Assassin's Creed: Origins's non-violent discovery tour update wants to teach you history

Would you like to take a guided tour of the pyramids of Giza as Queen Cleopatra? Assassin's Creed: Origins is getting a free update in early 2018 that will let you do just that.

Discovery mode will strip out all of the game's combat and quests so you can wander peacefully around Ubisoft's huge recreation of ancient Egypt in 20-minute guided tours with voiced narration and custom animations.

In a brief demo shown at a preview event yesterday, Origins hero Bayek watched a body undergo ritual evisceration as a voiceover respectfully detailed the process. Ceasar, Ptolemy and Cleopatra were listed as unlockables on the character select screen, though it's not clear yet how they will be unlocked, or whether they will come with specific tours of their own.

Ubisoft says that it has consulted academics to ensure the accuracy of these tours, and it sees discovery mode as an extension of the series' excellent in-game historical databases. The team considered the mode after hearing stories of teachers using their games to excite students about history. Tours that remove the all the inconvenient stabbing should make the game more classroom-friendly.

I think the mode will have wider appeal beyond the classroom. Open worlds are getting prettier every year and I like the idea of having the option to absorb the ambiance of a virtual world without angry guards interrupting. As for what Assassin's Creed: Origins is like to play with the rest of the game turned on, stay tuned for some hands-on impressions soon.