Gasp! Surprise! Assassin’s Creed Origins announced

Oh, would you Adam and Eve it! Ubisoft are bringing murder simulator Assassin’s Creed back from sabbatical with a trip to Ancient Egypt for a prequel named Assassin’s Creed: Origins [official site]. Ubi announced Ass Origins during Microsoft’s E3 announce-o-rama, seventeen months after word of a prequel leaked and one month since we heard its name. But you must act surprised, as this is E3 and we have to be polite. Here, check out the announcement trailer and some gameplay from the demo:

Yup, as we knew, it’s a prequel story about the early days of the order of Asses. It looks like an Assassin’s Creed game, though this time we will get to use an eagle as a drone. Ubisoft call this one an action-RPG, and in the gameplay video you can see there’s levelling and all that jazz. Observe:

Ubisoft’s announcement blurb says:

“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.”

Black Flag was a goodun. I’m glad to see this has boats too. And crocodiles. I can think of more mysterious places in history, though.

Assassin’s Creed Origins is due on October 27th. Well, Ubisoft say October 27th but don’t get into platform specifics. Given Ubisoft’s history with Ass Creed delays, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if it’s delayed a fortnight on PC. They have had a few years to get this right, though.

65 Comments

  1. Zenicetus says:

    So is this the one where they finally drop the animus gimmick?

    • criskywalker says:

      I certainly hope so!

      • Frank says:

        Same.

        The UI magic, particularly from that bird, suggests it won’t be, though… Dude’s got augmented reality, a drone and manually-guided missiles. Oh, and he can see behind himself. Pretty sure the only standard futuristic video game feature missing in the trailer is quest-giver-voice-in-ear tech.

    • duns4t says:

      +3

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      basilisk says:

      Technically speaking, the Animus was dropped in Unity, and as of Syndicate all of the present-day stuff was reduced to two short cutscenes, one at the start and one at the end of the main story.

      I’m not entirely sure why people keep complaining about it. It’s been pushed as far back as possible.

      • KenTWOu says:

        My guess, people who criticize Assassin’s Creed series (and other Ubi open world games) are not playing them anyway. That’s why they still make fun of towers, despite recent Ubi open world games don’t have them.

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          basilisk says:

          Yes, I’ve long suspected as much.

        • Carra says:

          I played Far Cry 4 half a year ago and it had towers…

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            basilisk says:

            You may have played it half a year ago, but it was released in 2014.

            And if you look at the list of games they’ve released since then, you’ll see that Watch_Dogs 2 doesn’t have towers, The Division doesn’t have towers, Far Cry Primal doesn’t have towers. I haven’t played Steep or Ghost Recon Wildlands, but I don’t think they have towers, either. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

            Which means the last Ubisoft game with towers was AC: Syndicate in 2015.

          • Blastaz says:

            Far cry Primal had bonfires. The division had, something, can’t remember as that was mostly forgettable. While it may not have the mechanical climb a tower puzzle, which really only FC3 & 4 had, it still has the basic formula of one task to reveal the map (towers) and one task to remove enemies from the map (forts).

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            basilisk says:

            Except the bonfires in Primal do not reveal the map.

        • Catsplosion says:

          Horizon had towers. They were called Tallnecks. That being said I enjoyed that game immensely.

          Towers are fine they just need to be done in an interesting way.

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        Masked Dave says:

        I genuinely did not know that! Last Ass Creed I played was Black Flag, reviews/trailers for the newer ones never grabbed me.

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          basilisk says:

          Syndicate is actually really good. As far as I’m concerned, it’s easily the best game in the series, with Black Flag not far behind.

          It’s by far the best iteration of the core formula as first presented in AC2. It doesn’t feel particularly fresh, because ten games into the series, there’s no way it could have, but all the core systems are very enjoyable. And it’s light-hearted and fun in a way the series hasn’t been since the Ezio days.

          Don’t bother with Unity, though. It’s not as bad as its reputation, but entirely skippable.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            I actually liked Unity. Paris is pretty spectacular and there were some cool missions, though I did find the way the guard detection was tuned occasionally frustrating. Also co-op was fun.

  2. criskywalker says:

    Could this be the best Ass ever?

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      I really wonder why RPS insists on the “Ass” moniker like it’s a style-guide. I know you guys are partial to the occasional wordplay but consistently referring to a series with that Ass abbreviation seems just kind of mean-spirited and juvenile. We get it: assassin has the word “ass” in it.

      It’s just below the level of quality punning that this site is capable of.

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        CrackedMandible says:

        I always like to get behind butt humor.

      • Frank says:

        CODBLOPS

      • dorobo says:

        But wait! They could show more of that ass in this game.. Those hanging rags while look pretty seem very unnecessary for a roof climbing ninja. Imagine that shit catching fence spikes while you jumping over it. That could lead to a very unelegant landing if nothing worse.

        • RobinOttens says:

          Video game men need their strategic butt covering. Can’t have sexy male ass on screen for an entire game can we.

          That said, this game sure looks like another AC game. Meaning I’ll buy it a year or so after release and probably love the heck out of it. I appreciate that they made the pyramids white with the golden cap, and go for some historical accuracy in their historic fantasy. I’m still bitter about Total War Rome 2 choosing Hollywood Rome over historic Rome.

      • poliovaccine says:

        Eh, it’s also annoying to type “assassin” twenty times in three paragraphs, and it’s a cumbersome word that doesnt read well without some accommodating sentence structure. I’m not about to hold that against em.

        Besides, I may be a grown ass man, but I still get some laughs out of the good old “anal car game.”

        • RobinOttens says:

          I wonder if they’ll call themselves ‘assassins’ in this game. Granted they’ll probably be speaking modern English and not old Egyptian so whatever words they use will be inaccurate.

          But still, the word assassin specifically originated from the assassin order of the first AC game that takes place a couple thousand years later right?

  3. RichUncleSkeleton says:

    Huh… slow-motion mid-air arrow aiming. I wonder where that got that from. (2:20 in gameplay video)

    • Tigris says:

      Zelda also had the possibility to hide the minimap ;)

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      You know, Zelda might be a really well-designed game with some very smart ideas, but a lot of those *amazing genius innovations* were done years ago by other less popular games. One of the reasons new Zelda works so well is they finally started paying attention to what others have been doing and then gave it their own distinctive spin. Clearly it’s a good game but please don’t act as if Zelda invented game design.

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        That said, if Zelda popularizes previously ignored smart design ideas originally developed by others because everyone is copying Zelda, all the better I guess.

        Not that they don’t have original ideas of their own, but the game was not created in a vacuum, just sayin.

      • RichUncleSkeleton says:

        Of course a lot of Zelda’s gameplay mechanics are taken from other games, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one with slow-motion mid-air arrow aiming. I think it’s safe to say that one was directly inspired by BotW.

  4. Shadow says:

    *yawn*

    So when the plausibility of flamboyant hooded outfits as disguises is stretched (Syndicate+), it’s time to go back in time in the search for a viable reskin.

    I guess they pondered a modern AssCreed, regardless, and scratched the idea but kept the personal UAV mechanic despite going 4,000 years into the past. Beyond pure magic, I can’t see how a hawk could be remotely like a precision spotter drone.

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      The recon hawk is lifted straight out of Far Cry Primal. Its function seems nearly identical (except it probably can’t drop bee bombs on people).

    • Binho says:

      I actually liked the new setting. Antiquity as an RPG/Action setting is underused in my book.

      Although I’ve always disliked the flamboyant outfits for the AssCreed protagonists.

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      Masked Dave says:

      Is it not just magic?

    • poliovaccine says:

      Fwiw, I kinda doubt they would dismiss a modern AC game entirely for the need to wear hoods… cus like, the modern age has, yknow… hoodies.

  5. Turkey says:

    I’m only buying this if it has a sequence where your character breaks off the sphinx’s nose in a high-speed cart chase. Also if there are random NPC barks about denial not just being a river in Egypt.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I’ve been pretty burnt out on the series, but ancient Egypt might be enough to tempt me back. Looks gorgeous. The fact that it’s specifically the Black Flag team also has me more interested. The giant snake at the end almost suggests a more mythological route, though I imagine they’re keeping it semi-historical.

    One thing I would like to see out of this series though is for them to respect not just the *settings* of history but also the people and events involved. They have always had this enormous reverence for the places, the art and architecture of the cultures they depict but then when it comes to historical figures and events they seem to just kind of mix and match stuff at random into a big old crazy conspiracy and the player gets to Forrest Gump around and do all the important things.

    Any event of significance happened not because real people did extraordinary things but because they had a magic apple, and wars were fought not for complicated myriad reasons but because those pesky Templars and Assassins were at it again (this is especially apparent in the more modern entries… though in a period that we know much less about it might less of an issue)… It just kind of cheapens the history a bit.

    I would love to see a historical game with this kind of scope played a 100% straight. No precursor ancestor aliens, no globe-spanning perfect conspiracy that involves absolutely everyone… just people trying to live their lives in another time and place. That would be neat.

    • April March says:

      Isn’t that Deliverance?

      But I agree. I remember when the first AC came out and it was interesting because both the place and the time were something rarely used in games, or even in media in general. Ever since then, every AC has been in either Europe or the US, save for Black Flag, which is just reskinned from that pirate game from some guy who left the company (1709, it was meant to be called).

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        More or less, and I approve of their choice of setting.

        I have no problem with the settings of Assassins Creed. Renaissance Italy and revolutionary France are no less unusual as settings for a 3D action-adventure and Europe has some of the greatest historical architecture. In fact, the lack of distinctive buildings was one of the reasons the North American setting in AC3 didn’t work as well. Forests and seasons were a good addition and colonial Boston and New York were cool but not as memorable as Rome or Paris. The reason I tired of the series was the lack of mechanical variety (cool sailing excepted), the endless collectibles and the increasingly bloated and unbelievable story. I would have played Syndicate (Victorian London looks great) if I wasn’t burnt out on the formula.

        That being said, there are many other settings with magnificent climbable architecture that would also be great to see. Egypt is definitely one of those. Since it looks like they might be going for an ancient history series Athens, Greece, seems likely and perhaps a return to Rome during the time of Caesar. Both of those could be really interesting as well. Neither have ever been realized in a game in that kind of fully explorable detail.

        Other obvious choices: China, India, Japan, Russia, the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs.

        >which is just reskinned from that pirate game from some guy who left the company (1709, it was meant to be called).

        I think you might be getting your development history mixed up on Black Flag though. You’re probably thinking of Desilet’s 1666, which was a very different game (link to youtube.com). Besides it was AC3 that was the first to have the sailing.

  7. racccoon says:

    This game is worse than playing the violin badly, I mean I do not mind a violin now & then, this is one game that’s gone so overboard, overdone, overreached, and stupidity dizzy repeating itself always trying to get to new heights to look & jump from, which are now very unnecessary for it have in a constant fashion of next game releases. been there done that! The devs do not know how to stare away from their addiction of the same old plot set in another time. Devs..either crash this game idea, or changed your direction, as its far to……..<–like those dots.

  8. April March says:

    Journey into Ancient Egypt, the most mysterious place in history,

    What gives, man. I can name five mysteriouser places in history on a bad day.

    • pepperfez says:

      I can not name a dozen places so mysterious they don’t even have names.

    • Emeraude says:

      Every single person unknowingly lives in the most mysterious place (an time)in history.

      We just like to pretend everything is dull to help keep things manageable.

  9. ezelkow1 says:

    Black flag team huh, good game, sure hope they’ve learned how to optimize and run games on a pc since then. Nothing like 60fps lock and horrible performance even on the beefiest of gpus

  10. TK-093 says:

    While I loved Black Flag, melee combat is just to simple. (I have not played one since Black Flag) Everybody just stands around and you kill them off one at a time. They really need to steal Shadow of Mordors combat system. That was great.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      The AC combat system was overhauled yet again in Unity (and improved in Syndicate) and was very much in the Arkham style, just like Shadows of Mordor. But this looks like a brand new system, by my count the fourth in the series.

  11. Samudaya says:

    That “sacred oasis” Siwa, it has a homosexual tradition that went as far as marriage. I very much doubt the game’s hero will partake in it. If any character does, it’s most likely some villain like the target in the trailer with effeminate looking gold on his face. I’m getting those 300 Xerxes homophobic vibes already. The bad guys can be gay. It makes them even more despicable. Nevermind the historic Spartans were a lot more homosexual than the Persians ever were.

    Ubisoft could have picked any Oasis. They chose Siwa and I hope they stay true to it’s history and don’t cut it out because the usual gaming homophobia that has ruled all of the games gay representation in the past from Abu’l Nuqoud to Maxwell Roth to hiding any mentions of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sexuality deep in the Codex and completely omitting the supposed bisexuality of Syndicate protagonist Jacob Frye.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      What? Leonardo’s apprentice-slash-lover Salaì appears as a character in AC: Brotherhood. And Ezio explicitly comments on their relationship (“You do not need to lie to me. Salaì fits you. I approve.”)

      That’s not what I call “hidden”.

      (Also, this: link to youtube.com )

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      There’s always that one person who watches a video game trailer and says “I sure hope this game doesn’t skimp on the gay sex”.

      • Samudaya says:

        Recently a friend told me she was still getting used to seeing men kiss each other. Species much older than Homo Sapiens show homosexual behaviour. We know homosexual people existed for at least a couple hundred years. What she sees of the world, what she has been told about history, what she saw in the media for decades had been selected to not show anything gay.
        It has nothing to do with sex. I simply don’t appreciate that homosexual history, sparse at it is, is erased while Assassin’s Creed is perfectly alright with gay villains.

  12. Alberto says:

    Finally we’ll have proof that Pyramids were built by Aliens. Suck on that, illuminati!

    Also: I left the series when you get to kill the Pope. Killing a Pharaoh is not as appealing for me, for some reason.

    • Blastaz says:

      Pedant Alert! You never kill the pope. You fist fight him in AC2 (which is admittedly even more ridiculous) but Alexander survives into Brotherhood where he is poisoned by his kids.

  13. Premium User Badge

    DuncUK says:

    So all that noise about Assassin’s Creed tailing a year off to consolidate and rethink and they came up with this? Don’t get me wrong, it looks like a perfectly serviceable AC game.. but it’s exactly what I’d expect if they hadn’t taken the year off and instead had churned out another relatively minor update to the franchise. This is barely an evolution of the series and is certainly not the revolution that was hoped for and hinted at. I’m still expecting a map of icons to clear.

    On the plus side, they do seem to have brought back a properly open world (i.e. one not over-crowded with buildings) not really seen since AC Brotherhood, probably still my favourite in the series as well as the ships of Black Flag. So it might at least play to the strengths of the series.

  14. BaronKreight says:

    Egyptians also had horses, but as luxury animals. They did not appear until the thirteenth dynasty and only to the very wealthy. Horses were treated very well since they were considered of high worth. They were never used for plowing and rarely ridden during the second millennium BCE. Though they were attached to chariots for hunting and war. King Tutankhamen was a big fan of riding horses and Ramses II built a stable big enough to house 460 horses. Ramses III even deemed the prince Namlot “evil” for not feeding his horses correctly after the siege of Shamumu. Unlike horses, Donkeys were used for transportation and work because they were not deemed as worthy as horses. And surprisingly, camels were not domesticated in Egypt until the Persian Conquest.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      AFAIK, they haven’t revealed the exact time period it’s set in, but there was a picture of a T-shirt that seems genuine and if it is, then it’s Cleopatra’s time. 49 BCE or thereabouts.

      • Blastaz says:

        It was hinted in a previous leak that this would be Hellenistic/late republic rather than actual ancient Egypt to allow an Ezio like trilogy to be set in Greece and Rome.

        It also has the advantages that there are actual historical source for more people than just whoever was Pharoe at the time.

        Personally I’m wondering what they are going to call the assassins/templars a thousand years before the crusades…

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        The fact that they show the Pharos lighthouse (link to en.wikipedia.org) and the player fighting Romans means it’s definitely around the time of Cleopatra.

        • Blastaz says:

          I think Brutus was a confirmed Assassin in AC2. A globe hopping, three game, Caesar Pompey bash where you finally have to off JC at end of third game because he goes mad with the POE he discovered with you at end of first game would be cool.

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      Also, remote-controlled attack eagles were exclusively reserved for Pharaohs and their BFF’s. Way to fudge the historical details yet again, ubisoft.

  15. Yega says:

    So they’ve gone way in the past in this one, I’m looking forward to the way in the future one, Assassin’s Creed: 2287..oh wait we already have COD:IW, never mind.