The latest update for Assassin's Creed Origins adds a whole new game mode: the Discovery Tour. Ubisoft has teamed up with various historians in order to transform the title's virtual Egypt into a place of learning. The game's full, unedited open world is yours to explore without fear of combat or death, and dotted all around the map are guided tours, which fill you in on a number of different subjects depending on the location.
Starting a tour is as easy as walking up to one of the many shining beacons scattered across Egypt and hitting X. Some tours have just a few stops while others can last a good 15 minutes or so. As mentioned, the tours cast a wide net, covering everything from daily life in ancient Egypt and the building of the pyramids to religious beliefs and superstitions. Some tours even provide insight into the techniques Ubisoft used to develop the game.
For a free update, it's pretty great. The developer's crafted an incredible open world that's stuffed to bursting point with detail, and using it as the basis for what is essentially an educational tool actually makes a good deal of sense. If you're even the least bit interested in Egyptian history, then you should really give it a shot.
Having said all that, the Discovery Tour isn't perfect. For starters, the narrators can sounds a little robotic. These days, most modern documentaries tend to go with more casual-sounding narration that injects a bit of character into proceedings, but here it's all very dry and to-the-point. It's definitely not a deal breaker, but some extra enthusiasm would go a long way.
What's more, the narrators have a bad habit of being unable to keep quiet, even when you're not taking part in a tour. The Discovery Tour lets you explore Egypt at your leisure, opening up the entire map regardless of your progress in the main game, and that's great if you're just looking to get lost in the superb open world that Ubisoft has created. But hearing the narrators banging on about the weather or commenting on how dangerous it is to stray from the roads can quickly become annoying.
There's no denying that the Discovery Tour is thoughtfully structured, though. Whenever you reach a new point of a tour your progress is saved and you can return at any time. You can also pick and choose which tours you'd like to experience from the quest menu, so jumping from one station to the next is easy if you're in a hurry.
So how effective is the Discovery Tour as an educational tool? Honestly, it's not bad. Some of the tours offer a lot more information than others -- and some sadly feel a little tacked on -- but we're sure many younger people would rather explore this virtual version of Egypt than read through an old textbook. Heck, we know what we'd have chosen at school if we had been given the choice.
All in all, the Discovery Tour is a thoughtful and informative addition to Assassin's Creed Origins. It's certainly not without its faults, but it's a good example of how games can serve a completely different purpose if the developer is willing and has the means to go that extra mile.
Have you tried the Discovery Tour in Assassin's Creed Origins? What do you think of it? Educate yourself in the comments section below.