In 2007, the Assassin’s Creed video game was released for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Players discovered a game combining action, adventure and undercover infiltration, in a context drawing on science fiction and history. The original Assassin’s Creed took gamers to the Middle East during the age of the Third Crusade, stepping into the role of Altaïr, a member of the Assassin Brotherhood fighting against the Templars.
Assassin’s Creed proved an immediate hit.
More than 10 million players snapped up the game, which would be the first in a long series of editions. Ten years down the line, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has taken gamers to the four corners of the Earth and to various historical eras (the French Revolution, Renaissance Italy, Victorian England, etc.), selling some 100 million games.
Back to beginnings
In recent years, the saga has been running out of steam. Gamers’ enthusiasm is no longer the same, and this has been felt in sales figures. In 2016 — for the first time in its history — the series took a break from releasing a new game, instead taking the time to reinvent.
The result is a new adventure that focuses on the origins of the Assassin Brotherhood. Episode zero of the franchise — Assassin’s Creed Origins — takes gamers all the way back to 49 BC where the story of the Brotherhood begins.
Ancient Egypt — with its Pharaohs, pyramids and Sphinxes, tombs and centuries-buried secrets — is the setting for the new game, a much-hoped-for setting among longtime fans.
Players step into the shoes of Bayek, the franchise’s new hero, and soon find themselves at the centre of a power struggle.
The character, an Egyptian Berber, creates the foundations of the Brotherhood of Assassins. He sets out its rules and rituals in the wake of a personal tragedy that compels him to seek revenge by confronting the Order of the Ancients, which years later gives rise to the Templars.
The destiny of this skilled fighter and horseman — and his wife Aya — becomes tightly linked with that of his country, as he embarks on a journey that brings hime face to face with famous figures of the era, such as Cleopatra, Ptolemy XIII and Julius Caesar.
The new episode also brings changes to gameplay, with a more open and fluid world that gamers can explore on horseback, by swimming or by flying (by turning into an eagle).
The undercover infiltration element — the very essence of the first episodes — also returns in a big way, accompanied by a new more tactical combat system.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is out tomorrow on PS4, Xbox One and PC. — AFP-Relaxnews