Details about the upcoming Assassin's Creed Origins are starting to come out as its scheduled October 27 launch date inches closer, and now the game's lead director Ashraf Ismail has revealed some very interesting tidbits about the title's new protagonist, Bayek, and how the character is intricately tied with the ancient Egypt setting.
Speaking to Gaming Bolt, Ismail revealed that Bayek is in fact part of an ancient line of warriors called the Magi, who were in essence the guardians of the people of Egypt. By protecting the people and deeply believing all the customs of his country within Assassin's Creed Origins, Bayek is, in a sense, the physical embodiment of ancient Egypt and its values.
“The thing with Bayek is that he is a Magi, which is an ancient line of warriors who were efficient... fighters. They knew how to fight different styles. But they were also compassionate to the people of Egypt. They help the people of Egypt, the people of Egypt came to them for their help. Bayek himself, he has sympathy and compassion for Egyptians, but he’s weary of outsiders. He believes in the rituals, and the police structures of ancient Egypt. But he holds onto the ghost of the past."
As players progress through the game, Ismail says that Bayek will be forced to change as the ancient Egypt setting slowly gets moved aside for a new world, and it is this intertwined journey between protagonist and setting that ultimately leads to the birth of the Assassin Brotherhood.
"The idea of Bayek is that he is the physical embodiment of ancient Egypt. In the story that we’re telling here: if he represents ancient Egypt, what does he need to do or become when his world is dying, when the new world is coming, and to survive in this new world — what does he need to become? So this is the journey that we go on with Bayek, and it’s a journey that leads to the birth of the Brotherhood."
With Bayek's aforementioned compassion for people, as well as the character's role as a protector, Ismail describes the character as someone who is a highly reactive, yet empathetic person who possesses a great will to fight.
“He is a highly reactive person, is how I like to describe him. When life is good it’s amazing, he’s happy, he laughs. But when life is bad he’s highly reactive, highly emotional. But he has compassion and sympathy for people. He’s also a protector. His capacity to fight is very powerful.”
From Ezio and Edward Kenway to the Frye twins, the Assassin's Creed series has had a rich history of well-developed main characters, and Origins looks like it will uphold this trend of intriguing protagonists based off Ismail's description. Given how Ubisoft has made some smart changes to the franchise in terms of gameplay and character development options, it appears that an intriguing new type of origin story awaits players and Bayek this time around.
It ultimately remains to be seen how Bayek's character arc unfolds throughout the course of Origins, but based off Ismail's comments about the franchise's newest protagonist, Bayek is certainly shaping up to be a unique addition to Assassin's Creed and it will be interesting to see what kind of journey he goes through come October.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is scheduled for launch on October 27, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.