Assassin's Creed: Origins

Assassin's Creed returns and its vast and evocative Egypt inspires wonder - even if much in the game remains familiar.

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Do you want to be like Neo from the Matrix? Maybe you just miss video game cheat codes from olden days? Either way, you'll be able to hack Assassin's Creed Origins on PC later this month via a new customisation interface.

Hellblade leads BAFTA game nominations with nine nods

Horizon and Edith Finch not far behind.

Ninja Theory's self-published gamble, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, leads the nominations for the BAFTA video game awards 2018, with nine nods including Best Game. It's been a tremendous success for the British studio, with Hellblade winning both critical acclaim and bringing in more than half-a-million sales.

I spent a couple of hours this week playing a preview build of the upcoming Assassin's Creed DLC, Curse of the Pharaohs - which, as the name suggests, is all about the ire of Egypt's rulers. Specifically, the dead ones. With some careless grave robbers helping themselves to powerful artefacts, the Pharaohs have grown restless and put a curse on the game's new region of Thebes.

One of the most fascinating things I ever read about Shakespeare revolves, rather perversely, around how little we actually know of him. Putting the plays and the sonnets to one side, everything we know about Shakespeare the man is "contained within a few scanty facts," according to Bill Bryson. In his book, Shakespeare: The World as a Stage, Bryson marvels that Shakespeare exists within the historical record in a mere hundred or so documents. Despite almost a million words of text in his drama and poetry, "we have just 14 words in his own hand - his name signed six times and the words 'by me' on his will."

Assassin's Creed Origins Egyptian mummy expansion arrives March with big level cap boost

Ubisoft has laid out its full timetable of expansions for Assassin's Creed Origins, which are due to launch over the next few months.

First up is The Hidden Ones, a 10-years-later story epilogue to Origins' main campaign set in a new region, the Roman-occupied Sinai. It arrives next Tuesday, 23rd January.

Next will be the Discovery Tour, Origins' educational "living museum" mode, which will be available to explore for free from 20th February.

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Assassin's Creed Origins patch lands tomorrow, adds new quest and map regions

Assassin's Creed Origins will get its big January patch tomorrow, which will pave the way for its upcoming expansion The Hidden Ones.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners get a 3GB download. On Uplay the game weighs in at 2.6GB. On Steam, it's 1.2GB.

The Hidden Ones, Ubisoft's upcoming Roman-centric expansion, is set a decade after Origins' finale in two new regions: Sinai and the Valley of the Kings.

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Assassin's Creed Origins' first expansion arrives this month

Assassin's Creed Origins' first expansion arrives this month

Level cap increase and For Honor outfit revealed.

The Hidden Ones, the first of two expansions headed to Assassin's Creed Origins, will arrive this month (January).

The DLC picks up Bayek's story after the finale of the main game in a new region ruled by Romans. You should expect a "vast" new story, Ubisoft says, and a level cap increase to 45.

There's free stuff coming to Origins as well - a new quest to set the scene for The Hidden Ones' arrival, a Warden outfit from fellow Ubisoft game For Honor, and the return of two Trials of the Gods. (Anubis returns today for a week, followed by Sobek on the 23rd.)

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Assassin's Creed Origins gets 3GB patch today

Assassin's Creed Origins gets 3GB patch today

Improves visuals, adds Horde mode, charts uncompleted locations.

Assassin's Creed Oranges owners will notice a 3GB update being piped to their consoles and/or PC today. It contains a selection of handy updates and changes.

First up, for folk who've noticed the game has struggled loading textures at a distance (we're looking at you, 2D trees), there are various fixes on the way to hopefully make things prettier.

Among the detailed patch notes are points including "Improved texture streaming selection to allow for more high-resolution texture", "Fixed loading grid setups for tall palm tree fields to improve their view distance" and various improvements specific to certain in-game locations (Siwa, Alexandria, and more).

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This short animated Assassin's Creed Origins trailer is worth a minute of your time

Clocking in at just under a minute, this Assassin's Creed Origins video is but a morsel of a trailer. Still, amongst all the bombastic gameplay and review score braggery we usually see in promotional trails, it's well worth highlighting.

Created by Hong Kong-based Paperbox Creations, it shows Origins main character Bayek leaping into battle, after having his fate weighed up by the god Anubis.

History lesson: Egyptians believed your heart was weighed upon death, and in order to enter the afterlife you needed a heart as light as a feather. Good deeds in life made your heart lighter. Bad deeds would make your heart heavy, and leave you unable to enter the afterlife at all. (You would, instead, be fed to crocodile-head god Ammut.)

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Digital FoundryAssassin's Creed Origins: Xbox One X is improved, but to what extent?

Impressive resolution boosts over PS4 Pro, but no game-changing improvements.

Assassin's Creed Origins arrives on Xbox One X, giving us a fascinating insight into how a key developer aims to scale their multi-platform projects most effectively across the current generation of consoles - both base models and 4K mid-gen refreshes. On the face of it, there are few surprises here: the more teraflops your console has, the better the resolution, automatically meaning that, yes, the game looks best on Xbox One X. But the techniques Ubisoft has deployed to scale its game across consoles produces some interesting results: Microsoft's new console hands in by far the best raw metrics in terms of pixel counts, but PS4 Pro still holds up rather well.

Assassin's Creed Origins launch sales double Syndicate

Assassin's Creed Origins launch sales double Syndicate

Series "officially back", Ubisoft says.

Launch sales of Assassin's Creed Origins were double that of previous game Syndicate, Ubisoft has revealed.

The detail, announced in a financial call to investors last night, sheds new light on the data released after Origins' first week on sale here in the UK - that the game's physical sales were roughly on par with Syndicate.

What changed? As we noted at the time, UK numbers company Chart-Track does not count digital downloads - and for Assassin's, these were very strong.

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Assassin's Creed Origins finally confirms Watch Dogs is set in the same universe

Assassin's Creed Origins has confirmed, once and for all, it takes place in the same shared universe as fellow Ubisoft series Watch Dogs.

The theory both series are connected is not new. Ubisoft has played with the idea before, and slipped references to each into the others' games.

Assassin's Creed Easter eggs feature in both Watch Dogs 1 and 2, while Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag includes mention of Watch Dogs' fictional evil corporation Blume.

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Editor's note: Once a month we invite the wonderful Gareth Damian Martin, editor of Heterotopias, to show us what proper writing about games looks like before we shoo him away for making the rest of us look bad. If you want to read more in-depth critical writing, you can find the third issue of Heterotopias here.

Assassin's Creed Origins patch adds even more photo mode effects

Assassin's Creed Origins patch adds even more photo mode effects

Plus HDR support on PS4 Pro, and 4K support for Xbox One.

There's a new patch for Assassin's Creed Origins on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One which improves the game's excellent photo mode.

New photo effects in the game include temperature, tint, saturation, noise, vignette, exposure and depth of field.

Origins' photo mode is truly great. Head over to the Assassin's Creed reddit and you'll find it flooded with beautiful pictures of desert sunsets, random events such as meteor showers, brutal combat shots... and a couple of brilliant bugs:

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Assassin's Creed Origins physical sales roughly on par with Syndicate's

Assassin's Creed Origins physical sales roughly on par with Syndicate's

Super Mario Odyssey is Nintendo Switch's biggest launch yet.

Assassin's Creed Origins has taken the UK chart top spot with physical sales roughly equal to that of Assassin's Creed Syndicate.

Physical sales on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were just a few copies lower than Syndicate's equivalent total back in 2015, although the rise of digital sales since then will likely push Origins' overall result comfortably higher.

(UK numbers company Chart-Track does not count digital console or PC sales.)

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How does Assassin's Creed Origins on Pro improve over base PS4?

After a year on hiatus, the Assassin's Creed franchise returns, refreshed in all areas - and that includes its technology. We hope to bring you more about the game's technical foundations soon, but what's clear is that materials, animation and motion capture have been pleasingly improved, while image quality moves on to the next level. Draw distances are further extended with less pop-in - all the better to service an in-game world 4x the size of Black Flag's - while lighting is on another level. Meanwhile, PlayStation 4 Pro support looks solid enough, hinting at even better things to come for Xbox One X.

In terms of the game aesthetic, we're looking at a massive revamp compared to Unity and Syndicate, and Ubisoft has allowed the respective console GPUs to flex their muscles as much as possible. The days of the 900p parity between base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in AC titles are over. Dynamic resolution is deployed on all systems, and this produces large variations in results: the standard PS4 spends most of its time at native 1080p, with just small drops beneath, while Xbox One is more aggressive with its scaling - we've only had limited time with the Microsoft code so far, but we've noted 792p, 864p and 900p pixel-counts.

All eyes are on PlayStation 4 Pro, however, especially when factoring in the imminent arrival of Microsoft's new console. The boost here varies according to the complexity of the scene, with variations between 1350p and 1584p measured during our tests so far. Does Assassin's Creed Origins use checkerboarding? The bulk of the evidence suggests no. However, infrequent edge-cases (particularly on the feathers of Senu, Bayek's eagle chum) show the same kind of edge cross-hatching we saw on the E3 trailer, which was apparently running on Xbox One X hardware. We hope to hammer down this detail soon.

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Assassin's Creed Origins review

We know quite a lot about what the Ancient Egyptians made of death. Their opinions regarding life, however, often seem more elusive. This could have posed something of a problem for Assassin's Creed: although my first thought of this series is always of death dropping down from on high as darkness suddenly swirls and engulfs, my second, more considered memory, is generally one of life - mad, rickety, often hilarious life. The teeming, thronging cities of civilisation, messy history wobbling forth in the form of crowds, of bystanders, of onlookers, of thieves and killers and victims. This life is sometimes buggy and precarious - in Assassin's Creed, you can sometimes have no face, just a grin and some floating eyeballs and yet you can still be alive - but there's always something of a cheerful miracle to it. These games bustle. They bustle with life.

Assassin's Creed Origins

Developer: Ubisoft

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The Assassin's Creed series, ranked

As Ezio one, two, three.

Assassin's Creed is a series all about history - well, that and stabbing people in the neck. So, for the release of Origins, we thought we'd celebrate by delving into the history of the series. It's a lot less messy than doing the stabbing in the neck thing ourselves.

Assassin's Creed: the story so far

Everything is permitted.

There will likely never be a better entry point to Assassin's Creed than Origins, released today. A prequel set a thousand years before the events of Assassin's Creed 1, Origins can be enjoyed as your first experience of the series.

Tracing the ancestry of Assassin's Creed, from Prince of Persia to the Holy Land

Assassin's Creed's origins: A chat with Patrice Désilets about building the tower.

If there are moments of serenity in the original Assassin's Creed, which turns 10 years old next month, they are surely to be found in the act of scaling towers - a way of pacing consumption of the landscape that has shaped almost every subsequent open world escapade, from Rocksteady's Batman Arkham games to the mighty Breath of the Wild. The city is a fading murmur beneath you, the cries of beggars and traders and the jingle of guard awareness icons whisked away by the wind. The occasional frustrations of shouldering through mobs or scrambling across uneven rooftops are forgotten. There is nothing but the scuffle of toes on masonry and the rattle of Altair's sword in its sheath.

Here's something to make you feel old: the original Assassin's Creed launched a whole decade ago. It's been 10 years since Assassin's Creed featured grumpy old Altair, imprisoned poor Desmond, and introduced now-ingrained concepts such as the Animus, Abstergo, and snazzy clothes with hoods.

Free update turns Assassin's Creed Origins into an interactive museum

Assassin's Creed Origins will get a free update next year called Discovery Tour that effectively turns the game into an interactive museum.

Currently slated for release early in 2018, Discovery Tour takes the assets and NPCs from the main game and curates them to form a series of interactive tours. One such tour, for example, shows a priest performing part of the ancient Egyptian mummification ritual on a corpse, while a voiceover explains the process in more detail.

These tours themselves seem fairly substantial, with the game's UI estimating that experiencing all it has to say on mummification will take about 20 minutes. Completing tours unlocks a series of characters for use in Discovery Tour, allowing you to explore the mode as Bayek's wife Aya, Cleopatra, or even Julius Caesar.

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Final Fantasy 15 is getting free Assassin's Creed crossover DLC

Dawn the AC cowl as Lestallum partakes in its Assassin's Festival.

Apparently cosplaying as an Assassin's Creed character is such a phenomenon that it's infiltrated the world of Final Fantasy 15. Indeed, Square Enix's popular RPG is getting a free Assassin's Creed-related timed expansion due 29th August and lasting through 31st Jan, 2018.

Assassin's Creed anime announced by Netflix Castlevania creator

Netflix Castlevania creator Adi Shankar has announced his next animated series - an Assassin's Creed anime.

Shankar, known for his work on the R-rated Dredd, Machine Gun Preacher and The Grey, was contacted by Ubisoft to discuss the project.

Writing on Facebook, Shankar revealed the series would tell "an original story" set within the Assassin's Creed universe.

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Assassin's Creed Origins hunting, underwater, night gameplay demoed in hour of footage

We've already posted our own hands-on impressions of the impressive-looking Assassin's Creed Origins from E3 last week, but now we're back and seeing others upload videos of their own adventures.

The demo we saw had a fairly straightforward mission to complete, along with a separate arena activity to try. Still, other folk at E3 decided to wander away from the mission bounds - and see more of Origins' open world.

I snuck a glimpse at the portion of Origins' unlocked for Ubisoft's E3 demo - it was just a tiny fragment of the game's overall, vast world. (Think Zelda: Breath of the Wild's opening Plateau area, versus the rest of the game.) The videos below are just from this.

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Assassin's Creed has suffered in the past from its quickfire release schedule. Despite being one of the few annual blockbusters not about deathmatches, driving a car or kicking a ball, it was still released, every year, to fans hungry for meaningful upgrades. Sometimes, Ubisoft pulled it off despite of itself - with AC2, Brotherhood, and Black Flag, the series delivered. More often, though, Assassin's Creed has been judged as not having done enough, or simply not being good enough. Happily, it looks like Origins is going to fall into the first camp.

Xbox One X has much to prove in the run-up to its November 7th launch. Forza Motorsport 7 demonstrates how beautifully 1080p first-party engines scale up to ultra HD resolutions, but what about taxing third party titles, typically rendering at 900p on base Microsoft hardware? Assassin's Creed Origins - showcased at Microsoft's E3 media briefing - presents compelling evidence that a beautiful 4K presentation isn't off the cards. We've got access to a pristine 4K source file of the gameplay segment, and even under close scrutiny, Origins holds up admirably.

Ubisoft E3 2017 live report

Rabbids! Assassins! AND BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2! Ubi's outstanding conference as it happened.

Rabbids! Assassins! AND BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2! Ubi's outstanding conference as it happened.

Egypt-set Assassin's Creed Origins finally confirmed

Assassin's Creed Origins has finally, finally, been unveiled. It launches 27th October.

Set in Ancient Egypt, the game will chart the origins of the Assassins' Brotherhood, and the story of main character Bayek. He's an Egyptian sheriff who stands up to those attempting to corrupt Egypt's civilisation.

The game will have a greater focus on RPG elements, as shown in the game's extended set of gameplay. It featured Bayek returning to his hometown, a dusty settlement bordered by a temple fortress.

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Ubisoft has a new logo

And it did not leak.

Ubisoft has a new logo - it's an updated version of the familiar purple swirl you'll have seen hundreds of times when loading up Assassin's Creed, Far Cry or anything Tom Clancy.