Assassin’s Creed Origins is a new beginning. Explore the Great pyramids and hidden tombs across the country of Ancient Egypt as you embark on immersive quests and discover the origin story of the Assassin’s Brotherhood. – Ubisoft
Assassin’s Creed Origins: Gamescom 2017 Cinematic Trailer | Ubisoft [US]
Watch the Assassin’s Creed Origins Cinematic Trailer and discover the conflict that awaits in ancient Egypt.
Assassin’s Creed Origins: Gamescom 2017 Game of Power Trailer | Ubisoft [US]
Watch the Assassin’s Creed Origins Game of Power Trailer and witness the growing struggle between powerful figures such as Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and the Pharaoh of Egypt, Ptolemy XIII.
Assassin’s Creed Origins: E3 2017 Official World Premiere Gameplay Trailer
Watch the world premiere of Assassin’s Creed Origins and get a glimpse of ancient Egypt and the beginnings of the Assassin’s Brotherhood. Available October 27.
Journey into Ancient Egypt, the most mysterious place in history, during a crucial period that will shape the world. Discover the secrets behind the Great Pyramids, forgotten myths, the last pharaohs, and – engraved in long-lost hieroglyphics – the origin story of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.
For the last four years, the team behind the acclaimed Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag® has been focused on crafting a new beginning for the franchise. Fight in a completely new way where you transition seamlessly between unique ranged and melee weapons, and take on multiple enemies at once. Choose your Assassin skills while exploring the full country of Ancient Egypt, engaging in multiple quests and gripping stories along a journey that will change civilization.
Set in mysterious Ancient Egypt, Assassin’s Creed® Origins is a new beginning. Experience a new way to fight while exploring the Great Pyramids and hidden tombs across the country of Ancient Egypt, and encounter many memorable storylines along your journey. And discover the origin story of the Assassin’s Brotherhood. – Ubisoft
From deserts to lush oases, from the Mediterranean Sea to the tombs of Giza, fight your way against dangerous ancient factions and wild beasts as you explore this gigantic and unpredictable land.
Experience a completely new way to fight as you loot and use hundreds of weapons with different characteristics and rarities.
Dive into a new adventure every time you play, with each quest telling an intense, emotional, and memorable story.
Egypt is faltering under the rule of inexperienced monarchs. It’s a time for the silver-tongued to attempt to take control, and for the Assassin’s Brotherhood to emerge and ensure that doesn’t happen.
Cleopatra’s Egypt is the Series’ Biggest World Yet
In re-creating ancient Egypt, Assassin’s Creed Origins doesn’t just give players a city or three to explore, with some countryside in between – it’s building an entire seamless country that you’ll be able to travel freely across, from Alexandria and the Nile Delta in the north to Aswan in the south. This is the biggest world ever created for an Assassin’s Creed game, and it’s packed with dynamic things to discover and pursue.
“When we started saying ‘let’s do Ancient Egypt,’ it was going to be [the entire] country,” says Ashraf Ismail, game director of Assassin’s Creed Origins. “Ancient Egypt meant many things for us; it meant cities, but also wilderness, and we wanted to show the diversity of this wilderness. And people, as they play the game and get into hours and hours of it, they’re constantly seeing new stuff from the world and the environment.”
The team began with a world around the size of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s, with one key difference: it’s almost all land, and the parts that aren’t land are fully realized underwater environments that hide secrets, loot, and dangerous animals. And no matter where you are, there’s a density to the landscape that creates the feeling that there’s always some area you haven’t explored, something you haven’t uncovered.
For example, the game’s city of Memphis is a massive, almost mazelike landscape of temples, fortresses, and dwellings. Delving into any of these can lead to battles, treasure, new weapons, secret caves, and more, lending importance to every structure, every person, and every opportunity to wander off the beaten path. And all of this is a seamless part of the larger open world, surrounded by miles of farmland, rocky desert, cliffs, and gigantic pyramids that conceal mysteries of their own.
“In terms of the granularity of the details, the experiences that you can have, the things you can run into, the NPCs, the animals, the fauna, it’s much, much more dense,” says Ismail. “This is definitely, in terms of content, the biggest world we’ve ever built. We want the exploration of the world to really be jaw-dropping. We want people to be lost in this world for hours and hours. So the game is quite huge. The world is massive.”
Reviving the Ancient World
Egypt, even in the game’s setting of 49 BCE, was never the undifferentiated landscape of deserts, pyramids, and snazzy headgear so often portrayed in fiction. It was huge and cosmopolitan, and its status as a hub of trade, agriculture, and craftsmanship made it a giant among the cluster of ancient civilizations that huddled around the Mediterranean. From Alexandria to Memphis, Egypt was a place of geographical contrasts and cultural diversity, and re-creating the entire country as a single open world is one of Assassin’s Creed Origins’ greatest achievements.
“When you compare the game’s map to the real-world map, when you look at it very quickly, you feel like this is Egypt,” says Maxime Durand, Assassin’s Creed Origins’ resident historian. “The proportions make sense. You have the Nile to the east, you have the deserts down south and west, you have the Libyan Plateau out west of Alexandria.
“When you look at precise points, you realize that we play a lot with size and the distances,” says Durand. “But wherever you are in the world, you know where you’re located. You have landmarks to look at and orient yourself. You can see some of the mountains to help you understand where you are. You can use the pyramids to know where you’re at or the Lighthouse in Alexandria.
“We have different regions in the game that are inspired by history, inspired by real places,” adds Durand. “All of these regions are unique. They have their own flavor and their own people.”
Egypt’s diversity wasn’t just geographical. In 49 BCE, Durand says, the country’s population was a mix of native Egyptians and pockets of Greeks, with the latter population tending to cluster in certain areas around Egypt. Greeks had been part of Egypt’s cultural makeup for about 1,500 years before the events of Assassin’s Creed Origins. After Egypt’s conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, however, one of his generals, Ptolemy, installed himself as the founder of a new dynasty of pharaohs. As a result, Greeks had lived in Egypt as a privileged class for more than 250 years, and their influence had a dramatic effect on the country’s landscape.
Assassin’s Creed Origins’ version of Faiyum, for example, is an area that had seen a relatively recent population explosion thanks to the Ptolemies expanding its irrigation system. This led to a huge influx of both Greeks and Egyptians, whose coexistence created a landscape where Greek villas and pavilions bump up against Egyptian temples and statuary. Other areas will have their own distinct character; Memphis, the old capital of the pharaohs, was about as traditionally Egyptian an example as you can get, a place where few Greeks lived and the country’s ancient religious traditions were closely guarded by Egyptian high priests. Alexandria, meanwhile, was the relatively new capital of the Ptolemies, and as such was where most of Egypt’s Greek population lived. Rather than being a bastion of Greek customs, however, Alexandria was the center of a new Greco-Egyptian culture that combined both traditions to create something unique to Egypt.
To represent these areas in the game, Durand says, the developers consulted Egyptologists and studied a wide variety of materials on ancient Egypt, including movies and comic books as well as historical texts and documentaries. Their research helped them move beyond clichéd depictions of Egypt, even going so far as to shape the unique topographies of the game’s vast deserts.
“There are a lot of deserts, but a lot of them are unique,” says Durand. “They’re linked with reality because we studied them. We studied the Libyan Plateau, the Qattara Depression – all of these places that make Egypt what it is as a country.”
“One of my favorite places in the world is the White Desert, because it has these very uniquely structured rocks, and it’s built off of the real White Desert,” says Ismail. “The black desert, which is close by, is a very foreign environment that does feel a bit alien – and then the sand dunes, the classic image that people have, that area is just awesome. We have systems that run in these deserts, we try to make the desert experience feel unique in itself.”
Also vital is Siwa, Bayek’s home village, which plays a key role in Egypt’s history. Before invading Egypt, Alexander the Great traveled across hundreds of miles of desert to visit Siwa’s Oracle of Amun. The Oracle allegedly judged Alexander to be not only divine, but the legitimate Pharaoh of Egypt. That Alexander showed enough sensitivity to Egyptian custom to make the trip and be confirmed by the oracle made it easier for Egyptians to accept his rule, as well as that of his successor in Egypt, Ptolemy.
“‘When you look at Siwa on Google Maps, it’s insane how far it is,” says Durand. “It’s even more insane to think that Alexander the Great and the Ptolemies might have traveled just to go there, in the middle of nowhere, and come back to Alexandria. It’s so remote, but for us, it was important to have that in the game, because of the presence of the oracle.”
A Country Filled With Activity
Next to capturing the scale and detail of Egypt, the game’s biggest task might be filling its vast spaces with interesting things to see and do. The Egypt of Assassin’s Creed Origins is a dynamic place, one where you’ll always be able to find wildlife to hunt, a secret to uncover, a bandit gang to raid, or a quest to pursue. In fact, you’ll need to discover the game’s quests on your own, and there are always multiple ways to do it; a vital contact might direct you to someone who wants you to check on a friend in danger, for example, or you might just stumble onto that friend while exploring and get pulled into a new adventure. You can even leave a quest at any time, pursue other tasks, and pick up again from where you left off.
“It’s a way to enhance the narrative experience, to create unique opportunities for missions, and to create setups with the new AI so our crowd has a 24-hour cycle and an agenda,” says Durand of the new quest system. “The AI creates unique experiences, and we don’t always know what’s going to happen. So you might be looking for a target, and actually he’s being eaten by a crocodile in the Nile, so you just need to find the proof that he’s dead. But for another player, they might actually need to find the target or interrogate him, or interrogate other people to locate that target. The new quest system allows us to create so many more characters and unique stories to tell to the players, which is really at the core of the Assassin’s Creed experience.”
Designing quests around this kind of dynamic world, Ismail says, is a very meticulous process. So is finding a balance between the fun of exploring the game’s spaces, and the need to make those spaces feel alive.
“For example, you might have some bandits that attack a little village,” Ismail says. “And as the player’s running through, whether they’re going to the village because of a quest, or because they need a shop, or because there’s a little puzzle to discover in this little village – whatever their reason is, the game is offering them many ways to engage with that village, systemically or through a quest. And here it’s about players being lost in the world, but still having the controls and the capacities to understand what is offered to them and how they can interact with it.”
There are plenty of side activities you can pursue more deliberately, too. Nosing around an old ruin, for example, might reveal a dark dungeon filled with puzzles and traps, which Bayek can explore for treasure and other rewards. The biggest standout activities so far, however, are gladiator arenas and hippodromes, ancient race courses that let Bayek compete at the reins of a four-horse chariot – “Ben Hur-level stuff,” says Ismail. The arena and hippodrome are both integrated into the main storyline, but quickly become optional activities that offer unique encounters and rewards, giving players the chance to test their skills and pursue ancient stardom whenever they want.
You can read the full article on Cleopatra’s Egypt at the UbiBlog HERE.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is coming October 27 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. To find out more, check out our previous Assassin’s Creed Origins coverage.