I have been a fan of the series since the very first Assassin’s Creed came out for Xbox 360. I decided that today I am going to write two articles, one about the evolution of the whole series and an other about the hidden contents of the games to unveil the truth beyond these masterpieces. In the second article today, I will also write about the Assassin and the Templar order, which are both equally destructive and wrong – although there were some very good people on both sides.
Assassin’s Creed I – the beginning
Assassin’s Creed was a true AAA title and it gave a lot of credit to the later released titles of the series.
Basically in the first Assassin’s Creed you had Altair as the main character and 9 templar leaders who had to be killed. Altair’s personality was very salty and the voice acting did not fit him at all. If you remember the voice actor hasn’t gave any emotions to the main character, while other actors were quite brilliant. Our main character already had the main weapons: the hidden blade, the sword, the knife and the throwing knifes. There were some side missions, like escorting or protecting people, destroying the stands of merchants or killing archers. If you didn’t like those missions you could also help the people of the city by killing the soldiers molesting them.
The main missions were varied and every single main assassination felt different. Before the assassinations you had to collect info and intel about your main enemies. You had to eavesdrop, intimidate or steal documents from their main vassals.
Other than these things you had no other chance to interact with the world. This lack of interaction was also mentioned in the reviews of many gaming magazines and blogs.
Assassin’s Creed II – Renaissance
This second game was one of the most-played and most influential game of its time. Ubisoft made a big hit by letting the players explore Florence, Venice, Tuscany, Florii and Monteriggioni.
The story was truly amazing, all the characters were lifelike, and the main character, Ezio Auditore da Firenze made his way right into our hearts. He was brave, cunning, a bit money-hungry and a warm lover of women.
The combat got a whole new arsenal, this time your enemies had axes, longswords, knifes and spears. On the other hand you got smoke bombs, they doubled up your hidden blade, added a pistol to your hidden blade and gave you poison and the option to heal Ezio anytime you want.
One of the biggest highlight was the character customization (weapons, armor, colors) and the ability to improve Monteriggioni.
The story is still one of the longest and most impressive piece if we are talking about third-person action-adventure games.
Asssassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
The successor of Assassin’s Creed II came a year after. The whole story and fell of the game made us fell like the previous game only told us half of our main hero’s life story and we are still playing with Assassin’s Creed II. The whole story began just a couple days after the 2nd game with the siege of Monteriggioni and the game was all-about chasing and hunting down the Borgias and liberating Roma and Italy.
The game introduced more weapons, like the crossbow, the throwable spear, the carriable greatsword, the carriable axe. These two are also throwable if you have collected them from the ground.
From Brotherhood to Black Flag the Assassin’s Creed games always had a versus multiplayer mode in them, letting the player compete against each-other.
The side missions were fantastic, they were in great detail and we got the chance to destroy many of Leonardo’s war machines. Other side missions like remembering Christina, getting back some painting were also very impressive, not speaking about the new ability to build our very own assassin army and send them to missions around Europe. The other benefit of our assassins was that anytime we needed help they came with either a quick air-assassination or a rain of crossbow bolts. Since in this game there was no Monteriggioni left for us to care about, we had to renovate Roma’s shops and workshops giving the city a new soul.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Revelation was based on Brotherhood, but in the game we had the chance to visit both sides of Constantinople, a great city, the story was impressive, but really did not make much sense compared to the other two games.
There were new bombs (for instance the cherry bomb – and you could also collect ingredients and craft new bombs) and basically the same assassin system and not those types of amazing side missions we have seen in Brotherhood. Revelation created and also buried its main improvement of the hidden blade, the hook or as many call it the “hookblade”. This was later removed and we haven’t seen it since.
There was also a new mission type, a minigame, in which you had to defend the post/base of yours against many waves of enemies.
At that time when the game came out many people were complaining about why Ezio takes the role of the main character of the new game. After this game many people are complaining about why doesn’t Ubisoft make a new game with the same main character, Ezio, who already made his way to the hall of fame of gaming.
Assassin’s Creed III – the american revolution
The american revolution has created a new breeze, not just in modern history, but also in the history of Assassin’s Creed games. We got new locations, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and the frontier.
The story was good, although the main character, Connor, wasn’t very impressive, although he always wanted to do the right thing for the people. The another main character, Haytham Kenway was much more ambitious, but he was also very cruel and unforgiving. He was the man who was chasing wealth and power on all days, making him the main villain.
The game had some new weapons and functions. The whole combat and the parkour system (animations, trees and forests) was redesigned from the ground-up. A new hunting system was introduced. We got the assassin tomahawk axe as a unique new weapon and the rope dart. We also got the chance for the first time to build caravans and captain our own ship (also it has its own upgrades) and we could also trade between merchants which gave the whole game a unique style and gameplay. There were other new features too, like corner assassinations, moving haystacks. The only problem about the whole game was that we did not get enough fast travel points and those could only be unlocked by doing it on the hard way and not by syncing simple viewpoints.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – hail the black flag lads, we are sailing for the Caribbeans!
The Black Flag sailed us back in time to make us feel if we were in Far Cry 3. The beautiful blue ocean with palm trees and sandy shores.
Our main character Edward Kenway (the father of Maytham Kenway) is far from any character we have every seen in the series. He had a love of money and pleasures, but at the end of the game he did regret everything he stood for, excluding the assassin order. He had a midlife crisis in the whole game, if you remember, in one of the missions he was questioning himself in his dream about changing or not changing the course of the ship of this life to make himself more better and return to his wife.
The game was truly impressive, every location had the “Caribbean swag” to it and the whole system was thoroughoutly detailed with great care. Many-many different locations, collectables, unlockable plans and upgrades made the game great and fluent. The story was also good, and at the end of the game many people had tears in their eyes.
A new naval system was added to the game (you could send out your ships to trade) and our main hero got some new tools and weapons, like the blowpipe and the ability to be able to use 4 guns.
Instead of trading with caravans on the land, in Black Flag Ubisoft took the whole feature to the high seas, letting us build an entire fleet (maximum 15 ships) and we could send those on trading missions.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity – the french revolution
The latest Assassin’s Creed was about the french revolution with a nice story and a new character, called Arno Dorian. Although the story wasn’t that loyal to the history books and events as the previous games and it had new and sometimes annoying “improvements”, the game was great. (Sometimes you just feel if you were in San Francisco in the 19th century. – Everybody, I mean everybody has handguns and they all can use it, if you run they pull it out and they even shoot you if you are running in a big crowd of people. Invading guns is very difficult and the damage that they deal is great. If you got a very good armor, then you take about half of you whole healthbar damage if you were shot by a pistol and even more if you got a sniper making you bleed with rifle.)
The combat and the parkour system is renewed as the game engine making combat very challenging. You got new enemies with the same enemy types: brute, normal, captain and a fast-runner. There are different levels for your enemies and if you miss a counter they are going to hit you hard. Counter-attacking against a level 5 enemy is very had, while against high level brutes that’s impossible. The snipers are always eager and in they are great number. This time a sniper can see you even from distance and his shots are just as precise as Swiss wristwatch.
You also have much more options to customize your character: you can unlock and buy new gear (chest, head, boots, belt), you can upgrade your gear, you can set the colors and choose your main weapons from the followings: swords, spears, rifles, heavy weapons or Guillotine guns (axe+rifle).
There is no versus mode in the game, but there is the new coop mode, which is up to 4 players, although some missions can only be played by a maximum of 2.
? What did we get from the series by playing these games?
It would be better by saying something like this: What did not we got by playing the series?
I think many of us agree that through these long life stories we got news viewpoint on our lives and the life itself. These life stories makes us re-think our actions and they sometimes show us a new way to act or behave.
In these games we have seen many different characters: the ambitious man, the man who is exile from the society and the man who isn’t truly finding himself. In the last game Unity, we met a girl who was ready to pay the highest price anytime, and a man who wasn’t ambitious enough to follow his own path.
It truly believe that these games are educating people, not just by making them view history and history books from another standpoint, but by letting them to engage with many life stories and see what kind of aftermath comes from an action.