Action-Adventure Video Game – Assassin's Creed: Origins
Assassin's Creed is one of modern gaming's greatest franchises. Allowing players to take the role of various elite assassins throughout history, the series has ranged from medieval times to ancient Egypt and racked up massive sales worldwide. The PlayStation 3 original alone has sold 5 million copies, and with 10 different games in the series, it's become a marketing phenomenon.
The franchise was created and is still made by Ubisoft. It features first person action, with heavy use of stealth and a generous dose of character interaction and general fighting. Mixing complex narratives, smooth combat and good old fashioned role playing, it's no surprise that Assassin's Creed has a cult following.
Assassin's Creed: Origins is the latest instalment in the series, and the release date was October 27, 2017 for Windows PCs, the PS4, and the Xbox One.
Destined to be one of the most critically acclaimed and popular titles of 2017, it offers an origin story of how the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Order of the Ancients came to war throughout history. If you've been hooked to the saga, it's a must-buy title. Read on to find out more about the game, how to buy it, and how to make the right purchase for your situation.
A Quick Recap of the Assassin's Creed Saga
Before we talk about the plot of Assassin's Creed, we really need to introduce the general series a little bit more. Confusingly, Origins is – as the name suggests – a prequel to other games in the franchise, so we need to know what happens afterwards to make sense of the story being told.
Put simply, the core of the game is an ongoing conflict between a group called the Assassins (that's you), and the Templars (your nemesis), which has been continuing since shadowy ancient forces were decimated in a solar storm.
It's not quite that simple, though. The story begins with a Science-Fiction scenario involving a company called Abstergo Industries, who are seeking the “Pieces of Eden” – artefacts from history that are charged with the power of the ancients.
Abstergo have already created a device called the “Animus”, with which people can return to their genetic ancestors and relive their experiences, with the aim of finding the Pieces of Eden.
Abstergo are also associated with the Templars, in that they want to dominate the world, and they are kidnapping people in the present who may hold the key to finding their holy artefacts. At the same time, descendants of the Assassins are mobilising to defeat them and free the world.
The Assassin's Creed games generally involve gamers harnessing the Animus to enter historical situations. For instance, the first game sent players back to the Crusades; Assassin's Creed II was set in the Renaissance; pirates and the colonial era dominated the third and fourth installments (Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag), while subsequent editions recreated revolutionary France (Assassin's Creed Unity), Imperial China (Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China), 17th century India (Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India), Victorian England (Assassin's Creed Syndicate), the Russian Revolution (Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia) and – with Origins – Ancient Egypt.
How Does Assassin's Creed: Origins Fit Into the Narrative?
Which brings us onto the storyline of Assassin's Creed: Origins. The game is set during the Ptolemaic Kingdom, which succeeded Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt. You play a “Medjay” – basically a bodyguard of the Pharaoh, at a time of political chaos, when Cleopatra is rising to the throne and the Romans are on the sidelines, ready to pounce.
The idea is that the two player-controlled characters, Bayek and Aya, use the turbulence to become the very first Assassins, in conflict with forces that are causing the chaos they have to confront.
That's a very simple reduction of the plot. As you'll find out, there's another layer involving researchers in the present day and plenty of adventures in Egypt for Bayek and Aya to experience. By the end, without giving anything away, the Asssassin's Creed is taking shape and gamers will have a much clearer idea of how later episodes came to be.
The Critical Response to Assassin's Creed: Origins
But what have the experts made of the action-RPG Assassin's Creed: Origins? Well, respected gaming site IGN praised the diversity of the environments created by the developers and the depth of the role-playing aspects, as well as the moral complexity of many of the situations and the fact that this features a bigger game world than previous editions.
Trusted Reviews were almost as positive about the game, pointing to the imaginative setting and graphics and the quality of Bayek as a leading character with his humour, tragic situation, and general humanity. They also noted the quality of the side quests and the general slickness of the title, even compared with previous Assassin's Creed games.
Finally, Gamespot also praised the game's idea of returning to the saga's “roots” and the intelligent way that the return to Egypt actually allows Ubisoft to launch a whole new narrative set in the present day. The reviewer noted that some locations were a little too similar, leading to patches of low-intensity gameplay, but remained absorbed to the end – so it can't have been that bad.
Assassin's Creed: Origins – Live Action Trailer
Assassin's Creed: Origins: How the Gameplay Works
Now we come to the all-important part of the buyer's guide: the gameplay. As with all previous Assassin's Creed titles, you control a central character from a third-person perspective. This helps you to execute the game's complex jumps and rolls, allowing you to evade attackers and remain as stealthy as possible – key aspects of the game's appeal.
In classic RPG style, the game centres around completing quests (and side quests), which earn you experience points, skills, and the right to move onto harder quests that advance the narrative in an open world. But don't get the impression that you are tied to specific locations. Although quests are central to the gameplay, you can wander around Ancient Egypt at will, meet non-player characters, uncover tombs and loots and even ride camels, if that's what you'd like to do.
Players also have a pet eagle called Senu, who can be used to soar above the action, literally providing a bird's eye view of the world – which comes in handy when tracking enemies. Some animals can be tamed, then used as quasi-weapons, becoming an essential ally for some key battles.
Combat has been tinkered with, replacing the previous “paired animation system” with a much more flexible “hit box”-based mechanic. Now, knowing how your character and weapons perform at close quarters will be much more important and, in theory, combat should be much more satisfying.
Another change is the addition of Arena Mode. Throughout the game, players will have the chance to enter the arena, where they can fight a wave of adversaries, followed by a formidable boss, with the pay-off being experience points and enhanced abilities.
Different Ways to Buy Assassin's Creed Origins
As with most contemporary video games, you'll have a range of options when buying Assassin's Creed: Origins, some of which are great for basic, novice gamers, and others that appeal mainly to collectors. Here are the major bundles to consider:
Standard Edition – As the name indicates, the Standard Edition is the most basic by far, only including the core game, and no extra missions. You can either purchase it for digital download or in hard copy format.
Deluxe Edition – The Deluxe Edition is a major step up compared to the Standard Edition because it comes with a couple of extra missions (adding hours of gameplay): the Secrets of the Pyramids, and Ambush at Sea. It also features the Desert Cobra Pack, which adds more costumes and weapons, as well as the Fanos horse companion and the legendary snake shield.
Gold Edition – Moving up from the Deluxe Edition, the Gold Edition includes everything you'd get with the Deluxe version, as well as a Season Pass, which means you will be able to download future expansions as they become available. Ubisoft are on record as promising many expansions for the game relatively soon after its release, so the Season Pass should come in handy for those who love the game.
Gold Steelbook Edition – Delivers the Gold Edition, as well as an attractive Steelbook which makes it much more attractive for committed fans of the Assassin's Creed saga.
Prices vary massively between the different editions. For example, expect the Standard Edition to cost less than £50, while the Steelbook Edition could be more than double the price at first. Some fans will happily pay the extra to complete their collections, but for people who simply want to play the game, it's not really an expense worth paying.
Merchants like Amazon and GAME also sell Xbox One bundles with Assassin's Creed: Origins and other titles as part of the deal. If you're planning an upgrade from older Xbox systems (or even to the Xbox One S), keep an eye out for these bundles at HotUKDeals.
Remember that Season Passes aren't cheap. They range in price, making the Gold Edition much more appealing. Not everyone will need to access to add-ons as they are released, but those who get into the storyline almost certainly will. If you haven't bought a version with a pass, though, don't panic. You should be able to find Season Passes in the future for much less at HotUKDeals.
Minimum and Recommended Specifications for the Windows PC Version
Assassin's Creed: Origins is a fairly sophisticated piece of software, so unfortunately not everyone's computer will have the abilities needed to get the most out of it. Here are the minimum specifications that Ubisoft recommend:
Operating system: Windows 7 and upwards
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2400s or 3.9GHz AMD FX-6350
CPU: 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-3770 or 4GHz AMD FX-8350
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD R9 280X
Video resolution: 1080p
How Does the Multiplayer System Work in Assassin's Creed Origins?
Unfortunately, Ubisoft chose to continue the tradition of avoiding a multiplayer mode for Assassin's Creed: Origins, so you won't be able to sneak up on your friends and assassinate them in the courtyards of ancient Alexandria.
Some instalments in the Assassin's Creed series have also allowed two players to play cooperatively, but that's not included with Origins, either. So put away that extra Xbox controller and focus on helping each other get Bayek through his adventures.
Are There Any Add-Ons For Assassin's Creed: Origins?
Yes there will be, so don't worry about extending the gameplay. Ubisoft have committed to introducing a range of new adventures and characters as DLC content (downloadable content). To access them, you'll need a season pass, though, so be sure to get hold of one as cheaply as possible. As far as we know, the DLC add-ons include:
The Roman Centurion pack – Released just after the main game, this pack allows players to take control of a Roman soldier during the conquest of Egypt via a new outfit, a new horse and a couple of new weapons.
The Horus pack – Similar to the Centurion Pack, this pack beefs up your assassin by providing assistance from the God Horus – adding weapons, outfits, a mount and a shield to your portfolio.
The Hidden Ones – Due for release in 2018, the Hidden Ones will introduce a completely new set of adventures during the Roman conquest, as Bayek fights the invading forces.
The Curse of the Pharaohs – Scheduled to be the second DLC release of 2018, Curse of the Pharoahs brings some exotic supernatural monsters into the mix as Bayek tries to understand how they are coming to life.
However, even if you don't have a Season Pass, there should be some add-ons that cost nothing. For example, Ubisoft are introducing a quirky “Discovery Tour” of Egypt's monuments. Trial of the Gods will allow you to take on monsters (and possibly compete with other players during timed events). There will be free side quests from the Nomad's Bazaar, while Horde Mode will let you practice against huge armies of enemies. So don't assume that Season Passes are completely essential - it looks like even Standard Edition owners will be able to enjoy additional content in 2018.
What Age Range is the Game Suitable For? Are There Any Alternatives for Younger Gamers?
One of the things to remember about Origins is that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board have given it a 17+ “mature” rating due to “Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol”. Parents should therefore exercise caution before buying it for kids.
If you aren't keen on letting your children explore such a brutal game world, alternatives include Sea of Thieves for the Xbox One and – even more wholesome – Disneyland Adventures. Platformers like Sonic Forces, or even Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch are also worth considering.
What About Assassin's Creed Origins Merchandise?
Assassin's Creed is a merchandising machine – with hundreds of products launched to coincide with the latest edition. If you're looking to buy a gift for a fan of the series, options abound, including:
The Assassin's Creed Movie – Starring Michael Fassbender and set in 15th century Spain, the movie was confusing for some, but actually quite successful. You can grab it on DVD or download it with ease.
Bayek's Shield branded apparel – Bayek's Shield has become the brand icon of the new game, and Ubisoft have attached it to stylish t-shirts, caps, hoodies, dress shirts and jackets.
Jewellery – Ubisoft have also come up with some mystical Assassin's Creed branded necklaces and bracelets, allowing gamers to get even deeper into the game's exotic atmosphere.
Figurines – Merchants like GAME have a huge array of Assassin's Creed figurines and posters, and you can expect to find Aya and Bayek there as well as heroes from previous games.
How to Purchase Assassin's Creed: Origins and Save Money
Assassin's Creed: Origins keeps the standard of the legendary franchise as high as ever, offering a fascinating story, stealth-driven gameplay, humorous characters, and a massive game world that begs to be explored. But what's the best way to get hold of this path-breaking game?
Well, first off decide which bundle you want, and whether you need a Season Pass as part of the deal. The Gold Edition comes with a pass, but some merchants may add a pass with the Standard Edition as a special offer. Always check the listings to see whether any combo deals are running.
Secondly, start comparing prices from the UK's biggest gaming merchants. At HotUKDeals, we make it easy to compare prices across the board, with the latest discounts from companies like Amazon, Currys, Tesco Direct, ShopTo, Very, GAME, and Smyths. If someone is discounting Origins, our members will let you know.
It might also be worth hanging on for sales periods, when both the game and passes come down in price such as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The January Sales may well see even bigger bargains start to appear and by the time Amazon Prime Day rolls around, all kinds of add-ons could be on offer as well.
Finally, it's worth stressing that Origins complements the whole series, which is available in box set form. To really understand the narrative, it helps to play the whole thing, and HotUKDeals makes it easy to get hold of every title for less.
Adventure Game for Less – Assassin's Creed: Origins Offers at HotUKDeals
Ubisoft have come up with a worthy prequel to their wildly successful Assassin's Creed series in the form of Origins, which takes gamers back to Ancient Egypt, and features days of intense, rewarding role-playing action. Whether you're an Xbox, PlayStation or Windows user, you can find one of the year's biggest games for less at the HotUKDeals Assassin's Creed: Origins listings.
Posted 12th JulPosted 12th Jul
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