Thanks to the E3 blowout of gameplay, we know that Bayek, the hero of Assassin’s Creed Origins, can climb just about anywhere thanks to the game’s new animation system, and that his combat maneuvers aren’t locked into rigid sequences because the producers have moved to a hitbox-based engagement system. Bayek’s unlimited inventory allows him to hoover up all the loot in Egypt, and his gear quality and level will determine how he fares against enemies. He has an eagle friend that helps him spot bad guys. There’s a giant snake. Bayek can drive chariots, ride camels and horses, as well as pilot boats.
Hold up a second. What’s that about a giant snake? As much as the Assassin’s Creed games have stretched credulity, the lore has always been grounded in a semblance of reality. Even when you were trading blows with a superpowered pope or listening to time-traveling ghosts from a progenitor race, there was a strict line between the science fiction elements and the historical tourism. This serpent monster would seem to cross that line. Ashraf Ismail, lead on Assassin’s Creed Origins, spoke to Eurogamer and pointedly did not explain the giant snake in the room.
What I will say about that is, because I know there are fans asking if we are going fantasy, is that we wanted to play with the mysticisms, the religion, the animal-headed gods… This was one credible, authentic way of imagining, from a mainstream perspective, what you might expect about Ancient Egypt.
Taking a cue from Ubisoft’s Far Cry games, it might be a dream sequence or a drug-induced vision. Perhaps it’s an illusory false god created by a power-mad priest? Whatever explanation accounts for the giant snake, we won’t know until October 27th when the game launches.