Assassin’s Creed wouldn’t have spawned 19 videogames, a feature film and a stack of comics and novels in a decade if it wasn’t a good franchise. Ever since Ubisoft’s first game on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in November 2007 people all around the world have loved Assassin’s Creed, but recently the franchise has fallen into a slump with many critics referring to the disappointment of seemingly ever second major title being a curse that could only be broken if Ubisoft slowed down the release schedule.
With Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) as a huge success (and one of my favourite games of all-time), followed by Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014) being poorly received and the most recent Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (2015) being well loved again, it certainly seemed as though it was time for another forgettable flop from the Montreal based developers, but with no major release in 2016, Ubisoft broke the trend and waited for Assassin’s Creed: Origins to release last weekend as hopefully another major success.
Let’s break it down:
The freshest take on the Assassins versus Templars story since the original game, Assassin's Creed Origins tells Bayek's story brilliantly while still managing to tie all the previous games and even the movie into the continuity.
As much as good RPG gameplay doesn't always lend itself to good character development, both Bayek as the ancient Egyptian protagonist and the modern protagonist (and the frachise's first female lead) Layla Hassan are portrayed beautifully in various cut-scenes, dialogue and extra lore elements in addition to the gameplay itself.
I really can't say too much about this one, it's a game that I really love playing.
Beautiful landscapes, no major graphical glitches and the potential for insane 4K visuals if you've got the hardware for it.
For an RPG with a character, story and world-building focus like this, the most important thing the soundtrack can do is blend into the experience in such a way that it enhances everything else without pulling focus itself. I couldn't tell you any stand-out highlights, I just know that it does the job beautifully.
Fans have wanted Ancient Egypt in the Assassin's Creed franchise for ages, setting it outside the usual Abstergo, Templars and Assassins structure makes it that much better.
By no means perfect, but every gameplay and story change from previous entries in the franchise is an improvement, especially the combat and the introduction of Senu to scout without needing to climb everything and synchronise all the time. No complaints from me.
For the 10th major installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise, it's genuinely impressive how original Origins feels compared to the other games that have come before.
This is a true open world RPG that shares the same continuity of the other Assassin's Creed games and media, rather than yet another Assassin's Creed game.
Hunting, crafting, weapon styles, combat and the world itself all feel totally fresh and all of them for the better.
No co-op or multiplayer options to make this accessible to friends, but as a Single Player RPG the difficulty levels and freshness of the story make this a game that anyone can pick up and play without any existing knowledge or prior experience. Even the micro-transactions and app tie-ins are impressively subtle compared to other titles.
I would have written this review sooner, but I just wanted to keep playing a while longer...
Whether the 2016 movie counts as the disappointment, the extra year of development proves the theory or this game is really the curse breaker, the important thing is that it is absolutely one of the best games of the Assassin's Creed franchise and more than likely a game of the year contender!