Recently we had the chance to have a lengthy sit down and chat with Assassin’s Creed Origins game director Ashraf Ismail, where we talked about everything from the seamless open-world Egypt created for the game to how this new entry is essentially an RPG. Plus, the revelation that protagonist Bayek will succumb to the desert heat in interesting ways. And the existence of underwater tombs!
On possibly going insane in the desert heat.
I climbed to the highest point that I could just to kind of have a look at the lay of the land. I loved the heat shimmer effect, and [other] things like that were really fantastic.
Should we… I’m going to reveal something here.
So we have this thing called ‘Desert Overheat’, which is a system that is meant to... the idea is when you are being consumed by the heat that you see, like, a lot of effects. [So] you start really falling into some kind of haze. We had to tone it down for the demo because that wasn't the purpose of the demo. We left a little bit of it on, which was that shimmer.
When it's on and you're in the middle of the desert and you're lost in the desert, it's fucking awesome.
Underwater Tomb Raiding
So, I realised, well I didn't realise, one of the first things I did was jump in the water and go swimming because in the trailer that you
showed [the water] was beautiful. And the animations down there are incredible as well. And I realised I could use my weapon underwater. So can you talk a little bit to what we would be able to do with the swimming. Is that to fight crocodile attacks? (Laughs.)
Yeah, yeah. So when it came to the underwater… I'll say this for vehicles, for horses, for camels: effectively what we wanted is that whatever you're doing in the world, it's consistent. The controls remain the same. Attack is an attack wherever you are. So [you] pressing the button and it works. In terms of the underwater specifically, Egypt was actually lush with water at that time period, and so it was natural for us that we needed to be able to seamlessly go through it.
And that there are opportunities and advantages for those people to explore the underwater. So there are underwater tombs. There are sunken temples. There are wells that you use to sneak into forts. So there's a lot that can be done with the water. Ubisoft Singapore worked on the water in terms of the tech and it's stunning. The shots are beautiful.
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