A Screenshot Tour Back Through The Stunning Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin’s Creed Origins was a slow burn. The ancient Egyptian adventure didn’t grab me in its earliest scenes, didn’t immediately hook me with its stoic hero Bayek. It felt fine at first. Solid. But it also felt plain. I kept playing and grew to marvel at it.

Across some 100 hours of playtime I discovered its excellence in its scenic details, in its buried side stories, and in its breathtaking scope. I found delight in the game’s hundreds of hidden, missable nooks and crannies. I found a virtual world as rewarding to explore as any I’d been in.

Throughout the months I played the game since it launched last October, I took hundreds of screenshots. What follows are some of my favourites.

Early on, I sought out the Sphinx, the better to make an important comparison:

I loved getting lost in the game’s storms...

And finding richly detailed hidden chambers...

I’m a sucker for a stunning vista...

Origins mostly occurs above ground, but at times I could find beauty below water level...

The main quest in Origins is fine, but I had a better time — and spent far more time — exploring the game’s world off the main path. There I’d find all sort of unusual things, such as a big white crocodile who’d fight by my side...

In the south, I found this procession...

Part of what’s stunning about Origins is how much its developers built and how subtly some very large creations exist to serve side activities. For example, the entire island here serves as the location for an easily-missed puzzle involving the location of a hidden object.

This valley with its odd little structures is also the bedrock of a puzzle involving the passing of the sun and the movement of shadows. I’d explored areas near this valley for hours before stumbling across this incredible place.

It’s cliche to say that massive open-world games made by hundreds of developers are full of odd visual details and unusual places. But it’s true.

A note about the game’s many creatures.

The bird is cool.

I felt bad fighting elephants...

And lions...

But not so much the snakes...

Nor the undead...

Away from the main quest — and even away from the main sidequest — small pieces of writing tell some of Origins’ most interesting tales. Many describe tragedy and hint at the past of the game’s many still places.

An entire wrecked camp like this...

Might be explained by a note like this...

So much of this impressive game can be missed. So much was created that, to an adventuresome player, can feel like the discovery of a solitary adventurer. It’s an illusion, of course. Millions of people bought the game and trekked through it, though I wonder how many, say, discovered the impressive scenic variety of the game’s many tombs.

I do have a favourite area for sights and for quests. If you played the game and stopped short of unfogging the whole map, I’d urge you toward its northwest, to the Cyrene region, where a network of quests tell a virtually standalone multi-hour story of a group of people finding common cause to resist Roman occupation. There, too, are some surprises, such as a girl ready to stand up against Bayek’s aggression.

Just know that as you explore this vast game, some things will seem out of place...

Some things, for better or worse, have probably been patched out by now...

And some things, some very remote things, may not always deliver the best weapon or shield or pile of loot. They’re nevertheless still worth seeing.

Few games I’ve played have given me more amazing sights to find. You just have to explore. Intrigued? I recommend you play, and I haven’t even shown the wildest-looking parts of the game’s final expansion.


Comments

    I spent the last couple days knocking off the few things I hadn't done to go from 99% to 100% sync and knocked off the ubisoft challenges. Still an amazing looking game. Roll on Odyssey!

    Finished the main quest in this yesterday, overall a very solid game and a great return to form for the series buuuut; the gane does suffer from the ‘Ubisoft problem’ per se...? The game world - as the article illustrates - is amazing to explore and look at, but the missions become tedious - at least for me - far before you’re done exploring the increibly vast map.

    I’ve had absolutely huge amounts of fun taking down encampments both stealthily and weapons flailing but the copy/paste mission structure (how many times do i need to rescue someone from an enemy cap?) let the game down a little.

    Other pain point is I was dissuaded from exploring when i realised said missions (which grant the majority of XP) often send you back to locations you’d have otherwise cleared leading to double-dipping on clearing stuff, kind of a pain clearing 30 guards from a camp then having to do it again 20 minutes later because you wanted to be a good medjay again. Feels like in a lot of ways they’ve aped the witcher 3 but missed one of the most important parts.

    Giving the impression I don’t like the game which is absolutely not true, i REALLY love it, just these little bits drag it down from all time masterpiece to solid 7-8/10 territory which considering the work put in is a massive shame - but still a great return to form (my favourite AC since the days of Ezio by far).

    Also glad to see them properly investing back in the modern day stuff too - that was amazing in the first few games until they smelt the cash-camel & watered it down!

    DLC is heavily discounted on XBL right now so just picked that up too as apparently it’s pretty good and changes up the gameplay a fair bit!

      Couldn't agree more. They have nailed the feeling of a living breathing open world and Egypt is a great setting but the mission structure is still the same old same old, the classic ubisoft syndrome.

      Oddessy seems to be working on this at least. And the multiple choice conversation is probably a start even if they are linear in the end. But the A.C series has a long way to go before the missions can compare to the likes of The Witcher 3.

    So much of Origins is amazing, and the world is stunning. But I'm still waiting for the game to become fun.

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