The Assassin’s Creed series is known for its mission structure that hasn’t truly changed in years. Targets are in a predetermined area – sometimes walking around a bit, sometimes not – and it’s up to the player to infiltrate this location and take them out. In Assassin’s Creed Origins, the AI and quest system shake up this formula.
Of the multitude of changes and improvements in Origins, non-playable characters moving around the world in their daily lives may be the biggest innovation. In an interview with Kotaku, Game Director Ashraf Ismail explained just how this will affect missions by using an example from a side quest in the game where players need to assassinate a man who persistently moves around the map.
“He’s a target. You have to go after him. Through the quest you find pieces of info about his life. During the day he’s out scouring the land on his chariot. At night, he goes home to his fort and sleeps in his cabin. The idea is: ‘There you go: you have that info, he’s your target. Do what you want.’ Do you want to go in through the stealth approach to fight him? Do you want to go out in the open world where he is on a chariot and is an awesome vehicle combat situation? But it’s a completely different situation. We play around with this a lot.”
Ismail stated that the studio developed new technology so there are thousands of NPCs and animals that “have a life, have a persistency, that have schedules, that have places to go to sleep, places to go eat, go to the bathroom, work.” Combined with the game’s day/night cycle, this creates unique gameplay opportunities that were unattainable in previous Assassin’s Creed games.
While researching Egypt’s rich history, the team at Ubisoft found hundreds of interesting stories that involved real-life people. Ismail said that they went with the quest structure they did because the team wanted players to experience these stories and approach them in their own ways.
Assassin’s Creed Origins launches on October 27, 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.