Assassin's Creed Origins Reviews

  • Slam Shot SamSlam Shot Sam1,028,264
    06 Nov 2017 06 Nov 2017
    35 2 11
    Assassin's Creed Origins | Xbox One | Review

    After breaking away from the annual release cycle last year to put a mediocre film out instead, Assassin’s Creed Origins sees the series triumphantly return with a sequel-come-prequel that cures the rot which had begun to take hold.

    Origins sees you take control of Bayek, an Ancient Egyptian peacekeeper seeking vengeance against the shadowy group that wronged him and his family. It’s an engaging, if familiar, main thread that mixes fiction and non-fiction in signature fashion to convey the story of how The Assassin Order came to be formed.

    While you’ll spend most of your time inside the Animus reliving the memories of Bayek, on occasion you’ll also leave the machine to join a new present day protagonist. These brief sections provide a breather and plenty of optional lore to consume, which Assassin’s Creed diehards will no doubt appreciate.

    As an aptly-named origin story, this game’s setting is the series’ earliest yet. Throughout the years we’ve visited faithful recreations of numerous real-world locations, but none have been quite as impressive as 48 BC Egypt. The iconic region has long been requested by fans, with Ubisoft rising to the occasion by crafting a vast and beautiful open world.

    From bustling cities, to barren deserts and the Great Pyramid of Giza, environments are intricately detailed and authentic. The hot African sun casts impressive natural lighting and shadows, whilst an array of local wildlife dynamically interact with their surroundings, helping to anchor you in the simulation.

    It’s impressive stuff when you consider the map’s sheer scale - a scale that’s seen Origins’ movement system modified to help with traversal. You now sprint as standard, rather than needing to hold a button down, and can effortlessly climb almost any surface without need for specific handholds. A mount at your beck and call, boats that spawn close-by when you’re stranded in water, and abundant fast travel points all further aid in making Egypt an easy and enjoyable place to explore.

    Ditching the intrusive minimap for a minimalistic compass, as well as swathes of boring busywork for more meaningful side quests and activities, has also helped on that front.

    From bustling cities, to barren deserts and the Great Pyramid of Giza, environments are intricately detailed and authentic.
    Though you’re free to tackle quests in the order of your choosing, if you’re under the recommended character level it’s a good idea to leave them well alone. Their inflated difficulty serves as a gating mechanic to control when you can viably go where, ensuring players aren’t immediately overwhelmed, but also providing motivation to keep gathering experience points and expanding your horizon.

    A variety of weapons - each with their own rarity, statistics and status effects - are steadily pumped into your inventory as rewards and need to be swapped out or upgraded regularly. Upgrading weapons simply requires you to pay a blacksmith, though to improve the rest of your gear you’ll need to go hunting or intercept shipments and use the gathered resources to craft their betters.

    You’ll put everything to use in the new and improved combat system, which is more satisfying than ever. No longer do enemies take it in turns to attack, letting you counter kill them one by one, but they flank and/or fire arrows as you’re actively engaged in combat. Encounters don’t look nearly as fluently choreographed as a result, but they’re far more compelling.

    If you’re familiar with the Souls series or Breath of the Wild you’ll feel right at home with the new mechanics, which, in very similar fashion, see you lock on and avoid incoming attacks in anticipation of a window to launch a light or heavy counter attack. Though it’s more weighty and deliberate, especially when considering the pros and cons of different weapon classes, you can get away with button bashing for the most part.

    Certain types of bows can be seamlessly integrated into melee bouts, while others are better served for stealth, but all of them shed the slight feeling of ineptitude ranged weapons have carried in Assassin’s Creed previously. It’s always been far preferable to take enemies on at close range, but Origins changes that, with a headshot being just as quick and deadly as your hidden blade.

    Speaking of, stealth has seen a few small tweaks as well. Similar to Metal Gear Solid V you get a brief window of slow motion in which to eliminate an enemy after being spotted, plus you’ll now scout areas from a bird’s eye perspective as Senu, your eagle. Replacing Eagle Vision with a literal eagle’s vision is a better contextual fit and eliminates any ugly screen filters, all while offering up an animal companion to bond with. If Senu strays too far, however, you’ll often need to sit through a loading screen when you warp back to Bayek, which can be off-putting.

    Covert infiltrations can also be made easier by utilising the dynamic day/night cycle to your advantage, as many guards retire to bed at night, generally making patrols lighter. An ability can be purchased from the skill tree that lets you change the time of day at will, while you can also unlock a range of familiar tools like poison darts and smoke bombs to further bolster your arsenal.

    Combat encounters don’t look nearly as fluently choreographed as before, but they’re far more compelling.
    All of the items and abilities available through the skill tree are tempting in their own right, pulling you in every direction and prompting careful consideration for how to invest your attribute points, as the best role-playing games do. Getting all of the abilities you have your eye on will take a while, which is good for longevity, though can feel ever so slightly like you’re being pointed towards Origins’ microtransactions when the game gently reminds you about its storefront.

    That said, the implementation is nowhere near as egregious as some recent examples, and you’re given 200 of the premium currency for free. There are loot boxes, but they’re bought with in-game money, plus choosing to complete a daily online quest essentially awards one for free.

    While Origins is the best Assassin’s Creed since Black Flag - also maintaining that game’s excellent naval combat - we’d have liked to see more polish from a title that spent twice as long in development. Glitchy animations, clipping, pathing issues and freezes are a few examples of problem we shouldn’t be seeing. While those are here to stay without a patch from Ubisoft, the impending release of the Xbox One X should at least help cut the lengthy loading times down whilst polishing the already shiny visuals.

    In spite of the issues it preserves, Assassin’s Creed Origins is a successful soft reboot that comes just in time for the series’ 10th anniversary, modernising the Brotherhood’s adventures by taking inspiration from recent greats like The Witcher 3 and Destiny. It’s very easy to lose hours at a time to Origins’ improved combat and stealth systems, not to mention the wonderful setting, motivated by the developed RPG mechanics and a soundtrack with a touch of whimsy. Here’s hoping Ubisoft keep building on this foundation instead of running the new look Assassin’s Creed into the ground.


    + Gigantic, beautiful Egyptian setting
    + It isn’t absolutely crammed with meaningless tasks
    + Improved melee & ranged combat systems
    + Play your way with a variety of upgrade paths
    + Removes arbitrary barriers to make traversal & parkour totally painless


    - Combat encounters can occasionally devolve into tests of button bashing endurance
    - Still has a few familiar technical issues despite an extra year in the oven
    - Well-trodden narrative structure & character archetypes



    Assassin's Creed Origins is more time consuming than challenging when it comes to achievements. Expect to spend 50+ hours finishing everything off, with Old Habits (complete all locations) being the big commitment. If you work towards that from the start and remain mindful of the miscellaneous achievements along the way, Origins is a simple enough 100%.


    Originally written for Pass the Controller, a physical copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.

    You can check out my PlayStation reviews over at TrueTrophies.

    Thanks for reading!
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    REPOMAN NLGood review, and i agree with everything!
    Posted by REPOMAN NL on 09 Nov 17 at 19:18
    neeker75I enjoy reading this review as much as I enjoyed the 80 hours I spent playing the game. smile
    Posted by neeker75 on 18 Apr 18 at 04:35
    Slam Shot SamWow, high praise indeed! Thank you, neeker. smile
    Posted by Slam Shot Sam on 18 Apr 18 at 07:59
  • Sigma 3815Sigma 3815224,720
    17 Nov 2017 17 Nov 2017
    13 1 0
    Since 2009, and for almost 6 years, an Assassin's Creed game was released in the latter months of the calendar year. When Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed released in 2007, talk of a sequel was highly anticipated. Two years later, in 2009, Assassin's Creed II was released and garnered incredibly positive reviews. Many fans of the series still considered II to be the best of the series, enhancing the gameplay, elevating the story, and building on the environments and foundation that ACI had set. Since II was released, Ubisoft released a main-series Assassin's Creed title every calendar year until 2015, with the release of Syndicate.
    Lack of polish, yearly installments, and direction of the gameplay and story slowly led fans to lose interest in the series, with the exception of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, another game many fans consider to be the best of the series. Ubisoft decided not to release a new game in the 2016 year, instead opting to release one in 2017. That 2017 release was Assassin's Creed Origins.
    The narrative of Origins takes place in Ancient Egypt, 1st century BCE to be specific. The story centers around Bayek of Siwa, one of the last remaining Medjay, guards of the Pharaoh and protectors and helpers of the people. He is married to a woman named Aya, who herself is a capable warrior. Together, they had a son named Khemu, but he was murdered by the hands of mysterious people with an ambitious goal. The prologue begins with Bayek visiting Siwa after attempting to hunt down the people who murdered his son. Bayek's personal motivation in the story is to be reunited with his wife, who is usually off dealing in political matters and extracting revenge on those who killed his son. Bayek soon finds himself dealing with an ancient collective, Pharaohs, queens, empires, and dictators in his quest for revenge.
    The story/narrative of the game is probably one of the weaker parts of the experience, relative to the other elements of the game. Bayek is at times one-dimensional, and the main story missions shouldn't take too long to complete. The villains and antagonists of the story are also quite weak, never having an impact such as Al Mualim, the Borgia family, or Haytham Kenway did in previous installments. A redeeming quality of the antagonists is the dialogue exchanges between them and Bayek during fighting sequences, as well as the bizarre post-death dialogues the series is famous for. Bayek has his own personal struggles, and his character becomes more well-rounded the more side quests the player completes. Any twists and shocks also fall a little flat, especially when compared to twists in other Assassin's Creed games. The modern-day story present in every Assassin's Creed game does not add anything particularly riveting to the narrative as a whole.
    As stated before, AC Origins takes place in 1st Century BCE Egypt. For context, that is almost 2500 years after the Pyramids of Giza were built, 300 years after the Greeks and Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, and a couple decades before Augustus became the first emperor of Rome. AC Origins does a tremendous job of the setting and immersion. Ubisoft is one of the best in the business at creating environments (see Watch Dogs 2, Far Cry 3+4, South Park SoT+FBW), and they do not fail to deliver here. The mystery of the ancient kingdoms, the decline of the Greeks, and the rise of the Romans are all present within the game. Egypt itself is also a vast and diverse land, filled with deserts, rivers, cities, and ancient wonders. Alexandria seems like a Greek masterpiece, while Cyrene is like Roman advancement. The diverse landscape, immense map size, and bustling cities, and rural outskirts and settlements are truly fascinating. Also, Greek and Egyptian mythology is also heavily present, being able to explore both Greek and Egyptian temples worshiping their respective gods. One of the stronger narrative points is actually the stone circles, a world-wide quest involving aligning stars and Bayek teaching his son Khemu about the Egyptian gods, from famous ones like Anubis and Osiris to lesser known ones like The Great Twins and Taweret.
    The combat in AC Origins has been overhauled with a "drastic change in paradigm," according to AC Origins Game Director Ashraf Ismail. Indeed, the combat system has been drastically altered compared to previous titles. Far gone are the days of having enemies take turns doing one attack and having the player do an immediate kill-counter with the hidden blade or strong weapon. Enemies are more aggressive, have good front-range detection, will send more than one person to attack, and have reinforcements join them. The weight and power of the weapons are surprisingly well-balanced, as heavy weapons like maces and axes definitely feel more sluggish but powerful compared to twin daggers. The combat has been getting mixed reviews, with some claiming that it is lack-luster, and others claiming that it is a breath of fresh air. Depending on the player, the combat can be seen as either, but with the right equipment and right investment, combat is a welcome change to the series.
    Another staggering change is the RPG-esque leveling and gear system. Much like many AAA games today, players can invest in gear by acquiring loot boxes purchased by real-world money, but I found this quite unnecessary. By the mid-point of the game, any player can have a strong primary weapon and bow suited to his or her playing style. A positive of the gear system is that health and strength is not determined by the look of the gear. AC Origins has implemented a Tomb Raider-style hunting and resource gathering system, and gear can be upgraded to objective standards with resources such as hides and bronze and iron. With the plethora of outfits the player can acquire throughout the game, players can have a real sense of control over Bayek's look and feel, without feeling too constrained by the stats of the outfits. Arguably the best part of this new gear and leveling system is the ability of blacksmiths to upgrade any weapons or bows or shields to Bayek's current level, which means that any sword or bow with a nice perk can be retained into the late-game portions, even if acquired in the early-game.
    Whenever Bayek levels up, not only does his health and damage increase, but he also obtains ability points to be used in skill trees, a mechanic not unfamiliar by many gamers today. The skill trees follow the classic Melee/Ranged/Utility paths, and by the late-game, players can have a real sense of what works for their particular style of play. Anything from mighty bruiser to swift archer to devious trapper are all viable options to be explored, so players truly have a large degree of freedom with which to tackle areas of the game. Eagle Vision has also been replaced with literal Eagle vision, as the eagle Senu is Bayek's ever-faithful companion. Senu greatly enhances the player's experience when tackling certain fortifications, and Ubisoft really manages and implements the mechanic well.
    While I am no expert in the technical aspects of the game, I will offer what I noticed. The crispness of the graphics is apparent from the start. Put simply, it is a beautiful game. From the subtle sand physics to the being able to see the Lighthouse of Alexandria in the horizon, the team behind AC Origins really did a fantastic job of polishing the game. The lighting and shadows is tremendous, even the tiniest details being noticed. This kind of work is not easy, especially given the scope of the map. Players can take hours exploring the map, with lush colors of the water to the dark depths of the tombs and pyramids long in the past, and none of it would feel clunky or rushed. Here are two screenshots I took of the game, just in passing. One displays the excellent scope of the landscape, and the other shows off the shadows and lighting of the game.
    External image

    External image

    The music and score of the game is subtle and sometimes not noticeable, but it does an excellent job of immersing the feel and atmosphere of Ancient Egypt. Long strung out minor chords layered with harmonic scales can be heard for anyone with an ear for the technical side of the score.
    The voice acting is also quite well done. If one examined the credits, one would see a diverse cast involving voice actors of Greek, Arab, and European descent. The accents of the voices are authentic, far more polished than the AC titles with American accents in the Middle East, forced Italian accents, and English accents in France. Being of Greek descent myself and understanding the language, I can say that the Greek is well done, with many of the words, names, and places being pronounced authentically and accurately. The English however, could probably have more of an accent to it when Greeks are speaking it, but that is probably coming from personal bias of mine. Ubisoft and the developers really went out of their way to make sure the voice actors and the accents were done with a feel for the setting. The only negative side to that is possibly some words/phrases that might seem out of place in the ancient world, such as the phrase "creeped out" (Credit to Youtube Channel ACG for noticing that).
    As far as bugs/glitches are concerned, AC Origins actually is pretty good with having a fully finished product. While some freezes/clipping/pathing are noticeable (I had to restart the game once or twice during my playthrough), it is definitely an improvement from the glitchfest that has been the identity of previous AC titles (eh ehm Unity).
    Asassin's Creed has been a staple of the gaming world for almost ten years now, drawing both an incredibly enthusiastic yet critical fan base. Any series that has had as many installments as Assassin's Creed can always have a certain amount of buyer's fatigue, so Ubisoft's choice to refrain from releasing a main-series game in 2016 was an incredible decision. Fans of the series can feel refreshed at the renewal of a favorite of both the casual and hardcore gamers in the gaming world. While an overarching story can be difficult to achieve with so many titles and a lack of concrete finish or ending, AC Origins manages to pass by, albeit being one of the weaker aspects of the game. The game absolutely excels at creating an immersive and dynamic environment, filled with diverse locations and areas. The new system of gameplay in regards to combat and gear has its positive and negative aspects. Combat is faster and fluid, but can seem a little underwhelming at times. The gear system caters nicely to players at all levels of the game, but can feel a little grindy and can do without in the micro-transactions and the loot box system. Players have a lot of freedom and control when it comes to overcoming obstacles, with very few technical bugs and glitches to get in the way. The music fits the setting, and the voice acting and writing has improved compared to previous installments. Bayak, along with Senu and Aya, can sit comfortably in an Assassin's Creed game that is the best since Rogue and Black Flag, with many appreciating their character and environments that have renewed the faith and confidence fans can have in the series moving forward.
    (My scale for score:
    5/5 all gamers should consider; 4.5/5 all fans of the genre should consider; 4/5 all fans of the franchise should consider; 3.5/5 all dedicated fans of the genre should consider; 3/5 all dedicated fans of the franchise should consider)
  • WildWing2007WildWing2007115,937
    08 Dec 2017
    5 1 2
    Assassin's Creed Origins REVIEW:

    The long-running Assassin's Creed franchise has, in recent years, lost quite a bit of steam. Pumping out a new title yearly is a wonderful way to induce franchise fatigue onto its audience. With the last couple of installments, Unity and Syndicate, the series weighed much more heavily collect-a-thon stigma, and while Syndicate fared better than its predecessor, it still did not do nearly enough to maintain this gamer's interest. So, how does Origins stack up? Let's find out.


    The game delves into the, well, origins of the Brotherhood and the Templars, before each of these organizations actually existed. You play as Bayek, a Medjay from the area of Siwa. Early in the game, he embarks on a quest for vengeance (for several reasons that I will not spoil here), against what turns out to be this "Order," set out to rule Rome and Egypt with an iron fist. The game twists and turns as you go, while also introducing major historical figures such as Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. Their roles are fun, and a unique spin on actual history and I quite enjoyed the missions that involved them. The last two hours of the story are by far some of the series strongest, with constant call-backs and fan-service, and it didn't fail to put a smile on my face (you will know them when you see them, especially the final one).

    As a narrative, however, the game struggles. There are times where the story really is engrossing, and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Other times, I couldn't remember what I was doing (perhaps in part to the way the game is structured), and the game fails often at explaining what some things mean. For a game that has the main protagonist be a Medjay, and be constantly referred to as such, I had no idea what that actually was until I googled it. It also seemed that every single NPC knew who Bayek was, and vice-versa. There were times where I was saying to myself, "How in the world does this person know him by name?" Aside from that, the story arcs for the characters are strong, and I very much enjoyed the quest line with Bayek's wife, Aya. Overall, the story is decent, but the way the narrative is allowed to progress really hamstrings it from being excellent.


    Ubisoft definitely re-invented the way the game feels, yet it still feels vaguely familiar to AC of old. The open world is absolutely massive, and it is completely filled to the brim with things to do (not all of those are good, however). You are free to explore Rome and Egypt as you please, albeit not as free as you might like. The game level-gates certain areas so that you need to level up to proceed into them without being killed instantly by your enemies. I never personally ran into this problem because of the way I play. I am a completionist so I always did the side quests and optional areas to level up and increase my abilities before moving on to the main quest. The new leveling system was very cool, and allowed for the upgrades to be influenced by your preferred play style. I leveled through the warrior skill path first, but ended up increasing my bow/hunter abilities later on. I felt that I leveled at a good pace, and I was never grinding just to level up.

    As for the combat, its a bit mixed. It is finally better than the last few games, which were just boring. On the other hand, the lock-on system is worthless; you are better off keeping the camera free so you can see what is going on around you. While more actual skill is involved, you do end up button mashing to win on some occasions, as stealth is played down just a tad from previous installments. Yes, you still have your hidden blade, but now combat is just as viable to kill enemies. The stealth does work just fine, and you can certainly kill from the the shadows if you so desire. I would say I did a little of everything, stealth, ranged and melee combat in different scenarios, and the game offered plenty of ways to approach objectives.

    Quest design was okay; you still spend far too much time slowly walking and following NPCs, and far too many side quests were so unmemorable that I completely tuned them out. Again, too many side (and surprisingly, main) quests are of the "reach gold marker, kill target" variety. I would have liked to see more intricacy in the quest design found in games like Wild Hunt. Either way, the game is still fun, and it was very easy to get lost in the game world for hours on end.


    The game is absolutely gorgeous; it is most certainly one of the most impressive looking titles to date. Everything is expertly detailed, and meticulously crafted. I found all the textures to be appropriately high resolution, with no noticeable pop-in or frame rate drops. The voice acting was excellent, especially from the lead characters, while the music was alright. It had its share of swelling orchestral moments which stood out, but often times there is no music which makes the game world feel a little quiet at times.


    I loved my time with Origins. It is my favorite AC entry since the original, which is saying a lot. While not without shortcomings, I appreciate the fresh feel for the series with this entry. I think it is definitely a step in the right direction. The story is adequate, with some very strong moments, and the gameplay is much improved, with this one being a straight up open world RPG. I can't wait for the next entry in the series, and will definitely revisit this one in the near future.
  • MegaManSurvivesMegaManSurvives432,876
    12 Aug 2018
    3 7 0
    Graphics 5/5
    Story 4/5
    Gameplay 4.5/5
    Music (this one has never been a big factor for me) 4/5

    I've only played Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag so far but I've loved all three (heard they are the best ones too in the series). I'm big on collecting things when I'm playing a game and Origins has plenty to offer in that depertment. It brings a randomized (to some extent)
    loot system somewhat similar to the Diablo series. Gold is scarce (just like in Diablo) but it's not very necessary until late game anyways. Most the items that are good you can find or earn throughout the game rather than buying, and if you find them late game then you won't need to upgrade them much as whenever you find a weapon it's upgraded automatically to your level.

    #1 climbing is easier than its ever been!!
    #2 you have countless costumes and mounts that you can buy and even chariots!
    #3 the chariots turn great and the mounts move fairly fast and it's cool to see the variences from each mount you use.
    #4 the mounts auto jump really well and navigate great except for steep hills.
    #5 an incredibly well crafted skill tree system that is almost perfect!
    #6 the Enhanced Predator bow is awesome!
    #7 the bird was so fundamental to this setup and loads of fun to use.
    #8 I was climbing a boat and hanging onto the side when a soldier started to pee on me unbeknownst that I was below him, things like this add a lot to the game.
    #9 Hippos are getting the reputation they deserve!
    #10 out of air when you are diving but you don't insta die :) it then slowly dwindles at your health, which if you have a lot will take a while.

    #1 it seems if you are upgrading a legendary item it's about six grandregardless of whether you are upgrading it 3 levels or 20 levels.
    #2 you can find some cursed items during your playthrough but it doesn't tell you what they are cursed with.
    #3 you costumes only offer cosmetics and no physical perks.
    #4 your mounts can't swim :(
    #5 you can't use mounts in boss battles :(
    #6 I would have liked a house or base of operations that you could upgrade your facility or training grounds, both previous assassin's Creed games I played had this yet this lacked it, this was really my most dissapointed thing in this game for me. :(
    #7 a select few locations don't show up on your map and are thus a real pain to find.
    #8 no crodile spin of death grip?? Just a fast bite then release?? Would have liked this part to be more realistic. Crocs were always a pushover, would have liked to see a sense of fear in those fights.
    #9 no matter how upgraded you are a snake kills you in 3 hits?? This is stupid.

    Overall 4.5/5