The New Assassin's Creed Will Have a Tourist Mode and So Should Other Games


The newly announced Discovery Tour Mode in 'Assassin's Creed: Origins' will act like an enhanced photo mode.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


Yes, this is extremely good.

Games have had these tools available forever (tourism mods, photo modes, “dev commentary” as nodes in the game you can activate as if walking round a museum and wanting to get information on what you’re looking at) and spend a fortune on building these spaces.

Why is the only thing in the fake Bolivia of Wildlands so much bad dialogue and plot with some ok shooting? Why can’t the game also support a tourism mode where you just enjoy the vast spaces and photo mode? Why not add the notes from the research done about the area to the game, offer up the reference photos used in the game as you look out over the virtual spaces. Talk about what research was done for the region and add in some extra notes (not an expensive thing, compared to building an entire AAA game, to record some VO from a few experts, paid for their time and to enthuse about the region). It would add so much to that virtual world for a small cost and offer something for people who have no interest in shooting people or digging through that story/dialogue created for the US imperialism parade.


I like the idea, and if there are specific achievements for exploring (more to let you know whether you have missed something than for any reward) that would be nice. In fact, carefully chosen achievements might encourage a bit of research that could be educational. For example, an achievement asking you to find all the Benben stones in the game would require you to find out what one is (after which it would be obvious what to do).


Well implemented this mode alone could be a reason to buy the game and even if the implementation is poor is a fantastic additon.


I’m personally quite interested in this mode and I feel like, for this setting, it’s a great idea (who isn’t fascinated by Ancient Egypt in some way?). Hopefully the mode is good and people get enjoyment out of it.

With that said, I’ve always been a little skeptical of the Tourism Mode being available in every game (although, as Shivoa noted above, there’s always been similar approaches somehow or another). I hope that it’s a lot of fun and, as Gray says in the article, that it becomes almost like studying, especially if twinned with developer or expert commentary (almost like the great Geop Let’s Plays of Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2). However, I could see the potential for this mode revealing the hollowness of the world, especially if it strips away the mechanics that might keep you looking at the crowd or planning your next approach.

I’m not necessarily against it, but I can see why (outside the context of a Gone Home-style game) a mode like this could not necessarily always be strong footing for a game to walk on.


This sounds ace, might even make me pick this up when it’s within reasonable price range. I’d love to see more nuanced inspiration taken from this, not just streight copies of the system. Like, what if games like The Witcher series had a mode, or even something akin to a codex etc, where devs could talk about the real-world cultures and creatures that inspired elements of the world? It’s not just historical games that could benefit from the attitude this awesome addition represents, and I’m pretty stoked for that kind of stuff too.


JP LeBreton was the author of a mod for Unreal 1 called Tourism Mod, which he shows here, that automatically kills enemies once they have line of sight to the player (that’s put simply, it’s a bit more complex). It lets you play through the game without having to worry about combat. Glad to see this idea being expanded by a large game.


More news earlier today that are related to AC and education, Ubisoft announced the Hieroglyphs Initiative which is researching the use of machine learning to accelerate the translation of hieroglyphs.

Ubisoft using machine learning to translate hieroglyphics

The project was conceived during the development of Assassin’s Creed: Origins when the team realised what an obtuse and time consuming process the translation of hieroglyphics remains today, 200 years after the Rosetta Stone was discovered.

Ubisoft has made the Hieroglyphics Initiative an open source project and is now calling for researchers and historians to contribute in order to allow the Hieroglyphic Initiative to collect as much data as possible, ultimately creating a comprehensive translation programme.

Kinda crazy.


Thats kind of amazing.


This is also an indication of how confident Ubisoft feels about their environmental design and relative historical accuaracy to let you soak in the world without it just being a backdrop for stabbing some dudes. Echoing what others said, this is really great and I hope becomes standard in AAA stuff with nice looking open worlds.


So this is now out and I think it’s interesting that Ubisoft are including it as free DLC in the base game (rather than seeing it as a way of getting more money from people who already purchased the game - this is just part of a base patch which adds the new mode and everyone will get automatically) and also as a standalone experience (releasing at $20).

It makes it pretty clear (and I tend to agree) that this sort of repurposing of AAA assets is looking for a new market of people who may not have been interested in the base game’s mechanics/content. There’s no reason to withhold it from existing AAA players who already paid to get access to the game world (and works as a good word of mouth thing as at least some of those players will be excited to try this out and talk about it) but that this does provide a clean alternative experience when sold individually.

Hopefully there is enough interest (and sales) for this to possibly spark a trend.