From tomorrow, March 13, you can download a brand new adventure for Bayek in Assassin’s Creed Origins. The Curse of the Pharaohs is set four years after the climax of the main campaign, in the capital city of Thebes. A strange curse has befallen the region and Bayek is investigating the plague and what has caused it.
With a level cap boosted to 55, Bayek also has new crafting levels – with appropriate resources at his disposable – and new abilities. These will undoubtedly come in handy while exploring the secret tombs of the Valley of the Kings, and the temples of Karnak and Luxor.
The DLC is available to purchase separately or as part of the Season Pass.
Ubisoft have poured a lot of love into Assassin’s Creed Origins, not content with just making a vibrant open world, the team have focused on making the life of Bayek as true to Ancient Egypt as possible. To this end, the team have created a brand new entertainment tool that takes you on an interactive 3D tour of Egypt. There are 75 themed tours, which have been built with the assistance of history experts and Egyptologists.
“With the Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt, we give everyone interested in Ancient Egypt the chance to enjoy its beauty and the realisation that video games can be a source of inspiring knowledge,” explains Jean Guesdon, Creative Director of Assassin’s Creed Origins and the Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt.
Releasing on February 20, Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt can be experienced at no extra cost to owners of the game. It will also be made available as a standalone download on PC.
We’ve known that The Hidden Ones would be heading to Assassin’s Creed Origins – which will be the title’s first piece of DLC that expands the story – Ubisoft have now confirmed that it will drop on January 23, 2018 and also confirmed the DLC that will follow its launch.
This story-driven expansion builds upon the growth of the Brotherhood, taking players four years after the events of Assassin’s Creed Origins, as they clash with an occupying Roman force in a new region of the world, the Sinai. This expansion will increase the level cap to 45, allowing players to continue to upgrade and customise their character. Players will have access to four new Legendary weapons, a new outfit, two new mounts and multiple new weapons, as well as two new levels for all crafted gear. The Hidden Ones DLC is available for all season pass owners or can be purchased separately on January 23, 2018.
Further to this, The Curse of the Pharaohs, the next piece of story driven DLC, will launch on March 6, 2018.
This new expansion offers players a completely new storyline to delve into as they travel to Thebes to investigate an ancient curse that is plaguing the region. The Curse of the Pharaohs focuses on Egyptian mythology, pitting players against famous pharaohs and Egyptian beasts, as they investigate the cause of the curse that has brought the dead pharaohs back to life. This new piece of content will increase the level cap to 55 and give players access to new outfits and gear, including rare and legendary weapons, all themed around classic Egyptian mythology.
Both pieces of DLC are available to own as part of the Season Pass. Finally, a guided tour is launching to give players a more educational experience to the world of Origins.
This new educational mode of the game lets everyone, from players to history-enthusiasts and non-gamers, choose between free roaming the beautiful world of Ancient Egypt to learn more about its history and daily life, or embarking on guided tours curated by historians and Egyptologists. People can discover and explore a world free of conflict, time pressure or gameplay constraints, where storyline and quests are not active and the world of Ancient Egypt evolves into a combat-free living museum.
The Discovery Tour is available as a free update for owners of the game, but is also being offered as a separate purchase on Uplay and Steam for Windows PC on February 20th, 2018.
January is looking good for Bayek as Assassin’s Creed Origins gets a title update and its first major expansion since release. This month also sees the return of the mighty Anubis and Sobek, so if you missed (or failed) beating them first time around, you can tackle them again with Anubis appearing between January 9-16 and Sobek from January 23-30.
The new title update, which is available to all owners of the game at no extra cost, will reveal a new quest that leads up to the events that are within the DLC, an update to Heka chests item pool and a new option to sell outfits to weavers.
The new expansion, The Hidden Ones, opens a new region to explore and includes a vast story that is centred around Bayek and the Assassins clashing with the Romans. The DLC raises the level cap to 45 and is available as part of the Season Pass.
In the world of cosmetics, the update brings the following goodies:
Almighty Pack – January 16
For Honor Pack – January 30
Warden’s Oath Outfit – January 30 – 40 Uplay Units
Assassin’s Creed Origins kicks things off slowly. The pace may in fact put you off – but stick with it – by the time the ending climaxes you will be more than satisfied with the story of how it all began.
For most of the game you step into the sandals of Bayek, a Medjay who treads a road of revenge alongside his wife, Aya, who you also have the opportunity to play as – albeit it only for a short while. Bayek is already well versed in the art of combat and the majority of Origin’s conflict is brutish – reflecting the lack of an established Creed and discipline. While you can sneak about, the mechanics of combat favour open combat rather than the finer finesse of assassination.
The combat has seen a huge overhaul, which has been simplified to two melee attacks with dodge, block and parry – mostly you will step in and out of strikes, picking your strikes, while dodging the heavy attacks. An adrenaline bar also fills during combat, allowing you to pull off an overpowered strike. It took a while to grasp the new system, but once I mixed things up with the various bows in Bayek’s arsenal, I began to go head first into combat without so much as a care for a stealth approach.
Ascending and descending has also been tweaked to create a Parkour system that is the easiest it’s ever been. No more clumsy moves. No uncomfortable moments where you flail around trying to grab the next outcrop. Bayek seems to be able to traverse and climb just about anything.
The land of Egypt is huge and with the help of your trusty camel and eagle, Senu – who is essentially your own personal UAV – the sands of Egypt are easily navigated, especially when using the auto routing ability of the camel, allowing you to sit back to take in the sights and boy does Origins look good. Canyons, ruins, Oasis, the desert and the many cities of Egypt look stunning and have been expertly crafted.
I did find the populated areas to be a little thin on the ground, lacking crowds or the impression they are lived in, but the land is teeming with wildlife, flocks of birds fly up from fields and packs of animals roam about – and for those that know me – the crocodiles weren’t something I was happy dealing with! What works beautifully is how animal and man exist in unison, colliding at odd moments. Largely these seem unscripted and instead dependent on whether a patrol or unhappy group of hippos happens upon one another.
While there are several nods to Assassin’s Creed lore woven into the story – including why the ring finger was removed and how the logo was established – there is a real lack of lore and a deeper story of its creation. It takes somewhat of a backseat until the final throws of the game. I was however, extremely satisfied by the story of the creation of the Assassin’s Creed; I just wanted more of it and the opportunity to part of the first group of assassins.
Something I was very happy to see was the beginnings of a new modern day story that was actually interesting… but I won’t say more on that matter, only that I’m excited for what could come next.
There is so much to love about Assassins Creed Origins, including some excellent camel back combat and a skill tree that allows more crafted character traits. Even the loot system is great and while far from that of Destiny, it offers a level of searching out better weapon stats, rarity and traits that will help you on your mission to rid Egypt of its tyrants.
There is no escaping the nature of Assassin’s Creed’s mission structure and side questing but now they all play out as one huge quest – think Witcher 3 – allowing you to dip in and out of them as you complete each part. Origins takes all the best bits from the series to date and created a world that Ezio would be proud of, with a story that falls just short of the heights of AC2 and brotherhood. This is in part due to how well the time period is integrated into the story.
Egypt’s political and social situation is entwined with the story, and how the Creed is shaped around it. Recent titles in the series may have had a periodic theme, but that theme was just a backdrop, a fun playground to romp about in. Egypt plays a stronger role, one as important to the game as the main characters.
Origins gets off to a slow start, it had me questioning the design choices, especially with combat and the lack of direction towards establishing the Assassin’s Creed – or so I thought – Origins is in fact perfectly paced, which becomes apparent during the final quarter of the main story, all previous ill feelings I had vanished and was replaced with an excitement for what the future holds for the series.
The world Ubisoft have created in Origins is a masterpiece and one I’m looking forward to immersing myself in further by mopping up all side missions, exploring each corner of the huge map and exploring the many tombs that remain hidden under the sand.
It’s been a while since Ubisoft have stuck with the same characters – both in the modern day and in the Animus – and I hope that we get to delve further into the lives of Bayek and Aya, and explore further into how they created the Assassin’s Creed.
Who is excited for the new Assassin’s Creed? I certainly am and this new trailer isn’t helping my excitement levels – even more so in that it’s a live action trailer, which Ubisoft produce so brilliantly.
Directed by Daniel Wolfe, “I Am” tells the birth of a myth, of an idea transcending men, armies and countries.
Roll on October 27. Nothing is True. Everything is permitted.
I had a decision to make when the doors opened on day two of EGX. I knew the queues would be longer on a Friday. The decision was what to go for first. The longest queues on Day One were for Shadow Of War and Battlefront 2, but the former was decided upon as I think everyone else went for Battlefront 2!
Even though I went straight there when the doors opened the queue was still 90 minutes long!
But I persevered, took ownership of another months free Game Pass and had a nice chat with Nas (who was manning the adjacent Super Lucky’s Tale booth) who is not a gamer, so working at the show raised a lot of questions about the industry.
And the 90 minute queue was worth it. Shadow of War was running on the Xbox One X and looked awesome. Let’s face it, every game on the new machine looks awesome! I was struck by how many characters were on screen at once as the demo had me attacking a fortress with my army. I died, as it’s always a struggle jumping into a demo as it doesn’t take into consideration your lack of familiarity with the controls. However, the depth of enemy personality is still present, like its predecessor and I witnessed such lines as “I’m gonna put your insides on the outside!”, with a nice cockney accent! The demo lasted 20 minutes, and I had some time just running around the open world, climbing towers and taking out orcs with my bow. Overall, this has just cemented my decision that this will be a purchase or (hopefully) a review copy!
After a quick drink break it was onto Assassins Creed Origins, again on the Xbox One X. Yes, you guessed it, the game looks amazing in 4K! It had a Black Flag vibe to it, with the demo set in a small town on the coast. It required you to find two golden statues, one in a shipwreck and one being guarded on a ship. After sneaking onto the ship the game crashed, and the staff had to reboot and fix the dev kit, although I then was given the opportunity to take part in the next play session meaning I had about 35 minutes in the world. No crashes on the next session and I was able to infiltrate the ship and steal back the statue.
It’s an Assassins Creed game in name and nature. It does have the new eagle game mechanic which allows you to scout the location for enemies and loot before you head into battle. Fans of Assassins Creed will be delighted although I’m not convinced Origins will attract the doubters back over.
After lunch I had a prebooked PSVR appointment and once again I was failed to be impressed. Whether it’s just my eyes (as I am a glasses wearer), but games always feel blurred with a real lack of clarity. The game I played was a cutesy puzzle game called Moss. In Moss you take control of a mouse called Quill and have to guide him around the world using the PS4 controller. The VR element comes into play when you manually manipulate elements in the scenery to open new paths. Enemies can also be manipulated, for example, to stand on switches that open the path for Quill to proceed. Like with other VR demos I’ve played there didn’t seem to be any need to have this game in VR. It would have been just as good an experience as a standard PS4 game.
One game that’s the “In” thing at the moment is Player Unknowns Battlegrounds which was also being shown on the Xbox booth. I queued for an hour and was severely underwhelmed.
During the ten minute snippet of gameplay I encountered no enemies and saw no action. I collected a weapon, found a car and as I was on my way to a designated point on the map the time was called to move on. A very strange experience indeed. There really could have been a better way to demonstrate the game. But I am sure it will sell by the bucketload anyway! It was also running on PC, but apparently it is the Xbox build thats running on those PC’s.
Project Cars 2 had a PC Demo that ran on Samsung C49HG90 Curved monitors that were a bit special. Running in cockpit view allowed a width of vision unlike I’ve ever seen. The game looked and sounded phenomenal, but it’s doubtful I’ll ever have £1500 to spend on one of these monitors! It’ll be interesting to see how well Project Cars 2 does against Forza 7 on release.
Day 2 ended with Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Far Cry 5 demos, which I will cover off on the Day 3 review, as time is pushing on and I need to take down a full english before heading back to the NEC!
Ubisoft have unveiled what they have in store for EGX attendees, which is being held at Birmingham’s NEC between 21-24 September.
As you would expect, Assassin’s Creed Origins will be at the show and available to play on Xbox One and PC. Far Cry 5 and South Park: The Fractured but Whole will also be playable, but the platform hasn’t been confirmed although if I was a gambling man I would place my money on PS4 for Far Cry 5. Naturally, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will be demoed on Nintendo Switch while an enormous Rabbid Kong statue looks over those wanting to bag the odd selfie or two.
Rainbow Six Siege makes a return to the NEC with ESL on September 22 for the semi-finals and final of the Rainbow Six UK Invitational where there is a prize pool of £4,250 up for grabs. Ubisoft are also sponsoring Saturday’s EGX Cosplay Championship, which includes a special Assassin’s Creed category.
Additionally the Ubisoft stand will be dishing out plenty of swag and prizes for various competitions that will be run throughout the event.
Ubisoft have announced a global partnership with Monster Energy which offers fans access to unlockable content and the chance to win special prizes, including consoles and copies of Assassins Creed Origins.
To celebrate the launch of Assassin’s Creed Origins on October 27th, 2017, more than 500 million Monster Energy drinks cans will be customised with Assassin’s Creed Origins characters, including Bayek.
Kicking off on October 1st, 2017, the partnership will include three collector cans, multiple prizes and massive support in stores across key European territories.
From early October until the end of December 2017, players will have the opportunity to collect different Assassin’s Creed branded cans: 100 % of them will unlock in-game content when redeeming codes at: www.assassinscreed.com/monsterenergy. Single cans will offer either a pack of in-game resources such as Iron, Wood, Animal Skins or currency packs (Drachmas) to facilitate the player’s progression.
Cans included in a pack of 4 will unlock unique weapons like the Dust-Biter Sword, the heavy Face-Breaker, the Sceptre of Thaati and the Rain Bow.
As well as in-game content, prizes such as gaming consoles, Assassin’s Creed Origins video games, Monster Energy gaming fridges and exclusive Monster Energy apparel will also be up for grabs to EMEA fans as part of the partnership.
Xbox’s Live from Gamescom has kicked things off with a gorgeous cinematic trailer for Assassin’s Creed Origins. The action looks intense so let’s hope that some of this makes its way from CGI to actual gameplay – keep an eye on the crowds of soldiers and the periodic celebrities.