Assassin’s Creed—10 Years of Assassination

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There were many open world games which were a lot of fun to play prior to the year 2007, but they were not much competent with the games of other genres. Eventhough GTA 3 set a standard for all the open world games; still the genre was lacking the content.

Then in the year 2007 Ubisoft launched its first Assassin’s Creed game which surely created a sensation on the RPG genre. It also introduced a new feature called the “Ubisoft towers”, where a player climbs a large tower as to observe the landscape around it and identify waypoints nearby. In the last 10 years since the first introduction, Assassin’s Creed has expanded into a blended media sensation that includes no less than seven spinoffs, nine novels, eleven comics, an upcoming TV show and much more than just a game.

It gave a perfect blend of Open world atmosphere with historical backdrop including some of Earth’s greatest leaders and thinkers. It was something out of the main stream and audacious which garnered the interest of many players. It’s fair to say – hindsight is a pal – there’s a pre and post-Assassin’s Creed era in gaming.

Since the franchise has completed its 10 years journey, lets discuss about what where the ups and downs faced by the franchise. How about going game by game??

Assassin’s creed (2007)

What’s so precious about the original Assassin’s Creed?? It is the feel, in every aspect, that you’re playing the inexplicable realization of the most preposterous video game pitch in history. It may not be one of the best Assassin’s Creed game, but it surely started a new trend in the field of gaming. It was an instant hit with its historical settings, modern sci-fi elements and needless to say, the smooth flawless gameplay. Henceforth promoting Ubisoft to further work on the series.

Even after so much hype, everything was not positive for the game. It received average to semi-positive reviews, mostly criticizing the lack of things to do, but the game had built tremendous buzz even before release. Ubisoft quadrupled down, following the game with sequels and spinoffs and enough content that, years later, critics would gripe that there was too much in the series.

Assassin’s creed II (2009)

Then came the era of Ezio Auditore, the longest running assassin of the franchise. He was more of an experiment done by the franchise which turned out to be a huge success. It will not be wrong to say that all the three games which featured him as the protagonist helped Ubisoft in garnering audience applause and gaining the fame. Easily the most critically-acclaimed title in the franchise’s history, it is still seen by many as the perfect entry in the franchise, improving upon the original’s promise more than any critic could have conceived.

This game has a perfect blend of swashbuckling action, dedicated storyline (which is the main asset), intriguing plot and likeable lead like Ezio. This game not only won many awards but also made Ezio as one of the most popular assassin among fans. Still many fans argue and call it as one of the best game of the entire franchise.

 Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010)

After the huge success of its prequel, came another gem which further intensified the stronghold of Ubisoft in the industry with its beauty. With Assassin’s Creed 2 such a success, there was every chance that its sequel and direct narrative follow-up would fumble the ball.

What is more to expect from the franchise?? Oh yes!! Giving Ezio the ability to recruit and enlist a group of followers and fellow assassins and raise hell like a mob boss in the city of Rome with their support. You can commit horse-to-horse assassinations (cool). The movement is faster, the weapons deadlier, including a crossbow that was basically a gun. The map is littered with things to do and people to stab. Slick, smart and bags of fun, Brotherhood also had the added feature of multiplayer mode, which was an instant hit. Ezio’s second adventure in Rome might not have the multiple locations like its predecessor but it changed the face of the series forever by implementing brand new mechanics that influenced the series for years to come.

 Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (2011)

Revelations, the final outing of both Ezio and Altair which may not be one of the best game ever but was quite good for a send off. Pick a popular game, and chances are good that the protagonist is somewhere between 15 and 35 years old. But not for this game, Ubisoft should be commended for attempting to have an older and mature Assassin Ezio Auditore.

The game did not venture too far out from what was built in the previous games, Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood. It resulted in the similar gameplay and left very little impression on gamers. But it for sure featured one of the most thoughtful and mature tales the series has yet woven. While the game had a gem in the form of the Hookblade mechanics and the bombs concept (which was awesome), it also faltered due to the utterly irrelevant tower defense mini-game and slow pace of the game. The real take away from this game was the perfect way of bidding good bye to both Ezio and Altair who made the franchise a household name. While you can’t fault Ubisoft for making a good story, you can fault them for not caring about the game the story is housed in.

Assassin’s Creed III (2012)

This game can surely be called a test drive by Ubisoft. This was the first Ezio-less game of the franchise after a span of 5 years, so there was a constant risk. The game introduced a new character named Connor Kenway, a half-English, half-Native American ancestor who squared off against his Templar father during the American Revolution. Gamers have contrasting views on the game, some praise the game because of its novelty as compared to the previous games while some criticize it for the slow pace and sheer number of hours it takes before an assassination was even an option.

Connor Kenway was considered to be aloof but was well received by the public unlike the game whose grand ideas fail to gel eventhough it had a huge potential. The game introduced a lot of new stuff including the nautical adventure and ship controls, advanced multiple kills, hunting and crafting, vast areas to explore. On the other hand, inclusion of too many side quests, poor stealth controls and pestering bugs and glitches pulled down the glory of the game. AC 3 had a lot of good ideas but were not executed quite well which ultimately turned out to be disappointing.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)

What happens when Ubisoft takes criticisms seriously?? A game like Black flag comes into existence. During the time when gamers were quite skeptical about the success of pirate games, came Assassin’s Creed Black flag introducing pirate assassins and their adventurous world. Playing as Edward Kenway you will fall in love with his rough attitude, daring feats and devilish confidence. Why do you even care about the story when you have so much to do in the game.

There was so much to do in Black Flag, it felt almost impossible to complete. During the time when Ubisoft was facing a lot of criticism for AC 3 Black flag blew the doors right off the place, taking every piece of the Assassin’s Creed franchise and turning it to gold. It also provided gamers with the best naval experience ever. The vast lands of Havana, Kingston, and Nassau, with Spanish, British, and pirate foes, not forgetting explorable Mayan ruins, sugar plantations and shipwrecks, as well as sea forts, jungles and atolls aplenty. It may not be one of the best Assassin’s creed game but it was developed with an astonishing sense of direction and purpose from which it achieves a holistic excellence.

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue (2014)

Bored of playing as an Assassin who fights for justice and always locks horns with Templars? Well then Rogue will give you the novelty within the Black flag setup. If you got your first look at Assassin’s Creed Rogue with no context, you might come away thinking it as Black Flag DLC. The game did offer a groundbreaking new feature in gameplay, as gamers got to play as an Assassin-turned-Templar named Shay Cormac hunting and slaughtering former colleagues as revenge for grievous betrayal. Rogue focuses on the period of time between Black Flag and AC3, and lifts heavily from Black Flag’s trove of assets.

Eventhough the game was praised for its interesting lead character, enjoyable story, new weapons, mission design and combat mechanics but it was also criticized for its poor pacing of the story, frequent bugs, lack of replayability, failing in innovation and its similarities to Black Flag. The game was Black Flag with a few new places to explore and some new stuff to do. It did not offer anything new to the players except the twist of playing as a templar.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014)

Let’s get this straight; an ambitious project of Ubisoft which bit off more cake than it could chew. The game promised to revamp the Assassin’s Creed’s standard battle mechanics, create a bigger world than in any previous title, and build a completely new multiplayer from scratch. To an extent it even succeeded in its mission. To be frank the game gave the players one of the most beautiful Assassin’s creed game combined with smooth combat mechanism.

After the trailer of the game was released, players had heavy hopes on the game as the trailer was a visual treat. The game was praised for its detailed environment and architecture, decent voice acting, strategy-required missions, challenging gameplay, overhauled free-running mechanics, in-depth character customization and well-paced story missions. The main issue was in the technical stuff. The game was glitchy and felt rushed, not just in the mechanics of the game, but in the new multiplayer Ubisoft built from the ground up for this title. The glitches, that are now memes, are all anyone really remembers about the game though. Because of the high amount of initial bugs, Ubisoft issued an apology, and compensation was offered. But still, Unity oozes big ideas and inspired craftsmanship. Its recreation of Paris during the French Revolution is the most decadent and vibrant city in the series.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (2015)

GTA meets Assassin’s Creed and here comes Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Another example of Ubisoft turning around the failures of Unity and fixing it with the release of Syndicate. Syndicate is a return to form, taking the stealthy climbing and killing of the early Assassin’s Creed games and transplanting them within a Victorian-era crime drama.

The two protagonists Jacob and Evie Frye offered gamers a fun and memorable experience with their different characters and playing styles. The game had a very unique combat animation and sneak system which made the game far more interesting. Sure, Syndicate’s London is a less visually dazzling setting than Unity’s Paris, and its missions obey an established formula, but everything works well enough. You may not ask for more when you get a game similar to Unity without glitches. The game also focused on inventions including the rope launcher which became quite popular and made the rooftop run much easy and fast. Syndicate brings together the best parts of the entire Assassin’s Creed series under one fancy umbrella, showing what the series is capable of when it tries.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins (2017)

No one would have predicted that in the tenth year of the franchise, we’d have a new favorite Assassin’s Creed game but here it is. Assassin’s creed Origins packs the perfect punch of chills every Assassin fan deserves. It is the latest installment to the franchise. Journey through the beautiful ancient Egypt and its hidden treasure and terrors are on-point. This particular game provides the best visual delight we have ever experienced.

Bayek of Siwa, our new proto Assassin, and his equally murderous wife Aya are a new kind of heroes for the franchise, entirely oddly relatable despite their slaughtery quest for revenge across Egypt. Eventhough the game has its own set of glitches but it reaches great heights in this new setting.  Assassin’s Creed has had the big reset button well and truly pressed. Combat has been entirely revitalized with light and heavy attacks on your right shoulder buttons, dodge is key, and you’re going to have to fight tooth and nail to survive. The realistic environment and smooth combat flow made it popular among fans. This is a new Creed, a perfect evolution of everything that has come before and even has a new modern day element.

Since the last 10 years the franchise faced a lot of ups and downs, but it always bounced back and gave its fans what they ask for. It always strives to provide the best experience.

What are your opinions on the Assassin’s Creed franchise?? Please let us know in the comments.

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