Assassin's Creed Origins is fine, but its Photo Mode is splendid
Postcards from Egypt
I'm having an odd time with Assassin's Creed Origins. It is, perhaps, the most "fine" game I've ever played. It's fine. It's fine. It's not bad. There are bugs, but they're not that bad. There's... plenty to do? It is, I've found, one of the most bland games I've ever experienced. But goodness me, it lets you take a good screenshot.
I've found, as I've played the first ten or so hours, that I've had much more fun using the game's photo mode than I have completing any of the quests. So I figured I'd share some of my snapshots with you.
It's hard to really capture why I'm finding Origins quite so vanilla. It is packed with quests, side quests, random things to do and find, climbing, fighting, chatting, and even occasionally something akin to an assassination. It's a vast depiction of 50BCE Egypt, in all its lots-of-sand-everywhere glory. You can ride camels, and punch hippos. And it does all of it in the most, er, functional way? It sure is functional!
But despite all of that - even the hippo punching - I'm finding it joyless. There's just no spirit to it, no life. It's flat like Norwich, a giant tablespread with only rice crackers to eat. I don't dislike a single part of it, but I struggle to find anything I actually like either. I've been playing it for a couple of days, and it passes time in a perfectly ordinary way, without creating pleasure or pain. It's neutral, like cream wall paint. It'll do.
Funnily enough, considering the reason for this post's existence, it's not even that pretty. Running at full whack it often looks clumsy and cluttered, blurry and clunky. But every now and then, at the right angle, it suddenly looks really very lovely. There are moments of precise prettiness, and I've found a sport in capturing them as best I can, and really rather like the results.
Each of these below can be clicked on to see the ridiculously huge 3440ish pixels wide versions, if you need to print them out to wallpaper your kitchen or similar. I hope you enjoy looking at the pretty pictures as much as I have.