Assassin's Creed: Origins has forgotten what it means to be an assassin | PCGamesN

Assassin's Creed: Origins has forgotten what it means to be an assassin

Assassin's Creed Origins desert

Upon release, Assassin’s Creed - as the name suggests - was a game about quietly murdering folk. It was born from a Prince of Persia prototype, the vestigial remnants of which remain in its parkour-based movement system, but was expanded to become a new game that focused on social stealth and silently shanking people in the Middle-East. You were a hooded blade in the crowd.

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While it wasn’t the best game, the first Assassin’s Creed was bursting with imagination and was laser-focused in its concept. The second game expanded on its premise and, along with its Ezio-based spin-offs, cemented itself as the best in the series. The series has undergone a lot of changes since, adding in vehicle sections, taking a stab at tower defence, and even letting us plunder the Caribbean as pirates. 

It’s all been a bit hit-and-miss, though. All these games later, Assassin’s Creed is still trying to find itself, like a 50-year-old student taking a gap year. The previously annually released series did actually take a gap year, too, promising to come back reinvented and refreshed. Assassin’s Creed: Origins is the result of that break, taking us back to the time when it all began: the Creed’s formation in Ancient Egypt.

Assassin's Creed Origins pyramids

That’s the Assassin’s Creed, by the way. A creed of assassins. You know, those folk who are famed for taking out specific targets, usually through silent methods. The thing is, Assassin’s Creed has increasingly been a series about fighting loads of guards in front of crowds of people. These hooded thugs do it well, of course, but they’re not a street gang called Guard Brawlers R Us, are they? 

When you’re not blending into a crowd, sitting on a bench, or lying still in a stack of hay, Assassin’s Creed has always been pretty bad at stealth. It does the old ‘hide in the tall grass’ thing most games with rudimentary stealth do these days, but the controls - particularly when you’re navigating across rooftops and up walls - just don’t gel with sneaky-fun-times. It’s enough of an ask to make your avatar jump in the exact direction you want them to. 

Assassin’s Creed: Origins expands the series’s stealth lexicon by ripping bits out of Ubisoft’s other games: your eagle is the drone from Ghost Recon Wildlands; and you can burst open the enclosures around caged animals to make them fight for you, like in Far Cry. Ubisoft should instead be looking for inspiration from a different series altogether: Splinter Cell. The Splinter Cell games nail stealth, and the the most recent two manage to marry it to aggression - a perfect fit for a freerunning killer. 

Assassin's Creed Origins Egypt

Instead, Ubisoft are adding in RPG mechanics. Loot and damage numbers are fine - and I’m actually looking forward to trying Origins - but one aspect of RPGs really doesn’t work with stealth: levelling. Particularly in Ubisoft’s approach here, where high-level enemies can shrug off stealth attacks. Find yourself in an area you shouldn’t be in and your best tools are taken away. Stealth kills should be kills, no matter what level an enemy is. If you mess up stealth and have to fight them, fine, make the combat hard. But don’t strip away the one tool that the series is supposed to be about. 

It feels like Ubisoft have forgotten the appeal of the series in an attempt to push it forward. They’ve lost what made Assassin’s Creed a hit in the first place - the promise of a historical assassination sim. Instead, it’s leaning into current popular trends. Look, I’m all for trying new things in games - and I really do hope that I’m completely wrong and Origins ends up being a masterpiece - but I didn’t get into this series for never-ending fights with overpowered goons. I want to be a blade in the crowd again.

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FlintlockFord avatar[GM] SocietyX avatarkneegrowplz avatarabsol33tgamer343 avatarJerharris90 avatar
[GM] SocietyX Avatar
10 Months ago

I feel like you're making a lot of assumptions about what 'assassin' means in the first place. You don't have to be stealthy and always getting away clean to be an assassin. All that matters is target dies. Some of the most well known assassinations were always public and brutal for a reason..

That being said. Older AC's were also increasingly boring. Meanwhile games like Shadow of Mordor have taken fast paced combat combined with parkour elements and made it into something much more enjoyable all way around. I'm personally glad if AC decides to learn from this.

absol33tgamer343 Avatar
7 Months ago

completely agree considering it all started for bayek as vengeance it is fitting the way the playstyle is, and honestly i hope they stay on this road this is the best game ubisoft has put out well honestly since black flag

FlintlockFord Avatar
10 Months ago

Firstly, a creed isn't a group of people. It is a set of fundamental beliefs or a guiding principle. Or a boxer. Anyway, the original Assassin brotherhood from the first game wasn't really about silent assassination. Often it was about very public kills, to send a message to the templars. Also, how can this game have forgotten what it means to be an assassin? Bayek has yet to form the order.

kneegrowplz Avatar
10 Months ago

Assumptions assumptions. The game hasnt even been released yet. Unless your hating ass is disliking the game because of its new diversity. Shame on you! pcgamesn is biased!

Jerharris90 Avatar
2 Months ago

WOW.. ok.

So you're audience is noted, but simply:(staying lightly) idiotic.

This is not supposed to be like the other AC games.. You are not trained as an assassin as THERE ARE NO 'ASSASSINS'. What makes you think that stealthy kills should always be kills when you're just a man stuck on vengeance? Only as the years go on and people are properly trained as assassins should they be able to perform as assassins do today.