In an interview with GameInformer, Assassin’s Creed: Origins director Ashraf Ismail answered quite a few important questions about gameplay. The moment I saw the boats, I became concerned that Origins would be no different than Black Flag and Ubisoft would once again being using the exact same formula they always have been.
Luckily, Ismail managed to put those fears to rest. Though we’ve seen varying sizes of boats a little too reminiscent of Black Flag, Ismail states that “you don’t commandeer them but you can jump on them, ferry ride them.” Implying that the smaller reed boat cannot go as far as fast, or that many an assassination will occur on these boats. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any naval combat at all, Ismail says that it simply will not be on “the same level as Black Flag.”
Hopefully this means that pirating other ships won’t be as tiresome as it was in Black Flag. Fun the first time, less fun the 20th time. Or even better, not as necessary as it was in the pirate themed game.
I haven’t been too sold on the eagle idea either, as I was worried the flight would be extremely limited. However, according to Ismail, there isn’t a limit to how far you can go with your eagle. Senu, the eagle in question, can be sent out to scan new areas, and it not tethered at all. Ismail says that “return is almost instantaneous” and “you can technically fly as far away from Bayek [the main character] as you want.” I can see this turning into a kind of mini game for some players, much like in Mass Effect 2 and flying a mini Normandy around the galaxy map.
In addition, Ismail emphasized that the size of game’s world shouldn’t matter. He named two cities, Memphis and Alexandria, and stated that both are fairly large, but “it’s the experience you have inside of it” that really matters. The city is alive too, and they’ve “filled these locations with quests” that make each city unique. An interesting notion, as it is very rare that a location can feel like a character in a video game like it can in a movie. Though perhaps Ismail means alive to a lesser degree, and simply unique in looks and people.
There are plenty more details in the podcast and I encourage you to give it a listen. Ismail also talks about a variety of tombs like they’re mini dungeons, the new dynamics of travelling through the world, and how you level your gear via crafting. He puts to rest a lot of doubts I had about the game, and it might be the first Assassin’s Creed I pick up since Black Flag.
What do you think of these changes to the series? Are they for the better or for the worse? Will you be picking up this game? Let us know in the comments below!