I’ve been reading articles on which games to look out for this 2015. One of the lists I’ve been reading had “Assassin’s Creed Victory.” And it got me thinking hard about Ubisoft’s favorite cash cow, and my love for said cow. Really? Is this a game or a series still worthy of garnering great anticipation? Ubisoft has been releasing Assassin’s Creed games on an annual basis now, and does it really merit the “high anticipation?”
As a huge Assassin’s Creed fan… I say no. It doesn’t.
A lot of time has passed since the original Assassin’s Creed game, with the first master assassin, Altair, capturing the hearts and killer instincts of many video gamers. It took me awhile to get my hands on the series, but it wasn’t the unique gameplay it offered that drew me in that time. It was the impressive plot that got me buying the sequel. While the first series’ mechanics was annoying and repetitive, it was also the plot that got me begging for more afterwards.
It was Ezio’s story that drew me in even more. That, along with the better gameplay and mechanics that made the series an “epic” one. Nevermind that Brotherhood felt just like an extension of Ezio’s first appearance. The conspiracy theories and all that sneaking around was enough for me to keep buying. It was the best game for me since Halo.
Assassin’s Creed was the first game that made me realize that I had to stop pirating and start showing my appreciation for developers. So even when I was in college, I would really try my best to save every peso I can to get the games I want.
Fast forward to 2015, and while yes, I admit that Assassin’s Creed is still a staple game for me, I can’t help but state my disappointment with how the games have turned out for me. Yes, for now I have high hopes for Arno Dorian and the introduction of a love interest and the possibility of uniting Templars and Assassins. Yes, I am withholding my final judgement for the latest sequel as I have yet to finish the game. But yes, I am still disappointed with how things have turned out.
Because I shouldn’t be placed in this position. I shouldn’t be placed in a position where I have to suspend judgement, where I have to give the game the benefit of the doubt. I am three-fourth’s into the game, and I shouldn’t be saying “Oh well, I’m hoping things turn out well.”
The game should have touched me, the moment I pressed play. Or at least, before I even reach half-way. Yes, the game gave a good impression, but it quickly died down immediately after my first official assassination.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve set the bar so high that I can no longer be pleased with whatever is offered. Yet in my progressive reviews, I always comment on the good aspects of the game as much as I can.
It was only after my brief reflection that I realized why I felt that this Assassin’s Creed game felt off for me. It was because I felt only little bits of the game’s core or what to me, felt like the essence of the Assassin’s Creed series.
But what was the core of Assassin’s Creed anyway? More than the gameplay, it was the plot that drove fans crazy. Conspiracy theories left and right, the idea of saving the human race with the Animus, the question of whether or not free thought should be eliminated for the sake of “peace” and “order.” Wasn’t it Assassin’s Creed that further circulated the idea of the Illuminati? Wasn’t everyone moved somehow by the phrase, “Nothing is true, Everything is permitted?”
Now, with Assassin’s Creed Unity, there are too many activities to do, that I am no longer able to focus on the real goal here. The game has made me feel more of a pawn, despite Arno’s “inability” to follow orders. The Templars I have to assassinate feel as if they are fillers, and I have no motivation at all to kill them because on a personal level, Arno doesn’t know almost all of these people, except for the fact that they are conspiring against Elise. Almost the same thing can be said about Black Flag except that it turned around for me half-way through the game.
It is because I feel that Assassin’s Creed is slowly losing its core that makes me believe that it is not worthy of (high) anticipation. While yes, I love the evolution of the gameplay and all that. I love the new weapons and toys and all those bells and whistles. I should also be emotionally moved by the Arno’s story without being distracted. I should also feel like I’m still fighting for the good of the people, rather than eliminating for the sake of a loved one. I should still feel that this is the same Assassin’s Creed game I’m playing… only better. Evolution without losing essence. That’s all I’m trying to say here.
While I’m all good for an annual release and while I’ll still be playing Assassin’s Creed Victory, this series should no longer be hyped. This should be something we’re worried about. Will Ubisoft still be able to return the series to its core? Or will this slowly turn into something like Call of Duty? That’s the only reason why I’m “anticipating” now.