Map size doesn't seem like a focus for Assassin's Creed: Origins
July 03, 20172 min read
The glut of open-world games over the past decade have mostly come with variations on the same marketing pitch: "This world is huge." It comes in different forms, from "See that mountain? You can go there!" to proudly revealing the square footage of the in-game map. The general mindset is almost always that bigger is better because that means there is more game to play.
Assassin's Creed: Originsdoesn't seem to be concerned with that. In an interview with Game Informer (embedded above), director Ashraf Ismail expresses that he isn't really sure about the size of the map. He settles on both of Origins' cities, Memphis and Alexandria, being about twice the size of Havana in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. This isn't really an exceptional claim because Havana wasn't particularly large.
Ismail elaborates on his uncertainty by saying: "I don't think of the size of the city is what matters. It's really the content, the experience that you have inside of it. It's how alive it is. So we filled these locations with quests, with making each city feel unique to itself." It's a fine sentiment to hold now, but it also rings slightly hollow considering that Assassin's Creed is a series that has liberally used its map size as a bullet point in the past.
The Assassin's Creed subreddit has done a commendable job parsing the interview and plucking out the more interesting points. Some things worth noting are that: The dodge function will be tweaked from what we saw at E3, the Great Pyramid of Giza will be an interior location, and Ismail wants people to be surprised by the game's modern day events. There's a lot happening in Origins and most of it seems worth discussing; it's reassuring to know that gets more of the developers' attention than creating a world of tremendous scale just for the sake of it.