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Letters from the Front

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In Assassin’s Creed: Origins you play as Bayek, Egypt’s last medjay, whose grim tale of personal revenge soon spreads into a quest to get rid of Egypt’s corrupt and powerful figures who operates behind the curtains. Bayek isn’t just an Assassin but also a detective of sorts: investigating and stalking his targets, then sneaking his way into their hiding spots, and finally putting an end to them. His quest takes from Siwa to the great and historical landmarks of Alexandria, the Great Pyramids of Giza, and beyond, and also along the way he gets to meet historical figures like Cleopatra.

Ancient Egypt is absolutely breathtaking and I spent alot of my time just soaking in the sights of this once far away land ( I actually forgot to play the game at some points.) , some regions of the map are expansive deserts or open seas that are devoid of life except for the wildlife. Towns and cities are bustling with life. There’s plenty of dangerous and harmless animals that range from flamingos to crocs and hippos, the attention to detail doesn’t just go beneath the sea, it’s everywhere and it is truly a living and lively world  that is full of things to see and do. Did I mention it’s big? After 15 hours of playtime ( I still haven’t completed the main quest, I’m doing side quests and searching for tombs.) , there is still alot to do and everything you do feels fresh and exciting unlike other Ubisoft games. Origins is a big world and Ubisoft really hit it out of the park.

One thing I don’t like about the world itself is how it’s divided in sections. It’s an MMO style, with different regions appropriate for your level. Let’s say you’re a level 14, and cross the border into the another region that happens to be for Level 20-25, well, good luck and I hope you make it out of there. No matter how many skills you have and how good your armor is, you won’t stand a chance against an enemy: they will automatically insta-kill you. This gives difficulty out, but I don’t really like it. I wish they took an approach similar to games like Fallout or Ghost Recon where you can go anywhere and do anything without the need to limit yourself.

While I don’t care for the MMO inspired world creation, I didn’t feel like it would bother me that much. There are always level-appropriate locations to visit, explore, collect, fight, whatever have you. For the first time in a very long time at least when it comes to Ubisoft games, the world is filled with things to do that isn’t an overabundance or going overboard like in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate or Far Cry where the map looked bloated. There are plenty of things for you to do as you go from quest to quest and they all feel like they come to you naturally, for example: You’re on your horse walking through the desert and you just happen to stumble upon a town, someone giving you a quest, or just stumbling upon a tomb. It doesn’t feel over-stuffed and that’s a great thing.

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Ubisoft knows that we love being sidetracked, and there’s alot of them in Origins. Some are large forts while others are small outposts with patrolling Roman guards and captains and commanders. Raiding and taking the fort is always fun because you never know what could happen: An animal might come and help you or reinforcements might arrive to help the enemy and take you down or the sandstorm coming in, and no camp assaults feel the same.

Besides the forts, there are Gladiator fights and chariot races, several types of radiant quests, and a couple of arenas that are scattered around. One of my favorite things outside of the gladiator fights is the tombs and to find treasure maps. First you have to find the scrolls yourself, then decipher a riddle which points to loot and other goodies on other parts of the map. The tombs are really great too, it’s just exploration and going through the Pharaoh’s resting areas.

Helping you in your journey is your trusty and faithful pal, Senu,an ever-present eagle whose eyes you can look through as he circles overhead. If you take a quick peek through Senu’s eyes can give you enemy positions, tag wildlife, treasures, and infiltration positions. If you unlock some skills, those skills will grant you to use Senu as a distraction, as he can distract and harass enemies and also can show you the future plot of an enemy’s path. He’s a useful companion.

The combat in Origins is completely different to that of earlier installments and it’s very similar to that of the Witcher. It’s based around blocking, dodging, and attacks depending on speed and the type of weapon you’re using. I don’t really like the combat because it sometimes feels weird; dodging in particular feels weird as sometimes it doesn’t work as intended when you lock onto enemies. Sometimes I died because of the dodging didn’t work, overall I prefer this combat over the combat from past Assassin’s Creed games.

Wrap up:

Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a fantastic game that comes with a great setting, new and familiar systems that blend together for a pretty good prequel to the original Assassin’s Creed. Stay tuned for my review.

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