Assassin’s Creed Origins seems to be shaking up the formula of the series in almost every way imaginable, and that is thanks in large part to the game’s setting- ancient Egypt. We recently held an interview with the game’s director Ashraf Ismail, and when we asked him what was at the core of wanting to sort of reboot the franchise in such a way, he gave quiet an interesting answer. Ismail said that the team wanted to tell the story of the birth of the Assassins brotherhood, and ancient Egypt seemed like the perfect place to do that.
“We started this project three and a half years ago, so it was right after Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag,” Ismail told GamingBolt. “When we finished Black Flag we started this game, and in the early days the questions we were asking ourselves was “what kind of experience do we want, what kind of game do we want to make?” We were making an Assassin’s Creed game. So we wanted to make something that was authentically Assassin’s Creed, but the experience was drastically different. The experience of Assassin’s Creed has been reinvented. What that means is, when we talk about experience we’re talking about world structure, narrative structure and gameplay.”
“When we talk about authentic Assassin’s Creed, this is the idea that let us to the birth of the brotherhood,” he continued. “So this group that we know from Assassin’s Creed 1, this group has lasted for 2000 years in our lore. What is the origin of that group, how was it so powerful that it gave birth to this group of people. To tell the story we needed an epic setting, a time period — what happened in the world that cause this. So we knew it was going to be before the original obviously. It’s been a dream of ours to do Egypt — ancient Egypt, specifically. We started looking at ancient Egypt right away, it’s sort of made sense somehow. And when we look to Egypt, there’s 3000 years of history. And we look at different time periods: what we found is the further back you go, the closer to the building of the pyramids, the issue was the rest of Egypt was quite empty. So what we landed on was 49 B.C.E. which is at the time of Cleopatra’s ascension to the throne.”
“What we felt was this was an amazing time, because it already has centuries of grandeur and accomplishment baked into it,” Ismail said. “There’s a lot of stuff for us to play with. There’s a lot of mysticism and fantasy. Those elements of ancient Egypt are still alive. Having said that, it’s at the beginning of its demise.The idea is when this old world and the new world clash out of of this crucible, is where the brotherhood comes to be. It felt like a natural epic tale that was well mixed with the setting. We wanted to make sure that it’s not just any story that could have been told in any setting. The story of the birth needed to be told in this time, in this location for a major region. So we worked hard to learn all those elements.”
Assasssin’s Creed Origins launches later this year for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. We’ll be posting our full interview with Ashraf Ismail soon, so stay tuned to GamingBolt for more updates on the game.