Many Assassin’s Creed players have come up with countless complaints and adverse opinions regarding one of video game’s most notable franchises. One problem that seems to return every major release – and almost always overlooked – is the responsiveness of the AI, frustrating combat mechanics and the static mission system. Since the showing and official reveal at E3, many new surprises are floating about regarding the new additions in Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
In the sprawling and beautifully crafted open-worlds of the AC universe, Origins is looking to stir things up by adding – and taking away – a few various assets. First, the addition of lively and engaging non-playable characters is a huge step in keeping the world “alive”. In an interview with Kotaku, AC: Origin’s game director, Ashraf Ismail, states many new changes in the game’s AI will be making an appearance in Origins.
In previous entries into the series, the NPCs found throughout the game always seemed stale and puppet-like. Following this standard route day-in, day-out gives the supposed ‘lively’ and ‘open-world’ an artificial feel and flavour to it. In Origins, non-playable AI characters will no longer follow their designated path to the same location that’s programmed into the game and will live standard routine days full of work, eating, using the restroom, doing errands and of course, a good night’s rest – sound familiar? Animals, as well as human NPCs, will fill out the vast and populated world of ancient Egypt – the aim is to bring more life to the AC universe than any previous entry to date.
An example given by Ismail describes a mission where Bayek must locate a target by discovering small details about this person’s day-to-day life. From dusk until dawn the non-playable characters and open-world population will seamlessly live a routine and busy schedule to help keep the player engaged. The target will not always be ready and waiting for your arrival, instead leaving the option up to the player on how they want to tackle this. This new system also brings a unique day/night advancement button, allowing Bayek to fast-forward the days and nights with the hold of the R3 (or right stick) button. Waiting for the perfect time when the target’s schedule shows a bleak sign of isolation for a stealth kill, or perhaps striking when Bayek’s target is distracted by the entertaining world around them may prove quicker for the less patient assassins.
The combat featured throughout the series has been re-worked and re-imagined in almost every release since the original. Some mechanics worked wonders, while others seemed to take a few gradual steps backwards. In Origins, the combat system has taken on a new identity with a much more realistic approach, negating the “tethered” combat style in more recent releases.
The enemies will no longer graciously pair-up with the player for an un-realistic battle, nor will enemies need to be targeted for an effective hit, but now every opponent (and Bayek) is open to the new “hitbox” style combat system. “In layman’s terms, you swing your weapon, if somebody’s there, they’re getting hit,” states Ismail. Carefully executed skills and combat moves will be required to avoid any open-air misses, in-turn leaving the player wide-open for an attack.
There’s A New Sidequest System
Adding to the quest system from previous iterations, Origins – for the first time in AC history – will feature a large sidequest system, following suit from the many sandbox-RPGs that have emerged since AC set its foundation. Bringing hundreds of stories captured throughout the times of Ancient Egypt, Bayek will become intertwined with tons of sidequests, giving Origins a true RPG feel in terms of sheer content. Hundreds of hidden secrets and unique surprises may also be discovered throughout the enormous open world of Egypt, leaving a huge amount of playability at the core of this new AC title.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins is shaping up to be a much-needed release in a rather stale franchise then; the fans urged the developers to correct major flaws and bring something desired to the ever-expanding table. After taking their first year off of consecutive AC releases since the original, Ubisoft has fans eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the highly acclaimed series. Taking that break may well have paid off.
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