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 Assassin's Creed

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PostSubject: Assassin's Creed   Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:18 am

The Assassin's Creed series started in 2007, but from 2009 to 2015, Ubisoft released a mainline Assassin's Creed game each and every year. This doesn't count the PSP game, the DS games, the Vita game, the 2D sidescrollers, or the mobile phone games. This also doesn't count the upcoming game, Assassin's Creed: We Wuz Kangz. If we count all of those, we have had 18 Assassin's Creed games (plus DLC) since 2007. This is ridiculous, but whatever.
We're not here to discuss anything but the main series, and whether or not it is worth it to play each main installment.

Assassin's Creed was originally meant to be a trilogy and only a trilogy. The original creator was fired after AC2 for not wanting to make it an annual cashcow series, so that it could be made into an annual cashcow series. We'll never play the originally-intended version of AC3, and we'll never know how it was supposed to end. From what I've read, I believe the original AC3 was meant to take place entirely in the modern day as Desmond. I might be misremembering, but it's irrelevant we'll never play that game.

I'll be separating my comments on each game into three "eras", and I'll tell you the major side games that I haven't played that came out in that period. These will be marked (surrounded by) by brackets.
I got kind of tired of writing by the end, sorry


ERA 1: 2007-2011 [The Middle-East and Italy]

The original Assassin's Creed (2007) is a very flawed game, but it had interesting mechanics for the time. When I booted it up, I imagined we'd just be running around with a sword and killing people and that's all there would be to it. Little did I know that the game actually takes place in what was then the current year. At this point in the series, the modern day story was interesting and honestly kind of compelling. It makes you want to know more about Desmond and the two Abstergo employees he interacts with.
Altair is the protagonist of this game. If I'm being honest, Altair's story, character, and development are the best in the series, and it's reflected extremely well in how he interacts with Al Mualim and the three bureau heads. It's not going to win any awards, but it's very well-done for what it is.
This game is essential if you're playing the series.

[[[Between AC1 and 2, two games starring Altair were released. ACAltair's Chronicles (2008) for DS, and ACBloodlines (2009) for PSP]]]

Assassin's Creed II (2009) is the best game in the series, and, honestly, it's not even close. Ezio is a great protagonist, and the cities you go to are varied and extremely well-done.  This game, however, is where the modern story begins to lose me. The characters of Rebecca and Shawn are just not interesting.
This game introduces the Assassin Tomb concept, which would reappear with various different contexts and banners throughout the series. These are great little dungeon-type challenges that are definitely the best part of every game they appear in.
This game is essential if you're playing the series.

[[[Next was a game called ACDiscovery (2009) for DS, starring Ezio]]]

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010) is very overrated. The city of Rome is far less interesting than any of the cities in AC2, and, while exploring Monterregioni (or however you spell it) as Desmond is really fuckin neato, this game is where the modern story completely loses me. The twist ending of this game comes out of nowhere and isn't explained outside of a fucking DLC for the next game. I meant to capitalise "DLC" in that last sentence, but it was already an acronym so it didn't come across very well.
For years, the final memory sequence of Ezio's portion of the game aggravated me to no end, but I have realised in the years that have passed that I was actually doing it wrong and missing an obvious solution. I'm just going to say I DSPed that shit and move on.
Play this game only if you like Ezio a lot or are a filthy Roman. Look up a plot summary if not.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations (2011) is very underrated. Constantinople is a GREAT return to form for city design after ACBrotherhood dropped the ball so hard, and the hookblade is a very, very fun locomotion tool. Bomb crafting is the mechanic of the week, which sadly does not return in any later installment. It was a really cool mechanic to play around with, and I'm sad that it wasn't expanded upon. Also, this game's default outfit is the best default outfit.
The modern sections centre around the two most interesting modern characters, Desmond and Subject 16. Desmond's past is explored with neat little first-person platforming segments. I typically can't stand first-person platforming, but when I say "platforming" I don't exactly mean like Mario or whatever.
Honestly, of all the AC games, Revelations has the most specific moments I remember. That weird underground mini-city, the party where you disguise yourself as a bard, and, uh, the horse-drawn carriage segments at the beginning and end of the game. Honestly, the AC games tend to run together for me.
Revelations has a pretty shitty new mechanic that you can thankfully ignore, where you defend your bases in some weird-ass shitty-ass gameplay mode that I'm really glad you can ignore.
Play this game regardless of what anyone says. It's great.




ERA 2: 2012-2014 [America the Beautiful]

Assassin's Creed III (2012) is an abomination. However, I will say that I really, really liked a few things they did here that they didn't revisit. The modern-day missions where you play as Desmond in actual levels where you platform and kill people without a HUD (because the Animus makes the HUD) are brilliant. This is why I'm sad that the original idea for AC3 didn't go through, because this is what I imagine it would have been. I also enjoyed the Boston and New York underground areas, where you explore and find fast travel points. The atmosphere in the underground is just so good. Finally, I enjoyed the sailing, which DID come back.
As for the bad, well, everything. The game starts you off as Haytham Kenway, who would have been a 10/10 protagonist were he not shelved for Injun boy. The reveal that OH SHIT Haytham was really a Templar all along was MASTERFUL, and throughout the game, it's hard to find flaws with Haytham's plans and ideals. They say the best kind of villain is one whose motivations are arguably more agreeable than the protagonist's, but it's just frustrating in this case. It's like they gave you a delicious bowl of black raspberry ice cream and after two bites took it away for a bowl of freezerburnt vanilla. FOOD ANALOGIES
Connor is the real protagonist of this game, and he is incredibly bland. Rarely, he will show a bit of personality, but this ALWAYS AND WITHOUT FAIL just makes you dislike him more. He'll refuse to shake someone cool's hand, or completely miss the bigger picture for "WHERE'S CHARLES LEE?!".
They butchered the control scheme in this game. Previously, to climb up shit, you had to hold A rather than just sprint, which allowed for more precision in control. Now, you'll just climb up shit regardless, which is awful. In the final mission, I kept failing because I'd swerve to avoid pedestrians who would knock me down, and run into a stack of wood and climb up it. It was ridiculous.
The world is awful. In a game about climbing huge buildings and shit, having almost exclusively two-storey colonial-ass buildings is ridiculous. Being able to climb trees in the woods is just frustrating, since you can never seem to get where you want to go when climbing trees.
Further reading: http://ye-ye-ye.forumotion.com/t1131-assassin-s-creed-iii-possibly-the-worst-game-ever
Do not play this game, even if your life depended on it.

[[[Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (2012) is a Vita game starring a woman who never appears again in the series]]]

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) seemed like the best game ever after AC3. The cities are still kind of bland, but it doesn't matter so much because they're barely relevant. The main focus is on being a SWASHBUCKLING PIRATE. You sail the seas and plunder ships and it's fucking cool as shit. It's barely an Assassin's Creed game, which is probably what makes it good at this point.
The modern-day segments are boring and should have been excluded.
Play this game if you like pirates.

Assassin's Creed: Rogue (2014) is the finale to the Americas trilogy. It's another pirate game, but the story is less about piracy and more relevant to the overall plot. You actually finally get to play as a Templar, and I say "finally" because by this point, they're pretty clearly better or at least less evil than the assassins. The sailing mechanics are at their peak in this one, and this game is honestly the best of the Americas trilogy. It's a lot less piratey, though. Also, the ending ties into the next game, ACUnity, so play it first if you plan to play both.
The modern-day shit is the same fuck as AC4.
Play this game if you liked AC4, or think pirates are just okay.




ERA 3: 2015-2016 [back to Europe]

Assassin's Creed: Unity (2014) was a buggy fucking mess upon release, but they've fixed it, so it's cool. ACUnity FINALLY fixes the climbing controls, and is a welcome break from the sailing games. Paris is a huge city that's pretty fun to climb around in.
The story is largely "who cares", and the characters don't really stand out very well. Like, I only remember Arno and the main chick, and Arno's just "Ezio but worse".
Main assassinations in this game are improved upon, allowing you to take several routes and interact with NPCs who will help you out. The buildings these are set in actually end up being fun to climb on, so that's nice.
This game has murder mystery side missions, which are really cool. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, and I had a great time with it.
Play this game if you're not burnt out on the series yet.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (2015) is the final game I've played from this series. The gameplay is the best it's ever been (combat and climbing), and London is a neat city to explore, especially the River Thames. The grappling hook makes getting around and climbing a lot easier, which is really good if you're tired of it after ten-thousand games.
The game has two protagonists, which you can switch to at will outside of missions, with each having their own mission. Unfortunately, the girl is the most bland and uninteresting character outside of Connor.
Taking over the city is the best use of the open world yet, but, like all Ubisoft games, it ends up just being the same shit over and over and over.
Play this game if you're STILL not burnt out.

[[[Assassin's Creed Chronicles is a trilogy of side scrolling 2D games set in China (2015), India (2016), and Russia (2016)]]]




And that's it. As far as I'm concerned, the series is over. I have zero interest in the next game, and I probably won't be interested in any after it, either. The series should have been put to bed for a while after Syndicate. (hell, after Revelations)




tl;dr:
AC1: "great"
AC2: great
ACBrotherhood: mediocre
ACRevelations: great

AC3: godawful
AC4: good
ACRogue: good

ACUnity: not bad
ACSyndiate: not bad
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