Assassin’s Creed Origins, set in ancient Egypt, is indeed the next entry in the series, coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 27th. The game we’ve all known has existed for some time finally got officially acknowledged at today’s Microsoft press briefing, and it looks great.
In it, you play as Bayek, an Egyptian sheriff who does the kinds of assassiny-type thinks you’d expect, but in much more beautiful and precise detail based on what Ubisoft showed at the conference (which was running in 4K on Xbox One X). The game depicts Bayek’s struggle against the forces “corrupting ancient Egypt,” with that struggle eventually leading to the formation of the Assassin Brotherhood featured throughout the rest of the games. Spanning from the Mediterranean Sea to the tombs of Giza, Origins will focus mostly on the cities of Memphis and Alexandria.
The game’s been in development for four years with Ubisoft Montreal having begun work on it after completing Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag. In its press release, Ubisoft calls Origins a “brand new vision” for the series that will include action-RPG elements like leveling up, loot drops, and customization abilities.
The gameplay shown during the event includes lots of sneaking around and bow and arrow action. It also showed off how the hawk detection will work, with an overhead avian spy helping you get the lay of the land and figure out what’s what. Origins won’t have conventional towers like past Assassin’s Creeds, so the overhead hawk will be a core tool.
In addition, we got a glimpse of some pretty sick looking combat. Assassin’s Creed struggled in the past with combo-based sword and knife play, but Origins looks much closer to a cross between Dark Souls and The Witcher 3 than past entries in the series. You dash, switch between different types of attacks, and seem to have more mobility. The studio says the combat has been revamped as well to make fighting multiple enemies at once easier and based on the new trailer it does look a lot more fluid.
In an article posted over at Ubisoft’s blog, the game’s designers explain that Origins will move away from the sandbox build of earlier Assassin’s Creeds to one where cities, small villages, and the terrain connecting them can all be traversed seamlessly. The game’s world will have NPCs with their own day and night cycles, lakes that can be sailed or swam in, wildlife and bandits on the prowl. Origins will also have bosses and skill trees, pushing it away from its stealth roots and into a mold that’s much more action and stat heavy.
Last fall, online rumors and Kotaku’s own sources suggested the game would be set in Egypt and it also became clear that Ubisoft wouldn’t be releasing the next entry in the series in 2016. The flow of information was so prevalent that Ubisoft even made a joke about it in Watch Dogs 2, and the leaks have only picked up more in recent weeks as E3 approached. Still, it feels good to finally know 100% that the Assassin’s Creed franchise is alive and well and still littering ancient locales with points of interest.
The game will have a season pass that Ubisoft says will “give players access to all upcoming major expansions and equipment sets” after the game is out, while a “Secrets of the First Pyramids” mission is currently being listed as a pre-order bonus.
We’ll no doubt be learning more about the game during Ubisoft’s press conference on Monday at 4:ooPM EDT.