After a good year of extra rest from Ubisoft, they have managed to shift the sands of time by bringing us this wonderful masterpiece set in the vast open lands of Egypt. I want to talk about the vast opportunity that this game holds while making you embark on a twisted journey to the centre of corruption in the bustling metropolis that is Egypt.
As usual, the 3 hour rule will apply to this game review. The Platform it was reviewed on was both Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles.
Assassins Creed, oh haven’t we missed you! As the title suggests, we go back, way back to the times where you could not escape the sand between your toes being an issue, times where camels are as cool as todays Tesla cars, times where you could even manage to climb the pyramids much better than Indiana Jones ever could…well, unless we get mods, id love to see one of that!
So what are the main things I’ve taken in from the last 3 hours? Well, I am glad you read that and asked. I will be completely honest, the first big changes that caught me way off guard, more than a camel in a crocodile pit is the combat, the eagle vision (literally) and the level/gear options.
Long gone are the days of having your standard assassin, no level up bar, no loot crate style areas to loot and gain better gear. Back in the day, it was more simple and basic than what you are used to now. You had to take the extra effort of going across multiple roofs, swimming across rivers, sneaking among enemy guards all for your local shop in the game of other assassins creeds to get yourself better armour, better weapons or tools. However, this time round, Ubisoft have incorporated the looting and gear system that has been in games more frequently over the past few years. My first proper in-depth take on this from a Ubisoft title would have been The Division. That was my first time encountering this and I really enjoyed it, mainly due to the fact it pushed you forward to level up, craft your own attachments and constantly look for loot opportunities.
Anyhow, back to the Assassins Creed train!
So, yes the loot system has vastly improved for the better, you can switch over weapons and armour with a simple press/click of a button, kind of similar to the flush and fluid design of Destiny. Just move the on-screen circle cursor over to the designated item, click and BOOM! Your equipped and ready to go! A much-needed move from Ubisoft.
Let us move to the more addressing changes. Combat & Eagle vision
The biggest change for me and I am sure many others feel the same is…the combat. At first I will be honest, I hated it….I thought I wouldn’t stand a chance with anything and would just abandon the game. After a gruelling hour of hacking and slashing, I decided otherwise and pushed on. Don’t get me wrong, now I am used to the combat system in this game, it feels like it should have always been that way. Let me go into a little more detail, so enemy fighters have health bars which you can see. If you start fighting with them, you’re going to deal damage which you can see get taken off their health bars. You, the player have the same bar but also have a rage style mode, almost similar to Trevor from Grand Theft Auto V where the screen will go a light colour and you will either execute them or take a large portion of their health depending on your level and theirs too. This is also accompanied by the use of a shield, which can deflect enemy attacks, push them back and give you the perfect opportunity to strike forward and slash your victim back to the stone age while graciously taking their super sweet loot.
All in all, the combat style is great. After I would say a good half hour of fighting, the feel for the fighting combat system comes natural as if you never stopped playing Assassins Creed for an extra year.
The eagle vision has changed drastically. Gone are the easy days of simply blinking and the world suddenly goes grayscale while highlighting the main objects in the vicinity. No more! In fact, with this installation of the creed, we actually have eagle vision. Legit, just an eagle with vision that can harass or tag enemies, something similar to the one from FarCry Primals eagle. I mean, i don’t hate it, i just miss the ease of use of having the screen change colour slightly instead of moving around and up and down and waiting to return to the player.
The next stage to talk about…the Map SIZE!
This isn’t no place for someone wanting a small and quick game…god no. This Assassins Creed title has so much room its unreal, I mean I’ve played the game for around 3 hours now and I have to say, it is bloody huge! It took me ages to get from Siwa all the way to Giza and see the Great Pyramids. The map, similar to The Division, is split up into level appropriate sections with AI and animals too matching that level match. For example, some parts of the map can range from level 1-5 and some 20-25 and some even topping an impressive 35-40…believe me, don’t go in for a fight with a level 40 at around level 20…it really isn’t worth the fight.
One way of getting around undetected would be going through the many tombs that are scattered around the sandy landscape that is Egypt. Some tombs offer fun puzzles that take you back to the Catacombs of Assassins Creed 2, while some are more clearing out and fetching the loot for yourself, whatever you get, you will be greatly impressed by the rewards awaiting discovery. One bit of advice for someone looking in tombs and going what would essentially be “Tomb Raiding” to make sure you look in every corner and every wall and anything that looks like it shouldn’t be their…more than likely shouldn’t be. Just trust me on this, you will not be let down.
Ultimately, I believe the extra gap year that Ubisoft had taken to make this game, has really paid off. I was on the fence at first, however, after a longer time of research and digging up the tombs of secrets this game was offering, really stuck it down to be an awesome game for me personally. If you are a long-term fan of Assassins Creed as a series or just enjoy open explore style games, again you will not be disappointed. It’s a game that will keep some secrets covered longer than others and one that I will continue to play even after this article has gone up.
Personally I wouldn’t not miss this game out as it passes all my expectations with flying colours and still have so much to explore and uncover.
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