At E3 it was confirmed that the whole map will be open from the start. If you want to explore, you can. Around the huge world (which is close to the size of BlackFlag’s, but less wet) you’ll find NPCs doing their thing, cities to explore and animals to hunt – and there are challenges everywhere:
“You won’t be able to skip the story, but there are a bunch of optional bosses in the world, who, as soon as you start the game, are live in the world, doing their thing,” says Ismail. “Technically at level 1 you can go and fight them, but you’re not finishing the main story. You still need to go through the main quest line to fight the final boss.”
Exploring Egypt is sure to be a joy, too, especially on the Xbox One X. In our hands-on, the draw distance and the performance blew us away. It was silky smooth throughout.
“When we received the kits we got the game on the console super quick. Very quickly we were seeing our game in 4K,” says Ismail. “I’m so proud of our engineers and our artists, who have done miracles to bring this world to life, and on the Xbox One X it looks stunning. I love that we can see these massive draw distances, these thick clouds in the sky, the sun beaming off the water.”
There were still issues with our hands-on session, including janky traversal at times, but there’s still time to fix it (or not –this is
after all). Whether or not this will be a rebirth for the series remains to be seen, but we’re looking forward to finding out. We say as much to Ismail before signing off, and he seems equally as excited about the launch. “We’ve been on this for a while now so it’s exciting that we can finally talk about it!” he laughs. “It’s been a long time since BlackFlag so I’m excited to ship a game!”
1 Water works You can dive underwater to find treasure, or stealthily approach areas unseen. These guys clearly failed their 50m swimming badge. 2 Eagle Vision Unlike previous games, Bayek’s Eagle Vision comes in the form of an actual eagle, called Senu. He can fly and hover over areas to scout them out and tag enemies from above. 3 fast travel Horses and camels will be your primary ways to travel, but if you can defeat the archers controlling them, Bayek can also commandeer a chariot to ride around on. Futuristic! 4 good night You can change the time of the day with a button press. Guards may fall asleep during the night making an outpost easier to beat, but don’t let your guard down or you may get jumped by bandits.