This game is the latest installment of the Assassin's Creed series, where the majority of the game set in Egypt during the Ptolemaic era. Like previous games, this is an open-world and adventure game, where you can freely explore different locations as you progress the story.
This game also heavily focuses on combat compared to previous Assassin's Creed games, where you spend more time on choosing the right equipment to suit different battle citations.
The past story takes place in Egypt during the Ptolemaic era. Bayek was a former Medjay, who wanted to get revenge on the people responsible of his son's death. However, as he kept killing the several of the members, he discovered that they are part of a larger mysterious organisation called The Order of Ancients, where each member used an animal title to keep their identity secret. Bayek must find and kill each of the members, and find the true killer of his son.
The present story takes place in Egypt as well, where Layla is the person who relieving Bayek's memories via an Animus. As Layla keeps relieving Bayek's memories, she will find that her life is not as easy as it seems, and she must make a decision after relieving all of Bayek's memories.
Overall story is good, but not without flaws. The past storyline starts and ends too abruptly. No proper prologue and no conclusive ending. The pacing of the final story part feels rushed as well. The origins of the Assassin Brotherhood is decently done, but not what I call as a great revelation. Bayek is one of the strongest and likable character in Assassin's Creed series, with likable personality and good character traits. His wife, Aya is a decent character, but her personality and actions do not appeal to me much in the story, and I find her to be less likable than Evie from Assassin's Creed Synditcate. Other supporting characters and villains did a good job in this game.
The present storyline is weak, with no real developments like Assassin's Creed: Syndicate present events. The present storyline is also too short, with no character expositions for Layla and her friend. The lack of First Civilisation lore is disappointing as well, as none of the information regarding them are mindboggling. The lack of Animus database like previous games is notable as well.
This game plays like previous Assassin's Creed games, with some key differences. This time, you can run by just moving the Left Analog Stick and without pressing an additional button to run. Freerunning controls is a bit more streamlined as well, which is just by pressing only one button to climb and jump, or press another button to descend. The main change to the gameplay is the combat system, which will be explained later.
The progression is simple, as you must complete the main Quests to proceed the game's story. Each main Quest has it's own set of cutscenes to watch as well as different game objectives to fulfill. For example, you must escort a person out from a fortress or assassinate a certain target. Unlike other Assassin's Creed games, this game does not have optional Objectives for you to complete. You may also complete side Quests for additional rewards such as experience points.
Exploration is simple, as you can traverse to many areas in Egypt with your camel or horse, and you may even use the Fast Travel feature to warp to certain areas easily. Like the previous games, you can synchronise at certain locations to unlock new Fast Travel locations as well as reveal a part of the game's map and points of interest. Although you do not have Eagle Vision like previous games, you can control Senu to tag enemies and points of interests easily.
Like Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Asassin's Creed: Unity, this game features Abilities system, where you can unlock new Abilities by spending Ability Points. Ability Points can be obtained by leveling up or completing Tomb locations. There are three categories of Abilities, with each category has it's own set of abilities to earn. For example, the Warrior path allows you to learn different combat abilities.
Leveling up plays a role in fighting against enemies as well as using certain equipment. Many equipment may require you to reach certain level before equipping it, and having the appropriate level allows you to fight evenly against enemies. You will only gain a level by gaining enough experience points, which can be obtained by fighting enemies, completing locations, or completing quests.
You may also choose to upgrade Bayek's gear such as armour for more health, bracer for increased melee weapon damage, and etc. To upgrade them, you must find crafting materials such as animal parts or blacksmith materials such as iron. You may hunt animals for animal parts, and buy crafting materials from the sellers after you have acquired a certain Ability.
Bayek also can equip different weapons in combat and stealth. He can equip a melee weapon such as a sword or spear, a ranged weapon such a hunting bow, and a shield for defence. Each piece of equipment is level-based, where higher leveled equipment grant higher damage or defencive properties. You may find them by looting enemies, looting chests, looting objects, or buy them from merchants.
The combat system is the most revamped gameplay feature in this game compared to previous Assassin's Creed games. You can use your melee weapon to hit enemies with either quick attacks or strong attacks, as well as use charged heavy attacks to break enemy's guard or damage them heavily. You may use different bow weapons in combat as well, as certain bow types are suited in combat as well.
Enemies come in different variety, with different equipment and level. Level plays important part in both combat and stealth, as you will deal minimal damage if you fight higher leveled enemies if Bayek has very low levels compared to them. You may also fight against animals as well as certain human bosses, who are different than regular mooks in this game.
The stealth gameplay is similar to previous Assassin's Creed games, but this game doesn't emphasise much on assassination compared to previous games. You can crouch to take cover behind low obstacles, use haystacks as hidden spots, and kill enemies with your hidden blade. Like melee combat, level plays an important role when assassinating certain enemies as lower level Bayek won't be able to kill higher leveled enemies effectively.
The overall gameplay is great. Tons of content, effective combat system, great gameplay controls, and good challenge. However, there are some issues regarding the gameplay. First of all, the lack of vital Abilities in the Abilities tree. I only find a number of Abilities to be extremely vital in the game, whereas other abilities are not exactly great to use or learn. The lack of stealth Abilities should be noted as well, considering this game's focus on direct combat. Second, the lack of stealth-related quests. Both main Quest and side Quests do not have many stealth-related objectives, which is slightly disappointing. Third, the lack of Aya main quests. Unfortunately, this game does not feature dual-protagonists like Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, which is a shame. Plus, the character herself doesn't get much attention in both story and gameplay to get players interested with the character.
Regardless, the gameplay is excellent, and it has one of the best overall gameplay in Assassin's Creed series, along with Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.
This game has excellent graphics. Well-designed character models, good animations, and great design of buildings and locations. The framerate performance is mostly stable while playing, although there are one or two occasions of slowdowns in busy areas. Some bugs and glitches are present in this game, but unfortunately none of them are game-breaking. It is highly recommended to install the latest update for this game to reduce bugs and glitches to occur while playing.
The English voice acting is great. Major kudos to Abubakar Salim, the voice actor of Bayek, who did excellent job in conveying different emotions in many scenes as the character. Other voice actors did commendable job as well.
The soundtrack is decent, although I do not find it to be particularly memorable other than a few tracks. It does not have enough variety of town tracks like the older Assassin's Creed games such as Assassin's Creed I and Assassin's Creed II, which is a shame.
This game has good replay value. Complete all optional Side Quests, complete all Locations, fight in Coliseum matches, or participate in chariot races. If you play the game online, you may also attempt to tackle the online-exclusive Trials of the Gods quests, where you fight mystical Gods via glitches in the Animus.
This is a return to form of Assassin's Creed series. Excellent gameplay, great setting, awesome visuals, and good replay value makes this game worth buying. The flaws are still present however, such as the mediocre storyline, lack of stealth-related missions, minor bugs and glitches, etc. This is a worthy entry to play, and the major focus of melee combat makes this game different than previous Assassin's Creed games. Give it a try.
Final Score: 8.0/10 or 32/40
Pros and Cons
- Bayek is a strong and likable character.
- Excellent setting.
- Great gameplay controls.
- Great melee combat system.
- Good challenge in both melee and stealth encounter.
- Great graphics.
- Excellent English voice acting.
- Good replay value.
- Mediocre past storyline.
- Many emotional scenes, especially regarding Bayek.
- Weak present storyline.
- Underdeveloped characters, especially Aya and Layla.
- Lack of important abilities to learn, especially stealth abilities.
- Lack of stealth-focused objectives or quests.
- Minor bugs and glitches.
- Not very memorable soundtrack compared to older Assassin's Creed games.