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Assassin's Creed: Origins is the tenth main installment in the Assassin's Creed series developed by Ubisoft. The game was released worldwide on October 27, 2017.

Development

Ubisoft Montreal is the lead development studio on Origins, with the team comprising many of the people that previously worked on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Ubisoft Sofia, Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Chengdu, Ubisoft Bucharest, Ubisoft Kiev and the Sperasoft studio are also collaborating on the development of the game.[1]

Due to the setting being further back in time than previous entries in the franchise, history books did not always suffice as reference. To compensate, Maxime Durand worked closely with various historians and Egyptian experts to fill in the blanks where needed. In some cases, the lack of reference meant the Art team had to create the look and overall feel of what Ancient Egypt would have been like at the time.[1]

A new Artificial Intelligence framework was also created from the ground up, since the developers wanted the non-player characters, both human and animal, to have their own agenda and activities. Full day cycles were created to make the world feel dynamic and alive.[1]

To refine how the game displayed colors, the team designed a new color-grading feature to help them create specific and unique color ambiances. They also used satellite images of Egypt to fine-tune the colors for the ground and the vegetation and make them as realistic as possible.[1]

Another visual aspect that received a lot of attention was lighting; the developers studied technical documentation from NASA to better understand how airborne particles impact lighting. Similarly, they looked at the ways in which different sediments refract light to realistically depict different types of water, which can communicate to the player what kinds of wildlife they might encounter in it.[1]

Plot

Setting

The player takes on the role of a Medjay named Bayek and his wife Aya, as they work to protect the people of the Ptolemaic Kingdom during a time of widespread upheaval: the Pharaoh, Ptolemy XIII, struggles to maintain his rule whilst harbouring ambitions of expanding his kingdom; his sister, the recently deposed Cleopatra, begins marshalling loyalist forces to launch a counter-coup against Ptolemy; and frequent incursions into the Kingdom by the Roman Republic under the command of Julius Caesar lead to fears of an imminent invasion. Bayek's role as a Medjay brings him and Aya into contact with the secretive forces manipulating these events and into becoming the first Assassins.

Synopsis

In the present day, Layla Hassan, a researcher at Abstergo's Historical Research Division, is tasked along with her friend and co-worker Deanna Geary with finding and retrieving an artifact in Egypt. However, she instead finds a tomb containing the mummies of ancient Assassins Bayek and Aya. Hoping to find any relevant information that would secure her a position in the company's Animus Project, Layla decides to relive both Bayek and Aya's memories using her modified Animus without telling her superiors, despite Deanna's protest.

In 49 B.C.E., Bayek, a respected Medjay in charge of protecting the Siwa Oasis, is abducted along with his son Khemu by a group of five masked men to an underground vault in the Temple of Amun. The masked men give Bayek a golden orb and demand that he use it to open a secret Vault. Khemu helps Bayek escape, but during the struggle to kill one of the masked men, Bayek is made to inadvertently stabs Khemu in the chest, killing him.

One year later, in 48 B.C.E., Bayek had exiled himself from Siwa in order to track down the five masked men to take his revenge. He finds the first one, Rudjek "The Heron", and kills him. Bayek then returns to Siwa to kill the local priest Medunamun, "The Ibis", who has been torturing Siwans for information to open the same vault. After, killing Medunamun, Bayek then heads for Alexandria, where Aya has been tracking another of the masked men. Upon meeting Aya, she reveals that she has already killed Actaeon "The Vulture" and Ktesos "The Ram", leaving only one target left, "The Snake". Aya also reveals that she has been working with Apollodorus the Sicilian and Cleopatra to uncover The Snake's identity. She gives Bayek the very first Hidden Blade which he uses to track down and kill Eudoros, who he believes to be the "Snake" in a bathhouse. Killing Eudoros costed Bayek his left ring finger, cut off from the same hidden blade to kill his target.

Bayek remembers Eudoros' words and begins to have doubts. He decides to meet with Apollodorus and Cleopatra for answers. Cleopatra tells Bayek that she was ousted from the throne by the masked men, who call themselves the Order of the Ancients and seek to control all of Egypt by using Ptolemy as their puppet. In addition, there are more members of Order than the five Bayek and Aya had already killed: "The Scarab", "The Hyena", "The Lizard", and "The Crocodile". In fact, Eudoros was actually "The Hippo", and the name of the Snake is used to refer to the Order as a whole. Confronted with this new information, Bayek agrees to become Cleopatra's Medjay and assassinate the remaining members of the Order. Bayek eventually tracks down and kills all of them while Aya convinces Pompey the Great to ally with Cleopatra.

Back in the present, Layla and Deanna are attacked by Abstergo soldiers for failing to check in with the company. Layla is able to kill her attackers, but Deanna is captured and presumably executed. Swearing revenge, Layla returns to the Animus, determined to complete her mission.

Bayek receives a letter from Aya explaining that there are two more members of the Order, "The Scorpion" and "The Jackal", who are members of Ptolemy's royal guard and the likely culprits responsible for Khemu's death. He finds out that Lucius Septimius is the Jackal and tracks him, but is too late to stop him from assassinating Pompey. With no other options, Cleopatra has Bayek and Aya help sneak her into the palace in order to meet Julius Caesar. Cleopatra is able to impress Caesar and secure his support. Bayek manages to kill Pothinus, "The Scorpion", but is stopped from killing Septimius by Caesar, while Aya watches Ptolemy get eaten by crocodiles when he tries to flee across the Nile.

After the end of the civil war, Cleopatra takes the throne as Pharaoh. Septimius becomes an advisor for Caesar and Cleopatra cuts ties with Bayek and Aya. This causes Bayek and his supporters to realize that Cleopatra and Caesar have now allied themselves with the Order. Realizing his mistake in supporting Cleopatra, Bayek gathers all of the allies he has made and decides to form a brotherhood to counter the Order and defend the free will of the common people. Bayek and Aya then realize that the Order showed a strong interest in the tomb of Alexander the Great and they go to investigate. There, they find a mortally wounded Apollodorus who warns them that Caesar's lieutenant, Flavius, is "The Lion" and the true leader of the Order. He and Septimius had taken the Orb and a Staff from the tomb and are heading back to Siwa for the Vault.

Upon returning to Siwa, they find the Vault already opened. He tracks down and confronts Flavius, who now bears the activated Apple of Eden, but Bayek is able to defeat and kill him, finally avenging Khemu's death. Bayek then returns to Aya, who has recruited Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger and Gaius Cassius Longinus to their cause. She plans to head to Rome with Brutus and Cassius to assassinate Caesar and Septimius. Bayek and Aya decide to part ways, but form the foundation of the Assassin Brotherhood when they both swear to protect the world from the shadows. Upon their seperation, Bayek drops his eagle's skull charm, a necklace of Khemu's, into the sand which leaves an impression, becoming the icon of their new Brotherhood.

After this, Layla wakes up from the Animus to find William Miles, present day Mentor of the Assassin Brotherhood, watching over her. She accepts William's offer to work with the Assassins but stops short of actually joining them as a member, and the two depart for Alexandria.

In Rome, Aya confronts Septimius, who wields the Staff of Eden, and she defeats and kills him. She then infiltrates the Roman Senate and assassinates Caesar. Later, she meets with Cleopatra and warns her to be a fair ruler or she will return to assassinate her. Afterwards, Bayek and Aya (now calling herself Amunet) begin recruiting and training other Assassins as they build the Assassin Brotherhood in Egypt and Rome respectively.

Gameplay

Location and navigation

ACO Full Map

Assassin's Creed: Origins full map

Origins’ map encompasses Lower Egypt and eastern Libya, which can be explored seamlessly without encountering loading screens, and has been described to be "the size of Black Flag’s Caribbean, but on the ground".[2] Players will be able to visit major cities such as Giza, Memphis, Cyrene and Alexandria, as well as various smaller villages and settlements in Faiyum and the Nile Delta.[1]

Unlike previous Assassin's Creed games, Origins will have no mini-map, instead employing an Elder Scrolls-esque compass bar that points the player in the direction of quests and objects of interest.[3] Senu, Bayek's eagle companion, functions as the game's "Eagle Vision", being used to detect and mark enemies. The aerial perspective she brings also allows players to locate treasure chests, crafting resources and hidden passages. As well as this, Senu can be upgraded to distract or attack enemies.[4] Using Senu will not defog parts of the map, this will require the player themselves to step into the fogged area of the map to defog it. Interiors are accessible, and the Library of Alexandria is available for exploration.[5] Although it will not feature the traditional "Eagle Vision", it will feature "Animus Pulse" which will only highlight objects.

As a result of Senu's introduction, viewpoints are no longer primarily used to reveal information about an area and its surroundings. Instead, they serve as a way to increase the eagle's detection capacity.[4] Synchronizing a viewpoint also allows the player to fast travel to it, a mechanic that has carried over from previous games.[3]

Underwater environments return from Black Flag, with players now being able to dive in any sufficiently deep body of water to explore wrecks and underwater ruins in search of loot. Since hostile animals such as crocodiles and hippos inhabit these waters, an underwater melee combat system was also created. In terms of transportation, Bayek can use feluccas to traverse the water, and horses, camels and chariots to travel on land.[3][6]

In addition, there are 20 tombs to explore; some of these are based on real-life locations, while others are fictional. The tombs will contain traps and some light puzzles, but they are, at their core, more about exploration and uncovering treasure.[2] To navigate these darker spaces, Bayek can light torches and even set things on fire.[7]

RPG elements

Much like Syndicate, Origins features a progression system where completing certain actions earns the player experience. Leveling up not only makes Bayek stronger, it also grants ability points that can be spent to unlock skills from the game's ability tree. There are three main branches in this ability tree:[1]

  • Master Warrior, which focuses on melee combat.
  • Master Hunter, which focuses on ranged combat and stealth.
  • Master Seer, which focuses on tools and manipulating the environment.

In addition to skills, there is a full crafting system, based on materials gathered through hunting, which can be used to improve Bayek's equipment, such as the Hidden Blade. This is necessary when assassinating higher level enemies, which will not die from one blow if the Hidden Blade has not been sufficiently upgraded.[1]

Origins also moves away from the mission structure of previous entries in the franchise, instead utilizing quests that the player has to pick up in the open world and can then pursue at their leisure without desynchronizing.[3]

Desert Overheat is another RPG element being introduced with Origins. Essentially players can develop heatstroke due to being in the desert for too long. The system introduces varying effects depending on the severity of Desert Overheat.[8]

Combat

The combat system was completely overhauled for Origins, now utilizing a hitbox system. As a result, positioning, as well as the size and the speed of the equipped weapon, determine whether or not an attack hits. In addition, while a heavier weapon like a mace might deal a lot of damage per strike, it can leave the player open to more counter-attacks than if they were using a light sword. Players can also use Bayek's shield to block enemy attacks or bash opponents to create an opening.[1]

In addition to a revised combat system, there is a new Adrenaline Gauge that builds up energy during combat, giving the player the ability to either unleash devastating finishing moves on their enemy or make Bayek enter a frenzy, during which he is temporarily faster, stronger and more resistant to damage.[3]

Origins features a variety of weapons, including swords, bows, heavy weapons, long weapons, bombs and shields. In total, there are over 150 weapons in the game, ranging in rarity from "common" to "legendary", that all have pros and cons within Origins’s new combat system. Some weapons also have specific attributes, such as a larger chance to deal critical damage or bleed properties.[1] Unarmed melee combat also makes a return from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.

The game will also include boss fights against formidable warriors and strange creatures.[3]

Other

Some features that had been frequently requested by the fanbase were introduced into the game: players will be able to toggle Bayek's hood on and off in the menu screen and multiple save files are making their return after having been absent in Assassin's Creed: Unity and Syndicate.[9] Players can also fast forward to a particular time of day;[10] tackling missions at night, for example, means some of the guards will be asleep, allowing Bayek to sneak through without attracting much attention.[3]

Origins is primarily a single-player experience, but the game will include online features to enhance that experience.[11]

Downloadable and additional content

An additional singleplayer mission, Secrets of the First Pyramids, is available via pre-ordering the game. The Deluxe Pack, included in the Deluxe Edition of game, will give access to the Ambush at Sea mission, 3 bonus ability points and the Desert Cobra Pack.

Legacy outfits, outfits worn by previous Assassin protagonists, will also be available for use in the game.[5]

Ubisoft has also announced a Season Pass, which will include the Calamity Blade weapon and the following content:

More singleplayer DLC that will be added post-launch includes:

  • The Hidden Ones, to be released in January 2018; features Bayek and his Assassins traveling to a new region, the Sinai Peninsula, occupied by a Roman force, several years after the events of Origins.
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs, to be released in March 2018; features Bayek going on a quest that will have him face off against mythological creatures, dead pharaohs and "gods" in the Valley of the Kings.[12]

In addition to the post-launch DLC, Ubisoft has also announced the following content and activities that will be available to all players:

  • Trial of the Gods, which will allow Bayek to face against Egyptian gods in boss battles during special timed events, and receive valuable rewards for victory.
  • Nomad's Bazaar, which sees Reda, a wandering merchant who would provide daily quests for Bayek to complete to earn exotic mystery rewards.
  • Photo Mode, which allows players to capture images and share it with the community directly from the game.
  • Horde Mode, where players will fight endless waves of enemies in the Gladiator Arena.
  • Discovery Tour, which removes all combat and allow players to go on a guided and educated tour on Egypt and its history.[13]

Editions

Ubisoft announced several editions of Assassin's Creed: Origins.

ACO Deluxe Edition
  • A retail copy of Assassin's Creed: Origins.
  • The Deluxe Pack.

ACO Gold Edition
  • A retail copy of Assassin's Creed: Origins.
  • The Deluxe Pack.
  • The Season Pass.

ACO Gods Edition

ACO Dawn of the Creed Edition
  • A retail copy of Assassin's Creed: Origins.
  • A 39cm Bayek & Senu statue.
  • A Bayek eagle skull amulet.
  • A collector's box.
  • A Steelbook case.
  • A copy of the official artbook.
  • A copy of the world map.
  • A copy of the official soundtrack.
  • A two original art cards.
  • The Deluxe Pack.
  • The Season Pass.

ACO Dawn of the Creed Legendary Edition
  • A retail copy of Assassin's Creed: Origins.
  • A 73cm Bayek & Senu statue.
  • A Bayek eagle skull amulet.
  • A collector's box.
  • The Collector’s certificate of authenticity, Numbered 1 to 999.
  • A Steelbook case.
  • A copy of the official artbook.
  • A copy of the world map.
  • A copy of the official soundtrack.
  • A two original art cards.
  • A four large lithographs.
  • The Deluxe Pack.
  • The Season Pass.

Gallery

Appearances

Appearances
By type
Characters Creatures Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sapient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea

Characters

Creatures

Events

Locations

Organizations and titles

Sapient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology

Miscellanea


References

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