Assassin's Creed Origins - Anybody Playing?

Everyone seems to be raving about this game. I’m a fan of the series; I didn’t even mind that some of the past games were repetitive (a little bit).

I’m less than thrilled with Origins. FYI I’m playing on PS4.

In no particular order…
The open world map is, dare I say it, too big? It’s ridiculous the number of quests have you travel clear across the map to complete the quest. Either it takes forever to ride your animal across, or you can quick-travel; which takes a long time because you have to stand there waiting for the new location to load. It sucks and it’s a huge time waste; especially on those quests where you have to go back to the origin of the quest to talk to the person again. Too much time waiting on the machine to load.

Too many collectibles. My God, before you know it, you have access to about 100 weapons it seems like; and if you go to upgrade one, it’s not easy to determine which one to upgrade. I just automatically started dismantling any weapon I come across that has a blue background; and only save the legendary ones or the rare ones.

Leveling up enough to complete some of the missions takes FOREVER. You have to spend time just collecting items to level up your weapons, and you have to dedicate more time to completing side quests to get the XP required to bump a level and then get the coveted ‘point’ on which to spend in the upgrade tree.

There’s no good tutorial on how to best fight or use your weapons effectively. I almost get killed everytime I try to use a spear. I’m sure it’s just technique; but it sucks so much I don’t even bother. Furthermore, I can’t quite figure out how to use smoke bombs or fire bombs at will. Every once in a while I’ll accidentally drop a smoke bomb, and have no idea how I did it.

The conversations are SLOW and boring. I know at this point I’m missing out on some of the plot explanations in the game, but I don’t want to listen to a 10 minute conversation to tell me to travel 1000 M to save a woman’s husband.

The map isn’t user friendly. I like the previous maps where you can pop up a ‘check box’ of the icons you want to see; and uncheck those that you don’t. Plus, don’t force me to see idiotic pictures posted by other players. The default should be NOT showing those; but everytime I open the map, there they are. Oh, and stop making icons a similar color to the map.

OK, a few good things…
For the most part you can set your horse or camel to ‘auto drive’ and trot to a selected location. Although sometimes it doesn’t work, and sometimes I think they could have thrown in better AI; it can get the basic job done. How about an option where it will travel the FASTEST way as opposed to following a road but taking you twice as long?

The hawk vision is nice. Not only can you scout out an area, any pinned crafting supplies will blink on your vision. I also like how the distance your hawk can see is tied in to towers you climbed and synced.

So, what do you guys think of the game? Who’s loving it? Who’s hating it?

You’re generally better off selling the blue items rather than dismantling them - if you want copper/iron/wood, the eagle can spot soldiers carrying 20 units. It also spots the critters worth 4 or 5x the usual number of hides.

Smoke bombs are the triangle button right after a light attack, firebombs, sleep darts & poison darts are accessed by holding down left, rather than tapping it, then are used like the bows. You can only have one tool equipped at a time, though.

Weapons are very hit-or-miss. I was less than fond of the spear or staff-thing. Swords & kopeshes were fine, axes and mace/hammers were slow enough to be very situational.

you can hide the pictures using the d-pad (but it doesn’t stick) or hide individual ones forever.

A few tips:
[li]the nomad kid sells the cash shop items (randomly, unfortunately) for 3000.[/li][li]don’t do the Sphinx after completing the starmaps unless you’ve got 50 silicon.[/li][li]when you get to the endgame the “buy-a-skillpoint-for-1000 (repeatable)” item only works once :smack: so you’ll be 20+ skillpoints short of fully upgraded.[/li][/ul]

I don’t get the “leveling takes forever” item. Maybe it’s my completionist streak, but I spent like 80% of the game stupidly overlevelled, probably because I insisted on doing every last sidequest in a region before moving to the next. The god train started somewhere around Alexandria, where you get your first four open targets, bracketed from level 12 to 20 IIRC, and I was “hmmm, guys ? I’m already 18 soooo”. You’ll get endless amounts of XP just dicking around, clearing camps and caves along your way to wherever or sniping that one hyena in the middle of the nest because fuck THAT guy specifically (for some reason).

As for the weapons, I loved the spears, the reach is great, it spins around and the overpower is instawin… much unlike the scepters and maces, which I hate for different reasons. The axes grew on me though. The combat took some getting used to, but when you got the swing of it you start feeling like a death god again.

The map IS indeed too huge, and there’s even like a third of it you don’t even visit during the MQ. That said, I didn’t feel too overwhelmed and more importantly (and remarkably) : none of it is samey. You’d think 6 or 7 provinces of “just desert” would feel repetitive, but it isn’t - they’ve managed to give each their own character. Same with the cities, especially those visited along the main quest : you’ve got the greek metropolis, the wholly egyptian one, the more roman one, the backwaters… It’s neat.

I have a few complaints about the game (namely GAME, I PLAYED YOU 50 HOURS, I know about fucking Senu and I know I’m getting close, STOP telling me to use it because I’m close to the target ; too many bloody aggressive critters around ; and the elephants are just bullshit) but other than that, it’s a good Witcher 3 clone.

Eh, the elephants were easy - just use the light bow, and shoot them in the arse after dodging a charge. You can speed it up a lot by using a heavy axe’s overpower whenever it gets charged too.

It’s not so much that they’re hard (although they punish mistakes pretty hard), but that they take for fricking ever, and it’s not a *fun *time either. They’re not like Dark Souls/Nioh/Bloodbourne bosses where things switch up midfight or you can try many different strats etc… It’s just 15 minutes of doing the same shit over and over and over until the sack of HP is empty. No thanks.


Y’know, if this were, oh, 2010, I’d be on this like ketchup on hash browns. A rich variety of environments, all kinds of places to explore, a ton of side activities, and it’s possible to be overlevelled (as someone who’s shamelessly used the first Game Genie, the last Codebreaker, and everything in between, I fail to see anything at all bad about this)? Combining the best parts of 2 and Black Flag and no guns whatsoever, the worst worst worst part about Unity? (I’ve expounded on that a bit: here it is again.) Sign me up and tell all my friends they won’t be seeing me for a while. Now… I dunno. It certainly looks very nice, the “explore” feature was a great addition, and from what I’m seen Bayek could be the most likable AC protagonist ever: cool, compassionate, and level-headed. And say what you will about UbiSoft; they learn from their mistakes and seem to know who to listen to and who to tune out. To give just the most obvious example, the horrible, endlessly repetitive irritants in 1 were severely toned down and finally eliminated altogether from Black Flag on, despite what I’m sure were constant calls by a small but vocal minority to bring them back.

It’s just that…well, I’m an old hand at video games, and I’ve become good at spotting those glaring red flags that absolutely, utterly ruin the experience. This could be why I don’t go on for pages and pages about the modern day scenes create a hideous existential dysphoria or how Connor’s reluctance to use contractions is a crime against the English language itself. Which I consider a good thing, of course, but it also means that the issues that I give a damn about, the things that are dealbreakers for me, I barely see anything about (I gave you the link already, right?). So I’m going to take the liberty of asking here just how bad these problems are:

Inventory management. A bajillion weapons with a bajillion customizations (and a bajillion resources/points/collectibles that have to go into said customizations), and if you don’t have something really good, you’d may as well be fighting with a wiffle bat. For the previous AC games, you paid more for better weapon, and there was one clearly best item which had to be earned. It was simple, it was intuitive, it was workable. I HAAAAAATE having to decide between the level 5 speed +6 power +4 defense +2 bludgeon with a 10% chance of a critical and the level 8 speed +3 power +1 defense +1 slasher with a 15% bonus against unarmored foes. There’s a difference between depth and wretched excess, and having all these attributes and variables and doohickeys is definitely in the latter category. Are there things to look for that would make the search for the right killing tool simpler…and while I’m at it, is it ever necessary to become proficient in each type, or could I focus on one and eventually become really good with it?

Combat. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s next to impossible to complete your missions with stealth alone…which is a good thing, because that means Bayek has to be able to hold his own in a fight. From what I’ve seen, he’s tough as nails and is fairly quick on the attack, which is a big plus. The problem is that there don’t seem to be any real tactics. Knowing when to attack, when to defend, and what type of attack and defense to use have always been hallmarks of AC fighting; especially in Black Flag, they were the keys to winning fights and staying in good shape. Here, it seems to be “slash away and try to be somewhere else when he retaliates”. Word is that Bayek is superior to nearly everyone in a one-on-one fight but suffers against multiple foes. That’s pretty similar to how Connor was, and whether or not that’s a handicap depends a lot on just how many big encounters Bayek is going to run into. Also, how often to the super-durable enemies show up? I don’t want to spend 15 minutes on one flippin’ fight.

Skill Points. Ugh. Whatever happened to picking up new abilities when you needed them? And of course, once again it’s impossible to max out everything, because lord forbid the damn hero of the story ever rise to anything approximating greatness. Will an allocation I make in chapter 1 haunt me 6 chapters down the line? Is anything at all tied to multiplayer?

Kinda on the fence about this. Will probably have to play Syndicate a bunch more first.

Actually it IS possible to max the whole skill tree (except maybe the repeatable +1% skills) - it just takes forever because the only shortcut is post-game and doesn’t currently work.

And there’s no multiplayer at all, unless they patch it in at some point. The only interactions are seeing other people’s photos, and hunt-down-whoever-killed random player quests.

No longer shackled to multiplayer? Whoa, that makes this a lot better in my eyes. Like I said, Ubisoft learns from their mistakes. (To anyone here asking how they’re able to be so unoriginal and boring etc. and still be a big success: THAT’S how.)

I still want to know more about fighting. What are the differences between the weapon types? What are the differences between the enemies? How does defense work? How does locking on work? How do you deal with multiple opponents? How effective are smoke bombs? What difference to weapon levels make? Seriously, are there any tactics whatsoever?

Oh yes, Bayek is awesome, his personality is very subtle and layered and shows a lot through little nuances. He can be a very stern and dour Supercop one minute, then be a big softy around kids the next and at the same time you can tell he’s kind of a broken person - there was one scene where he was collecting info and met old friends, so they go out for drinks in a tavern and they shoot the shit, do the reminiscing thing and he’s got a smile from ear to ear… but then his friends turn their backs on him and the facade instantly drops and he’s back to his serious face.

And then there was one where he’s all serious listening to a guy explaining his Important Job and What I Need From You, and Bayek was making faces behind his back, I almost died laughing :).

His wife is great too, although she gets a bit… odd towards the end. But their relationship is neatly explored and, yeah, basically they love each other a lot, but neither of them can get over their dead kid and eventually their ways of trying to move past the even drives them apart. It’s bittersweet.

You’ll collect a bazillion weapons to be sure. However, they’re not really all that different. Each has up to 5 stats : level, power (both of which are tied) and up to 3 special properties. Normal weapons have one, uncommon and rare have 2 (but rare have better/higher level ones) and legendaries have a third. These can be things like “applies poison on hit” or “more crits”, that kind of thing.
But here’s the thing : they’re not random attributes. What really happens is that each weapon type has maybe 5 or 6 common/uncommon version and 2 or 3 rare versions, and each version has set attributes which never change. So for example pulled out of my arse, a level 3 “Sandstorm” bow will have +3 arrows per volley and so will a level 50 Sandstorm bow, only the power level will have increased.
Same goes for the legendaries, although there are quite a bit more of them - but then, you don’t find as many, either.

All in all, there’s not really a “best one” (although the shield that poisons on blocks and the one that puts people to sleep on block would both feature on my “OP cheese shit” list). But if you DO find a best one that suits you, then you can keep it. Blacksmiths will helpfully bring any weapon or shield to your level for a fee. It’s expensive, so only do it every 10 or so levels or when you feel like your weapon isn’t pulling its weight any more, but you can.

That said - much like in previous AC games, the stats on weapons never really impacted the game for me, much less so than abilities and player skill. I just went with what looked cool most of the time (though I did keep a bow with flame arrows around for a long time, just for the utility. That was before I learned you could just use your dropped torch to do that)

I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to stealth missions at all - I’ve done it a bunch of times, and in fact more than half of my main target kills were ceiling drops then run the fuck away :p. That’s what assassinating’s about for me. Plus there are neat tricks you can pull with poison and guided arrows.

The problem with multiple foes is that they aren’t polite like in previous AC games. In every game they’d politely attack one (or two in Unity/Syndicate) at a time and let you parry and murder them. Here they will all attack all the time, which forces you to spend a lot more time dodging to the edges of the melee. And in any big melee there will be archers pelting you with arrows the whole time.
So really, Bayek should strive to avoid big alarums. Dispatching three or four mooks in one fell swoop is no big, but the whole camp ? That’s dicier. But there’s definitely skill involved if you don’t want to get mulched either way, especially since for the most part, and unlike previous AC games, the enemies don’t have a helpful “I AM GOING TO ATTACK YOU NOW” flashing icon atop their heads (although their weapons will glow a bit, which tells you the parry timing, but it’s more helpful in a duel than a melee).

That said, it’s really, really easy to fuck off and vanish. You’ve got smokebombs, there are reeds and patches of high grass everywhere, and the game features the same “enemies converge to where they last saw you” system as Unity/Syndicate so all you gotta do is break LOS then find a hidey hole or climb a thing and wait 10 seconds until they lose interest in the pile of charred, poisoned corpses of their friends.

As for sacks of HPs : it’s a trickier answer. There are some. First are the Phylakes : 10 dudes that are basically the answer to you. They’ll patrol regions at random, and respond to alerts in camps (each camp has a big signal fire which is like the bells in Black Flag, alerted enemies will run to it to summon reinforcements, and you can sabotage them to prevent it or kill the guy going for his lighter). They’re always much higher level than the rest of their zone is, and typically higher level than you’ll be while there. They hit like trucks and have a ton of HP - but you never have to kill them. You will eventually, it’s an end game quest, but basically it’s a “come back and mop up when I’m a level 40 god of war” thing.
There are the elephants, which I talked about, but only one is met along the main quest, the rest are optional.
And there are some boss fights. I remember 3 or 4 along the main quest, and yeah, they take a bit of doing, but it’s not Dark Souls either and you won’t spend 15 minutes of flailing at them. There are a lot more if you want to play gladiator, but that’s not required.

Normal enemies don’t have lots of health - even the Brutes fall in maybe 4 good whacks, and half of the weapon types feature a “rage attack gauge” that fills up over time and instagibs most anyone provided your weapon is around their level (and there are skills to purchase to let you start every fight with first half, then full rage)

What you’ll usually find yourself doing when you hit a place is : launch your bird to tag as many enemies as you can, observe where the lonely ones are etc…, stab a handful in the neck, snipe another few, maybe leave a poisoned corpse in plain sight so that everyone who comes to investigate gets a big ol’ whiff of poison gas and basically soften the place up until you either fuck up or decide that you can get away with a brawl, at which point it’s fighting time. But the point is : it’s almost always YOU dictating when the fighting starts and how long it lasts.

Yeah, that bit bothered me a bit, and like Unpronouncable said, it’s not really doable to max everything out. I liked that part, personally - I prefer having to make choices on what I want to focus on. That said, if you’re diligent about exploring, you’ll get a ton of freebies from tombs and shit, plus the 40 you get from levelling, so I never felt “below the curve”. Plus, well, many of the abilities are naff, especially on the bow side of things.

Swords and Curved Swords are your average ones - medium range, medium speed, medium damage. The difference is that curved swords typically have the Bleeding attribute, and they have a “rage mode” instead of a “rage attack”, where you basically become super fast.

Staves are really quick with good reach but don’t do much damage. Rage mode.

Spears have good reach, lots of area attacks. Rage attack.

Axes are slower but hit harder. Rage attack.

Maces are slowest, hit hardest and put guys who try to block them on their arse.

Dual swords are fastest but don’t do much damage, although they have a few followups to skills where you stab a guy a dozen times. The problem they have is, you obviously can’t use a shield with them…

Typical AC fare. You’ve got your regular mooks who come in shielded or unshiedled, with or without bows variety ; the brutes who hit hard and usually have a tower shield and you have to dance around ; and the assholes who drop smoke bombs, run away from you, try to ambush you etch…

You have 3 tools. You can hold your shield up, which blocks all damage from the front (some attacks do put you on your butt though, but they’re rare, mostly the shield is perfect) ; you can parry by raising the shield at juuuust the right time and followup with a hard counter but the timing is tricky, it’s useful in duels but not really in a melee, and you can dodge around which gives you a lot of invincibility frames. The smoke bombs are actually tied to the dodge now, you hit a button after you dodge to drop one.

Typically you dodge until you’re behind someone, whack him a couple times until he drops, and do it again. In larger brawls it can be helpful to not lock on anyone, because it gives you a bit of tunnel vision, just run around and whack dudes as the opportunity presents itself. With bleeding and poisoned weapons I like to spread quick whacks liberally so everyone dies on their own time :D.

Pretty effective. They don’t give you an instakill anymore, but they stun folks for a good while and there’s a skill that even makes them put people on the ground and do damage, at which point you can finish them off

More damage. If you let your weapons lag behind, you’ll need more whacks per dude. The most noticeable is the hidden blade : do keep it upgraded, because if you don’t it won’t instakill guys anymore !

I’d say so, yes - at least I know I struggled a lot at first and as I learned the game fights became easier and easier (and not just because I had more skills to play with)

Oh, I forgot : another tool you can use in fights are what I call the “combat bows” - there are 4 types of bows.

Hunting bows are the kind most every other game has : you hold the button for a while to draw, and the longer you draw the more damage they do. Mostly you use those out of combat or to, well, hunt critters with.
Predator bows are your sniper rifle : lots of damage especially on headshots but low ammo count and the aiming mode zooms a lot so you can’t really use them in combat. There’s an ability you can purchase which turns it into a TOW missile too, which is hilarious - just hide on top of a tower and rain curving arrows around while everybody goes “Bwuh ?!”
Then you have the fast bow, which is a fricking Uzi ; and the warrior bow which is essentially an antique shotgun (it fires 5 arrows at once in a cone in front of you, so you fire it at point blank and watch the big happy numbers). Those autoaim with lock-on, and the machine gun in particular is super useful when you’re on horseback - they do short work of other horse-borne archers and if every one else is on foot you can feel all Parthian and shit.

I’m playing this and am having a mixed reaction.

Good things:

  1. I like the environment. It’s pretty organic and looks great.
  2. Traversal is a lot smoother. It seems like they relaxed the need to something to actually hold on to so most surfaces can be climbed without frustration. It’s really very similar to Zelda BotW in that regard.
  3. Related to traversal I find that Bayek is less prone to sticking to random surfaces when I’m running or fighting than previous games.
  4. Bayek has a likeable personality for the most part. Not as fun as the Black Flag guy (can’t remember his name), but good.

Bad things:

  1. I’m playing on PS4 and I absolutely HATE the menu system. Specifically I despise that they opted to use a free reticle controlled by the analog stick like a mouse for making selections in there with no option to use the D-pad to click through stuff. Very annoying and slows things down quite a bit.

  2. Lock-on is atrocious. It seems to default to locking on to the furthest enemy instead of the closest. But most frustrating is that changing lock is terribly inconsistent and unreliable. Yeah you’re supposed to flick the right stick to the enemy you want to address but 30% of the time or more it won’t change targets or worse will change to an enemy you don’t want to fight. This system has worked flawlessly for me in God of War, Dark Souls etc… but they beefed in in this one somehow.

  3. Combat is OK. One on one it’s pretty good. Fighting more than one enemy is a drag for the reasons I explained above.

  4. The first few hours don’t tell the story very well and I get the strong feeling that I skipped a cut scene or something because Bayek’s motivation isn’t clear at all beyond “I need to kill a few guys to avenge a wrong”.

  5. The bird is cool but cumbersome sometimes.

  6. Bows that shoot multiple arrows at once are the bane of my existence. I picked up a purple bow with a high damage and thought “Cool, I’ll get rid of this other one now and use the powerful one”. Didn’t know until I had already dismantled the old bow that the new one shot 3 or 4 arrows at a time and constantly left me out of arrows.

Spoilery questions for folks that have played further into the game (try not to spoil more than necessary in your answer please):

Do the hidden blades show up at some point? I don’t seem to be able to assassinate anyone proper yet, though I’m only level 5 and just killed the 2nd of the 5 bosses. I keep knocking them out or something when I sneak attack them.

Is the animus a part of this game? Seems like it only exists on the loading screen and when entering an area.

Do the hidden blades show up at some point? I don’t seem to be able to assassinate anyone proper yet, though I’m only level 5 and just killed the 2nd of the 5 bosses. I keep knocking them out or something when I sneak attack them.

Is the animus a part of this game? Seems like it only exists on the loading screen and when entering an area.

You get the hidden blade (singular) as soon as you talk to Aya. You REALLY want to upgrade that one as often as you can - even maxed out there will be enemies you simply cannot one-hit-kill.

There is some modern-day stuff, but it’s quick and puzzle-free. Once it kicks you out of the animus for the first time, you can exit whenever you want. No real point to it, though.

I got confused a lot as well by this - but it gets better. They opted for a start in media res this time around, and the story will be developped better later with flashbacks. For now, all you need to know is that you are one terminally pissed off ex-dad who’s gone off the deep end. Hence the crazy hair and the beard of sorrow.

Yeah, like I said there are 4 types of bows. They each have a different icon (and a different stock of ammo - Bayek carries a lot of arrows in his personnal Hammerspace), and each has its use. And yeah, the Warrior Bows go empty fast. On the plus side, you can pick up your spent arrows back from the ground or, em, targets.

OK, explain these further to me please.
So to use a smoke bomb, I first use the light attack (R1) then tap triangle?

Right now when I press and hold the left directional pad the only option I have is the sleep darts. They’re pretty handy; but that’s all I see. Should I be seeing the poison darts and the fire bombs there too (assuming I selected them from the upgrade tree)?

Q about horses. I got a horse upgrade when I did a quest early on. Is there a need to find a better/faster (legendary?) horse?

Q about star maps. It’s still a lingering quest for me. Was there something I missed to tell me where these random stone locations are? When I make that quest active it doesn’t show me where they are. I’ve only found two.

It’s actually tied to the dodge. Dodge then button to drop a bomb at your feet.

Nope. Annoyingly, you have to go through the equipment menu to pick your gadget between the ones you have unlocked, there’s no quickswap

Nope. Camel and horse upgrades are just cosmetic. Also, horses go slightly faster than camels.

Nope, you’re supposed to find those on your own, however they (along with skill point tombs) show up as yellow ?s on the map instead of white to help you.

while the quest to find all starmaps is over when you solve the last one, finding them all unlocks a different, secret thing inside the Great Sphinx’s butt

“Press triangle after melee attacking or dodging to drop this powder”

From the gear page, select the tool, and you’ll get a drop down list - only one tool can be selected at a time. It would have been nice if you could replace the torch too.

I don’t think so - it seems to me that horses are a little faster, camels are a little taller & therefore bypass unmounted opponents defense a little more frequently, but it seems very minor. With the exception of a plot horse you don’t get to keep, I never really noticed a significant difference in speed within one type.

If you’ve removed the map shadow, locations where you get extra skill points (star stones, hermit rests, elephants, ancient tablets and metaplot locations) have a yellow flashing ? instead of the black one.

edit: I see they “fixed” the repeatable sill point item - now it gives a 1000 xp for 1000 gold each time…the daily quest gives 1500 so you’d have to be really desperate to do it that way.

I can get the Gold version of this for $50 so it’s tempting but (I need to ask) how obnoxious is the Real Life Astergo portion of the game?