Assassin’s Creed Origins New Combat System Is Literally A Game Changer

Origins looks promising.
Origins looks promising. Ubisoft

Despite my initial reservations, Assassin’s Creed Origins is shaping up to be a pretty promising release. Recently Ubisoft released footage that showcases the augmentations made to the familiar combat system featured in the previous games in the series. The developers have opted to jettison the paired animation system in favor of a hitbox system. Game director of AC origins, Ashraf Ismail expounds on exactly what that means in detail in this developer video, but here’s what stuck out to me:

“We’ve drastically changed the paradigm of what is fight. So in previous Acs, we use what we call technically a paired animation system.Which means when you swing your weapon, the hero and the enemy align, they play an animation together. You wait for the animation to finish and then you continue fighting,” he said. “The change we decided, the paradigm that we shifted, is we went to what we call a hit box system, which means that anytime you swing your weapon, no matter the distance, no matter if there’s noone around you, you're gonna swing. And that means all of a sudden that distance matters, the speed of your weapons matter, your position in flight relative to other enemies also matter. “

This is the kind of Assassin’s Creed news that excites me. Over the course of ten years, the franchise has struggled to maintain consistency from entry to entry. The one element that seems to dictate a good Assassin’s Creed game from a bad one, is refinement. The worst of the series are the titles that rest on the laurels of previous successes without implementing anything new ( Assassin’s Creed Unity, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue etc.) In addition to the unique, beautifully realized Egyptian setting, the addition of RPG elements, and the new mission system, Ashraf’s description of the revamped combat system goes a long way to further cement my faith in this project.

Moreover, the hitbox system will add an extra layer of depth to the already acclaimed combat system. As Asraf goes on to explain in the video, the model extends beyond the player. AI will also maneuver differently in accordance to the reach and speed of their weapons, which means players have extra things to consider beyond the rhythmic attack counter made famous by the franchise. Long gone are the days of effortlessly “fighting eight guys in one shot.” AI is now more likely to attack the player at once, so that they have to rely on the various melee and ranged attacks at their disposal in a way that’s more “dynamic” and “spontaneous.” This is what we want to hear. Ubisoft is expanding the mechanics of Assassin's Creed again, and this just might be the title that restores my faith in the franchise.

Assassin’s Creed Origins hits PC, Xbox One, and the PS4 October 27th of this year.

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