Assassin's Creed Rogue: Remastered

Assassin’s Creed Rogue: Remastered throws fans a post-Origins curveball

Inevitably after the release of any critically lauded franchise instalment like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which sent fans and critics alike into something of an ecstatic frenzy last year with its rich open-world and much-needed gameplay mechanics overhaul, the question which immediately eagle dives onto everyone’s lips is this – what next?

Well, now we have our answer courtesy of Ubisoft, though if the above headline didn’t offer a clear enough hint on the matter, they’re taking a rather unexpected detour from the beaten track. Or to put it another way – introducing Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Remastered…

Takeaways:

  • This long-rumoured remake of what UbiBlog justifiably calls the action-adventure RPG series’ “lost game” will bring renegade Irish Assassin Shay McCormack’s journey from pirate to heretic to Templar in the United States’ 1700s French-Indian War onto PS4 and Xbox One.
  • Bringing a “wider audience” – which Ubi willingly admit the original PS3 / Xbox 360 version never amassed – to Rogue takes more than a straight port, though, and indeed Remastered will sport a number of technical upgrades including “higher resolution textures, improved shadows and lighting, and many other visual improvements” come release day.
  • Speaking of which, there’s not long to wait until Assassin’s Creed next makes port in the vicinity of a retailer near you; Rogue Remastered, rather than fitting into place as the series’ annual autumn outing, will ship (no pun intended, really!) on March 20th worldwide.

Where fans will stand on Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Remastered most likely depends on whether they thought the franchise’s Renaissance escapades warranted a full-scale remaster in 2016’s Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection; are Ubisoft needlessly diverting resources away from core entries to make a quick buck on past glories?

We can’t provide all the answers to such complex industry debates on nostalgia vs. innovation, but no doubt fans aplenty will relish the opportunity to revisit the then-ice-capped plains of New York with a sea shanty-warbling crew behind them, especially since Rogue packed easily one of Creed’s most emotionally investing storylines to date.

Be sure to let us know whether you’re planning to pick up Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Remastered this March 20th, and what you’d like to see when Ubisoft almost certainly announces the true next instalment for their hit stealth saga later this year.

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Sekhmet is coming to town in Assassin’s Creed: Origins December update

Most gamers might plan to deck the halls with boughs of holly this month in preparation for a certain festive event, but Assassin’s Creed: Origins developer Ubisoft Montreal lives to defy expectations.

Instead, they’re plundering the Halls of the Dead for their action-adventure RPG’s latest update, introducing a wealth of seemingly omnipotent deities for Egyptian warrior Bayek to overcome and new modes set to up the ante further.

Takeaways:

  • It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the physical reincarnations of Anubis and Sobek already await those Creed veterans willing to put in the hours to find them amidst the deserts and jungles of Ancient Egypt. But as of this month, Sekhmet will join the fray, enabling – or daring – you to duel up to three gods at once.
  • Fans of Gears of War‘s Horde Mode or its countless derivative counterparts in other franchises can rejoice too. Origins will also introduce “Here Comes a New Challenger”, an endless survival mission pitting Bayek against hordes of increasingly resilient foes within a Cyrene arena.
  • Speaking of challenges, anyone who grinded through Origins‘ main campaign with ease should keep an eagle eye out for the open world odyssey’s incoming Nightmare difficulty setting. Combined with enemies now scaling to match your level across all difficulties, the mode promises to test even the most skilled players to their limits.

No official launch date has been set in stone – or marble, as might befit the Ancient epoch – for Origins‘ latest update yet, but expect to see a “new world of gods and monsters” make its way to consoles and PC before the New Year. In the meantime, look out for the Gladiator Items Pack this December 12th and the Wacky Items Pack on Boxing Day.

If you’ve yet to pick up Origins, though, whether due to series fatigue or other reservations, be sure to check out Chris Wheatley’s review for D-pad Joy and find out why now is “the perfect time to step back inside the Animus”.

Assassin’s Creed Origins Review [PS4 Pro] – A Fine Piece of Ancient History

The Assassin’s Creed series has covered a broad array of historical time periods, numerous revolutionizing civilizations and provided fans with plenty of towering platforms plunging you headfirst into shallow haystacks. Year after year, Ubisoft released the next entry in the series for the past decade, only acquiring a small number of stand out titles from the Assassin’s franchise. After a year off from the constant barrage of AC titles, Assassin’s Creed Origins relieves fans from the drought with a massive world to explore, set in the earliest days of the brotherhood.

Discover ancient Egypt through the eyes of a Medjay

Our newest (or shall I say earliest) assassin goes by the name of Bayek and dons the presence of a Medjay – a sort of royal officer serving the majority of the populace found in Egypt. Acting as protectors not only of the people but of Pharaohs as well – often looked upon as hired mercenaries – Medjay listen to the people and help bring peace and safety to the lands of ancient Egypt. Soon, the death of his son enrages Bayek to chase down the masked ones responsible, in turn learning more about the ancient lands then he may have anticipated.

The world of ancient Egypt is sprawling with enemy hideouts, dozens of viewpoints and tons of sidequests.

The arid scenery of the desert landscape is stunning, and the vastness of the map is daunting, to say the least. The open lands run through countless villages, ancient prospering cities and boundless desert climates reach as far as one can see. It’s no secret the team from Ubisoft took their time on Origins, but the sheer level of detail put into the living and breathing world is far greater than anything we’ve seen from the series. To say the vibrant world of ancient Egypt looks astonishing is nothing short of an understatement. Origins lives and breathes with the ebb and flow of life surrounding the civilization it so graciously clings to and does so brilliantly.

As you run through Egypt and its many territories found in Origins, many new features will begin to surface. The parkour technique has been simplified to one button, while the “marionette” style of character control scheme AC had so faithfully made claim to a decade ago has been completely abandoned altogether. But the true difference from the series doesn’t sit at the controls of Bayek outside of combat but is found in the overhauled mechanics during combat.

Big steps forward in revamping the combat system

To say the Assassin’s Creed new and improved combat system may have been influenced by outside sources beyond Ubisoft headquarters may become evident to most who have played other titles with similar combat experiences. Ditching the relentless style of attack where assassins would bounce between a dozen or so enemies, parrying each attack one after another in a flashy, ultra-bloody finish. Instead, Origins has the player focusing more on one enemy at a time with combat similar to that of The Witcher 3, or perhaps the Dark Souls series.

The revamped combat system brings a brand new approach to brawling with enemies.

Striking with either a light attack or heavy attack, blocking with your shield, using ranged attacks from a variety of different bows and, of course, pulling off stealth assassinations with the elusive hidden blade; the weapon to which made the assassin brotherhood so deadly. The combat in Origins will have you dodging around your enemy blows while counterattacking with one of many melee weapons to choose from. Be it mace, club, sword or spear, tons of thrilling weapons can be found in the massive world of Egypt.

While older systems and battle mechanics had players swinging their weapons at the perfect time to execute precise and deadly counterattacks, the combat would become stale quickly. Over and over we saw the same enemies, with the same predictable attacks, timing our counterattacks just right to squeeze off as many finishers as possible. Though the system saw tweaks here and there throughout the series, this is the first time it has actually been completely overhauled. And, while it takes away from one of the few aspects that separated the Assassin’s series from other titles in the dense genre, it fits well with the new mould the franchise has taken.

A hint of RPG elements

Skills that Bayek can learn throughout Origins are divided into a three-part skill tree. After each level up through gaining experience points, Bayek is granted one ability point to spend on one of the many enhanced skills and abilities. Becoming a stronger warrior with fierce, new attacks, discovering new skills for the helpful companion, Senu or acquiring various bombs equipped from Bayek’s tool belt are just a few examples of useful skills found from the skill tree in Origins.

A dash of other useful RPG elements have been added to the game’s weapons system, now with tons of options from heavy, blunt weapons to ferocious attacking swords. No longer must players discard favourite weapons simply because they’re out-levelled and weaker compared to newer finds with the help of the weapon upgrading system. Upgrading your weapons at local blacksmith shops, be it melee or bows, will bring the weapon to Bayek’s current level, for a fee of course. In some cases where players may discover a particular weapon, they’re comfortable using, instead of replacing it down the road, the upgrading system allows them to continue using it effectively at higher levels.

Tons of weapons, upgrades, unique skills and abilities are discovered, rewarded or learned in the massive world of Origins.

Though, in many instances, it may be wise to switch to newer weapons. Coming in three different colours of rarity (similar to the colour coding found in other RPGs, i.e. Borderlands, Diablo, etc.) weapons will be labelled blue if they’re common, purple if rare and gold if legendary. There are tons of different weapons, each with various stat boosts, and all may be dismantled for precious crafting supplies.

While crafting, Bayek is able to enhance various pieces of equipment, which in turn upgrade important stats permanently. There are a total of six different items to enhance through crafting, including the bracer for stronger melee attacks, the breast-plate which raises Bayek’s health or the quiver which increases the number of arrows one can hold. Other pieces raise range attacks, the amount of bombs or other tools held and the power of Bayek’s hidden blade. Each piece of equipment requires a certain amount of crafting materials, typically found through hunting wildlife, or grabbing loot off of enemies. Finding the loot would be rather difficult if Bayek did not have the help of the scouting eagle, Senu.

Scout the endless skies with Senu

Using Senu is another big change in the series, replacing the eagle vision from previous AC games. Additionally, while flying with Senu, the map icons appear, as well as icons for any nearby crafting supplies, within a certain proximity of your soaring eagle’s sight. Senu has an unlimited distance to scout, and the more viewpoints synchronized, Senu’s sight range is slightly expanded. Aside from pointing out various activities, loot, side quests and crafting materials, Senu is also helpful to provide the player with guard activity and numbers when raiding enemy hideouts.

Explore the skies as Senu and scout for additional quests, important events and necessary items like crafting materials.

Throughout the enormous map that makes up Origins, plenty of side tasks and extra content lay at the feet of Bayek. With the addition of actual side quests, and tossing out the unoriginal and repetitive objective challenges from all of the other releases in the series, Origins stands as the most unique and rewarding Assassin’s title to date. Each sidequest – and there are tons – has a different and interesting storyline, which most are based on real-life instances, legends or myths from the ancient Egyptian era. Many may have players performing simple, and sometimes similar tasks, but all have unique backstories, and plenty of surprises to help ease the gameplay from becoming the same, worn-out cycle of events.

Overview

The massive lands of ancient Egypt sprawl past any other Assassin’s Creed title that has graced the gaming community since its debut in 2007. With a storyline that includes yet another rage-driven protagonist fueled by vengeance and hatred towards Templar forces, the start of the Brotherhood of Assassins is an impressive one. Gorgeous visuals compliment the astounding world of the mysterious Egyptian civilization.

With tiresome gameplay mechanics stripped away and replaced with new and exciting features that show Ubisoft is paying attention to what fans of the series want, Origins gives a lot more than it takes away. The all-new combat system is a delight to master, and gives players a true sense of accomplishment. The crafting and hunting system is an excellent way to continue to strengthen Bayek, on top of the expansive skill tree rewarded through experience points.

Ubisoft takes Assassin’s Creed: Origins back to the future with DLC trailer

Future-planning seems at the forefront of Ubisoft’s collective hivemind right now.

For starters, the studio outed the full DLC structure of its madcap RPG South Park: The Fractured But Whole‘s season pass – sentient towels, trips to Casa Bonita and all.

But not content to announce the long-term gameplan for one of their oncoming AAA titles, they’ve also given Egypt-set open-worlder Assassin’s Creed: Origins the same treatment with a new DLC-orientated trailer of its own…

Takeaways:

  • Those picking up Origins‘ premium Gold Edition (£80 / $100) or standalone Season Pass will have two major expansions to dive into after the core campaign: “Curse of the Pharaohs” and “The Hidden Ones”.
  • The former introduces a new open-world region where Bayek must overcome dead Pharaohs and mythological beasts in “a mystery that turns into a living nightmare”. We’re hoping that doesn’t mean re-watching the Assassin’s Creed movie, as the two experiences sound uncannily similar.
  • As for “Hidden Ones”, expect to witness “the next step in the Brotherhood’s story” as the first followers of everyone’s favourite Creed – Bayek included – travel to the Sinai Peninsula to brawl Roman conquerors heralding a threatening new epoch.
  • What’s more, Gold Edition purchasers will also get Horus and Roman Centurion customisation packs featuring new outfits and mounts for our newfound Assassin protagonist and his noble steed.
  • That’s not to say Ubisoft won’t provide those sans Season Pass with free DLC, though. Game director Ashraf Ismail says to expect an “epic challenge” in Trials of the Gods, where Animus glitches pitch Bayek against the likes of Anubis and other fearsome deities.
  • Plus look out for daily challenges at Nomad’s Bazaar yielding secret items, a Photo Mode enabling players to soak in the glorious sights of Ancient Egypt, the near-obligatory Horde Mode and a Discovery Mode framing the open-world in an educational light, all costing £0.00 to download.

Whether dedicating so much effort to developing Origins‘ post-launch content – as opposed to keeping their focus on crafting as groundbreaking an Assassin’s entry as possible for Day 1 – will work in Ubisoft’s favour remains to be seen.

After all, if the finished product coming our way soon doesn’t deliver truly overhauled combat and a compelling core narrative on a par with Ezio and the Kenways’ beloved escapades, then no amount of DLC will necessarily correct this misstep.

At the same time, however, given the extra year of development Origins has had what with the franchise’s 2016 hiatus, one can hardly blame developer Ubisoft Montreal for using that to their advantage, and most fans surely won’t complain at the thought of returning to Ancient Egypt on numerous occasions after the credits roll.

Catch the full trailer for yourselves below, and keep your eyes peeled for our verdict on Assassin’s Creed: Origins when it arrives on Xbox One, PS4 and PC this October 27th.

The Brotherhood is baptised by fire in new Assassin’s Creed: Origins trailer

As if this month wasn’t already fraught enough with AAA gaming experiences between Star Wars: Battlefront II‘s multiplayer beta, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and Super Mario Odyssey, Ubisoft has kindly reminded us that another mammoth title lies in wait: Assassin’s Creed: Origins.

The half-helpful, half-infuriating heads-up comes in the form of a new cinematic trailer, “Birth of the Brotherhood”, which both recaps the core tenants of the action RPG franchise’s first Ancient Egyptian outing and teases major set-pieces ahead for players preparing to sink their teeth into its epoch-spanning main campaign…

Takeaways:

  • While just about anyone who’s followed Origins‘ marketing campaign to date will doubtless know as much, we open with steeled protagonist Bayek re-affirming his role as a Medjay, bound to protect Egypt and its supposed “true pharoah” against oncoming threats.
  • Said threats look set to hit the dying Ancient nation with fierce rapidity too, as we’re soon privy to shots of fiery chaos besieging its otherwise gorgeous sand-soaked landscape. Worse still are the hints of all-out war for Bayek to brave, the final scenes seemingly depicting entire legions of Egyptian soldiers marching into battle (for reasons as yet unknown).
  • As if this harrowing vision of a country “on the brink of collapse” wasn’t enough to give the first ever Assassin cause for concern, glimpses of cloaked figures discussing surely unlawful machinations in a shady cavern could well indicate the debut of the Templar Order here to boot.
  • Luckily, though, at least we now know for certain Bayek won’t end up alone on his perilous odyssey to save the world of pharaohs and pyramids, since he’ll apparently conceive the Order as a means to fulfil the Medjays’ untapped potential if his spirited voiceover is any indication.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged by this point that Ubisoft’s marketing team have honed the art of Creed-promoting cinematic trailers to near-perfection, especially after a decade in the business, but whether the final product proves as well-rounded isn’t quite such a known quantity.

For every Game of the Year-nominated masterpiece like Brotherhood or Black Flag which the franchise has produced since its 2007 inception, there’s been a stopgap cash-in like Revelations or Unity forcing fans to question their love for the globe-trotting, time-travelling saga anew, only for the following year’s edition to often restore the faith.

Origins‘ fate lies with the gods – otherwise known as critics – and their worshippers – otherwise known as Creed fans – at this stage, but whatever happens, keep it D-pad Joy for all the news and views on Bayek’s whirlwind adventure in the run-up to its October 27th debut on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Assassin’s Creed Origins – The New Changes to Quests, Combat and AI Sound Brilliant

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.

What’s New?

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.

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Life in Origins surrounds Bayek with the new engaging AI system – making the world around you feel more alive.

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.

Realistic Combat

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.

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The combat in Origins has been overhauled, but that doesn’t mean stealth still isn’t the best method of survival.

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.

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An entire city is filled with new acquaintances and partners waiting for Bayek’s skills.

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.

Stick with D-pad Joy for more updates on Assassin’s Creed: Origins, as well as other upcoming titles for your favourite gaming systems.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin’s Creed Origins – Meet the Order of the Ancients

A new trailer for Assassin’s Creed Origins is here. In it, we see the powerful “Order of the Ancients”, a force that manipulates and controls all of Egypt. By the looks of it, nothing stands in their path. Other than you, of course.

Assassin’s Creed Origins: Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII

Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII’s rule is being ‘guided’ by these shadowy figures who are fundamentally an early version of the Templars. Ptolemy XIII was the younger brother of Cleopatra, who he ended up marrying, (Egyptian law would you believe) and is referred to as “The Boy-King”.

Pre-ordering the game will give you access to a bonus mission called “Secrets of The First Pyramids”. We assume this will be available to everyone down the line.

Assassin’s Creed Origins is out October 27th, the final Friday in October, and the same day as Super Mario Odyssey. The gaming season has begun.

Assassin’s Creed anime announced with Adi Shankar at the helm

Adi Shankar, the creator of Netflix’s upcoming Castlevania, has announced his next project: it’s an Assassin’s Creed anime.

Takeaways:

  • The Assassin’s Creed anime was announced on Facebook, where Shankar revealed the series would tell “an original story”.
  • Shankar was surprised to have Ubisoft contact him, and “could never have imagined that one day”.
  • He finished by saying: “If anyone tells you not to follow your passion in life they are wrong.”

You can find the teaser trailer for Shankar’s Castlevania on Netflix below – it’s out this Friday, July 7th. Richard Armitage plays Trevor Belmont and Graham McTavish takes on the role of Dracula. Are you planning to watch it? Let us know in the comments below, if you please.