order to Egypt and get revenge on The Order for killing his son. Over the course of the story, we see how the two factions lead to the formation of the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templar Order.

As a fan of ancient Egypt, the Assassin’s Creed Origins story is incredibly interesting as the story takes you too many famous locations including, Alexandria, the Great Pyramids of Giza and Memphis. Now, if you were to take away my love of the setting, I would still say Origins offers a great story as it offers a great introduction into the Assassin’s Creed franchise and gives you a look at a period in time rarely seen in video games.

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Now, moving onto the gameplay, Assassin’s Creed Origins is very different from its predecessors as the game turns the franchise into an action RPG with a brand new combat system, new levelling system and a focus on loot.

The new combat system takes some getting used to as it doesn’t offer the same fast-flowing action seen in previous Assassin’s Creed titles, the new combat slows things down as it has you dance around enemies looking for an opening, personally when I first tried it out I longed for the old combat system where I could easily clear a room full of enemies in seconds instead of constantly dodging as I attempted to hit an enemy’s weak point. The change in combat also means you have to be more careful, as I said you can’t just clear a room in seconds like in previous AC games, because in Origins I found if you fight more than five enemies you are usually dead before you kill your first enemy or forced to run away with your tail in-between your legs, and so with that in mind Origins seems to make stealth a more appealing choice. Now, don’t get me wrong, Assassin’s Creed Origins new combat is fun, but for me it lacks the fluid feel of the combat seen in previous AC games.

The new combat system also adds an array of new ranged and melee weapons, with each weapon having their strengths and weaknesses. For example, Predator bows allow you to control the trajectory of the arrows you fire while the light bows work well up close and allows you to fire multiple arrows in quick succession. When it comes to the melee weapons, the likes of the sickle and regular sword are fast but offer reduced damage while the heavy weapons such as the spears and blunts allow for high damage at a cost of speed.

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Moving on, we have a new levelling system, which is in equal parts good and terrible. With the levelling system, you know how strong your opponents are which means you know when you need to perform side-quests to gain enough power to take on your next challenge, but unfortunately this really turns the game into a grind. Every time I found myself getting into the flow of the story an obstacle in the form of a level requirement would rise up, this meant that I had to stop and perform side-quest after side-quest to reach the level requirement for the next story quest. Now, don’t get me wrong, the side-quests were interesting and really helped to flesh out the world, but the amount of grinding I had to do to reach the required level for the next story quest made me want to stop playing the game.

While the levelling system was tedious it brought with it many action-RPG elements such as an expansive talent system, crafting and most importantly of all a focus on stats and getting new gear.

Moving onto the last bit of the gameplay I wish to discuss looting and gear. Assassin’s Creed Origins now has players loot, find and buy new pieces of gear. The ability to get new gear creates a feeling of personal progression rarely seen in previous Assassin’s Creed games as you get both a visual change and power increase as you play the game.

In terms of graphics Assassin’s Creed Origins is a stunning experience as the open world game allows you to fully embrace the culture and artistry of the world around you. In terms of sound, the game blends the native language of the Egyptian people with English as many of the NPCs speak in the country’s native tongue.

Now, it wouldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed game without bugs and issues and unfortunately, Assassin’s Creed Origins does have some. For example, while playing the game on the PlayStation 4 I noticed substantial slow down when riding a chariot through a city and the odd stutter as I explored the world.

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Assassin’s Creed Origins adds some much-needed change to the franchise, and while they offer mixed results, Origins is a fun if not grind-heavy experience.

Score: 7.5/10

Pros Cons
+ Setting – Levelling is very grind heavy
+ Story and characters  
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft Action RPG 18+ PS4, XBOne, PC October 27, 2017

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Assassin’s Creed Origins, visit https://assassinscreed.ubisoft.com/.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.

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