Assassin’s Creed Origins has had a big presence at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, featuring at both Microsoft’s conference and developer Ubisoft’s conference. At both events, we got to see brand new footage from the game. Even better, we've now gotten the chance to get hands on with it on the new Xbox One X.
At this point we’ve had a pretty good look at the game and it’s safe to say that in some ways it’s very different from any of the previous Assassin’s Creed titles.
The most obvious difference is that it’s set 1m000 years before the events of the first game and features a brand new protagonist. However, there are smaller but equally significant changes we think are worth pointing out, just in case you missed them.
There's an underwater world to explore
In Assassin’s Creed Origins the game map is truly huge in terms of landmass. Excitingly, though, it’s even larger than you first think as bodies of water are now fully explorable, too. This time, you can dive beneath the surface of rivers and oceans to uncover loot hidden in riverbeds or even inside massive shipwrecks.
You'll fight in more places than ever
This might be the first Assassin’s Creed where you can truly explore under the sea but that doesn’t mean it’s a safe place for protagonist Bayek to be.
If you dive into the deep you’ll still face wildlife dangers such as hippos, and you’ll be able to engage them in melee combat under the water. It’s worth taking care if you decide to kill an animal in the water or leave a body there, though; blood attracts predators and you could find yourself in more trouble than when you started.
You'll also now be able to fire arrows at enemies as well as use melee attacks from the back of whatever steed you choose, whether that's a horse or a camel.
Crafting and upgrades
Assassin’s Creed Origins is introducing many RPG elements this time around and of course that means crafting.
You’ll be able to improve your armor, weapons and tools through your crafting ability and to collect the items you need. You’ll have to explore the game world for loot and hunt the diverse range of wildlife that now populate the Assassin’s Creed world, from hippos to crocodiles.
Crafting and upgrading will be essential in the new Assassin’s Creed as leveling up is key to surviving. You won’t be able to instant kill an enemy of a much higher level, for example, if your weapons aren’t up to scratch. This even applies to the hidden blade, which was traditionally the best way to get an instant kill.
It's not only items that are can be upgraded - your eagle Senu can be given new skills that will allow her to attack enemies and distract them.
The new RPG elements also extend to a skill tree that's been added to help you tailor your play in a way that suits you. The skill tree is split into three sections: warrior, archer, and a rogue-type category called Seer that revolves around improving skills like crafting.
You won’t have to focus on just one area; in fact, they overlap in a way that almost encourages blending skills together. This means you can develop a combat style that suits you, whether you prefer to take down enemies from afar, trick them with crafty traps, or charge straight in like a battlefield warrior.
No more Eagle Vision
Assassin’s Creed Origins has dropped the Eagle Vision ability in favor of giving players control over an actual pet eagle called Senu.
When you summon Senu, you take complete control of her and get a bird’s eye view of the game world. This new feature adds more of a strategic element to the game as you can use it to truly scout ahead and mark out enemies to reduce the risk of being taken by surprise.
Senu isn’t just useful for scouting, though, as she can also be used to find mission objectives and crafting items as well as attack and distract enemies.
Though animals can be hunted in Assassin's Creed Origins and harvested for crafting materials, they can also be tamed to fight alongside you in battle.
This is an ability that must be unlocked by progressing in the 'Seer' section of the skill tree at which point they'll be able to use a sleep dart on creatures that range from lions to hippos and tame them in order to turn them from enemies to allies.
This is a feature extremely reminiscent of Far Cry Primal but it's certainly an addition that works in this new more open Assassin's Creed world.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.