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Is Assassin’s Creed Origins Truly Reinventing the Series?

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A new Assassin’s Creed game is just around the corner. It’s been two years and not a single major AC game  has been released, which on Ubisoft’s watch, must feel like an eternity. We all remember back in 2015, after AC Syndicate‘s disappointing sales, when Ubisoft announced they would be taking a two year break in order to reinvent the next instalment of Assassin’s Creed, starting from scratch. This came as a relief to fans of the series, as Ubisoft’s business plan to churn out an AC game every year, as they had been since AC Brotherhood, was severely diminishing the quality of the series (I’m looking at you, Unity) and causing it to go very stale indeed. Hence, this year at E3, Ubisoft proudly presented us with a first look at their brand new AC game, Assassin’s Creed Origins. But at first glance, is it everything it’s cracked up to be?

Now I want to make it clear, I’m a big fan of the AC series. I’ve played every major instalment, including Syndicate and Unity, and despite the many, many flaws the games have overall, I generally enjoy the experience. I poked fun at Unity earlier, but the truth of the matter is, I actually thought it wasn’t all that bad. However, I did avoid it entirely up until recently, when it was going for cheap on the PS store and has had most of the major bugs fixed. But I digress, the point I’m trying to make, is that I’ve stuck with this series from the beginning and have experienced it throughout all its ups (nodding approvingly at AC2 and AC4) and downs (shaking my head in disdain at AC: Revelations, which I abhorred!) I was truly looking forward to a completely reinvented AC game. What I saw at E3 however, wasn’t that.

One thing that can be said about Assassin’s Creed Origins is that it looks gorgeous. It is by far the best looking AC game to have graced our screens. I’m a big fan of the Egyptian setting. The world looks exciting and intriguing and I would happily spend countless hours exploring it. It’s the gameplay however, that really disappointed me.

Our very first look at the gameplay showed the new protagonist, Bayek, on horseback, making his way through a village, as inhabitants shuffled out of the way and went about their own business. It immediately reminded me of  Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, when Ezio would be on horseback, trotting through the streets of Rome as people shuffled out of his way. The animation, although refined, looked very similar and didn’t have the fresh reinvented look I was expecting. The same could be said when Bayek stealthily makes his way through an enemy fort. There is the usual crouching in the long grass, climbing tress and jumping along the conveniently V shaped branches, climbing up buildings, creeping up behind clueless guards, etc… it all looked the same as any other AC game, only with a different, albeit interesting, setting. It didn’t really appear to be, well, reinvented.

So where is the “new” in this reinvented AC game? “The Eagle!”, I hear you shout at your computer screen. Ah yes, the eagle. They’ve finally got rid of climbing buildings and towers to use as view points. Instead, you have an eagle. The eagle can fly and spot enemies, quest locations, points of interest and more. You know, just like the owl in Far Cry: Primal, or the drone in Watch Dogs 2 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Looks like birds and drones are the new tall buildings and radio towers that appeared in every single Ubisoft game since the original AC. “Well, the combat has been improved,” I hear you say. Yes, it has! The combat in AC has always been more of a rhythm based thing, press the button at the right time and watch the brief cut-scene of you dramatically killing your enemies. It had become rather tiresome. The new combat system has you blocking with your shield, side stepping and attacking, slowly diminishing the enemies health bar, you know, like in For Honor. “Well, in this one you can level up and use that to gain perks.” Yes, just like The Division or even Unity and Syndicate. The point being that  Assassin’s Creed Origins isn’t so much a reinventing of the series, more of an AC game with a mixed batch of other Ubisoft game elements thrown in.

Despite all this, come October, I will be playing Assassin’s Creed Origins. I’m sure that, although it’s not the breath of fresh air I expected, I’ll enjoy it regardless. I’m pretty sure the game will be a huge hit and will go on to sell many copies. Here is my concern however: will Ubisoft then rest on their laurels and start releasing AC after AC game using the Assassin’s Creed Origins formula, until once again, it goes stale. Judging by all these similar elements being reused in all their games, it won’t take long for fans to get bored. I mean, the game isn’t even out yet and I’m already bored of taking control of a bird/drone to scan my surroundings. I wish Ubisoft had taken more of a chance and truly reinvented the series, rather than just thrown in elements that worked well in their other franchises. I was hoping for innovation, not replication.

Video games have been a passion of mine from the very first time I played one, at the age of five on Amstrad!( Never heard of it? It was an 80s thing) From then on, I developed a great love for video games and have always owned some form of console throughout each generation of gaming, from the NES to the PS4. Call me a casual if you like, I was probably gaming before you were even born, kiddo.

Gaming

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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