Dive into Egypt with our first play of Assassin’s Creed Origins

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The Assassin’s Creed series gets its latest instalment with Origins, the new game revealed by Ubisoft this year at E3. I got to spend some time playing the new title on Xbox One X, and it definitely will not disappoint fans of the series in terms of how it plays. It also depends some aspects of combat, and a new arena in-game feature rewards those who enjoy open fighting, as opposed to stealth.

What I played was only an alpha version of the game, which isn’t set to actually come out until October 27, 2017. But what I did get to experience, including one city set in a contested area of the game occupied by both Greeks and Egyptians, felt finished. The second part of the demo took place in the arena, first with a match against waves of ordinary enemies, and then with a boss battle.

A representative from Ubisoft explained that the arena feature, when implemented in the main game, will be unlocked at some point during the campaign, and then a player can return any time, and compete to unlock new gear and other rewards. It’s all about direct combat, in an actual arena outfitted with active traps and other environmental hazards, and it’s a cool twist on existing Assassin’s Creed gameplay.

That gameplay is what you’ve come to expect and love from Assassin’s Creed. The area I got to play was a lot of low-lying buildings, and some ships docked in the harbor, so it was less about scaling and more about diving to avoid detection, and sneaking up on ship-board enemies. It still felt very much like an Assassin’s Creed game, with a rich, unlimited capacity inventory system and lots of drops even in my short time that deepen the RPG elements.

Your falcon companion can also scout out locations and pinpoint enemies to help you plan your attack. And even with the little time I had with it, Bayek comes across as a protagonist you can definitely get behind, and a worthwhile progenitor of the Brotherhood.

It wasn’t a long demo, but my hands-on definitely had me interested in picking up the game once it’s available in October.