Back in 2005, Penny Arcade identified two main types of gamers: those that “play games to enter a trance state and experience other lives,” and those who “play them to defeat the designer of the game by proxy.”
The former group is getting some specific attention from Ubisoft today, as the company just announced a combat-free “Discovery Tour” mode that will allow players to explore and learn about Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ Egyptian landscapes risk-free.
As Ubisoft describes it, the Discovery Tour mode turns the game into a “combat-free living museum, with guided tours that let players delve into its history firsthand.” While there’s an educational focus to the mode’s annotated tours, which are “curated by historians and Egyptologists,” the mode also “lets players roam the entire game world without constraints or threats, exploring a sprawling landscape that includes Memphis, Alexandria, the Sand Sea, and the Giza Plateau at their own pace.”
Plenty of games offer an Easy Mode that makes getting through the game a relative cakewalk, or they have a secret code that enables “God mode” to let you explore without the risk of death. But not many combat-based games are willing to offer an explicit mode that turns off the action for players who simply want to see the game world without worry. Nintendo might be the most prominent partial counterexample, offering an optional “Super Guide” to help invincible players through difficult sections in many games since New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
As long-time supporters of the movement to have all game content unlocked from the get-go, we fully support giving players the option to see the game they paid for even if they don’t have the dexterity to get past one annoying mission.
Ubisoft says the Discovery Tour will come out as free DLC early next year following Origins’ October launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.