Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Assassin's Creed Origins Video Game Review (2017)

So here it is my first video game review. Run around Ancient Egypt and take a walk through History with this beautiful game.The whole thing of "are video games art" gets chucked about a lot, but some times its easy to see why it is said a lot. Games like Okami, with its unique art style still get talked about and games like Minecraft allow people to create their own art, so to speak in the form of creating what ever you can think of and what ever you like. But what about games like Assassin's Creed Origins. 

Assassin's Creed Origins, takes us to Ancient Egypt, during an era of turmoil with leaders fighting for the throne of Egypt in about 48 BC. The player in this game plays as a Medjay named Bayek and his wife Aya. Medjay were sort of like the sheriff of the time in Ancient Egypt, they could investigate and help people etc. The story of the game is thus, the Ptolemy XIII has the Egyptian throne, and rules all over Egypt (High Egypt and Low Egypt). He dreams of expanding his empire and stopping his sister, Cleopatra (yes that Cleopatra), from taking back the throne for herself. So begins the "sort of fact" story of Cleopatra getting outside help to get her throne back, by that I mean even getting Julius Caesar. She enlists the help of Bayek and Aya and through them, plans to take back her throne and country. Anyhow all this leads to the Origins as we shall call it, as it says in the title (big give away), of the brotherhood of Assassin's.

This journey we follow Bayek on takes us all over Egypt, in a huge game world, which is littered with side quests and individual stories and hours and hours of things to see and do. The map is the biggest seen in any Assassin's Creed games since their Inception. This is where the new game play style is noticed, because this is not your usual run of the mill Assassin's Creed game, no sir this is now a open world RPG of sorts. You can pretty much do what you want in this massive world, granted their is the story line to follow, but if you want to kill some Hippos or take part in Gladiator fights (once the arena is unlocked), or even chariot race like some kind of video game Ben-Hur, you can do that. It is probably a good idea too, to do side quests and so on because everything has a level, and wandering to far or doing a quest your not ready for, will kill you, yes its not worth it. Zooming out on the map you will see that each part has a suggested level for that area it is sound advice to follow this. 

The design of the quests and the open world has a whole, makes you realize that Ubisoft taking this two year gap to release this game has got the benefit of them, shall we say studying the competition. They have clearly played the Witcher 3, Zelda BOTW and Horizon Zero Dawn to name a few. This is not a bad thing because it  gives the game what it needed a god shot in the arm rather than a permanent, Assassination (see what I did there!). It was bold and risky but all so worth it, it needed this and it shows with the extra care and attention Ubisoft put into this game. You also get Loot to aid Bayek, which you can pick up from fallen enemies or find in places, or even as rewards on daily quests etc. This loot can be anything from bows to swords and shields, they have three different varieties ranging from Blue through Purple to Gold. The Gold tier is Legendary stuff and I will be honest I was quite surprised that  I manged to find quite a bit of Gold and Purple loot when I was playing because I was expecting just Blue because yes this game has Micro-transactions... the bane of my gaming life!. But I will give Ubisoft a bit of leeway here because the game is playable without buying anything and can be completed without buying anything (Hi Warner Brothers and EA!!) and is not forced on you, its brought up on screen once and that is it. There is a little press this button to see the store in the menu but its not huge and intrusive (HI again Warner Brothers!!). 

What impressed me most about this game is the scope and variety in this huge game. You can find yourself in Alexandria climbing up the famous lighthouse and library (both were amazing feats in the Ancient World), or climbing up the Sphinx and Great Pyramids of Giza. As a History fanatic and student it was great to see and do all this, experience what the world of Ancient Egypt was like. This goes back to my intro, video games as art, okay there is not a distinctive look or style in this game but the world crafted is breathtaking. Take a boat down the Nile and see what this game looks like, granted I played on PC with a i7 4790K and GTX 1080 so I have it on Ultra settings, but im sure it will still look amazing on medium and consoles too. There is a few moments where as a History fan and student I found myself excited about who you meet in this game, from Cleopatra to Julius Caesar you meet all sorts of famous figures and aid them, one in particular who you meet for a second and later in the end game, got me excited, lets say if you know History and Shakespeare you will know this person straight away!. 

The story in this game is engaging, I was hooked all the way through. The side quests have interesting stories too and you meet some excellent characters and friends, the hours just fly by, because its easy to lose oneself in this game. The world design and various cities and locals are a sight to behold, been able to see and run around this Ancient world was great, all the Egyptian and Greek ruins were amazing to behold. The spit and polish this game has been given and the extra work really shows, well done Ubisoft.

I would give this game a 9 vault boy thumbs up out of 10!. They needed to go back to the drawing board and it was worth it, a joy from start to finish a memorable game.    

Now this is my first game review so any criticism will be welcome, usually I just talk about films so this is something new I have been wanting to do for a while, so let me know what you think.
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