Many Assassin's Creed Origins Players Aren't Ready For The Game's First Post-Release Boss Battles

A couple times over the past few weeks, a giant Egyptian deity has sprung up in Assassin's Creed Origins for players to fight. In early November, it was Anubis, god of the dead. Around Thanksgiving it was Sobek, the crocodile god.

The gods weren't accessible when the game launched in late October and they each only hung around for a week, then departed. Oddly, they seem to have been too powerful for most players to defeat.

The deities are bonus boss battles that Ubisoft has been offering as part of a free, scheduled event called Trial of the Gods. The idea seems to be to extend the life of the game beyond its already lengthy initial run-time. The level of difficulty associated with the Trials, combined with publicly available Trophy data about how most people play Origins, presents a puzzle about who these add-ons have been for and what they mean for everyone who is playing the game.

Anubis showed up in the game on November 7, a little more than a week after Origins came out. Sobek popped in on November 21. Each time, players received an alert that a new level 40 god-slaying quest was awaiting them.

Quests in the game are associated with recommended player power levels, which are gained through the accumulation of experience points earned by completing missions, killing enemies and animals, ascending to lookout points and so on. Players who are under level 40 can try to fight these add-on gods, but this reporter got one-hit-killed by Sobek when taking him on as a meager level 31. Pity the masses who are weaker than that.

According to the game's trophy tracking system on PlayStation 4, about four in ten Origins players aren't even level 20.

The notifications that players receive for the Trials quests also tell them how many hours remain before the god goes away. Each vanishes after a week, though players can try defeating them as many times as they wish, a contrast from the one-chance-only Hitman contracts that enlivened that 2016 game every few weeks for months after its first episode released.

It's not like no one has successfully defeated Anubis and Sobek. Origins' subreddit and official message boards include posts from dozens of players discussing the battle and the Trials-specific legendary loot they received. A Ubisoft PR rep declined to share any data with Kotaku about how many people have gone through the trials but described them, over email, as "end game content meant to be a challenge for higher level players."

Ubisoft has indicated that there will be more Trials of the Gods and that all of them will cycle back through. "We can say that these events will continue to appear regularly," their rep told Kotaku, though did not offer any requested specifics about when they'd come back or how often.

The release of most major games these days is accompanied with an announcement of weeks or months of additional content. The message sent to players is that the game is worth getting early and then keeping (don't sell it back to GameStop!). The now-standard paid Season Pass is often accompanied with a promise of a flow of smaller free add-ons. For Assassin's Creed, the centrepiece of that free stuff was the Trials.

The Trials were always pitched as an elite challenge, but it's striking to see how far from the average player's current experience they have been tuned. It raises some questions about who post-release content is for and how many people are likely to even experience it.

Other PlayStation trophy stats indicate that two-thirds of players haven't even completed one of the game's papyrus puzzles, one of the most basic and abundant sidequest offerings in the game. Others show that about half the players haven't even done some of the game's earliest assassinations. And one shows that only 12% of players have even de-fogged (read: stepped foot into) every major region of the game's massive map.

Most Origins players, it seems, are still pretty early on in the game, even a month after release. This isn't a sign of a problem with Origins. It's a common sight when looking at completion percentages for most big games.

What purpose, then, does a Trial of the Gods serve?

They may simply be a reward to amuse the hardest of the hardcore, those who can hit level 40 in a huge game in just two or three weeks. They may be an incentive to keep that relatively small population pleased with the game and excited to proselytize it to others. They could also be a miscalculation, of course, an incorrect assumption that more players would be ready for them by now - or perhaps an overcorrection for the complaint many exhaustive players have that the huge games they burn through in days after release are suddenly out of content.

There's another possibility, though. The way these Trials come and go and are planned to return again present the rest of us a blinking goal, here one week, gone the next, back the week after that, reminding us that there's more being added to this game and if we can keep playing, perhaps we'll finally reach it.


Comments

    Damned if you do, damned if yo don't. If there was no endgame content, this article would be that. there is no endgame content.

    If there is endgame content, "Who is this for and how many will even see it?"

    Still a pretty cool idea even if it is way too early for most players to be able to defeat them. As long as they keep coming, good times.

    Damn, I forgot about this. I beat Anubis, but never checked back in to see when the other gods would be up. Hopefully Sobek comes back some time.

    ive been wondering if these trials would come back, i had just assumed they would. good to know i can play them later on.

    It's not that big a deal. I was lvl 40 (max lvl) about half way or two thirds through the game, well before I defogged every zone (3-4 of the zones are just empty deserts anyway). I was too late to anubis but but beat Sobek on my 2nd attempt on hard difficulty so not too hard. It's just some end game content and your not missing out on much if you dont get there. I got a sword but who really cares about the weapons. All i really wanted throughout the game was new outfits.

    Fun game though. Initially I hated the combat but once you get used to it and learn how the different weapons work i found it very rewarding. Too bad their Witcher 3 clone doesn't have quests and story nearly as compelling. But even if they put the work in like CD projekt red, Ubisoft games always exist in some weird cultural bubble.

      Okay I’ve been calling it Assassin’s Fargrind Origins. Now I think I’m calling it The Assassin’s Fargrind 3

    i havent fought either of the bosses so far because i had no fucking idea they were even up because no gaming site has come out and said, "oh hey, trials of the gods is up this week".

    hell i only found out about anubis after the quest had been removed when i loaded up the game about 8 days after i completed the game

    I started the game on Friday evening, and beat Sobek two hours before he expired on Tuesday. I didn't have time to get to 40, so I went in at 35 with cursed weapons and didn't have much trouble.

    They're a neat addition, tho I wouldn't say they're any more challenging than the rest of the game (at least on medium), they just have a higher level requirement than most content.

      Even playing on Hard I beat Sobek first attempt with little issue.

      Had way more trouble with the Seleucid gladiator fight... And his miraculous auto-tracking flaming halberd of bullshit.

        Yeh I don't wanna know how many attempts I took the beat the Seleucid. Although strangely i beat him on my first attempt on elite.

          Its the one fight in the game I've seen where the combat system just absolutely falls apart... The amount of times I'd dodge in after one of his combos and I'd take a hit where I didn't even see the halberd move was absolutely enraging.

          Yet to fight him on elite, but every other fight so far if I've lost it has been fairly clear as to what I was doing wrong instead of just "Oh, this fight is just plainly broken."

    Was lvl40 well before Anubis, but couldn't be bothered going back to the game for Sobek. A single boss isn't enough to drag me back to a game I've already 100%'d.

    Kinda weird article.I think Stephen is completely overthinking it all - the Trials are just a cool extra for those who want to extend their play time by trying something 'new/different'.

    So, do i require an internet connection for these to work? Or can the game just use my console clock? Cause the game looks killer and ive not played an AC game since the first or second one.

    At the moment, an internet connection i do not have! ????
    And it could be a while!

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