Assassin’s Creed Origins is getting an educational mode for history nerds

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The Ubisoft game isn’t even out yet, but there’s already news about further content for Ancient Egypt-set Assassin’s Creed Origins. At a media event in London this week, the game’s creative director Jean Guesdon revealed an upcoming educational game mode called Discovery Tour, which will be a free update in early 2018.

The Assassin’s Creed games have always been popular among history enthusiasts and archaeogamers, given their period settings and well-researched attention to detail in recreating the past. Some people – History teachers especially – have commented that they use the games as an engaging entry point for the subject, because they combine both learning and play. Discovery Tour in Assassin’s Creed Origins embraces this gamification principle. It takes the franchise’s “historical tourism” and offers it to a much wider audience in a supremely polished form.

Judging by the footage, and verbal description, Discovery Tour will be basically a walking (or camel-riding) simulator set in Ancient Egypt. It’s the same world of the main Origins game, but stripped of the bloody combat and adult-orientated narrative that could otherwise exclude younger students, or people who prefer a more tranquil, fight-free gaming experience. In Discovery Tour mode, players select their character – either the game’s protagonist Bayek, or his wife Aya, to begin with – and are free to roam Origins’ highly detailed, “living, breathing” recreation of 49 BCE Ptolemaic Egypt.

Essentially you’re in an Open World Museum. And if wandering around isn’t enough, there are dozens of guided “tours” for you to accept as pseudo-missions. Curated by real-life historians, these tours are a string of digestible history lessons on Ancient Egypt, covering such topics as mummification. Once you complete certain tours, which can involve travelling around quite a bit, you’ll then unlock other playable characters, like Egyptian queen Cleopatra or Rome’s icy general Julius Caesar.

Discovery Tour is just one way that Assassin’s Creed Origins promises to reinvent and enrich the franchise experience. A free update to the main game, Discovery Tour will become available early next year. Assassin’s Creed Origins releases in a month’s time, on 27 October for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Last Updated: September 27, 2017

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