After much anticipation, Ubisoft has officially confirmed that the latest installation in the Assassin’s Creed franchise will be set in Ancient Egypt, with a trailer and five minutes of gameplay revealed on the Microsoft’s stage during the E3 Expo late Sunday.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins follows the story of Bayek, the “sheriff” in his hometown of Siwa during a time when the Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt.
He is the last remaining fighter of Medjay, a Nubian warrior clan that protected the temples and cities under the pharaohs, and is hailed by the people as the “last protector” of Egypt, according to creative director Jean Guesdon.
Bayek is the protagonist that fosters the birth of the Assassin’s Brotherhood, a prequel to the ongoing storyline of the franchise.
The exciting new game will feature the entirety of ancient Egypt, from Alexandria with the Pharos Lighthouse (the world’s first lighthouse, now underwater) standing ablaze, to Faiyoum, Giza, the Nile Delta, and more.
Highlights include detailed landscapes such as Lake Moeris, which is being highly acclaimed for its explorable underwater world filled with sunken treasures, the Temple of Pnepheros, and various other historical aspects, a first for the franchise.
“We know that people, when they think Egypt, they think desert,” stated Guesdon. “Egypt is way more than that. You have the Nile Delta, you have the Nile River, you have tons of oases. So when you mix all that, from the green, lush fauna of the Nile Delta to the oasis of Faiyum, it’s the perfect playground.”
Ashraf Ismail, the game director who has previously worked on Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, said of the map: “We have the capacity, from a technological standpoint, to create a massive countryside,”
“It’s not a city, it’s a whole country with many cities, many villages, many exotic landscapes.”
The game itself boasts several new mechanics, such as the use of Senu, Bayek’s falcon sidekick, a new weapons system that allows for the manual guiding of arrows, and a different loot structure, among other changes.
There will be three available paths for users to follow: the Hunter, Seer, and Warrior, which will set the tone for players to navigate through the map.
“We want players to have fun finding their own way through the ability graph,” Ismail said. “The Hunter path is made to lean towards ranged fighters and stealth players. Warrior is obviously made for melee fighters, and the Seer path is for playing with manipulation – Assassin tools, economic persuasiveness, animal taming, etc.”
Critics have applauded Origins for bringing back features such as the widely-favoured naval-based missions, and have responded positively to the sheer vastness of the map and its intricate details.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which will be made available on PlayStation 4 and Pro, Xbox One and One X, and Windows PC, will launch on October 27.