EB Expo 2017 – Assassin’s Creed Origins Hands on Impressions

At this year’s EB Expo 2017 we went hands on with Assassin’s Creed Origins on the Xbox One X and Egypt has never looked so beautiful.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Assassin’s Creed games have run their marathon over the years starting out as a fresh and new experience and ultimately becoming what many gamers dread; an annualised franchise.  With the fall of Unity many gamers gave up on the series and opted out and many gamers missed the next in the series Syndicate, it was then the series took a well-deserved break and I for one am glad Ubisoft did.  Now after a solid 2 year break, Ubisoft is back with Assassin’s Creed Origins, set it Egypt, it’s shaping up to be the best yet in the series.

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Assassin’s Creed Origins is set in Ancient Egypt and explores the origins of the centuries long conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins who fight for peace and the Templar Order who desire peace through force.  Our hands on experience had us begin in the desert riding our horse and making our way towards the city of Egypt.  The sand glistened as we strolled by and the sun beamed down onto your back from above, it’s hot and dry.  As we approached the city I was taken back by the sheer size of Egypt from the mountains and Pyramids in the distance to the villagers fishing on their boats in the distance.  Egypt was alive and is a city filled with many people, vibrant colour and building tops galore where one could easily become lost.  Of particular note was just how gorgeous the world looked, especially when running in glorious 4K resolutions and HDR on the Xbox One X, but even so the PC version ran and looked just as awesome in 1080p as well.

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As I rode my horse towards my objective, passing people in the street, beggars and more I could appreciate the amazing sound thanks to the Astro headsets we were using that made sure we could hear anything and everything, it was truly amazing.  My mission was simple; I needed to assist a slave who was being beaten by his master, by finding the lost treasure from his sunken ship.  I set course to find the treasure and returned it to him, however things were different to Assassin’s Creed games of the past.  What was immediately noticeable was the shift of the action buttons from the controller face to the shoulder buttons and the revised combat system.  Attacking and blocking, both hard and light are mapped to the triggers and shoulder buttons.  This took a little time to get used to as I tended to swipe my weapon when trying to run. There was now a shied bump and attack option which was also extremely useful.  Also, the biggest change aside from the controller layout was indeed the use of my new friend, an eagle named Senu.  Senu is my companion and with the press of the d-pad, Senu is off flying ahead under my control scouting the area and is my new eyes in this world.  The all too familiar world map that usually populates the lower left side of the screen is now a thing of the past, as all objectives and points of interest appear on the top of the screen along the horizontal bar instead; a very welcomed change.

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As time went by I finished my objective and of course my time with Assassin’s Creed Origins was up.  However, I left the Ubisoft booth that day with a very satisfying feeling concerning the future of Assassin’s Creed, and that feeling was one of total satisfaction and happiness with the new direction and changes made to the Assassin’s Creed formula.  I even went back the next day for a second hands on experience, although this time I wandered the streets of Egypt, exploring the vast and open city, it was truly amazing.  Assassins Creed Origins is a must buy for me and I am truly excited to explore Egypt and all its mysteries when it releases later this month. 

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Be sure to pick up Assassins Creed Origins when it launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC worldwide on October 27th 2017.

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Written by

Paul Barbara

I'm 40, been an avid gamer since I was 5 (1981) and owned almost all systems possible in that time. I love podcasting, having produced over 230 episodes over the last 6 years and I get a real buzz out of discussing all this gaming news with other gamers. So tune in!

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