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Assassin’s Creed Origins opinion by Ivar

I have been interested in history since elementary school. My favorite time periods were the eras of the ancient Roman Empires and the Vikings. The latter due to my own Scandinavian and Germanic ancestry. Anyhow, the Roman Empire had my main focus, due to them being so progressive (albeit due to annexing other cultures such as the Greeks and Egyptians) and I read dozens of books about their culture, heritage and conquests. One of their most influential states was the one of Aegyptus, currently known as Egypt.

 

Egypt has a long history and back in 3100 BC their first Pharaoh rose to power after the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. The power of Egypt fell in the hands of the pharaoh’s and their ancestors, which created a lot of different dynasties. When the Macedonians, under the leadership Alexander the Great, invaded Egypt, they took over the power and created their own dynasty. Aided by the Romans the Egyptian/Greek “Pharaoh” Cleopatra took over power in 47 BC and eventually Egypt was claimed by the Roman Empire in 30 BC, naming the state Aegyptus. Aegyptus remained part of the Roman Empire even after the Empire was divided until 541 AC.

Origins is set in ancient Egypt in an open world, free to be roamed by the player at will.

The pyramids are a sight to behold, and frankly are mostly associated with ancient Egypt. However the building of these magnificent objects was stopped for a few centuries between 2300 BC and 2200 BC. It resumed for 200 years in 2000 BC and the last pyramid was built between 1800 and 1700 BC. This means that Cleopatra lived closer to our age than the creation of most of the pyramids we know today!
The Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza were actually built back between 2600 and 2500 BC, 4500 years ago!

Assassin’s Creed Origins brings us back in time to the period I just described. The age of ancient civilizations where the inhabitants of the most famous empires in human history fought for survival and existence. Empires which were built on mythology, ancestry, religion and above all else: Honor. From what we saw in the trailer, the game takes place during the time period of either the Greek or Roman overrule of Egypt. I am almost one hundred percent sure the game brings us to the Roman era, due to the obvious roman influences of Gladiators, clothing and above all, the roman shields we can see on one of the ships.

This image clearly shows Roman shields on the side of the ship.

Enough about the setting, let’s talk gameplay. Gone are the wait to strike and counter gameplay elements, and they have been replaced by a brand new combat system. Having looked at Prince of Persia (will get back to this later on), the Witcher and Dark Souls, the game is way more based around parrying, dodging and speed, just as in real life. No longer will enemies wait to attack, but now you can easily be killed by a larger amount of guards as they will attack randomly and at the same time. Inspired by Assassin’s Creed Unity, the player can now choose different weaponry and change his or her playstyle accordingly. Using bows, knives, swords, spears or other weapons, the player will defeat not only humans, but also hunt animals and fight mythical creatures! Mythical creatures are brand new to the series and paves the way for a more “fantasy” approach of the franchise. Don’t worry though, as this is absolutely not the case!

According to Kotaku (2017), Origins marks the start of an entirely new trilogy, in which the player will visit Egypt, Italy and Greece during the ancient times when Rome fought for power in the Mediterranean area. A personal preference would be to also see Persia (Iraq and Syria) during this era, and it would of course be an ode to the original game series (and the 2010 movie, which I loved) which started the Assassin’s Creed franchise: Prince of Persia. Anyway, the series goes back to the roots, actually, it will literally show us the origins of the Assassins. Origins will explore an unseen time and area in the series, returning to simpler but deadlier weaponry, armor and focusing on stealth and parkour, just like the original game.

Promotional poster for the movie Prince of Persia from 2010.

Not much is known about the story yet, although it will tell about the first clashes between the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templar Order. The protagonist of the game will be called Bayek, a skilled warrior who is trained in the fighting by the Assassin Brotherhood. He originally wields a bow, spear, sword and a shield and according to the playstyle of the player, Bayek will grow stronger in that playstyle due to the brand new skill system. This system makes the game more like a Role Playing Game and is inspired by games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Witcher. For me this makes it even more to be excited about, plus the gigantic open world to roam free!

Finally, I just want to say that I am really glad that Ubisoft took Assassin’s Creed in this direction. It is my favorite time period and it explores an area only explored in some Fantasy games and Strategy games. The open world, new skill system, the focus on stealth and parkour will make this game for me the most anticipated in the series, and I personally think they will bring back the series to the place it belongs: professional, great quality and above all an experience to never forget!

 

 

Sources:
DenofGeek
Kotaku
PCGamer

 

Ivar Jens Harald Blaauw

Writer, Editor and Blogger at MyCreed Global and Cosplay. Cosplayer, writer and artist in my spare time.