Scans of an interview with creative director Jean Guesdon from an upcoming issue of Game Informer magazine has leaked online, revealing a handful of significant details including the release date—October 27 2017 on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4. It will be supported on Scorpio as well, though it isn’t clear if that version will also release on the same day or not. Work on Origins began after Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (by the same team), and before Assassin’s Creed Unity.
You play as a man in his 30’s named Bayek, a former Medjay (sheriff) during the rise and reign of Cleopatra VII. The other playable protagonist is being kept secret for now. The game features brand new fighting and AI systems, mountable camels, and ancient tomb raiding. The compass is relaced with an Elder Scrolls-esque arrow on the top of the screen, the sprint button is replaced with analogue speed depending on how much you push the stick, and everything is climbable (think Breath of the Wild) while free running buttons were removed.
Cities of Alexandria and Memphis will appear and include arenas in which there are gladiatorial battles. NPCs have their own day/night schedules, rather than randomly meandering about, and perform basic human actions such as eat, sleep, work, and poop.
Combat will be more difficult as enemies are stronger and do not die from one strike of the hidden blade anymore, but you can deflect arrows with your shield and collect them when they get stuck in it. There is an adrenaline gauge which builds while you fight and, when full, can be used to unleash a powerful attack. Eagle vision returns, along with an actual eagle named Senu, but it doesn’t highlight enemies this time—only objects. Multiple arrows can be fired at once, even while riding a horse or camel.
Additionally, there are legendary items to loot, sunken ships to explore, dead bodies to poison, and wild animals to tame and sic on enemies a la Far Cry. Puzzles return, but are promised to be more difficult and without switches. No competitive multiplayer will be featured once again, but Ubisoft is suggesting some sort of multiplayer connection in the single player campaign.
While I was originally disappointed with the location (still sort of am actually, go to fucking China already!), these improvements sound like they are trying to revitalize the series with the most drastic changes yet. Being able to climb anywhere will really help in an environment that doesn’t have as many clumped up buildings like Acre or Florence. Overall, the game sounds more difficult than in the past as well which, at least on paper, sounds nice considering how easy these games typically are. Would be nice to see stealth refocused though.