Ezio Auditore Da Firenze is the main protagonist in Assassins Creed 2, Brotherhood, Revelations and who can forget the short film Embers where the story culminates in the death of Etzio. I was reintroduced to gaming by Etzio on a second hand PlayStation 3. He was charismatic, relatable and kind of funny. After Ezio we had a Native American dude, I honestly can’t remember his name – I was just basically playing it out to see how everything ended. The story did become drab, and the games lost their flare, but it was still fun to play until the AC game set in the background of the French revolution. The glitches, the blatant push towards microtransactions made me feel dirty like a pimp was funneling me into a brothel along with other broad eyed gamers thinking no way a company would be this sleazy.
Cut to 2017 and here comes EA, ready to molest a beloved franchise, as a fan of Star Wars and a gamer they insulted me. I walked away from the AC franchise for the same reasons, but this time they went too far. Star Wars fans are usually hardcore and critical, and so are gamers, EA managed to enrage both these groups and felt the brunt by losing 3.1 billion in shareholder value. I did enjoy seeing EA squirm, only because I hope they do as Ubisoft is doing and do what is right by the fans.
Ubisoft’s redemption comes in 2 forms, AC Origins, and South Park: Fractured but whole, I am currently playing both of the games, and I am enjoying the hell out of it! South Park is fun to play and stays true to its fans, I wouldn’t recommend to those who are not fans, but maybe it can win you over. AC Origins has taken much from The Witcher: Wild Hunt, which is a running internet joke, but is that a bad thing? Hellz to the no, The Witcher: Wild Hunt was epic and left gamers begging for more.
AC Origins is a should play, especially to fans who fell away from the series as it got stale, you will find a re-energized combat system which is less scripted than in the previous games but more rigid. The new ability to lock onto individual enemies is useful if one enemy attacks you at a time but becomes confusing when multiple enemies are trying to split you open like a watermelon. The weapons in the game come in different forms with different pros/cons depending on your approach to combat, you are also allowed to cycle through weapons in battle which can be very useful.
The backdrop of ancient Egypt is stunning, as you run around you will notice the architecture changes, I struggled to find a copy and pasted building in the game. The game finally has seamless parkour! Remember when you try to jump sideways in a game, and Ezio jumps backward instead and commits suicide in some cathedral, and you start swearing – well there is less of that.
As is becoming an industry norm, microtransactions are still a part of the game, which leads you to grind if you don’t choose to pay. I decided not to spend because when some Commercial Manager in some office somewhere looks at the profitability of it, I want him/her to see it as insignificant and something that does not need to as prevalent in a game. There are also the occasional glitches but nothing that makes it unplayable.
My verdict on AC Origins, it is Redemption for Ubisoft – It has given me a reason to return to the AC franchise, and I look forward to seeing where it will go from here.