Game: Assassin’s Creed launched an immersive franchise that continues to grow and push its boundaries. Plus, its roots go back…centuries.
Release Date: November 13, 2007
Genre: Stealth; assassination and exploration; parkour; open world; 3rd person perspective.
Setting: various historical periods; graphics excellent – realistic, detailed, immersive.
Storytelling: Historical fiction mixed with real-world historical events and figures. The series depicts a centuries-old struggle pitting the Assassins, who fight for peace and free will, against the Templars, who believe peace comes through control of humanity.
Releases + Expansions: Ten main releases in different historical eras plus ten expansions in the same eras.
Formats: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC.
- 1980s – Loosely built upon gameplay concepts from the Prince of Persia series, first game released in 1989.
- 1930s – The series took many plot elements from the novel Alamut by the Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol, first published in 1938 in Slovenian. The novel dealt with the story of Hassan-i Sabbah and the Hashshashin, and was named after their Alamut fortress.
- 11th century – The game’s Order of Assassins are fictionalized descendants of the 11th century Alamut Hashshashin.
Adaptations set within the Assassin’s Creed universe:
- Film: Assassin’s Creed is a 2016 American movie with a new story, written by Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. Directed by Justin Kurzel, and starring Michael Fassbender (who also produced), Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Irons, the reception was poor, but at the time it was the ‘best video-game adaptation’.
- Short films: Ubisoft have made three short films, one animated.
- TV: Ubisoft and Netflix started talks in 2016 regarding how to develop an Assassin’s Creed anime series, which will feature an original story from Adi Shankar.
- Comics: eleven graphic novels and one manga.
- Novels: Collection of nine novels. The books follow various time periods.
Recommendation: Mixed-very positive reviews – franchise ongoing with the release in Fall 2017 of Assassin’s Creed Origins, set in Egypt near the end of the Ptolemaic period (49–47 BC).
4.6 stars: I’ve only played Assassin’s Creed Syndicate which is set in the Victorian era – so lots of steam, but not steampunk. As I often choose to play ‘assassin’ classes, I like stealth – and exploration. But my reflexes are erratic so progress in the game was frustrating. I loved the graphics and the setting felt very realistic and so immersive that I wanted to explore more of the games.
- Setting: 5*
- Storyline: 5*
- Gameplay 4*
- Entertainment 4*
- Genesis 5*
Alternative ‘A’ thoughts:
A could have been for Arthurian legends or Annales Cambriae, but they must wait for later games in my quest with other letters.
+ A games played: Age of Empires, Age of Conan: Unchained, Aion, ARK: Survival Evolved [a current 5* distraction], and ArchAge.
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