I just finished playing Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Here’s what I thought of it, my opinions about the game and the feelings it left me with.
Back to my Assassin’s Creed: Origins
It’s been a long time since I played an Assassin’s Creed game – AC2 on Xbox 360 was probably the last one I spent any time with. As regular readers or viewers will know, stealth isn’t my strongest gameplay skill, but I enjoyed exploring the environments. It fell into the old “Ubisoft open world collect-em-up” category after that for me, and I kind of lost interest. I can’t remember how Origins ended up in my Uplay collection (it must have been free) but I finally decided to give it a try.
I was pleasantly surprised by two things. Firstly was how well it runs on my computer. It’s a nice looking game and I wasn’t sure how my old GTX1060 was going to handle it, but even with the detail set high it maintained a solid 60fps. The second thing that surprised me was how interesting I found the story. Maybe it was because it’s been a while since I’ve played a game with a long campaign, but I liked the main character (Bayek) and sympathised with his motivations.
Staying In the Animus
The weakest part of any Assassin’s Creed game is the future setting – the “real world” parts. I found them boring when it was Desmond we followed around and to be honest even with the updates here it’s still the most dull part of the game. I understand that they have a story to tell, but I liked that in Origins they keep those sections to a minimum.
More good news for me is that there is much less of a focus on stealth here. I know a lot of people will be disappointed by this, but if you know me then you know that I’m too impatient for stealth. In any open world game like this (Far Cry included), my style is to start stealthy until something goes wrong and then just power my way through. And I like that the game doesn’t punish me for it – at least not obviously. If there’s achievements or a different ending for being sneaky then that doesn’t bother me too much. I like that the game lets me play the way that I want to.
There is still a lot of “filler” content. There are so many missions that start with a cutscene, have you run 500m to another person, run another cutscene and then have you run another 500m to actually start the gameplay. Why split the scenes into two parts? The only reason is to bump playtime and it annoys me when it happens all the time.
Add that to the endless collectables and viewpoints and it starts to feel overwhelming. Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a beautiful game, but I could have used about 25-30% less content. The map is expansive, but you spend a long time walking past the same areas. There are some awesome sights to see, but there’s so little stuff to actually do along the way I’d have much preferred it to be compressed a bit. It meant I lost the drive to actually complete the story and I tapped out after 30-ish hours. On the other hand, if it was the only game I owned then that would be great. But with a massive library sitting on my shoulders, I don’t have the time to spend in just this world.
There are some great things about Origins, and some of the usual Ubisoft pitfalls. I loved the mystery dungeons and wished there were more of those – riddles that require some problem solving to find the entrances, etc. The series could use more of that and less of the grind. So I guess to conclude, I enjoyed it but the game got in its own way.