Assassin’s Creed Origins – in depth Review

On the 11th of this August I have started to get into Origins. Being a complete novice in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, it was a terrible experience right from the start. The player movement felt slightly off compared to the freshly completed Watch Dogs 2, the quest system wasn’t very intuitive, the stealth part of the game was not clearly explained in the tutorial and the first missions gave me a very sour taste of the game. It was an overwhelming experience right from the start.

I left it alone for a couple of days and decided to give it another go. Somehow I fast traveled into a region where all of the enemies were a level much higher than me, animals included too, and Bayek, the name of the main protagonist in the game died time and time again. There were no clues whatsoever about where should I go or what’s the next mission in the campaign because I had none selected in the menu(a thing that I realized a lot later than I should have). Bayek died about twenty times before a little setting option caught my eye. It’s called “enemy auto-level” and what it does is bringing lower enemy levels to around your level. It didn’t do the trick because every enemy kept thrashing Bayek to the ground.

Somehow I manage to fast travel luckily back to where missions around my level were available so the grind started. The quest menu was understood so the natural intention was to progress in the main campaign, so I clicked on it, just to see a couple of seconds later than there was a level requirement and obviously Bayek didn’t meet it. The grinding struggle was real. Visiting and completely different locations and side-quests was what I had to do to get to the required level and advance in the main story.

As happy as I was when I realized how the fast-travel works and how the regions, the map, the quest and the location are set-up, as equally unhappy I was when I finished the main campaign, level capped at level 40 meaning that all the XP Bayek would earn by completing the remaining side-missions, would be wasted. A quick research online about the level cap in the game, made me realize that in order to keep grinding the level and exploring the base world’s game, I need to purchase all the DLCs, so after a week and a half, maybe two, I did purchase the season pass, which was $39, and though at first it seemed too expensive, when I add up only the $10 that I paid for the base game, $49 for a complete game with DLC doesn’t seem bad at all, still much cheaper than any GameStop or other game retailer’s price of just the base game.

Fast forward a month and a day later, 13 sept 2018. Main story complete, as well as the main stories from the DLCs. Some side-quests left and only two achievements. One relatively easy, the 20 daily life tours, which are both interesting and boring – interesting because it’s real history and the players get to learn a lot, boring because it’s way too much. The other achievement is fairly easy, but extremely time-consuming, especially after I’ve invested 95+ hours in the game and all the DLCs. It requires Bayek to visit and complete all of the locations, base-camps and animal hide-outs in the game. It’s definitely achievable, but after all those hours, it seems kind of redundant and boring. Maybe, I’ll get back to completing in sometime in the future, but I’m still very happy and excited to have earned 1450 out of 1500 Gamerscore available in the game.

This game is one of the, if not the most beautiful game that I have ever played. It is so realistic and gorgeous that it’s hard to describe it in words. I can’t emphasize enough how fantastic Assassin’s Creed Origins looks. At one point, my wife was watching Game of Thrones on my laptop, and I swear, the graphics from the game looked more real and a lot better than the TV-show, which has real people in it.

Upsides:

  • Gorgeous world of Egypt to explore.
  • Lots of things to do, side-quests, locations, pyramids to climb, cities to visit, weapons to upgrade, wild animals to kill and a lot of looting. Gladiator arenas and horse chariots races are extremely fun activities.
  • Strong main campaign, straight-forward and exciting. Fun bosses to defeat, including huge elephants, dead mummies from the after-life and great addition in the DLCs.
  • Level-based experience – always makes doing stuff more exciting and rewarding. It’s a constant need of grinding and leveling up that is achieved in very few games.
  • Fun achievements to complete, and a lot of Gamerscore to earn too.
  • The physics engine is fantastic, everything feels so real that it’s easy to forget that it’s a video game. Running, horse riding, climbing, shooting and fighting enemies even with bare fists feels very natural and satisfying.
  • Hundreds of weapons to chose from. Many classes of bows, swords, mini-blades, blunts and many more to use in a fight and all of them feel great.
  • Very, very few bugs and glitches, in my whole time of playing the game so far, I have enquired maybe 5 or 6, and one of them was a boss completely immobilized, so it was even easier to defeat him.
  • Completely redesigned and overhauled Assassin’s Creed experience, from the combat to the looks and the feel of the game and this RPG gamestyle fits the series like a glove in my opinion, and I’m really glad that the next game will be in the same style.

Downsides:

  • Pay-to-win – again, the frustration that I felt when I saw that the base-game was level capped at 40 and that to experience the rest of the game, DLCs were required was huge, and that is the biggest mistake of this game. And not only that Bayek was level capped at level 40, all the experience acquired afterwards, wouldn’t count either, and that in my opinion is a complete deal-breaker.
  • Repetitive quests – examine this area, assassinate that guy, bring back these animal leathers, it all wears out after a while.

 

All-in-all, Origins is one of the games that I never expected to enjoy as much as I did. Especially in the beginning, when it was hard going around places and figuring out what to do, but it turned out to be the game with the biggest earned Gamerscore, ever, and hopefully the only one in which I’ll have 100% completion in the near future. If you’re looking for a extremely cool and fun game for your console, Assassin’s Creed Origins is a game you’ll never regret buying.

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