Assassin’s Creed Origins has the largest map in the series so far and integrated much of Ptolemaic history through art, architecture, and atmosphere. The Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt is a seperate mode in the game that allows you to pay extra attention to the historic setting. When I started the Discovery Tour, I was greeted with a message saying:
“With content curated by Egyptologists and hundreds of images sourced from museums and libraries around the world, we hope to share with you the passion that inhabited us for the four years it took to develop Assassin’s Creed Origins.”
I appreciate Ubisoft for adding an educational element to the game and sharing information from their research. It makes Assassin’s Creed more than a stealth, action-adventure game. The Discovery Tour puts emphasis on visual details that may have been missed or unexplained in the game, such as the importance of certain artifacts, scripture, or rituals.
There are 75 tours and they are separated into different sections based on their subject, and they range in length from 1 minute to 15 minutes long. Each tour has a certain amount of “stations”; areas along the tour path that provide specific information relating to the tour your currently on. Each station is accompanied with an image of an artifact or illustration from a museum or a credible resource. Conveniently, information from every tour can be accessed through the well-crafted menu that has been modified for the Discovery Tour. The world map is the same from the main game, but only the synchronization points and tour locations are mapped out. Also, the entire map is unlocked for exploration.
Getting around is easy, as you can still use fast travel, call Senu, and travel with your mount. And considering that sightseeing is the primary reason for the Discovery Tour, there is no combat, angry animals, or desynchronization. It is very comforting to be able to jump from a high point and still live, since there is no health bar.
The first tour I embarked upon was at the entrance of Alexandria. This tour was about 6 minutes long and had 8 stations. The tour detailed how the city of Alexandria was formed and the transformations the city went under until the Ptolemaic era. Apparently, Alexandria was built on an existing Egyptian town, so the Egyptians refused to call the place Alexandria and called it Ra-qed instead. Additionally, you’re provided with an image of what the Egyptian town could have looked like.
In another tour I discovered a ‘Behind the Scenes’ piece of information about the language spoken by the NPCs in the game. Since there is no real way to know how the dead language from the time was spoken, they had Egyptologists try to recreate a similar type of language. I was curious about this when playing the actual game and I am glad they were able to elaborate on how this particular issue was overcome.
Even in past Assassin’s Creed settings, such as Rome or Istanbul, little tabs would pop up about nearby monuments and I really enjoyed reading those. The almost uncanny resemblance of the game to real life buildings amazed me and even exploring them in a virtual world felt exciting. In previous titles, information would have been kept in a seperate section in the menu, where you could find resources about monuments and important historical figures from that setting. That was missing from Assassin’s Creed Origins. The guided tours in Assassin’s Creed Origins are basically the same thing, but focused on providing a more ‘virtual tour’ experience. As the series is evolving, so is the Animus Database.
The Discovery Tour was designed as something that can be used by anyone, not just gamers who play Assassin’s Creed Origins. This can be purchased as a standalone on PC, but if you have Assassin’s Creed Origins on PS4, Xbox One, or PC then it is a free update.