Ubisoft’s blockbuster “Assassin’s Creed” video game is heading for Egypt, taking the serial’s storyline back to an ancient world and overhauling play to reignite its top franchise.
The French video game star took last year off after hitting the market with annual releases and boasting overall sales of more than 110 million copies of the game since it first launched in 2007.
A cooling in fan interest appeared to prompt a step back, and an investment by Ubisoft to revitalize it was unveiled at a press event Monday ahead of the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles.
Work on “Assassin’s Creed: Origins” began nearly four years ago, and included overhauling the combat system and building artificial intelligence into all of the non-player characters, according to game producer Julien Laferriere.
Every character has a “life” of its own, tending to work, worship, family, meals and other daily routines that players can take into account while on missions, an early glimpse at the game showed.
Players are also free to explore a virtual version of all of Egypt in 49 BC, during the rise of Cleopatra to the throne.
“It is a part of world history we have wanted to do for a long time,” Laferriere said. “We wanted to be as authentic as we could.”
Players get to climb pyramids, explore beneath the Sphinx, and learn the origins of the brotherhood of assassins, whose deadly fight with the order of Templars is at the core of the franchise that segues from one generation of master assassin to another.
“Fans will have a front row seat to the formation of the brotherhood,” Laferriere promised.
Ubisoft hopes Origins will energize long-time fans and win new players at the start of the story in a game that has become fodder for books and films.
Versions of Origins tailored for play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows-powered personal computers will be released on October 27.