I must be one of the only people in the world who is not excited about the upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed III. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I’ve just gotten bored with it.
When Assassin’s Creed first came out in 2006 I was swept away by the stunning graphics and the wonderful story line. The main character, or hero of the game if you prefer, was Altaïr ibn-La’Ahad. Set during the third Crusades, the game’s tapestry was rich with history, both real and imagined.
Of course we only see Altaïr once Desmond Miles, bartender extraordinaire, has been plugged up to the Animus. A machine that allows modern day folk to ‘live’ their ancestor’s memories.
Most people I know, didn’t like the first one. Stating that it was repetitive, boring and too long. Of course the biggest complaint was that you could not really assassinate anyone. Which is true, the moment you killed your target, no matter how discrete you were, you had to fight for your life.
So okay a little annoying but not enough to put me off the entire game. Just the graphics alone made my eyes feel like they were stretching out of their sockets trying to take in all that breathtaking, colourful and real looking verse.
What a wonderful blending of science fiction and historical drama. The Animus, which tied all the memories together was exciting and scary.
Still definitely my personal favourite out of all of them.
Which leads me into my first complaint. The next Assassin’s Creed had a new protagonist Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Desmond is rescued from the evil Knight’s Templar aka Abstergo by the modern day Assassins. When he enters their Animus he re-lives the life of Ezio.
Now Ezio was okay, but, he isn’t Altaïr and his story arc is nowhere near as interesting. *Please remember that this is just my opinion.* But obviously, Ezio is the masses favourite. Because he has come back no less than four times. I quickly got over any excitement I initially felt when I heard that a new Assassin’s Creed was being released.
But my lacklustre reception of all things Ezio, was not just down to his character. My dissatisfaction grew because of the change in the graphics and the storyline.
Gone were the breathtaking graphics that ‘one’ brought to the party. Gone were the brilliant mixing of history and science. Instead we were given graphics that were…okay. We were given a larger history lesson via on-screen data messages, a lot. And the interaction between Desmond and his ‘saviour’ Lucy Stillman, suddenly changed.
By the time that Brotherhood was released, the Uncharted series was huge. As Nolan North voiced both Desmond and Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series, and Nolan’s speciality is ad-libbing and engaging in banter with the other actors, Ubisoft decided to have Desmond and Lucy interact with each other differently.
Where did this come from? When did Desmond and Lucy turn into Nate and Elena? Why try to make them into characters from another verse?
All this just proves to me that Ubisoft has lost their way with the franchise.
Assassin’s Creed II and beyond I could just about deal with. I was still able to suspend my disbelief enough to go along with Ezio dealing with Leonardo DaVinci, and the Borgias. But it did get increasingly difficult to enjoy the games themselves. I still haven’t finished Revelations. And before I move on, I do have to say, I like the fact that Ezio is older. I mean seriously the guy had to age sometime.
Now III has an assassin interacting and presumably influencing the American War of Independence. *cue mouth dropping open* Huh? I’ve seen the trailers and the new assassin’s ‘costume’ (yes, that’s right, I said costume) is so out of place compared to what everyone else is wearing, I’m surprised that he isn’t shot on sight.
There is also the little detail of the ‘assassin’s tomahawk’ it looks far too modern and again out-of-place. The whole thing has completely broken down my ability to suspend my disbelief.
I really do think it is time for Ubisoft to move on.