Ubisoft's upcoming new Assassin's Creed game has leaked once again ahead of its official reveal at E3 2017. A preorder card for Assassin's Creed: Origins has surfaced online, confirming the game's Egyptian setting and bonus content. The leaked preorder card for Assassin's Creed: Origins was first shared online on the NeoGAF forums. The card appears to be from retailer Target and confirms the game will have a steelbook gold edition. This version of the game appears to include the deluxe pack and season pass.
This year, Ubisoft returns to form with its biggest franchise. After taking a year off in between Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and Assassin's Creed: Origins, it now appears that we're likely back to yearly releases for the time being. This year's outing is Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, an Ancient Greek adventure revealed by a keychain and confirmed shortly thereafter. Now, we've got a bunch of new screenshots that have leaked before tomorrow's press conference, and they're pretty: this game looks a whole lot like Origins, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. There's one thing that interests me, however, and that's that the screenshots indicate the Assassins--and by extension, their eponymous creed-- might not be anywhere to be found in this game.
When Ubisoft announced last year that the Assassin's Creed series would take a year off, retool, and return in 2017, I anticipated huge sweeping differences. The series needs huge sweeping differences--with a grueling yearly release schedule, Assassin's Creed has suffered from consumer and critical malaise more than perhaps any Ubisoft property. But after playing Assassin's Creed: Origins for 20 or so minutes during E3, I don't think we're getting huge sweeping differences. Assassin's Creed: Origins has been tweaked in places, and its Cleopatra-era Egypt setting is certainly the most creative we've seen in years, but it doesn't feel like a true rebirth or a reimagining. First and foremost, the usual disclaimer applies: We played 20 minutes of an hours-long experience, so maybe the seeds of Assassin's Creed's redemption come later in the game.
It all makes sense once you know the team who worked on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag worked on Assassin's Creed: Origins. Which is to say: The reboot has been rebooted. After Black Flag's sprawling Caribbean adventure, Ubisoft said it wanted to rediscover the "roots" of I the Assassin's Creed franchise for its next installment, Unity. And laugh at Unity's abysmal launch all you want (I certainly did), it accomplished Ubisoft's goal. Then Assassin's Creed: Syndicate...did it again.
Ubisoft's most-spotlighted (and most-leaked) game of E3 was definitely Assassin's Creed Odyssey, a new entry in the game that is…going back to making the series an annual franchise, even if Ubisoft said they were steering away from that. While Odyssey looks a lot like an Origins reskin, this time set in ancient Greece, it's going pretty hard into full-on RPG territory, complete with individual pieces of armor with different rarities, dialogue trees and even romance options for your character, where you can play as either the male Alexios or female Kassandra, both angling to become Spartan legends. What has been consistently weird about Assassin's Creed Odyssey is that other than looking like an Assassin's Creed game, there are almost no traces of…Assassins at all, at least as we've come to know them. There is an "assassin" skill tree, but that's a lower case "a" along with hunter and warrior skill trees. The only thing that seems remotely connected to the Assassin's Creed universe at all is that it seems pretty clear that your treasured weapon, the spear of Leonidas, is a Piece of Eden, giving you supernatural powers in combat.