Enlarge / A world so nice, you won’t even mind the mundane quests.
Glistening sands and teaming life stretch far away.
I stand at the head of a gilded Pyramid, looking away to the bustling lives and vibrant oases around me.
Dust curls up along the horizon, eager to embrace a nearby village. Hippos lumber around the beaches, warding off wary intruders with their girth.
This is ancient Egypt not as we imagine it—a popularized image of endlessly mythologized figures—but closer to Egypt as it really might have been.
It’s lush and vibrant, harsh and unforgiving; a land of scoped mystery, steeped in blood.
Ubisoft has plenty of experience replicating realistic (or at least realistic-esque) worlds like these throughout the Assassin’s Creed series.
The mega-developer’s latest tentpole, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, continues the tradition.
The attention to detail is exceptional, and here that’s no mere quip about superficial beauty. Like a digital museum, great care has been spent curating the fineries and looks and culture of its disparate corners.
Indeed, Ubisoft has already announced a “Discovery Mode” update, coming next year, that literally turns the game into a digital museum, allowing visitors to rifle through relics and records, pyramids and obelisks to learn about the mores and traditions of the people who lived there.
Trope-laden, crushing variety
For now, though, Origins is more of a known quantity, a rough assemblage of the cornucopia of ideas that have settled into the popular consciousness of what games need to be (side missions, gathering, crafting, stealth sections, and so forth).
As such, Origins has a sort of crushing variety, for better and worse.
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