Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Is Assassins Creed Worth All of The Noise?

**Warning, this article contains some slight spoilers!!**

Much of the populous in modern gaming society has separate opinions concerning Assassins Creed. Some believe that it is far too overrated, and are even annoyed by their repetition and complicity complexity.  Meanwhile others think the entire series is a huge gaming phenomenon. Two of the following are certain: the franchise is a huge part of modern gaming and they have an extreme fan base.  It is a huge deal in gaming today because it is one of the only popular console games that come out every year, and one that isn’t a first person shooter!  This game does a great job of at keeping a lot of casual console gamers from playing being isolated to only first person shooters. Some gamers (young ones normally) act as if there is no other game genre at all besides other than one with mindless shooting and no plot.  The Assassins Creed fan base is nothing close to perfunctory of the subject.  If one just types Assassins Creed into their search engine they shall find homemade hidden blades, collections, homemade or purchased assassin robes, and an endless amount of free running videos with people wearing assassin robes. During the 2012 gaming awards from Machinima (a media channel on YouTube mostly focusing on gaming) Assassins Creed III was put against an ensemble of fantastic games that it was, in fact, rated inferior than. This ranges from Halo 4, Far Cry 3, and Black Ops 2 (I am reluctantly typing it, for despite my unalterable disgust for the series and its fan base, the game is actually a huge improvement and trying to be as fair and unbiased as possible, I have to admit that it is a good game). It looked as if Assassins Creed III would not win, however the selection is by viewer vote, and days before the deadline a huge wave of loyal advertisement and noise went to call the entire fan base to vote, and the game of 2012, by a long shot, was Assassins Creed III. The question today is whether or not this Ubisoft series deserves all of the attention.

With the original Assassins Creed we have has a very basic story line, characters, and game play. The protagonist of the plot is Desmund Miles, an Assassins reject whose is captured by Abstergo Industries to explore the memories of his ancestors in order to find artifacts. He enters an “animus” to explore his biological past through a legendary Assassin of the third crusade: Altair Ibinlabahad. Altair is the protagonist of the majority of the game that takes place, and it really feels like a tale of redemption. He was a highly held Assassin who failed in his duties and honor for his code, and lost everything having to slowly gain it back through discipline and approximately ten assassinations.   The game play is very linear and simple, but also fun and works as a good system. The player must enter the city district, do information missions involving the stealth aspect, then perform the assassination usually followed by a lengthy free running or fighting scene. The combination of aspects, from stealth, free running, and sword combat was good, and made for a well put together game, even if it was repetitive and had very lengthy dialogue scenes.  It was a good game, and it was released not too long after the viral wave of parkour that hit during the mid-2000s decade.  Making the game an immediate hit of the already growing parkour fanbase. fan base already into the free running, because not only is it free running, but it is free running in a high speed chase trying to escape and pursuing your target. Also there was People also fell in love with the hidden blade.  It is was so attractive and dynamic, people couldn’t help themselves to try and make one for themselves.

A few years later in November 2009, Ubisoft released Assassins Creed II. This game was immensely different from its predecessor, but most believe that all of the changes were for the better.  The controls have changed to be smoother, the free running is more dynamic, the fighting is more diverse between attacks and different enemies, the player can buy their own clothes, weapons, and armor.  The missions are very diverse, however it is still the stealth, free running, and fighting system that the fans love, only with more variety.  To add to the features, one could now invest and renovate, each city having a range of treasure chests to find, and optional side missions, all making for game play and entertainment even after the game had ended.

As for the story, you continue as Desmund Miles continues as he escapes from the Templar influenced Absergo Industries, and working in the animus with other modern assassins to find another artifact, now followed by the memories of Ezio Auditore Da Firenze is followed; a young, playful, and spirited Italian young man who loses most of his family to Templars, therefore following a lifetime of revenge and is transformed into  a ruthless assassin. The story of this game is much more involved, and the player seems more attached and sympathetic for Ezio. We see how much of a kid he is.  He is very naïve and believes that the world is a wonderful place. and will never change As time goes by, he has no choice but to become a killer, warrior, and a braver, stronger person.

The soundtrack of this game is fantastic, and from this point on the soundtracks of all Assassins Creed games are memorable and amazing.  Many important historical figures were in this game, such as in all of the games, however that will not be mentioned, because the fact that they are real people is interesting, however does not really contribute to the game play. Fans were thrilled by this game and the Renaissance really brought out the spirit.  Ezio’s assassin robe and hidden blade were far cooler looking, only making more people wanting to be like an assassin, and making the fan base of the series grow even greater.

      Only a year after Assassins Creed II comes Assassins Creed Brotherhood. The fact that the game came only a year after its predecessor is more than noticeable.  One cannot contain the urge to compare such pattern to Call of Duty, whose developers manage to pump out a game every year.  like how pamper produces a new diaper every year. Nonetheless, Assassins Creed Brotherhood nevertheless was a fantastic game, and everything that its  taking all the features of its predecessors did well in Brotherhood did more and  and making them even better.  There was a refresh of weapons armor, and cloth color.  New weapons could be used such as the crossbow, and one could now combine weapons such as the sword and pistol, knife and throwing knives, and many other fun combinations.

Also Ezio could now recruit assassins and have them assist in battle or in tactical stealth. The levels had the perfect combination of stealth and combat and a new game mode was made, and this one that added was for online multiplayer, a mode that many console games had, and until now, Assassins Creed lacked.  There was only one mode  The new mode was to assassinate your target while avoiding your own assassins, both your target and the other assassins being real life players.  Points would be made on the quality of the kill  The mode was fun to play a few times, however it did not really get more interesting than that, and the level up system seemed so irrelevant that it did not entertain many people for too long.

The story of Assassins Creed Brotherhood was not put together which with as much effort since as the last game with Ezio.  Everything in the last game has basically continued, Desmund Miles is still pursuing the ancient treasures through Ezio, meanwhile Ezio was still on his trek of for revenge, although this time the prime target was Cesare Borgia, an ambitious and notorious leader who killed Ezio’s uncle.  This is a very basic story, in which no emotion or dedication to the characters is actually given, however that does not stop the game play from being brilliant. While it can be considered  less work may have been put into it, it actually was beneficial in ways, such as knowing the map, and having it well thought out for certain missions. Many fans at this time were very satisfied, but were wondering what new Assassin they would play as in the next Assassins Creed.

Unfortunately, Assassins Creed Revelations also came out in only a year of production; released in November 2011. The idea of this game was to successfully conclude the lives of Ezio and, strangly enough, Altair from the original game. Altair was only mentioned in the previous games without him, however in this game five missions (plus a final cut scene) are played with Altair, showing what he did throughout his life.  Ezio is following Altair’s trail in Istanbul, while going on a personal journey in order to find what he has been fighting for his entire life.  Meanwhile Desmund Miles is trapped in his own head.  Having gone through so many memories, he must now conclude the memories of Altair and Ezio in order to survive.  while his only company is subject sixteen; Abstergo’s previous patient who’s bodily self is dead, and lives only in the animus.  The game executes the story really well, and plays on the player’s emotions perfectly. You see Altair consume his entire life looking into the apple of Eden and, in the end, it causes his family to be killed and his exile.

In Ezio’s journey he finds a woman to hold by his personal side, in contrast to getting out with a lot of women in his other games. It is truly amazing to watch Ezio be such a philosophical worn down man, and while we can still remember the naïve and playful young man who thought the world was a great place that would never change.  The interesting thing is that Ezio actually watches Altair’s memories as well, and in the final memory, Altair has kept his library in order to teach whoever needs it in the future, and then Ezio realizes at the remains of Altair, that he is no different. He speaks out to Desmund, who was once mentioned by Minerva, and realizes at once his true purpose in life: to help Desmond find all of the answers, and collaterally save the world from disaster.  At that moment Desmond appears for a split second to actually see Ezio eye to eye.  If that all did not The scene does an amazing job at giving you a great gives you chill of emotion, and if it didn't, then I don’t know what will.   The game play is nearly the exact same as Brotherhood, which actually works against the grain, making the game get boring rather quickly therefore it actually gets boring.  The levels played out the exact same and playing through I found that my only motive of actually beating the game was the story itself, and being able to see the ending.  On the bright side, the city and new architecture is nice, and the hook blade was a dynamic weapon, however the bombs seemed rather unnecessary, how many weapons does one really need?  However, the story is so amazing, that it still makes Assassins Creed Revelations a great game and a great conclusion for Ezio and Altair.

Surprise! The next release came out in November 2012, with Assassins Creed III, and this game did well in creating a brand new story, controls, and new game play. In this game Desmond Miles is now literally at the threshold of saving the world from the ominous apocalypse.  Now he must follow the memories of Connor Kenway, in order to find the key to the world’s salvation. Connor is the offspring of a romance between a Native American and Haythem Kenway, a British templar who is against the patriots in independence. Connor loses his mother in an attack by the Templars, and finds Achilles, who trains him to be an assassin. Early on he was shown by Minerva what he must do, and that is to protect his home tribe (because it holds the vault where Desmond must go).  Connor ends up being caught in three motivations:  To protect his tribe, to assassinate his list of Templar targets, and to help the patriotic soldiers free America from the redcoats.  It is also good nice how Ubisoft does not make the independence war black and white, it shows how, in reality, the patriot side was actually also corrupt and had their own issues. and actually ended up betraying Connor behind his back.  The relationship between Connor and his father is most of the interest in the story, and in a parallel, Desmund has issues with his own father.

In the game it is brought back to only a few weapons; however they make for great dynamic game play. The sound track is wonderful, such as all the recent games. The combat is renewed and improved, and free running on trees was wonderful. However in the cities, free running was not very useful because buildings were not large in colonial America. This is the third game with the online multiplayer, and it seems to ahev still not very much improved, which is unfortunate.  Perhaps they should have done multiplayer at a different angle, such as doing a story in a city with multiple factions and level up systems for supplies. The game play was fantastic, and the story was good, even though there was some controversy with the ending.

But is Assassins Creed really special anymore? The first couple of games were special, because they were new and influenced such a fan base, which still exist, explaining how well Assassins Creed III won game of the year. However recently the games come as common as Call of Duty or  if you want to think of something slightly better  Super Mario, because two Mario releases come out every year!  The new Assassins Creed games are great games, but they’re not special anymore, not like the old ones originals. The fans are no longer parkour innovators who make hidden blades in their spare time, they just play the games. That is why I would personally suggest that they finish off the series, in fact they probably should have after Revelations, or Brotherhood, concluding Desmund’s story then. Now they plan on releasing another edition to the series next year, and it will go on and on. The games are awesome, but gamers do not need more than three games or a new game every year. Assassins Creed is going from an amazing few games with a huge fan base to becoming like an overhyped normal video game series with repetitive releases.

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