Before we get into this I would like to issue an opinion warning. Let the record show that these are just some of my thoughts and opinions regarding the changes going on in Assassin’s Creed games. Now back in 2007, we witnessed the birth of a new franchise arising from the ashes of another. Namely, Ubisoft was planning a new Prince of Persia game but in the end, scrapped the idea because it was too ambitious for the time. The idea was to have a Prince of Persia game where you play not as the prince but as two assassins who were the prince's bodyguards. Later this became Assassin’s Creed, the first game of the franchise.
Over the years there have been a ton of Assassin’s Creed games and we’ve seen the franchise grow and evolve. And with the latest two installments being so different from the rest I wanna talk about how the franchise has changed and how it might have died in the process.
So rewind back to 2007, the first game came out and while it was good it was also pretty repetitive. But regardless, I fell in love with the game. It had assassins, secret orders, an alternate history timeline, it was just super interesting to me. The combat was pretty good but nothing that we haven’t seen before, however it did the job, it made you feel like a badass assassin. The climbing mechanic was very impressive though. You could climb almost everything and anything (except for trees but more on that later) and it was one of the biggest reasons I fell in love with the game.
Due to the success of the first game a sequel was announced. We leave behind Altair and the Third Crusade, and we don the robes of Ezio Auditore da Firenze and are thrust in the Italian Renaissance. This is where the franchise sort of found its’ footing and became the big deal that it is now.
Ezio was a great character and is still one of the best ones we’ve seen in the franchise. Due to the massive success more games were coming our way and what is now known as the Ezio Trilogy is considered by many as the franchises golden age. New mechanics were introduced, climbing was faster, combat was more fluid, some light RPG elements were added, it was a good time.
After the trilogy though it sort of went downhill with Assassin’s Creed III. People started complaining about the combat not being challenging enough, outdated mission design was still present and the story wasn’t as good as in previous games. Now here’s where the franchise started deviating a little.
The main character started being sort of bland and their stories weren’t engaging. Personally, I haven’t genuinely given a shit about the main character in these games since Ezio. And Ubisoft seems to be aware that fans feel like this since they’ve been trying to make the new Ezio for years now, but I digress. After the failures of AC III came Black Flag and...well...it was a total shitstorm in my opinion.
Black Flag is considered by many as a good game, and it is but here’s my problem. From a technical standpoint it’s amazing but from a narrative standpoint doesn't make much sense. First of all the main character is a pirate...a damned pirate. They should have named this game anything but Assassin’s Creed. Also, unpopular opinion but I hate the naval battles. I want to be an assassin Ubisoft, not a sailor or a pirate, thanks.
Now I'm just gonna skip AC Unity because that game was garbage and we all know it. Syndicate was better than Unity but it still isn't worth talking about that much (Rogue was ok I guess). Instead, I’m gonna focus on the last two installments.
Assassin’s Creed had annual releases but they took their time with AC Origins and for good reason. They revamped the entire game basically with an entirely new combat system that is very heavily inspired by The Wither 3. They made a really good RPG and we saw the origin of the Assassin Order. But with AC Odyssey they went with a full RPG approach with branching dialog and all that good RPG stuff, and that’s exactly the problem.
Assassin’s Creed was never a full-blown RPG and personally, I think it was never meant to be that. Is the new game garbage? No, not at all, it’s actually a great RPG game but not a great Assassin’s Creed game. As a long time fan, I’m kinda disappointed at the direction AC is taking but I'm open to change and am excited to see where this new direction will take the franchise. As per usual for more for more articles like this one and a lot of mobile game goodness stick with us at GameBuz.