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Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins - The Curse of the Pharaohs

Dead kings have risen in Thebes and the former Medjay Bayek travels south to uncover the mystery.

  • Text: Bengt Lemne
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The final piece of Assassin's Creed Origins, the rather chunky expansion called The Curse of the Pharaohs, is an interesting conclusion that manages to offer a self-contained story that also ties in with the greater narrative of both the game and the series. It adds a reasonably large new region to explore, challenging boss fights, new skills, and many hours of entertainment.

Thebes and its surrounding lands have seen better times. A curse plagues the area, one which sees long-dead pharaohs spawn in the middle of town and wreak havoc. These shadows are powerful and only appear for a short time before returning to the afterlife, and Bayek is sent to investigate as it would seem an artifact, similar to the one in Siwa, is to blame for the supernatural activity.

We're not going to spoil the plot here, but there are some memorable characters you'll come across and Bayek has seemingly grown even harsher and more sarcastic. There's even a scene where he leaves a seriously wounded (at least judging by the rather dramatic amount of blood) thief to wonder whether or not he'll get help after providing Bayek with the information he needed.

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Nefertiti's afterlife is called Aaru and the queen herself is quite capable of dealing damage.

Across the river from the city of Thebes lies the Valley of the Kings and as we first ventured there we got excited to see that there were four tombs. Will there be more of our favourite side activity from the main game? Not quite, but perhaps what we got was even better. The four tombs of some of the most mythical pharaohs, including Nefertiti and Tutankhanum, offer gateways into their respects realms in the afterlife. These fantastical worlds offer treasures to discover, giant scorpions (serqets) to take down, mummified Anubis guards to defeat, and finally, and most importantly a great Pharaoh to defeat in one-on-one combat inside of a small arena, similar to the gladiator mini-game.

These boss fights are more challenging than most of what you've played up until now in Assassin's Creed Origins, even if some are more challenging than others (Ramesses, we're looking at you). These will require you to learn movement patterns and use that dash button frequently as getting caught in one of the longer attack chains of the pharaohs could spell an early end to Bayek's life in the afterlife. Ultimately, it got less challenging after we unlocked a skill that replenishes your arrows and tools over time (only when you're in the afterlife), allowing us a tactic of using arrows from a distance to fill our adrenaline bar, charge in to do some proper damage (arrows hardly bother these bosses), and then dash around and repeat the process. It is not recommended to try and "cheese it" with a heavy blunt as you'll likely get caught by the pharaoh if you try.

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As you'd expected Thebes and its surroundings are full of people in need of Bayek's assistance.

Interestingly, this rather patient approach won't help you against the shadows. While weaker than the afterlife representations of the pharaohs, they only appear in Thebes for about a minute, forcing you to take a much more aggressive stance. Annoyingly, as these occur in the open-world it sometimes happened that guards or wildlife starting attacking Bayek during these encounters, making matters worse (though this also worked to distract the shadow).

Assassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed OriginsAssassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin's Creed Origins