I don't know what it is about Assassin's Creed games that makes me want to complete everything. But here I am, 56 hours into my second time through Assassin's Creed Origins, and I don't want to stop until I've finished all the things.
Pour this GIF directly into my veins.
I'm not normally like this. I don't have the time or the energy to be a completist, in games or in anything else. Most modern open-world games are just too jammed with stuff, and most of it isn't interesting enough to warrant the time it takes to check it off. Every now and then I'll make an exception, as I have for several Assassin's Creed games, a couple of Far Cry games, and last year's Ubisoft-influenced Horizon Zero Dawn. I didn't play those games to absolute 100 per cent completion, but I did finish every substantive side activity. It's usually the armour that does it. When a game teases me with a sweet-looking set of armour locked behind a door that requires keys from all over the game world, I will hunt down those keys and I will get that freakin' armour.
In Assassin's Creed Origins, there are several such locked outfits. You can get one only if you visit enough tombs to save up 50 pieces of silica, and also find every one of the rock formations strewn around the world. You can get another one only if you've beaten all 10 of the high-level Phylakes warriors roaming Egypt and collected four keys from them. I dedicated myself to completing both of those tasks, as well as to upgrading all of my armour and weapons as high as they'd go.
In addition to collecting gear, you can upgrade your quiver, pouches and other accoutrements. To do this, I murdered a horrifying number of crocodiles, hippos, lions and goats. Last night, in a moment immortalised in the GIF atop this post, I upgraded my last piece of gear. I now have an all-gold equipment screen, thanks in part to the hilarious and absolutely necessary patch that changed Bayek's un-upgradable "tools" box from blue to gold.
I shudder when I imagine looking at a gear screen with one of the squares coloured blue, which should give you some insight into the sort of compulsive Origins player I've become. (Original, horrifying image shared by Cince09 on Reddit.)
I'm far from done, of course. Here's what I still have left to do in Assassin's Creed Origins:
- Four elephant battles
- Six vantage points
- A bunch of outposts
- More than 20 sidequests (good lord)
- A ton of animal lairs (I won't do all of these)
- A ton of random treasure spots (I don't do all these)
- Several meditation spots (what is the point of these?)
- Perhaps a tomb somewhere that I missed
- Several remaining challenges in the Cyrene and Krokodilopolis arenas
- Almost all of the (very fun!) Papyrus Riddles
A recent informal poll of Kotaku Splitscreen listeners indicated that doing 100 per cent of the stuff in Assassin's Creed Origins should take around 70-90 hours. How much of my list can I check off before the first DLC hits in a few days? I have the weekend to find out.