Assassin’s Creed Origins is a big departure from the usual Assassin’s Creed template. Almost everything these games are known for has been changed, altered, or built from the ground up.
Origins is also the first Assassin’s Creed to escape the yearly release schedule cycle mandated by publisher Ubisoft, and it looks like the longer development time is going to benefit everyone. Assassin’s Creed has never been this fresh or exciting, and we’re going to explore all the ways Assassin’s Creed Origins is completely different from its predecessors.
Origins Is Set Before Assassins And Templars
Set in Egypt during the Ptolemaic era, long before the war between the Assassins and Templars, Origins can’t fall back on the familiar tropes the series normally deals in. The world of ancient Egypt features no gadgets or guns. While you’ll still join a band of proto-Assassins to fight proto-Templars, Assassin’s Creed Origins is using its new setting to influence the gameplay above all else.
Origins Completely Changes Combat
The most immediate change to Assassin’s Creed Origins is the combat. Throwing out the free-form, Arkham Asylum-style brawler combat, Assassin’s Creed Origins emulates Dark Souls with more methodical combat. You can lock-on, hold up your shield, and your attacks are relatively slow. You can quick-step or roll to escape attacks. Enemies are far more intelligent, meaning this might be the first difficult Assassin’s Creed in ages.
- NOTE: Enemies will have levels like your Assassin. Certain outposts feature very high-level enemies, and an under-leveled Assassin will get crushed. Kind of like Skyrim.
Attacks Build Up A Super Meter
Every weapon type you equip, be it a pair of daggers, a simple sword, a warhammer or a bow — you’ll get a super meter at the bottom of the screen. The more attacks you land in combat, the more this blue meter will fill. A full super meter allows your Assassin’s to unleash a devastating barrage of attacks that will kill (or severely harm) the unfortunate opponent you’re tackling.
My Kingdom For A Horse Duel
Horses are an integral part of the Assassin’s Creed series, and now you can finally fight on horseback. Horses or camels are a great way to get around the map, and they’re a powerful (if still slightly awkward) way to attack enemies. You can use any weapons while riding horseback — bows, hammers, swords — and fight other enemies who are also riding. Ambush caravans, get into exciting horse chases, and even duke it out with chariots.
There’s Loot, And Lots Of It
Defeating enemies nets you loot. Completing side-quests nets you loot. Clearing out outposts also gets you lots of loot — there’s loot everywhere, and you’ll be constantly switching out old weapons and gear for new stuff. The progression isn’t slow either, you’ll start collecting enhanced versions of weapons fast.
Not only are new weapons more powerful, but they’ll also include bonuses — faster healing, faster super meter recharge — enhancements like that turn your weak Assassin into a devastating warrior pretty quickly.
Eagle Vision, Now A Literal Eagle
In previous Assassin’s Creed games, Eagle Vision was basically a magic power that allowed you to scan the area for items and enemies, even seeing through walls to help make stealth more manageable. That’s been changed in Origins. Now you’ll have a helpful eagle companion named Senu.
When called upon, Senu flies into the sky. You’ll take control of Senu, and you can mark targets or chests from above. Once marked, an enemy’s outline will be visible always, even through walls. It’s similar to Eagle Vision of old, but just a little more narratively fitting, and a fun way to scout out outposts before a raid.
Side-Quests Have Been Enhanced
Instead of following a simple story progression path, Origins asks you to gain levels — each new main story mission is gated by level. After completing one, you’ll have to spend some time exploring the world and taking on new side-quests to gain levels.
Side-Quests are the big new addition here. Quests are presented like Skyrim and other Bethesda RPGs — talk to NPCs, then get the quest. A marker on the top of your screen will guide you to the location. It’s very, very different presentation from previous games.
…although you can still clear outposts like every other Ubisoft open-world game. Let’s not get too crazy here, some things have to stay the same.
Stealth? Not As Important This Time Around
Stealth is still an integral part of Assassin’s Creed Origins. You’ll still get assassination missions, and hiding in the shadows or ducking into bushes for stealth kills is a viable strategy. Your stealth attacks, unlike regular attacks, are an instant kill, no matter the level of your opponent. Sneaking into an area and killing the boss, then stealthing out can make life much easier.
- NOTE: Another thing that isn’t so important — climbing. You won’t find many tall structures to climb this time around.
But, stealth isn’t really required. If anything, wiping out an outpost is much easier with a long-range bow and a trusty sword. Picking off enemies from afar is totally possible in Origins, and it’s much easier thanks to intuitive controls and much larger quivers. When the cavalry runs out of an outpost, you can pick them off then wipe out the stragglers in combat. Combat is always an option, and unleashing those Super abilities can be just as, if not more effective, than stealth kills.
You Can Enjoy History With The Non-Violent Tourism Mode
Recently announced, there’s an all-new Tourism Mode included in Assassin’s Creed Origins that takes all the combat and violence out of the beautiful version of ancient Egypt on display. Instead of fighting, you can go on guided tours with voice-overs and custom animations to learn all about the pyramids of Giza, or about ancient rulers like Cleopatra.
In fact, you’ll be able to unlock alternate characters to enjoy their unique guided tours. Cleopatra, Ptolemy, and Caesar are just a handful of historic figures you can learn more about. It sounds like a really fun extra little mode, and gives the developers a chance to show off everything they’ve learned in the (no doubt) countless hours of research it took to bring Origins to life.
And There Are Boss Battles Against Giant Monsters
Shown in the reveal trailer, you won’t just delve into tombs and pyramids for treasure alone. During the main story and in outposts and arenas, Bayek can encounter massive boss battles. Already, we’ve seen a giant snake — a mythological creature that the other Assassin’s Creed games don’t normally depict. While other games had boss fights, the inclusion of giant monsters is a pretty exciting development. What other creatues will we see?
Hippos are an uncommon enemy that can completely eviscerate your Assassin if you’re not careful. Throughout Egypt, you can also enter into special arenas for gladiatorial combat, and often you’ll encounter special enhanced super-gladiators at the end of the gauntlet. All of these enemies have health bars, and we can only hope Origins gets even crazier with its boss battles and mythological monsters.
There’s so much new in Assassin’s Creed Origins, it’s hard to list it all here. Follow Gameranx for more Origins news, and watch out for tons of guides when the full game lands in October.