Review/Impressions of Origins from E3 Demo
Sorry this is overdue, but I wanted to give my impressions from trying out the E3 demo. I happened to run into UbiJustin at the Ubi booth on the first day and started talking to him about how excited I was for the show. He then got me to EscoBlades, who got me through the fast pass line and I got to play the game without wasting my entire day in line. The lines were easily 4+ hours and wrapped around the entire booth for this demo so that was an awesome opportunity that I am so grateful for both of them for.
Anyway, onto the demo! As everyone has probably already seen the demo being played, it starts you off in the desert on a trail and you have to make your way to an objective in the city. If you want to explore the surroundings you can. There's also the opportunity for your horse to follow the path on his own, which makes it easy to get where you need to. First thing I did on the horse was fire off a shot from the bow and arrow. So horseback firing is there. I did notice that the sensitivity for aiming felt really slow, so hopefully that can be adjusted. Having played a lot of FPS, I like my sensitivity high for faster shots. Next I opened the map and just looked at how big it was and what it encompassed and it was massive! Maybe as big, if not bigger than Breath of the Wild's map.
So from when you get into the city and make your way to the waypoint, you see a man in trouble and being assaulted by a priest of sorts. He is suspected of stealing gold statues and you must clear his name and recover the statues. This marks two areas to investigate, which is easily done using Senu and just pinging the locations and discovering where the statues are. One is hidden under water and the other a boat.
When jumping into the water, the first thing I noticed was the absolute murkiness of the water. Visibility isn't clear, and you can only see a few feet in front of you. That wasn't really expected since traditionally in games you always have clear visibility under water. The realism there was a really interesting design choice. The water controls felt a lot like it was in Black Flag, except Bayek has some incredible lung capacity. There's a gauge at the bottom that signals how long you can stay under water. So after swimming to the location on the map of the statue, you interact with it and pick it up and then can move on. Next you go on to a boat, that is heavily guarded.
In traditional assassin style, I tried to be sneaky and go for a ledge assassination from below the guard, but apparently, thats not as easy as it used to be and he spotted me immediately. So much for a stealthy approach. So i climbed up, guards started coming, and I just tried to kill them as fast as I could. First thing i noticed was that the controls are like nothing we have every had before in this game. While the visuals felt like assassin's creed, the controls were foreign to me and I found myself pushing buttons from previous games that did not do what I wanted to. CURSE YOU MUSCLE MEMORY! needless to say, I killed a few guards, but I floundered and was eventually killed. RESYNC! So when you resync it starts you near where the mission started, but something i noticed when I got to the boat was that the guards were already dead. Not sure if that is something by design or fluke or what, but I only found the few guards I didn't alert or kill. So, after floundering some more, i managed to kill them and took the second statue from the chest on the boat.
You then return to the priest and proclaim him innocent but the priest doesn't care and says he's guilty anyway and insults Bayek as well. Having none of it, Bayek challenges his authority, resulting in a fight between the priest and his bodyguards against Bayek. So, i wasn't expecting them to be as strong as they were and I quickly died...again. The next time around, I managed to take them out with a smokebomb, but I did notice that they no longer just cough and do nothing for 30 seconds, they actually cough a bit, but still attack through the fog, just not as deftly or as quick. a few strong hits and everyone was dead. Oh right, there are Heavy and Light attacks that make a big difference to the combat. So you kill the priest, tell the man who was being accosted to be free and live his life, and then the overseer for the demo pretty much tells you thats it for now. I did manage to get a little peak at all the menus, and it really feels like an MMO in some regards. The equipment menu sort of feels like Destiny's setup in a way.
Overall, I was really impressed with the game's visuals. Everything looked beautiful, played seamlessly, and just all around felt good to be back to the series. Combat is going to take a little to get used to after the last few games, as its no longer press Button to kill everything around you. It's much more about dodging and attacking when the time is right than just mashing the same buttons. The best way a friend who also played the demo that week described it was like a mixture of old assassins creed and For Honor, which wouldn't surprise me if some of it's coding was used because I believe the two run on the same game engine. As a fan and a gamer, I am really excited for this game, and the time they took with the year off for a better game really shines through. We are just a few months away from the game, but I am very excited to explore Egypt and everything this game has to offer.