The (re) birth of the killers

Talking about Assassin’s Creed is never easy and the question must be taken with the right springs, but, if in recent years one could complain of an excessive speed of development by Ubisoft that seemed to become more and more arid of ideas and stingy of money , with annual titles and even two in 2014, this time things seem to have been done properly.

Two years after the release of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, a good title after the disastrous Assassin’s Creed Unity, which, however, had not managed to get rid of the feeling of already seen and too little innovative, Ubisoft has finally shared with users what seems to be, in effect, the point of rebirth for the series, a new version of the turning point that was, in his time, the good Ezio Auditore with his events.

History

This time the narration of the eternal struggle between Templars and Assassins will be dry, as well as of the classic alternation between the memories of the Animus and modern times; with the exception of some scenes not too well contextualized at the level of the plot outside the Animus, our adventure will be closely linked to Bayek, medjay in the service of the Egyptian people, who carries on his fight for freedom against a secret cabal that instead it wants control through the imposition of a specific order. As you can see, we are not talking about Assassins and Templars, we are far from the times of the Altair events that made us know this millenary struggle, but the gist of the story does not go too far from there.

All set in a vast Egypt which in 49 BC begins to deal with the first influences of the Roman Empire and which appears split in an internal struggle between Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy. Against this background, the plots of our story will develop, that of Bayek, a warrior who appears more dedicated to personal revenge and primary instincts than the appearances of the previous protagonists of the saga and his faithful life partner, Aya (probably one of the characters best successful ever). On balance the plot of the game is of excellent workmanship and encourages you to continue it without ever getting bored and without falling back into the redundancy of past episodes or moments of tiredness.

What has changed in Assassin’s Creed Origins?

The approach to the game, which has become almost an open world RPG, at the beginning could not a little surprise the most avid fans of the series (minus those who have played other titles of the genre). However, after the first moments of confusion for game dynamics and controls, you will quickly learn how to move among the desert dunes. Ubisoft leaves the player full freedom about the development of his story, with a main plot around which many very different secondary quests branch out, well done and, therefore, pleasant to play.

While you will be free to go wherever you want and do what you like best, it must be said that as a good RPG each enemy will have levels and health points that you will do well to keep in high regard before joining the fray in a wild fight, before targeting a strong enemy, before … Well, first of all, pay close attention to the level of human and non-human enemies around you to avoid being annoyed in one fell swoop. I said human and not because in the desert dunes and in the marshy areas in which we will happen to move, we may come across non-aggressive animals that we can freely hunt to obtain skins or other “junk” to be resold to the trader on duty, as in predators such as crocodiles, tigers, lions, hyenas, but also hippos and bad omen. Everything will do broth for the acquisition of experience points and materials for the enhancement of the “armor” of our hero.

As already mentioned, the secondary quests are a great way to gain experience, but also to freely explore the world at our disposal, discover new places, whether they are cities, oases, shelters or lairs of dangerous animals, or synchronize at specific points with the symbol of the eagle that will also serve us as references for quick travels from one point to another on the map (obviously they could not miss) will bring XP that will make us level up and guarantee us, for each new level reached, a point to spend in a special tree dedicated to Bayek’s abilities. Said tree will basically have three branches: “Seer” relating to the skills that can be considered stealth, “Hunter” dedicated to skills with the bow and, in general, to combat from a distance and “Warrior” which, as you can easily guess, will be related to the hand-to-hand combat of our protagonist. Full freedom of choice of the skills you want to get before others, as well as full freedom of choice you will have in the approach to missions.

Whenever you approach a specific “hot” area, you can use your trusty Senu eagle to fly over enemies’ heads and record their position or that of any other points of interest (such as treasures or commodities). An interesting and comfortable marker, given that the areas are very large and being able to do everything in silence without invaluable help from the other would probably have been too difficult.

With the location of the enemies and points of interest in mind it will be possible to develop always different and varied attack strategies, also thanks to the variety of your arsenal, leading to always giving the pleasure of playing the various quests, whether primary or secondary.

Exploration is also an important point in AC Origins, whether it is on foot, on the back of a camel, riding a lightning steed or thanks to a (unlikely) very fast boat, it does not matter, with many areas to discover and treasures to be obtained (beyond the intrinsic beauty that certain segments of desert or visions of the city will be able to give you during the adventure) in search of this or that piece useful to finally enhance the pieces of your armor or to hunt for a weapon that can really make a difference, or why not, even a large sum to spend in the merchants of the various cities between mounts, more or less elaborate clothes and weapons of attack and defense. Go and explore!

How has the combat system changed?

With a game approach so changed and strongly oriented to the open world RPG, with many types of short / medium / long range weapons and pieces of armor to upgrade, keeping the old combat system would not have been a good choice and so here too Ubisoft shuffled the cards, unleashing a “classic” combat system for the genre, if you like, but totally innovative for the Assassin’s Creed saga. Normal shots, powerful and charged shots, shield, dodges, parries and an adrenaline bar that once filled will allow us to perform an “ultra” attack (which can also be upgraded from the appropriate skill tree) are just some of the elements that make the approach to combat totally new in this new chapter of the saga.

The enemy’s health bar and, as always, the level are two elements that you will do well to always keep in mind before launching into a fight, in order not to incur continuous repeated deaths.

Look for fair battles, enemies too far from your current level will trample your hero and your dignity as a gamer without too many worries, too low level enemies will not give you any satisfaction in combat ending up with extreme ease.

All good in this Assassin’s Creed Origins?

Nì. Because if from the gameplay side this new Assassin’s Creed defends itself well and goes to the attack of all the competition, from the technical side it discovers a bit the side (we tried the PS4 version) to the blows of the age of a not brand new graphics engine, with imperfect facial animations, some avoidable interpenetration and some excessively not very fluid movements. Bayek moves in space in a much better way than the previous protagonists of the series did, but even here, despite everything, maybe we could do even better.

It couldn’t have been better from an audio point of view, with splendid sounds and music and with a fantastic dubbing entirely in Italian which, once downloaded as an add-on from the store at the first start of the game as it is not present on disc, will delight your ears. In this respect, Ubisoft mom never denies herself.

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