by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Movement and Combat
Assassin’s Creed Origins retains much of the stealthy based combat from previous titles. Bayek is an agile fellow, able to scale walls and cliff faces quite nimbly, but he is also adept at crouching down in long grass waiting for the right moment to strike. Much of the movements, especially those when climbing, seem to be quite contextual, giving Bayek’s movements a fluid feel. This follows through to the combat. When creeping down in a stealthy mode, Bayek can move from one hidden area to the next, looking ahead to his next target. After sneaking up on enemies, he can perform simple takedowns without a hitch. When it comes to weapons, Bayek is fairly adept at wielding a range of swords and bows.
If you want to keep Bayek out of harm’s way, wielding the bow is probably the best option wherever possible. Targeting enemies from a point well above them, or by popping up from one of the numerous hidden grassy areas, gives Bayek the jump on them on most occasions. A good headshot will take down even the strongest of enemies. Bayek can also learn a particular ability which allows him to ‘be the arrow’ and lets gamers direct the arrow’s path allowing for improved accuracy. When up close and personal, Bayek has a range of skills that can be used to evade enemies. A trusty shield can be used to deflect enemy thrusts, whilst a simple dodge will put him out of reach of an oncoming attacker. This can be an issue when confronting multiple attackers though, especially when you’re being flanked, as enemies will make you pay for any mistakes. As such, remaining stealthy and picking off foes one at a time is advantageous, and sticks closer to the assassin storyline.
Attacking on horseback (or camelback) is a possibility too, and on more than occasion, came in handy when chasing an opponent on horseback. Swinging a sword on horseback does take more stamina, and takes longer to reset for another swing, so timing is more important than ever.
Animals actually play a large part in Bayek’s experience in Assassin’s Creed Origins. His pet eagle, Senu provides a literal bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. Whilst up in the air, Senu can be used to spot and tag vital points of interest, including enemies, treasure and game animals. After gaining a particular ability, Senu can also be used to create a distraction for enemies and even badger them with a well-timed peck, allowing the player to follow up with a devastating blow. Bayek can also whistle for his trusty steed (or camel) which allows gamers to cover ground much quicker than walking. There is a Fast Travel feature in Origins, but there are times when Bayek must travel to a new area before Fast Travel becomes an option. It is during these stages that his mount becomes important. Animals are also important for crafting, with Bayek needing to hunt animals such as crocodiles and hyenas for their pelts to be used as leather for armour.
When I heard that the Assassin’s Creed series was heading to Egypt, I was cautious. My love for the subject matter meant that I would probably scrutinize the game more than if another location in time and space was selected. But the two year wait between games has meant that a well-researched product with smooth controls, interesting quests and a gorgeous visual experience has been delivered. Assassin’s Creed Origins is clearly my new favourite in the series. And, I still have Egypt on my bucket list, but Assassin’s Creed Origins has satisfied my appetite in the meantime.
Beautiful visuals and a soundtrack to match. Smooth combat and controls.
Some minor story pacing issues. A couple of graphic glitches.