Ubisoft peeled back more layers of story behind Assassin’s Creed Origins at the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany, and it highlights the escalating war of assassination between the leaders of ancient Egypt.
The open-world game is coming October 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. While the franchise took a break last year, Ubisoft gave the development team more time to come up with the origin story for the brotherhood of assassins during the era of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. It’s a big bet in a franchise that has sold 100 million units.
Game director Ashraf Ismail said in a preview presentation that it is a time of great events in Egypt, with the boy king Ptolemy scheming to control the country and plotting against his sister Cleopatra, who is enlisting Julius Caesar and the Romans as allies for her cause.
“In 49 BCE, ancient Egypt is at the height of grandeur, but the line of the Pharaohs is about to end,” Ismail said. “A new world order is coming. This is when the birth of the assassin’s brotherhood comes. An old era is about to die, and it is a clash of civilizations.”
In this quest, the hero is Bayek, the last Medjay, a Nubian order of warriors. He and his wife, Aya, are allied to Cleopatra, and they are uncovering a plot among the priests. The new main quest episode takes place in the region of Memphis, an ancient city that was once Egypt’s capital. I thought the water animations were particularly well done, and I was spooked when I had to dispatch a few crocodiles while on my way to start the main quest.
Bayek goes to meet Aya, and finds that a sacred bull is dying. Bayek’s job is to find out what is happening, and he uses his powers of investigation to uncover clues. They lead him to a food storage space, where he discovers a poison. Bayek confronts the women who take care of the bull, and they confess what has happened.
Bayek then goes on a mission to get at the people who blackmailed the women into poisoning the bull. He rescues the brother of the women, and then exacts revenge. The brother tells Bayek that a priest was behind the kidnapping. Bayek and Aya tell Cleopatra, and she gives them permission to assassinate the priest. Ismail said that the scenes with Cleopatra make you feel like you’re there as momentous events of history take place, and that’s part of the long tradition of Assassin’s Creed games.