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Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins - Beginner's Guide

Here's 10 tips we wish we knew before starting our Egyptian adventure.

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Assassin's Creed Origins is a massive game, with lots of systems working together (something we appreciated in our review), and although it might be a bit overwhelming at first, we've got 10 tips to share with you that we believe will help you be better prepared to approach the game and its many charms.

Hunt & Craft

While leveling up does increase your health points and your damage, one great way to boost your survivability and your damage is to hunt wildlife and craft gear. It's easy to overlook this, as there's so much to do, but crafting gear is something you should consider. Some materials are transported by soldiers that you can raid, and as you unlock the option in the skill tree, you can buy these materials at vendors too. Also keep in mind that you can destroy unused weapons for materials such as bronze, iron, and cedar wood, which is great, particularly when you just need a couple of materials to craft new gear.

Many of the resource materials are used for multiple crafting purposes, so make sure you focus your crafting on areas that will support your particular build. If you tend to use tools, make sure you expand the tool bag, whereas melee damage and health points are always useful. If you're focusing more on the hunter side of things you'll want to increase your quiver and arrow damage. Don't forget to upgrade your hidden blade either, as there's nothing quite as embarrassing as setting up a stealth kill only to not do enough damage to off the enemy in one go.

Assassin's Creed Origins

There are plenty of options in combat

Assassin's Creed always offers a smorgasbord of weapons to choose from, including blunt weapons, axes, and swords. The combat itself is a dance of blocking, dodging, and pouncing. It's a bit more tactical than you'd think as many enemies use shield and so they will block any standard attacks, and it's also viable to create some distance to fire a quick arrow (aiming for the head and pulling the trigger for a bit is vital as normal arrow hits do little damage compared to critical ones). It's also important to time your adrenaline attacks correctly as they can cause massive damage, but if you trigger it facing the wrong enemy it can be a bit of a waste.

We found one of the later perks in the Warrior tree to be particularly useful in this respect as it allows you to enter combat with a full adrenaline bar. This lets you take out even the stronger enemies rather easily or at least decimate their health bar right off the bat. This isn't a game where you'll only use one branch of the skill tree as you'll need many skills, but clearly the Warrior branch is the one you'll want to invest in to make your life easier.

While picking off enemies one by one is the preferred method you'll often find yourself in situations when you're outnumbered. One strategy is then to take out easy enemies first and build your adrenaline meter to overpower the stronger enemies. Another strategy is to focus on the tough enemies, first making sure you get your shield-breaking charged attack in, and go from there. A variant on the first is to try and target the archers first, but be aware that they tend to want to skip around so this strategy can leave you open to taking damage from heavy units. Judging distance is key and there's a rhythm to pouncing on an opening that you'll need to learn.

Oh, and make sure you make good use of fire arrows when there are explosive jugs around.

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It's still a stealth game

While Assassin's Creed Origins has taken a massive turn towards an RPG, it still favors the stealthy approach to most of its combat scenarios - isolating enemies and picking them off one by one is the preferred way to tackle most of the scenarios you'll encounter.

Your eagle friend Seru also comes into play here. While you're prompted to use her for many missions, she is also very useful when scouting out camps and tagging enemies to keep track of them. Seru also notes if guards are resting, eating, or otherwise engaged in activities, which opens up interesting tactical opportunities for you.

Speaking of Seru, as you upgrade her perception (by synchronising and unlocking fast travel points), she becomes more and more invaluable for scouting and exploring areas.

Don't be scared to ride into a camp

While Assassin's Creed Origins is a game that generally favours stealth, sometimes you'll just want to let loose some mayhem. While perhaps not as precise as on-foot combat there's no doubt that you have an advantage over on-foot enemies when on horseback. Riding into a camp and cutting down enemies left and right is immensely satisfying and while not a good strategy against a difficult mob, it's a fun way of clearing camps, especially camps you out-level. Not only is the combat mapped the same while on horseback, but the ability to let the horse ride on autopilot while you aim your bow is neat, and you can even pick up loot or loot chests while on horseback. It feels seamlessly integrated.

Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins

Watch out for high-level enemies

With the whole map is open for exploration after the prologue, the game uses an interesting way to gate content according to level. This means that you'll have to be aware that high-level enemies (indicated with red shields over their heads) are capable of delivering one-shot kills. It's an interesting way to gate content, as it goes further than most RPGs in this respect (typically they'd just let it be handled systemically with stats). As early as in Siwa there are places you'll have to visit many, many hours later in order to be high enough level to be able to conquer. In this regard it's different then your typical action-adventure, where skill is all that matters. Here you'll need the numbers on your side too.

Turn off the HUD, don't use the map

While most of our hints and tips in this guide aim to make you as efficient at playing the game, this tip actually makes it harder on you,
but at times those yellow markers on the horizon and fast travel makes us miss out on the fantastic world on offer. We'd suggest you at least explore some of the regions with part or most of the HUD turned off and without resorting to the map and letting the adventures come to you. It's a profound experience and while we've been conditioned to tackle these sort of games in a certain way, it sometimes makes us miss things and sights that happen off the beaten track.

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Don't be fooled by the Tame a Beast ability

In the Seer skill tree you can unlock a Tame a Beast ability, which requires you to unlock the sleeping dart ability and three additional skill points. You might think "wow, I can walk around with a lion or hippopotamus like Far Cry Primal", but that ain't happening, at least not like that. You can indeed tame a beast and it will follow you around, but you can't name him, feed him, or order him around. Also, it will eventually be gone and you will have to tame a new one. If you ask us, it's not good enough for the amount of skill points required to get it.

You can unlock Altair's and Ezio's suits

The suits in Assassin's Creed Origins are only for cosmetic purposes, since you will be getting stats from other pieces and gear. There are a lot of suits to get in-game and in the marketplace, but if your're feeling nostalgic, you can also unlock Altair's and Ezio's classic suits. You can find them in the Uplay Club, but they will only be available for big time players of the series. You will need 3000 Uplay points gained from Assassin's Creed games for the Ezio suit, and 7200 for the Altair suit. While you're at it, you can also unlock gear at the Uplay Club.

Raid tombs for extra skill points

Leveling up isn't your only source for getting skill points, as you can also get them by completing specific tombs and other special locations. Even with these extra skill points, don't go wasting points without a purpose. Leveling starts slowing down after a few levels, and that will limit the rate at which you can evolve your character. Try looking at the three skill trees and choose a path that comes closer to the style of play you want. Don't just add points without an actual plan or you might become under-powered at the later game.

Beware of Phylakes

Phylakes are a special type of enemy - guards sent by Pharaoh Ptolemy himself to hunt down Bayek. From that point on, fairly early in the game, there will be 10 Phylakes roaming Egypt on the lookout for the player, attacking on sight. They are identified on the map by a red head with horns, and can be a massive headache, especially if you meet them unprepared. You don't actually need to kill them, but they are a challenge some players are sure to take. Also keep in mind that when the enemy lights a brazier, calling reinforcements, you might be getting Phylakes in the mix, so be extra mindful of that. As for tips on how to kill them, just be sure to get the first attack in, either with the hidden blade, or an arrow to the head.

We hope you've found this guide useful, but here's one more tip: enjoy AC Origins at your own pace. This is a beautiful game world, with a lot to see, explore, and discover. Enjoy it!

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Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins

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