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The Assassin’s Creed Series
Every once in a generation a game series comes along that draws you into the game so much that not only the concept makes you think, but question aspects of life. The game for this author is “Assassin’s Creed.” I have completed every game in the series with a 90% or more within 2-3 days each. This game series has taken the world by storm. Selling over 73 million copies worldwide. Spinning off countless sequels, movies, and books.
Why would I review the series instead of the newest Black Flag or Liberation HD release?
The answer is simple. to understand the game, you have to start from the beginning!
The inception of the first “Assassin’s Creed” in 2007 (released for PS3, Xbox 360, and later PC) wash based off a premise of a company (Abstergo) that is playing “puppet master” over the world. This was a crazy idea, right? The more you get into the game, you realize you are playing as a modern day character (Desmond), reliving the memories of his lineage through the “Animus” (The machine that allows Desmond to retrieve past memories of his ancestors). Desmond is being held captive by Abstergo in order to gain the power of ancient artifacts. Throughout the struggles of Desmond you have to keep jumping into the Animus. This is where you learn about the “Templars” and the “Assassins,” who are the only ones who are trying to stop them.
The gameplay is beautifully laid out in a open world experience. The world is filled with plenty of side stories and quests to fill anyones plate. Some of the side missions include: Assassination targets, Races against thieves, treasure hunts, and gathering special items that are hidden throughout the world (that are very difficult to find all of them for most).
Each game is based in a different period in history (starting in the renaissance and ending up at the British Colonial years) and Ubisoft spares no expense at adding historical significance into the game (even though altered a little to play into the game). Throughout the game you can expect to be working alongside with the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, assisting George Washington, or sailing the seven seas with Black Beard. If you want more historical information, then access the Animus database! Each character and location you encounter in the game has extensive information in the games database.
The main story lines draw you in and make you feel things for the characters, that most games fail to make the connection. The struggles of the Assassin’s can be felt, but sometimes can you questioning “what’s right and wrong.” The great voice work and clever scripting help this aspect, even if sometimes the video does not match up. Though some players can be lost when you realize that the “Sacred Artifacts” are actual of Alien origin. Portrayed through a series of holograh’esc imagery the of the race’s rulers: Jupiter, Minerva and Juno (It is even more confusing through the Eagle Eye marking missions randomized videos). Eventually leading Desmond to kill off a main character and eventually the ultimate sacrifice, in order for Earth to survive. In the most recent installation you learn Abstergo accessed Desmond’s info in cyberspace (of sorts) and found a new bloodline of Desmond’s to pursue. Abstergo now focused on “Entertainment” (creating movies based of the Animus memories) and is employing anyone who has any historical significance in their lineage to continue in their search for the hidden ancient artifacts.
So what is my opinion of the best Assassin’s Creed game?
This is a not a very tough question, as there are two games that stand out. One for the gameplay and one for the story.
Brotherhood is my favorite for story.
“I thought my work was done. I was wrong. Once more, I must venture into the fray. By recruiting enemies of the state, we arm those who have been disarmed by the Borgia. The greed, the corruption, the tyranny my enemies have spread will burn to the ground. From the ashes of vengeance, a new Rome will rise.”―Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
The addition of adding tower defense type games, creating clans, and of course the introduction of dual-wielding made for great gameplay. The story sets around Rome and our hero Ezio struggles with settings wrongs right, rebuilding the Assassin’s brotherhood, and dethroning a tyrannical Templar Family led by non other than the “Borgia’s.”
Using the Animus, Desmond attempted to relive later memories of his ancestor, Ezio Auditore, hoping that it would reveal the location of his Apple of Eden, which could allow them to prevent the foretold disaster of Earth. However, instead of entering the memory set in 1506, he was forced into a different one, occurring during a battle in Viana. From there, a besieged Viana Castle, and similar events of the siege of Monteriggioni, subsequently forcing Desmond back further, working his way through the Borgia rampage. At the end and you find the Apple (artifact) inside the Roman Colosseum, Juno possesses Desmond and makes him stab Lucy (one of your companions) and both pass out in a pool of blood! Desmond survives with major psychological repercussions brought on by prolonged Animus exposure, leading up to the next game.
Assassin’s Creed III is my favorite for Gameplay.
“On this land, I am torn. Part of me wants to fight and repel all outsiders. The other part of me is the outsider. In the name of liberty, I will fight the enemy regardless of their allegiance. While men of courage write history of this day, the future of our land depends on those who are truly free.”―Ratonhnhaké:ton, Assassin’s Creed III
A lot of people are going to ask if I am crazy? My response is… “Aren’t we all!” In all honesty the gameplay in “Blackflag” was great, but the flawless transitions in “III” and the way it played was nothing short of Fantastic! In my journey through “Blackflag” I found myself glitching a lot on random locations. Most notable of these are on rooftop ropes, while crossing building to building. This made completing some “chase” quests very difficult (especially when you glitch on the edge of a building and have to stop, back up, and then jump forward/to the side- in order to clear a spot). As far as to what made this better than Brotherhood. This game included everything you loved from the previous games and more. The introduction of animal hunts, sailing on boats, and changing seasons (made possible by the Anvil game engine), added a whole new aspect and direction for game. New weapons made introductions: Flintlock pistols, Bow and Arrow, Rope Darts, and being able to use enemies as Human Sheilds. The sad part is due to all the graphic introductions Ubisoft could not add in a few options that they wanted to (Falling rocks, flower pots, etc)! There was also a “Homestead” for our hero and many hidden things within the game. My favorite “Assassin Turkey!”
With a lack luster ending to Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and glitchy points in game, I am excited to hear the rumors speculating about the future of the series. Not to mention the full feature movie slated for 2015!