Assassin’s Creed Origins latest rumours: Release date, setting, & screenshots
Assassin’s Creed skipped 2016, but there are plenty of rumours about the latest entry, including a title (Origins), setting (Egypt), and gameplay revamps.
It looks like Assassin’s Creed: Empire will be set in ancient Egypt
The next game in the long-running Assassin’s Creed franchise is expected to be called Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and it’s one of our most anticipated games of the year. There’s been a slow drip of rumours and teases about the game ever since the release of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate in October 2015. We’ve rounded up all the rumours and news about the game’s release date, title, setting, and platforms right here – and it’ll be the first place you find any official screenshots and trailers when they’re released – probably at E3 2017.
2016 was the first year to not feature a main series Assassin’s Creed game since Assassin’s Creed II game out way back in 2009, so there’s even more anticipation and excitement for the next title in the series than normal. Throw in the recent film starring Michael Fassbender and there’s even more reason to look forward to our return to the time-travelling assassination series. Read on to find out everything we know so far.
When is Assassin’s Creed: Origins out?
Assassin’s Creed has been an annual series ever since 2009, but that all changed with the release of 2015’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.
While that game was a hit with critics (including us), its sales were below publisher Ubisoft’s expectations, perhaps hampered in part by the poor reaction to 2014’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which was beleaguered by bugs on its release.
That led the development team to announce in February that “there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016,” and that they would be using the extra development time “to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.” Naturally, most players hope that the follow-up to Syndicate will arrive some time in 2017, but some comments from Ubisoft VP of editorial Tommy Fran?ois in September 2016 suggest that the company is willing to let the game slip until 2018 if that means making sure it’s up to standard.
“We believe Alpha for these games needs to be one year before release. We’re trying to achieve that. That’s super f****** blunt, I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this.
This is the goal we’re going for: Alpha one year before, more quality, more polish. So if this means biting the [bullet] and not having an Assassin’s game, or a Far Cry [in 2017], f*** it.” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot took a similar (if slightly less swear-y) line in an investor call in November, echoing the line that the company is willing to wait to make sure that it gets the game right.
What we saw in the development of the next [Assassin’s Creed] was that we had an opportunity to take it to another level. So we said we’ll take all the time it takes to make the experience fantastic. It was feasible because we have other games.
There’s a huge potential in this game to revolutionize the IP, so we said, ‘Let’s make sure we change our model so we have more time and that we can bring back a greater experience.'” Still, it seems unlikely that Ubisoft would want to go two whole years without a new Assassin’s Creed title, as it’s one of their major franchises and they’ll be wanting to capitalise on the new film. That’s why we’re still expecting to see Assassin’s Creed: Origins arrive in late 2017.
That’s made even more likely by an Ubisoft earning call which saw it confirm that it has four major games due out before March 2018, including The Crew 2 and an unnamed Assassin’s Creed title. The company also confirmed that its 2017 E3 conference will be held on June 12th, so expect to get the full reveal then.
Still, if you’re looking for something Assassin-y to play right now, the company did release The Ezio Collection in November 2016.
That includes remastered versions of Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and you can buy it right now for PS4 or Xbox One from Amazon. There’s also the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles trilogy, a series of smaller titles set in China, India, and Russia, which was completed in February 2016. You can pick up all three for PS4, PS Vita, and Xbox One.
When and where is Origins set?
The first rumours about Assassin’s Creed: Origins came in January 2016, when Kotaku reported the game’s supposed title (then thought to be Empire), and revealed its apparent setting: ancient Egypt. The site also reported that the game would skip 2016, later confirmed to be true, adding credence to the rumoured title and setting. Kotaku’s report was driven partly by a series of 4chan forum posts by an alleged Ubisoft developer, who described it as “a complete revamp of the series.”
He added that “The game is going for a Witcher feel, with player progression, freeform combat system,” and that “Horse is back, and boats too,” with the game supposedly under development by Ubisoft Montreal, the team behind Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. The news that the game would be set in Egypt suggests that it may in fact be Osiris, a game Ubisoft has been developing since at least late 2012. Motion capture footage leaked from the game, clearly set in ancient Egypt, in early 2013.
At the time it was thought to be a possible resurrection of the Prince of Persia franchise, but it now looks more likely to have been early work on the new Assassin’s Creed game.
That’s made even more likely by an Easter Egg in Watch Dogs 2.
That features a mission where players must sneak into Ubisoft’s own offices to steal a game trailer. At one point an Ubisoft employee is heard worrying about a leak, mentioning Osiris in the same breath as the last two main Assassin’s Creed titles, both of which had details leaked early in development. “Can you assure me [the trailer won’t be leaked]?
After what happened with Unity, Syndicate, Osiris-” And if you wanted any more confirmation that the next Assassin’s Creed game will have an Egyptian setting, an industry insider leaked an image that purports to be an early prototype render of a pyramid from the game. Note the Assassin’s Creed: Empire logo in the top right too.
Yet more evidence came in May 2017, when a leaked photo of the game in action brought with it the news that it would be called Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and that it would be a prequel, and reiterated the ancient Egyptian setting. The photo, initially shared on Reddit, depicts a man standing on a wooden sailboat with a bow-and-arrow and a shield, and shows a mission to ‘Assassinate the Crocodile’, with a current objection to ‘Follow Shadya to Khenut’s Villa’. Khenut was a Queen of Egypt and the wife of King Unas who lived during the time of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt.
The anonymous Reddit leaker went on to claim that the game would feature a return to the naval combat of Black Flag, was made by mostly the same team, and that there would be “smaller segments that take place in different times,” but that “the setting is the same,” suggesting the story may cover several periods in Egyptian history. Eurogamer has claimed that multiple sources have confirmed the legitimacy of the image, the name Origins, the fact that it’s a prequel, and that it will be out later this year for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Yet another pre-E3 link seems to confirm the legitimacy of the above one.
It’s a photo of an alleged bit of merchandise for the game, showing off the protagonist, who looks very similar to the character depicted in the above screenshot:
But wait, there’s more! Just days before E3, another retailer leak has thrown yet more fuel on the Assassin’s Creed: Origins fire (does that even make sense?).
A photo shared online shows what’s apparently a pre-order placard from US retailer Target confirming loads of the above details. There’s the name (Origins), the setting (check the pyramid and sphinx), the hawk (see the, uh, hawk), and even the protagonist’s favoured bow-and-shield combo. There’s also a hint at one of the game’s pre-order bonuses: a mission called ‘Secrets of the First Pyramids’.
The only oddity here? It’s still using the old Ubisoft logo, but since that was only changed in the last few weeks, it’s not too surprising really. Unless all of this has been a masterfully orchestrated fake out by Ubisoft, surely at this point we can all be pretty certain about what to expect from the next Assassin’s Creed.
What will the gameplay be like?
Looking beyond the setting, it is likely that players can expect the next Assassin’s Creed game to have less focus on a linear narrative and instead bring the open world elements even further to the fore. Ubisoft chief creative officer Serge Hascoet told Le Monde that his focus was on making “worlds that are interesting to me, even as a tourist,” where “my actions will change the world.” “I don’t want the player to go through a story created by someone.
We have games like that still, but I ask more and more that we let the player write their own story — that they set themselves a long-term goal, identify the opportunities that are open to them and choose not to follow a path that was decided for them.” More gameplay details were potentially revealed in a major leak to 4chan, later summarised on Reddit, which came just a week after the image of a character on a boat seen up above. There’s an awful lot of information in the leak, but we’ve done our best to condense it into the most important points here.
First up, the exploration and scouting mechanic is changing. Towers are reportedly gone from the game, replaced by an eagle that you’ll have some control over. This will be how you discover new side-quests and points of interest on the map.
Despite earlier speculation, apparently there won’t be a return to then naval combat of Black Flag, but the boat seen in the above screen will be controllable, but purely for travel purposes. This is apparently the best way to explore the world, which will be packed with immersive details. Combat has apparently also been re-worked, with enemies now smarter, with varied attack patterns and flanking AI.
Stealth has also been improved, with even ways to hide among objects and people built into the world. The leak also includes a little more story info, claiming that the game is set between 1400 and 1200 BC, that the protagonist is an Israelite attempting to free his people from slavery, and that this is the first in a planned trilogy with the same character. There’ll also be a new protagonist for the modern day storyline, which will itself be expanded.
The game is reportedly due on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 ‘later this year’, with no Switch version planned.
Naturally, we have to take all of this with a pinch of salt for now – but with E3 just around the corner, we surely don’t have long to wait to find out for sure.
- ^ see more by Dominic Preston (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ most anticipated games of the year (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ What to expect at E3 2017 (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ including us (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ sales were below publisher Ubisoft’s expectations (www.eurogamer.net)
- ^ beleaguered by bugs (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ development team to announce (blog.ubi.com)
- ^ Ubisoft VP of editorial Tommy Fran?ois (uk.ign.com)
- ^ Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot (segmentnext.com)
- ^ he Crew 2 (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/nUrM4A57J0 (t.co)
- ^ May 16, 2017 (twitter.com)
- ^ PS4 or Xbox One from Amazon (amzn.to)
- ^ PS4, PS Vita, and Xbox One (amzn.to)
- ^ Kotaku reported (kotaku.com)
- ^ 4chan forum posts (www.neogaf.com)
- ^ leaked an image (twitter.com)
- ^ initially shared on Reddit (www.reddit.com)
- ^ Eurogamer (www.eurogamer.net)
- ^ Le Monde (www.lemonde.fr)
- ^ summarised on Reddit (www.reddit.com)