By: Ryan Jenkins
For those keeping their ears open for any Assassin’s Creed gossip, good news; game director for the upcoming AC title ‘Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ Ashraf Ismail has disclosed some key pieces of information regarding the next instalment, including game mechanics, environments and plot elements.
During an interview with Game Informer Ismail definitively confirmed the expansive size of the next game’s environment, stating “If I compared it to previous cities in the past, I don’t know the exact numbers for sure, I could say it’s at least twice the size of Havana from Black Flag”. This is quite an interesting statement considering the vast size of the compared location. What’s also interesting is that most of Black Flag was set in open water, making the explorable landmass relatively small by comparison. Given that Origins is set in ancient Egypt, at the moment there’s no way of knowing how this will impact on the player experience.
In relation to landscape, Ismail goes on to state that the focal point for the environment is not sheer size, but how immersive and vibrant it is to the player, stating that “It’s really the content, the experience that you have inside of it. It’s how alive it is. So we filled these locations with quests, with making each city feel unique to itself, why was it important to Egypt”.
Although the AC franchise has seen its ups and downs in recent years, with the quality of the series waning with with its prolonged plot structure, if this announcement is to be believed, campaign quality is the main focus at Ubisoft, perhaps partially in an effort to make the games more playable and to extend the franchise even further.
During the interview, the director confirmed that apart from the initial tutorial stage, the entire environment is accessible to the player from the get go. In addition to this, he further elaborated stating that the player can use the protagonist’s eagle companion Senu to traverse the environment indefinitely. Senu will not be tethered to the main character Bayek, with Ismail noting that “There’s no leash, there’s no limit to flying away. You can technically fly as far away from Bayek as you want”.
As the discussion progressed, Ismail indicated that Origins may give popular game Tomb Raider a run for its money, as a extensive number of tombs are explorable throughout the game. I suppose this was to be somewhat expected give the time period, otherwise this would have been a considerable wasted opportunity. Confirmation has been given, stating that they will contain numerous puzzle and traps; this comes as welcome news of hardcore Tomb Raider and Uncharted fans like myself.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, we can expect some significant enhances since Ubisoft’s break in its annual AC releases. Many suspected that this added break would give the developers at Ubisoft the time they needed to improve many of the aspects that have caused the series to become lacklustre. Great news is that Ismail has confirmed these improvements, stating that “One thing that’s changed is there’s no longer a high profile button,” explaining that “It used to be on the trigger, where you sprint. We changed it so that all the input is on the stick. So you you can walk, to trot, to jog, to a full out sprint on the stick. This actually allows the player to have much more control over what they hit. So A and B are still there, A to go up, B to go down; they still work but there’s been a lot of tweaking and tuning done based on the way we’ve seen people play, again to make it super responsive. The goal is to make the assassin do what the player wants, looking as awesome as we can make it look”. My hope is that movement within the game will be more fluid and intuitive; most likely Ubisoft will emulate last years Watch Dogs release.
In relation to the modern day plot element, the director was quite cryptic on what information he disclosed; this was likely to focus on the game’s selling point, it’s ancient Egyptian setting. What he did say however is that “one of the reasons we hesitate is that we know it’s an important element for the series, we’ve read what our fans talk about, what they ask, and what they wish for. Part of me wants people to be surprised by the experience.” and that “I think people will be happy.”
Assassin’s Creed: Origins is due to be released on the 27th October; will you be buying the game or do you think the franchise is long past its expiration date? Tweet us your thoughts @JenChauMedia.