Assassin’s Creed Origins is the first Assassin’s Creed game I have ever played. I actually bought this game on a whim after reading through a review thread for the game on the PS4 subreddit, the majority of the reviews where all positive and the game scored highly so on an impulse I ordered the game.
Buying games on an impulse can be risky sometimes, I’ve done this a few times before and been utterly disappointed by the game, either it was just not for me or the game was just rubbish, sometimes buying on an impulse can lead to a total waste of money.
This was not the case with Assassin’s Creed Origins though, this was probably the best impulse video game buy I have ever made. The game is just simply amazing. At the time of writing this review I have put about 105 hours of gameplay time into Assassin’s Creed Origins, I’ve finished the main storyline, done a ton of side quests and achieved the platinum trophy. That’s how much Origins drew me into its world.
In Assassin’s Creed Origins you play as Bayek, a Medjay from Siwa in Egypt. The game takes place in Ancient Egypt’s Ptolemaic Period around 48BC. You also play as Bayek’s wife Aya during part of the game and she features fairly heavily in the story.
As the title of the game implies, Assassin’s Creed Origins is the origin story of the Brotherhood of Assassin’s, a prequel I suppose, to how the Brotherhood first came into being. Being a prequel or origin story is a good reason for anyone who hasn’t played any of the Assassin’s Creed games before to pick this up.
The story struck me as one of revenge, where Bayek has to track down and defeat a number of members of the Order of Ancients, who we learn from dialogue and cut scenes had killed his son. The main story revolves around finding the members of the Order of Ancients and assassinating them one by one.
Along the way we meet an interesting cast of characters including Cleopatra and Julius Ceasar amongst a wealth of other strong characters. Bayek’s wife Aya also features in the story and at times you get to play as her.
There are also the numerous side quests which you can complete which are like mini-stories in their own right. Some of the side quests tie in with the main story where others are completely separate and focus on Bayeks role as a protector or Medjay.
Overall I found the story to be very enjoyable, the voice acting was great. There where some dark moments in the story but it was occasionally offset with some humour to lighten things up a bit. Other than the Uncharted series, Assassin’s Creed Origins is one of very few games where I actually didn’t want to skip through any cut scenes just incase I missed some pertinent story point.
Gameplay & The World
I found the gameplay in Assassin’s Creed Origins to be immensely fun and varied from intense combat to investigation and exploration and some little puzzle elements thrown in for good measure.
The Assassin’s Creed Origins world is open and massive with an absolute ton of stuff to see, do and explore.
Combat in Assassin’s Creed Origins revolves around using numerous melee weapons such as swords, heavy blunts and maces, etc to hack, slash or beat your enemies to a bloody pulp. There is also bows and arrows for ranged combat.
The game features a wide variety of different weapons you can get from various quests or loot from enemies or treasure chests.
Melee combat using swords and the other melee weapons was extremly fun and exillerating. There was nothing more satisfying than beating a high level opponent with some fancy sword moves. There are also times, many times when you have to face off against more than one enemy at once as enemies can tend to surround you.
Battling with numerous enemies at the same time was also really fun, using the light L1 slash attached to finish off some less powerful enemies whilst using the more powerful R2 attached to break the shields of the tougher, shield wielding enemies.
And there’s also the overpower attack, a kind of super ability you can use by pressing R1 and R2 at the same time when your adrenaline is full, this makes Bayek rush forward towards your enemy and plunge his sword in to their chest right up to the hilt.
Assassin’s Creed Origins also has some great dodge manoeuvres you can do, these where especially useful when fighting the bigger, tougher but slower guys who carry the big maces and heavy blunts.
Assassin’s Creed Origins also has a wide variety of different types of bows you can use for ranged combat from powerful Hunter bows that are great for headshotting enemies from a distance or hunting animals for crafting to light bows that fire off a rapid succession of arrows, these are great for weakening a stronger enemy and then finish them off with a couple of heavy sword blows or an overpower attack.
There are even legendary bows that you can find that shoot flaming arrows, great for setting enemies on fire and hearing them scream in pain or for shooting at exploding oil barrels and burning an enemy camp to ashes.
It’s not all swords and cows and arrows though with Assassin’s Creed Origins, stealth also plays a large part in the combat, especially with tougher quests where you have to infiltrate a large enemy camp. Stealth can be very useful in the aforementioned tougher quests, you can crouch in long grass and bushes and stealthily sneak up behind an enemy for a silent but deadly take down.
Using stealth tactics effectively requires you to use your trusty eagle companion called Senu. When using Senu you literally get a bird’s eye view of an area as you control your Eagle pal to hover over enemy filled areas and scout it out before deciding the best course of action. If you have synchronised a lot of the fast travel points it will increase Senu’s perception which allows you to highlight enemies as well as any treasure chests.
In Assassin’s Creed Origins you’re not limited to fighting on foot however, you can also smack some enemies with your sword or shoot your arrows at them whilst you’re riding your Horse (or Camel.) I found the horse back combat very useful when attacking enemies who were transporting materials that I needed, run up alongside them and slash them with your sword and then about turn and take another swing or stay a bit behind them and fire an arrow in to their heads and watch them fall of their horse, then simply trot by and pick up the loot.
Such is the variety of combat and gameplay in Assassin’s Creed Origins that I never found anything to be boring or repetitive. With the wealth of available weapons and a brilliantly designed world you can approach quests in a variety of different ways from sneaking in all stealth like to rushing in with swords and arrows flying.
Quests & Content
Assassin’s Creed Origins has an absolute ton of stuff to do and the world is absolutely massive.
I finished the main story in about 30 – 40 hours and I still had about five regions of the world to unlock. Theres also the numerous side quests and other activities. I put in 105 hours of gameplay time to get the platinum trophy and I still had quite a lot side quests left to do.
Theres much, much more than just quests in Assassin’s Creed Origins though, the variety and quantity o f content to complete in-game is astounding and a lot of other game developers could really take a lesson from Ubisoft Montreal in how to make a game with tons of varied and enjoyable content.
One of the funnest side activities in-game is hunting down and solving the Papyrus Puzzles. These are cryptic clues you can find throughout the world that point to the location of some hidden treasure, usually a rare or Legendary piece of gear. There are a total of twenty-five Papyrus Puzzles to solve, check out my Papyrus Puzzle solutions if you want to try to solve them all.
There’s also stone circles located throughout the world where you have to align a star constellation in each one, completing all the stone circles will allow you to activate a hidden area in the Great Sphinx in Giza.
There’s also numerous hidden tombs and ancient mechanisms to activate, these ancient mechanism kind of feed in to the Assassin’s Creed sci-fi elements.
There is an absolute plethora of stuff to do in Assassin’s Creed Origins from what I mentioned above to hunting down materials for crafting, world events where you need to save someone from an animal attack and little quests where you actually have to avenge the deaths of other Origins players.
At no time did I find any of the content or quests to be repetitive, they where all extremely enjoyable, so much that I wanted to complete every single quest, activity and secret in the game.
The world of Assassin’s Creed Origins is huge and it feels bustling and full of life, especially when you are in villages and towns, there are tons of people just walking about or working and getting on with their lives. I really felt like I was in Ancient Egypt.
Graphics & Sound
Graphically Assassin’s Creed Origins is stunning, the developers really did a fantastic job of creating a beautiful immersive world that really made me feel like I was in Egypt during that time period.
The game has some amazingly recreated and beautiful architecture, the buildings and structures felt like a lot of painstaking work was put into them to make them so detailed and real.
The world of Assassin’s Creed Origins has many different types of environments, from huge open deserts with golden sand dunes, rolling green hills and rocky mountainous regions not to mention bustling towns and villages that feel alive. I didn’t once visit a place in Assassin’s Creed Origins that looked re-used or the same, each region of the map looked and felt unique and that is some feat given the size of the world.
I played Origins on a standard PS4 and the game still looked amazing, if I ever manage to save up and get myself a PS4 pro I will definitely be re-playing this game to see experience this stunning world in all it’s 4K glory.
Assassin’s Creed Origins also has a rather superb photo mode that you can mess about with, I found myself spending a lot of time just taking screen shots because I was in awe of how great the world looked.
There was some frame rate drops at some points and a few glitches here and there but nothing major and nothing that ruined the game play.
Sound wise I have no complaints, the music did a great job of being atmospheric and it reminded me a lot of watching old movies that where perhaps set in ancient egypt. The voice acting was particularly great with the actors really making the characters their own and making me feel that is what these characters would actually sound like.
One of the best things about the sound in the game was the screams from your enemies, there is a Legendary sword that can set enemies on fire and when you git them with it they scream out in pain and make some crazy sounds. The screaming sounds are actually really funny sometimes, in a good way, bringing a bit of comedy in to the game. I’m not sure if this was the intention but it absolutely works.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is an absolutely amazing game, probably the best game of this year in my opinion.
It has fantastic story that draws you in and makes you connect with the characters, the world is massive and beautiful and it makes you want to explore every nook and cranny.
The combat and gameplay are immensely enjoyable with a wide variety of weapons and skills to unlock and a range of different ways you can tackle different situations.
The content, oh my the content, there is tons of it, there really is so much to do, it actually puts a lot of other triple A games to shame with just how much content there is in Assassin’s Creed Origins.
I think I should mention micro-transactions since they are a hot topic right now. Yes, there is micro-transactions in Assassin;s Creed Origins, you can buy Helix Credits with real money and use these credits to buy certain in-game items that can help you, like weapons packs or material packs. Ubisoft though have done a great job with micro-transactions in this game, they are not in your face and you can absolutely play the game and succeed without spending a single penny.
When I was thinking about what score to give Assassin’s Creed Origins I was definitely thinking of a high score. Ultimately I decided to give it 10 out of 10, simply because the game ticks all the right boxes.
It has a great story, with great characters, a massive open world with a ton of content making it great value for money and it is just a highly enjoyable and fun game, that’s what I want form a video game, great fun and great value for money. For these reasons Assassin’s Creed Origins definitely deserves a 10 out of 10 score.