Contextualizing the game’s rich setting and world.
Assassin’s Creed games became infamous for bloat and filler content as time went on- and the one thing that characterized this unnecessary content simply there for the sake of it was all the meaningless and trite collectibles the game tasked players to collect, just to stoke latent OCD tendencies, and with minimal to no contextualization within the scope of the game’s world.
Ubisoft ‘collectathons’ is the term often used for the nadir of Assassin’s Creed games in this vein- games like Assassin’s Creed III and Unity. However, with the upcoming Origins dramatically rethinking other parts of the Assassin’s Creed experience as well, the developers took the chance to also reassess how collectibles would work in the game, utilizing them instead as an attempt to flesh out the game world and its characters more.
“Not only is Egypt a place you want to explore because it’s a world of unique locations but by taking the time to go there you’re going to find something that has value for you, whether that’s lore or gameplay. We’re staying far away from what we call ‘floating collectibles’. We want things in the world to have meaning,” said Game Director Ashraf Ismail in an interview published on November’s GamesMaster magazine issue #322.
“When we did all this research on Egypt we found all these really kooky, unique people. Real people, real events that are much smaller than the grand stage – the Cleopatra/Caesar stuff – and we asked ourselves ‘how can we provide these experiences, these stories to players?’ and quest structure was the most obvious choice.”
This all sounds great- and indeed, the best Assassin’s Creed games were ones that convincingly did this (remember Leonardo da Vinci in Assassin’s Creed II?). Hopefully, Ubisoft is not just paying lip service took the ideal, but actually goes ahead and pulls this off- it would be exceptionally sad if they wasted such a rich setting. Assassin’s Creed Origins launches on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 27.