Sit on the shore for a while, and you may see a crocodile chance its luck against a hippo in the shallow waters. Take pause at the precipice of a craggy canyon, and you might catch a wandering villager below get jumped by a passing trio of hyenas. Trot past a farm, and you could find a scattering of animal corpses at your feet, ripe for the (loot) picking, a local bandit – or rogue predator – having already moved on to the next target.
People go about their daily lives here; they shop, talk, argue, hunt, travel, work, cook, live and die. You can get involved if you want – as saint or sinner, it’s your choice – but it’s not obligatory: life, and death, persists with or without your interference. From the highest mountain to the lowest sunken treasure, every inch of Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Egypt is breathtaking in scope and scale.
We're very proud of what we have so far. As a new studio, we tried something different and new
Vince Zampella Game Programmer
It’s to Ubisoft’s credit that the sun-bleached stones and lush, vibrant flora have become so par for the course for an Assassin’s Creed game that it’s simply expected now, and we perhaps don’t give Creed’s astonishing environments the acclaim they deserve. You owe it to yourself to get out into that world and explore.
it’s what the in-game photo mode was made for. Sure, we all have hot takes on the bugs and glitches of Creed games past; the tropes and mistakes have dominated column inches and Reddit posts in recent years, perhaps prompting Ubisoft to dampen its hitherto fervent release schedule. But sit back and take in the view, Assassin; overlooking Origins’ stunning sets does a disservice to the series in more ways than one.
The real magic lies not in its main story, but in the secrets skilfully scaffolded into the vignettes and shadows around it. Ubisoft has always led from the front with this, with both the Assassin and Far Cry series painting huge digital playgrounds for us to play in, but never has it tried anything with this kind of scale before.Yes, there’s Pyramids, but there’s so much more here; for every rich, opulent town you encounter, there’s a dozen scrublands, swamps, deserts, plantations, tombs and farms to explore, not to mention the bloodshed of the arenas, or the adrenaline-fuelled chariot racing of the Hippodrome.
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You might not feel like exploring when you first step into protagonist Bayek’s shoes, though. The map is huge, and as you traipse through Siwa and head to Alexandria, you’ll wonder what the hell you’re doing, taking on a game so huge. As you race through territories guarded by enemies that are level 28 to your novice level 5, it’s all too easy to feel swamped; the odds seem stacked against you.Stick with it, Assassin. Leading man Bayek’s story is a heartfelt one, a tale of rage and revenge and the endless pursuit of Doing The Right Thing while taking on people who do anything but. If you paid attention to history in school (or watched Horrible Histories, we suppose) there are names you’ll recognise amongst Origins’ cast, and Bayek’s affable charm and easy manner make him one of Creed’s most likable leads, a principled.