SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Even as you do your laundry by the river, take care that crocodiles do not ambush you. It is one of many challenges that video game titan Ubisoft has unleashed in a new instalment of Assassin's Creed.
Breaking from its pattern of annually releasing sequels to Assassin's Creed, which has sold more than 100 million copies since the first version debuted a decade ago, Ubisoft took an extra year to craft Assassin's Creed: Origins.
The new instalment is set in Egypt at a time when Cleopatra is ascending to the throne, and reveals how the brotherhood of assassins began.
Work began four years ago, with the team setting out to provide a fresh experience to players in a franchise showing signs of waning enthusiasm.
The game's fighting system was imbued with artificial intelligence, making enemies more wily, and giving characters virtual lives of their own, complete with responsibilities such as farms to tend and families to feed.
In keeping with its style, Ubisoft made animals part of the action so tending to laundry at a river could lead to being attacked by a crocodile.
The game will be available for Xbox and PlayStation game consoles as well as Windows-powered personal computers.
Assassin's Creed is Ubisoft's most popular franchise.