There is always a compromise between being historically accurate and serving the needs of a game. Soldiers did not resolve battles via capture-the-flag in World War II. Pirates did not ballroom dance to further their careers. Rey did not fight Boba Fett on Naboo.
Ubisoft dares to ride that line between history and gaming consistently by having their marquee Assassin’s Creed franchise bounce around time like a sightseeing tour. They even released a standalone version of Assassin’s Creed Origins that was essentially an educational virtual museum romp through Ptolemaic Egypt.
How accurate is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Did Ubisoft get their rivet counts right on their staue of Achilles? Our very own forum member, Josho Brouwers, editor-in-chief of Ancient World Magazine, is taking an academic look. In his latest article, he comments on the game’s depiction of Cephalonia, the plausability of Kassandra being a freewheeling mercenary, and notes inspirations from Clash of the Titans. It’s as accurate as it needed to be to offer “exotic” travel while depicting a recognizably popular version of ancient Greece. Good enough for me, except I’m still bitter that Kassandra can’t pick up a shield.
The free updates coming in November for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey include an option to apply a visual layer over your gear. That means your Kassandra won’t have to be seen wearing an hodge-podge of armor to get the stats you want. You’ll be able to drop a cosmetic look via a “visual customization” menu over your actual items. Secretly wear bandit gear, but look like a good Spartan.
The level max is increasing by twenty, there’s a new The Lost Tales of Greece quest series coming, and more high-end bounties will be available. All this, coming for free this month!
The violence-free “edutainment” Discovery Tour feature for Assassin’s Creed Origin is out now. It opens up the whole game map for exploration, disables any conflicts like angry Roman soldiers or crocodiles, and presents 75 walking tours of virtual Egypt. But there’s a problem. Sharp-eyed porn hounds have noticed that all the game’s statuary have their naughty bits covered with seashells in this mode. Scallops everywhere! “How can you censor art boobies in a piece of software meant for classrooms?” countless nerds ask. Don’t fret. There is still brazen nudity in paintings and wall decorations. Also, there may be a rock formation in Giza that looks a bit like a wang if you squint hard enough.
Assassin’s Creed Origins update 1.0.5 will be live soon. Performance and stability improvements? Sure. Glitched quest fixes? Yup. The update even returns the Deluxe Edition’s Ambush at Sea quest which was disabled soon after launch due to a game-breaking bug. All that stuff is nice and you can peruse the patch notes here if you’re interested. This is all good, but standard stuff. The most worthwhile addition is something that will finally allow thousands of players to return to the game. There will be a beard and hair toggle, and your selected preference will remain saved. No more baby-faced Bayek when you return to the game from the last time you played it! Thank Ra!
Update 1.0.5 will launch today for the PlayStation 4 and November 20th for the Xbox One. The PC version doesn’t have a date just yet, but that’s likely because of the platform’s superior beard technology.
The normally accepted theory on how ancient Egyptians hauled the immense stones to the tops of the pyramids as they were being built is via humongous external ramps, some over a mile long, that allowed them to scoot up to the heights needed. The main problem with that theory is that no one has ever found any evidence of those ramps. An alternate, and controversial, theory put forth by French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin in 2007 is that the Egyptians built the pyramids from the inside-out using a spiral system of ramps and chambers that were repurposed into burial rooms as the builders worked up. Unfortunately, we haven’t actually mapped the interior of the pyramids enough to confirm or deny Houdin’s theory.
Last week, Nature published details of a newly discovered large inaccessible chamber in the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Although no one has been able to confirm what the chamber might contain or what its purpose was, its existence was predicted by Houdin’s construction theory.
Here’s where Assassin’s Creed: Origins comes into the story. The newly discovered chamber in Khufu’s pyramid is already in the game! Ubisoft’s developers consulted with Houdin and used his pyramid schematics as a spingboard for their in-game models. His inside-out theory lined up nicely with the team’s gameplay goals. According to what they told Kotaku, the developers bet on Houdin as “the most credible” of sources.
Say what you will of the game’s flaws, but that’s some impressive synchronicity. If the developers got that right, maybe we should watch out for mummies and giant serpent attacks in the future?
You can pet cats in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. There is no button to “pet cat.” Just crouch next to one and your Bayek will automatically reach out and give the feline a good rubbing. Good kitty! You cannot, however, pet dogs in the game. Crouch all you want next to a canine and Bayek will just sit there hunched over, ready for assassinating, while Fido runs off. Bad doggy!
Assassin’s Creed Origins will get a peaceful free-roaming exploration mode. The Discovery Tour feature, will disable combat and allow players to travel through virtual ancient Egypt and learn about the true history of the setting. It’s an expansion of the series’ Animus Database that presented historical fact with a dash of snark from the in-game character of Shaun Hastings. The Discovery Tour will present interactive tours guided by Egyptologists that consulted on the game.
“It’s a more educative mode, so it’s clearly focused on education and on bringing to people actual facts, more academic knowledge.”
We’ll miss the dry sarcasm of Hastings, especially when it came to his opinions on Victorian era beer. The Discovery Tour feature will not be present at launch on October 27th. Ubisoft plans to add the mode in a free update to the game in early 2018.
You want to play the next Assassin’s Creed game, but you’re still busy cruising around the countryside with your anime boy band bros in Final Fantasy XV. What can you do? Beginning August 31st, Assassin’s Creed will slide into Final Fantasy XV’s world with the free Assassin’s Festival DLC. It’s a chance to pick up some snazzy new hoodies for you and your buds, and share some Abstergo-approved Cup Noodles.
The town of Lestallum will transform itself for the event with signs and banners signaling the arrival of the festival, and new activities will be available for players to participate in.
As a bonus, if you’ve gotten a Dream Egg from the Moogle Chocobo Carnival, you can get an assassin outfit for Noctis one day early!
One of the side activities people remember with fondness in Assassin’s Creed 2 was the tomb puzzles that could be unlocked under the game’s towns. These six puzzle areas consisted of platform timing, switch pulling, and navigation gauntlets that tested Ezio’s abilities. A little bit of Lara Croft spelunking in between the assassinating. Unfortunately, the series never really returned to that style of gameplay. Later Assassin’s Creed games would substitute the tombs with straightforward map icon collectathons or maddeningly obtuse hidden riddles that lead right back to map icons. Ubisoft is returning to the tomb idea in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Unlike the strangely out of place trap-filled tombs in Ezio’s Italy, having tombs in ancient Egypt makes sense.
“So we put a lot of effort into recreating these tombs. Everything that is actually known we’ve mapped it out, we have images, we have research that’s been done on tombs, we actually try to replicate it as close as possible. So for example, the Greek pyramid, all the chambers, all the corridors are an authentic representation. Now, of course, we have a bit of fun and go a bit further, like, what are the secret chambers that have not been discovered yet?”
Assassin’s Creed Origins will launch on October 27th.
Behold and despair! Look upon Assassin’s Creed Rebellion coming to mobile platforms soon. Collect and train a stable of chibi assassins from over 40 characters from the Assassin’s Creed series. Send them out on missions. Gather loot. Upgrade your Brotherhood Headquarters. Weep softly as the world around you melts into chaos.
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.
Here at Quarter to Three, we try to keep our heads above the fray and not report on rumors or baseless stories. So what if Ubisoft told investors that they can expect “the exciting returns of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew and South Park” this year? Maybe the next Assassin’s Creed will be a prequel called Origins and use ancient Egypt as its setting, but we can’t know for sure. Not even if we’ve been seeing this rumor since last year. What we do have is a spiffy new Assassin’s Creed logo, and that’s good enough to start some discussion.
Let’s do a deep-dive into the new Assassin’s Creed image after the jump!Continue reading →
There will be no main Assassin’s Creed game from Ubisoft for 2016. Via the message from the company, Ubisoft is taking the lessons learned from the panning Assassin’s Creed: Unity received, along with feedback from fans, to “re-examine” the franchise. Like fictional Abstergo Entertainment, Ubisoft is using the information they have to change the way they delight their customers.
We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.
Instead of a new Assassin’s Creed game, the publisher reminds everyone that they’ll be able to watch Michael Fassbender play assassin Callum Lynch in the movie based on the license. Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate will have DLC featuring Jack the Ripper because of course it will. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate’s game proper is set in 1868, a full two decades before investigator Johnny Depp matched wits against Ian Holm’s Ripper, so how will the player as assassin Jacob Frye take on the turn-of-the-century killer? With the magic of DLC! Just like David Warner’s Ripper and Malcom McDowell’s H.G. Wells traveled through time, so can the player in a virtual London. The Jack the Ripper campaign will be one of seven planned DLC offerings (assuming everything goes well with the game’s technical launch) included in the Season Pass. Despite Jack’s appearance, the real killer is the Season Pass bonus.
Season Pass holders get an exclusive, permanent XP boost.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate will launch on October 23rd on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while the PC will get it on November 19th.