Since the release of Black Flag, arguably the last great entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the property as a whole has laboured. Intrigue washed over me when rumours of a Ptolemaic Egypt set origin story started doing the rounds, and I’m so pleased to say that Origins is the shot in the arm Assassin’s Creed needed. No longer need fans of the series settle for hardship.
Though Bayek is a strong, noble character, a lot of Origins’ allure is thanks to its world. Assassin’s Creed has always had a knack for taking fascinating slices of human history and bending it to bleed together with their own mythos in a seamless fashion. The series’ ability to toe the line between fact and fiction has always been part of its appeal, and Origins is no different as it weaves the stories of historical giants, like Cleopatra and Caesar, and plays them out in the background of Bayek’s narrative in a masterful tapestry of storytelling.
Origins even attempts to course correct the strange, wayward modern-day narrative that underpins all of the Assassin’s Creed games. When the series’ original protagonist Desmond was unceremoniously written out of the franchise, this meta-plot lost its way and became rather convoluted and nonsensical. The introduction of Layla Hassan, an Abstergo employee exploring the memories of Bayek in secret in an attempt to prove her worth to the Animus Project, is refreshing and clear in its aims. So Origins manages to tick all of the right boxes, re-establishing a lot of the Assassin’s Creed mythos that got lost along the road.