Assassin’s Creed Origins trailer bops to Leonard Cohen

A new cinematic trailer for Assassin’s Creed Origins [official site] is basically a Leonard Cohen music video, which is a fine thing to be. The big German games show Gamescom starts this week, which means the streets are running orange with trailers. If we’re to be shown all these things which don’t represent video games at all, hey, at least they’re letting us listen to Leonard Cohen. I just listened to Leonard Cohen for work purposes! I don’t remember much else. Pyramids and Cleopatra and Romans and some bloke with a cool hat and murders? And Leonard Cohen.

Decent song, You Want It Darker. Ta Len.

Origins is the first big Assassin’s Creed game since the series took a break from annual instalments. As for what it’s actually like, great gobs of gameplay are all over the Internet since E3, and you can read Adam’s words after he played too:

“In fact, after its gap year, I’m not sure if Assassin’s Creed has found itself or not. It’s found a new look, a new culture, a new set of stuff to collect. Hopefully the new stuff is actually meaningful, and I think it might be, even if it’s only giving ‘+4 to accuracy’. That’s better than ‘+1 to the number of these things you’ve picked up’.

“It certainly seems to be a little bit better at all of the things that an Assassin’s Creed game does, and that’s probably enough. It’ll be enough for me, if this recreation of Egypt is as fascinating and beautiful as the little slice I saw, but in all of the sprawl, I can’t help but hope that the new RPG elements provide a clearer sense of identity.”

Assassin’s Creed Origins is due out on October 27th. Ubisoft haven’t yet announced the series’ traditional PC delay, so maybe we’ll even get this one on time.

27 Comments

  1. asthasr says:

    Wow. There’s something gross about using this song (which is deeply spiritual and meditative) to advertise AssCreed.

    • int says:

      I would have gone with something more upbeat like this:

    • Sian says:

      Taken out of context – or rather, set in the context of Assassin’s Creed – “You want it darker, we kill the flame” sounds pretty bad-ass, and that was all marketing was looking for, probably.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Ugh my thoughts exactly. Leonard Cohen is on par with William Blake – using his tunes for anything short of worship seems straight up cartoon evil.

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        Good lord, he was a great musician/songwriter, not the friggin messiah. I didn’t know it was Leonard Cohen, but I thought it was a good choice of song… certainly fit the atmosphere (in keeping with the series tradition of anachronistic trailer music).

        • GeoX says:

          Well, I do think poliovaccine overstates the case a little, but the fact is, it IS a deeply spiritual song written by a dying man, and using it to promote your murder simulator can’t help but feel extremely vulgar to say the least.

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Maybe, but to a new listener without context it seems like a perfectly fine choice. I didn’t hear anything in the lyrics that seemed particularly out of place, and Ancient Egypt was certainly a spiritual place if not in quite the same way that a modern Western audience would be familiar with. You can debate appropriateness but it’s hardly unusual for music to be re-used or juxtaposed in a context entirely divorced from the original intent as it was made. I mean, speaking of Leonard Cohen, I’m sure Shrek was not the most immediately obvious place to put one of his songs either, but it worked well enough at the time.

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Also, I’m not a fan of the unspoken but implied argument that *a game* (any game) is inherently unworthy of being paired with another art-form, regardless of the merits of this game specifically. Though, since we’re here, while Assassin’s Creed as as series is prone to dropping the ball thematically and narratively at times (precursor aliens?), it has been known to have some interesting ideas and thoughtful moments, and certainly the series’ sense of place and time is something special.

          It’s not like they’re playing the song to a super-cut of finishers from DOOM 2016.

          • GeoX says:

            Meh. I’m not saying anything about games in general; I’m saying something about as nakedly mercenary a series as Asscreed. And, you know, I don’t actually feel THAT strongly about this, but “Ancient Egypt was, like, spiritual” is a remarkably feeble argument in favor.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            Well, again, I don’t know the original context of the song, but Ancient Egypt was all about gods and death, so I’m still not seeing the disconnect. Evidently whoever owns the rights thought it was fine.

      • reiniat says:

        It might feel vulgar to you, but to me this is an excellent opportunity to introduce new people to Leonard Cohen. After all, I first listened to him in that long awkward sex scene in Watchmen.

        • GeoX says:

          You mean the embarrassing scene that everyone agrees was totally misbegotten and had no place in the movie? You’re…not exactly making a strong case here.

          • reiniat says:

            Well, youre missing the point, exposing people to new things is often just enough, I know people who got into indie rock after listening to Devotchka in a GoW2 trailer, and without that embarrassing sex scene I would have not known about Leonard Cohen, the world just works in weird ways.

    • GeoX says:

      Yeah, this is crass as hell. They weren’t trying to appeal to COHEN fans with it, that’s for sure.

  2. BaronKreight says:

    I first heard Cohen in True Detective TV show. I think that was the one and only song of his I listened to. I recognised his voice instantly watching this trailer.

    Kinda interested in this new AC not because of the game but because of the setting.

  3. Sian says:

    Up to and including Black Flag I bought every Assassin’s Creed game, and I finished even the quite unremarkable number 3, but then the series just dropped off my radar. This setting, though, kind of interests me. I won’t be picking it up at launch, but it might make my wishlist this time around.

  4. Zorgulon says:

    Like the two commenters above me, I think the setting looks great.

    It’s a shame, I’d love to play a game set in Egypt around the Roman invasion. I just have very little desire to play an Assassin’s Creed game.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      I’ve been pretty burnt out on the series – skipped Syndicate entirely – but coupled with the setting what I’m reading about the design changes sounds promising. Ditching the mini-map, overlapping quests instead of one mission at a time, more focus on exploration, improved combat… sounds good to me. Plus I’m a big Egyptian history nerd so that helps.

      (link to ign.com)

      Only thing I’m not super keen on is the step back in animation quality. They apparently switched to code-driven (as opposed to anim-driven) movement, which is fine, but in the gameplay I’ve seen they hadn’t really adjusted animation to accommodate this (lot of sliding feet and jarring transitions). Hopefully they can polish that some more before release.

    • Okami says:

      By the looks of it, it’s set in some kind of fantasy universe, where late republic Roman soldiers time travel back 2500 years to occupy old kingdom Egypt.

  5. antszy says:

    Leonard Cohen was the boring-est man and vocalist who ever lived and I hope to never see the name on a PC Gaming site again.

    Also screw UbiSoft.

  6. tomimt says:

    I think Assassins Creed III was the latest I tried to play but dropped it as just like every other Ubisoft game, it felt far too repetitive after a couple of hours.

  7. Kow says:

    The song in which Cohen basically said goodbye to the world, as he was literally on his last breaths in the studio? To sell an Ass Creed game? That’s pretty low.

  8. rednettle says:

    I wonder if he had to be dead for them to get the rights to use the song…

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