Assassin's Creed: Origins' cities are big, but that's not why they're interesting

A new Game Informer podcast has a rundown of "lingering questions" about Assassin's Creed: Origins, with answers provided by game director Ashraf Ismail. Among them are a little bit of insight into the cities of Memphis and Alexandria, discussion of the cover system and navigation, details about the eagle Senu, and confirmation that you will get to visit the interior of the Great Pyramids.

Once Ubisoft had established its ability to handle the technical side of the game to its satisfaction, it took steps to ensure that it could properly "bring Egypt to life," Ismail explains in the video. "Yes, there is the physical landscape and its diversity, but we needed the fauna that was there, the people who lived in Egypt represented well, the culture, the religion, the beliefs," he says. "And so there was a lot of effort done to bring in historians, to do the research—we spent years doing research and asking ourselves, 'How do we bring this world to life?' It was a concern for us that we wanted to do it respect and do it justice, because it's a wonderful culture. There's a lot of amazing influences that have lasted to this day." 

He said it's hard to compare the cities of Memphis and Alexandria in Origins to those of previous Assassin's Creed games, but he did enthusiastically extol the virtues of both. "Memphis is super-organic. The monuments are incredible, they're huge, they're super-unique. It's as Egyptian as you get. It's a fairly large city. I think Alexandria is slightly bigger, but slightly," he explained. 

As for a specific comparison, he said he wasn't certain of the numbers, but estimated that Alexandria is at least twice as large as Havana in Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. "Having said that, I don't think that the size of the city is what matters," he continued. "It's really the content, the experience that you have inside of it—how alive that it is. And so we filled these locations with quests, actually making each city feel unique to itself." 

The full video runs for 47 minutes and is available below. Those of you who prefer to read and/or argue can get the quick rundown of what's what on Reddit

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.