lunes, 21 de octubre de 2019

How was Assassin's Creed: Origins?


There are few clearer examples of the constant evolution we can see in different franchises towards the adaptations of RPG elements than what we can find in Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft's saga was turning into one of those representations of the problems of the over exploitation of a certain franchise, with a constant releases rhythm who were too much for the teams who needed to polish and rethink correctly every new era where the games were played. Bugs, players getting tired of the same old mechanics just in a different setting... Assassin's Creed was getting into a dead end and the solution came just stopping a single year (with two minor releases like Assassin's Creed: Chronicles: India and Russia) to change a great part of what the games were, walking to a new era: turning into Stealth ARPGs in a open-world.

That way Assassin's Creed: Origins (PC/PS4/XB1, 2017) was born, a game who was indeed the origin of a new stage for the franchise, closed at the moment with Assassin's Creed: Odyssey but, eventually, might be the root of something completely different like the incoming Gods & Monsters, that will be released next year. So, this title was a new key part of what will be the path that is walking Unisoft right now, making it so interesting to be covered even now. After all, this was the game who turned around that series who was born in 2007 and landed like a storm in the past generation.

The premise of Assassins Creed: Origins let us play as Bayek of Siwa and at times his wife Aya of Siwa in Ancient Egypt from 49 B.C.E. to 47 B.C.E. They are two Medjay, an ancient order that protects Egypt whose son was killed and you carry out the assassinations of his killers, crossing great part of the old empire, now parte of Rome, getting drawn into a large conspiracy.

The main character, for everything he experiences, is a fun character to watch develop and deal with the position he is in. Bayek is also a very serious person dedicated to his position, what and adds a sense of respect to him but doesn’t undermine the good he holds. If compared to former Assassin's Creed games, Origins feels and handle different and in a refreshed manner that the series long needed. The stealth is improved for example as it now feels better to sneak around an enemy camp and survey the area. While the AI is still slightly off in its detection of you it’s still an improvement. The night and day cycle actually feel important as visibility is taken into mind by the developers, what makes the element better overall, but still easy.

When stealth isn’t a choice and open combat is started, the feel in this area of the game is greatly improved. Fighting isn’t just block and counterattack anymore, turning into something more refined and the player has to focus and use different styles to win the battles ahead. The character movement in combat is very agile and makes him feel like a trained and refined killer instead of a cheap sell sword as seen in former games.

Each weapon class feels different, meaning a sword and a spear affects the way we can handle each battle, giving the player choices to develop a preference. While this was tried in Assassin's Creed: Unity, it works much better in this game and sits well as a feature. Using bows will also feel better as they are turned into a completely and functional new weapon class that can give us advantage or even decide an assassination without having to walk towards melee combat.

A major downfall of the series was the cluttered maps full of collectables put into boring areas, but Origins map isn’t as cramped and any area with a collectable was unique, however big or small the location. This refinement encouraged exploration of the map, so every player who aims to get as much collectibles as he can doesn't feel like aiming for a boring chore but more of an adventure across Egypt. Here it plays a great part those near of one hundred side quests that maybe feel like too repetitive, as most are like a copy-paste of one another. While it's nice to have so much to do if its done correctly, it's not worth having so many that just feel like a filler.

The main story itself was enjoyable with the good start, middle and an ending, with some plot twists in certain parts. Sadly, it can also feels like too basic, failing to play with the players emotions to any real extent. Outside the main characters, there was no real chance to to be emotionally tied to any other cast member. Even the tragedy about the assassination of the son and how his parents deal with it is hard to be intertwined with. It doesn't help to the whole situation the parts that take us to the present day, who are are completely boring and short lived, failing to recover players interest like when Desmond Miles was the main actor there.

The map itself is big but yet feels empty with its vast desert lands but still it manages to have so much beauty in it. Allowing the players to visit sites like the Pyramids of Giza or the city of Alexandria, Origins world is definitely best looking than the older titles and in built up areas it has so much colour and life to it that it will make us feel like a part of that amazing era. The game allows you to go everywhere straight after the introduction, but the areas range in difficulty and the player soon learns to increase in level and get better gear before going into the more advanced zones. This feature works better as it stops you running from different places too fast and therefore encourages you to enjoy and pace yourself in each area. But nevertheless this can also make us get too overpowered for certain zones until we find the correct place to get us interested and tied to an immersive combat, stealth and ranged attack mode.

It is also important to note that in old Assassin's creed games was pretty easy to find a bug here and there, but in Origins there were no real issues to be found, showing that with the correct pace this franchise won't turn into an example of those unpolished games who were a disgrace. Overall, for a veteran player who could feel that this change of the franchise could denature the gameplay too much, Assassin's Creed: Origin is a convincing title. This game is a great production who walk towards a new path with the passion and effort in the game as the fans of the series needed and looked for a long time. If you still didn't give this game the chance because its new style felt too different or even if you never tried this series, this title definitely worth your time. It's a step towards the improvements who built up Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, but still you will enjoy this adventure in the Ancient Egypt.

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