Sunday, 27 September 2015

Fall from grace: The Assassin's Creed story

It all started so well, back in the days of having to investigate countless numbers of different options as Altïar, the brutal personality going with a rather fantastic storyline of the infighting during the Crusade of Richard the Lionheart, leading up to that rather difficult betrayal the gamer faced at the end.

So where did it all go wrong for the Assassin Brotherhood? Well, ironically, it was at a title called Brotherhood. Assassin's Creed 2 had just elevated the story to new heights. Ultimately about a different kind of betrayal and a huge dosage of revenge, Ezio became a fan favourite. Italy was a pefect setting and with each new game, we visited new cities with the Itallian stallion. Rome brought a new light but with it came a boring storyline, which was shrouded with new features. These features stole the show, being able to build an Assassin network, sending them on their own missions across the continent, this gave birth to Assassin's Creed 4's naval armada.

Revelations blew another hole in Creed's story telling. It was good in theory, but evem the amazing backdrop couldn't detract from the mundanity of Ezio's story. True he wanted to find another piece of Eden, but it was the story being told through flashbacks to Altïar's timeline that really made the game interesting.

Then we left Ezio behind, without learning his death (which is just as well, as it was pathetic), we ventured to America and met Connor. The most critically assaulted of all the Assassin's, but the campaign didn't meet his rather lifeless personality.

It was a nice storyline, battling for independence but all the while trying to gain some vengeance for his lost tribe and dead mother (see this rather uncomfortable pattern emerging?) Another story of betrayal as you become painfully aware that it was your own (HANG ON: SPOILER ALERT) father that had your village destroyed.

Kind of like Ezio in reverse.

The story gets interesting at Black Flag. This is about a Pirate that only cares about himself and plunder. Taking place over the whole course of the privateering, Edward is not your typical Assassin, mainly because he steals the identity and doean't actually become on fully right up until the end of the game.

We finally meet a proper phophet and get to see Juno one more time before she disappears in to the void again, not to be even mention in Assassin's Creed Unity. Although the story is one hundred percent stronger than the last three games in the series, it was the open world setting that really made the game what it was.

I'd be almost silly not to mention Adewale from the DLC. The best Assassin since Ezio. A man with strong ethics and convictions, able to love the Creed's tennents and also fight for the freedom of the slaves. Not so much a story of personal revenge, like so many before him, this was the first truly selfless Assassin that had an interesting story to go with his awesomeness.

From there the series nosedived (again). Arno, not neccessarily the worst assassin ever, but he did end up becoming the worst. His personality, not as great as Adewale or Edward's, his story even worse. Forget about the bugs, the storyline kind of faded in the middle and it became almost a hard slog to finish the questline. Another story of father is murdered, taken in and looked after by a 'friend' of the family. This time slightly different because he grew up with a Templar. He fell in love with a templar, oh wait, Altïar did that first. Then the inevitable power struggle between the templars and the assassin's.

How this is different, as for the first time we see the Templars infighting first hand. All told through the story of Elise. It's her we're really playing for, to hear her story.

Then there is Shay, in the 360/PS3 exclusive title Rogue. Rogue is when an assassin turns to the side of the templars. On a story where for the first time, you can both see yourself as the villain of the fame and bizzarely the hero, as you carve your way through hooded men and women.

There hasn't been a brilliant story since AC2, Black Flag came close, then there was Adewale and his story, which deserved more playtime than the shortness of a DLC bolt-on to the aforementioned.

Here's hoping the twins in Syndicate can provide either an amazing rebirth or the ultimate swansong for the series.


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