I’ve always been a die-hard fan of the Assassin’s Creed games, historical inaccuracies, and my gigantic history nerdiness aside. My brother got me playing them around the time they first started being released in 2007… needless to say our mother wasn’t overly thrilled with how fascinated her eleven-year-old daughter was by the games, but it made Nick and I get along, so she never mentioned it.
Now Assassin’s Creed has been rolling out games for a decade, and my brother lives on the other side of the planet, having moved to Australia from England last year. We don’t talk often, but we always seem to find solid conversation in the games we’re playing, so when Origins was released, I was excited. He wasn’t a huge fan of Syndicate, and I understood why, but I was always obsessed with Victorian London as a kid, so despite it’s many faults and twists on historical figures, I did enjoy running around a shrunken version of a city I am familiar with in present day.
I was so excited about not having to steer a vehicle in this game, but you let me down AC. When I was streaming I remember being so happy(they’re not bad mechanics, I’m just awful at driving anything more than a horse in games- I got the achievement in Syndicate for it), since I’d been streaming Black Flag and Syndicate in the run up to the release of Origins, the trauma of steering ships and driving carriages was still fresh in my mind. I love Aya in Origins, I was honestly I little heartbroken when playing as her meant I had to steer a ship and use it to fight all in one short sequence. I’m hoping that my failings in video game steering doesn’t reflect how I’m going to be at real world driving. I mean, I’m amazing at Mario Kart so who knows?
Origins brings back the Assassins Creed tradition of more collectables and side quests than you could ever need, and while I’ve only managed it on Syndicate, I’m pretty determined to 100% this one. Which is going to be hugely difficult, mostly due to the size of the map and the sheer number of things to do, but it’s a fun challenge. The first of the sort of ‘collectables’ quests I stumbled upon was the quest where you have to find various stone circles and line up some constellations, which I got super invested in, because I love space, and I love the small bits of lore and how the cutscenes you get along with this route build up Bayek’s character and relationship with his son. Origins has done brilliantly in managing to give me a reason to do the side quests, with some of them providing you with more character and lore, which I’ve found a lot of games don’t always do. The optional quests are usually that, optional, so a lot of people don’t bother with them, however I’m one of those people that will do everything I can possibly do in a game before doing the final mission, so being rewarded with anything is pretty validating for my avoidance of finishing games.
The combat mechanics were a little different for me to get my head around, but that’s likely because I decided to play all the Assassin’s Creed series while I was waiting for Origins to come out, so my brain was still operating on Syndicate controls for a while. But overall, once I got the hang of it, it was fun. I’m a fan of any game that lets you use a bow and arrow, and the mechanics for it in this were one of my favourites. I also loved the skill you can unlock where you can control the arrow in mid-air because that’s a level of weird and physics defying that made me laugh a fair bit. Origins managed to keep a unique element to Bayek and Aya in their fighting style, but you can definitely see the style of the assassins we know and love that learnt from a long line of people tracing all the way to Bayek.
I figured I’d finally finish this article with a mention of the newest Assassin’s Creed instalment that we’ve seen teased. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has been officially announced ahead of this year’s E3, and as a total nerd of ancient Greece and Rome, I’m curious to see what its about. Ubisoft seem to have leant more into RPG style, if the leaked game description is anything to go by. The game takes place before even the events of Origins, so there’s some uncertainty of how this game will tie in with the rest of the series, but I’m holding out hope. Either way it should be an interesting addition, and I’ll be making sure to catch its full announcement at E3 this week, Ubisoft’s conference is on June 11th, so be sure to check it out and report back. I will definitely be doing so.