Playing through one of the early missions in Assassin’s Creed: Origins, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell I was doing. I had god-like powers, a pet eagle I could somehow mineld with to gather information, two different types of bow, a mace, and a shield, and no counter attack moves what-so-ever. I wanted to know what te name of the game was, because it couldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed game, but it was.
Origins is an Assassin’s Creed that doesn’t feel like an Assassin’s Creed game should. Bayek doesn’t move or fight like an assassin. Bayek walks like a linebacker and swings his sword like a bat. He plays like a tank would. A heavily armored, medieval tank. Kind of like he belongs in For Honor instead of AC.
As much as I enjoy the loss of the “counter forever” strategy, there was something kind of beautiful about it. While it was a broken combat system, countering forever and damcing around your enemies made sense for an assassin. It wasn’t stealthy but it was DPS tanking at its best.
Going for the ultimate wish fulfillment fantasy, that’s exactly the kind of combat you would want and expect. And lets not kid ourselves, Assassin’s Creed is founded on wish fulfillment of the highest order. The first game had its charm, because it was a redemption story. We got to be the ultimate good guy- one who starts out arrogant and learns from his faults. The perfect Byronic hero.
Bayek is nothing like Altair, Ezio, Edward, or Connor. Bayek is a soldier who just so happens to be fighting against the Order and sometimes raids tombs.
And Origins plays much like that. A familiar game, but in the wrong place. In fact, much of Origins played like Ghost Recon and The Division.
So it isn’t a bad game. It just isn’t what you expect when you pick up the controller.