The first Assassin’s Creed game ruined the whole series
the Assassin’s Creed the franchise has persisted for over a decade now, but the series as a whole has been damaged beyond repair by its very first entry. 2007it’s Assassin’s Creed was a landmark title, convincing countless consumers to invest in next-gen Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles to experience the historic high-fidelity open-world action game for themselves. There have since been dozens of main and spin-off projects Assassin’s Creed games, but Ubisoft’s first outing ruined what the franchise could have been.
Long before Assassin’s Creed was a flagship franchise almost synonymous with the term “AAA games“, it was just one game centered on a Syrian assassin called Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, who fought against a tyrannical Templar order in the 13th century. While this premise is quite interesting, Assassin’s Creed decided to introduce sci-fi and pseudo-time travel elements by taking place in modern times, with players technically playing not as Altaïr, but as Desmond Miles, his distant descendant using advanced technology to relive genetic memories. Thanks to this configuration, Assassin’s Creed was split into two halves: historical stealth, exploration and combat, and slow-paced modern detective.
This general formula would be retained in future entries and although it was expanded, it can also be argued that Assassin’s Creed never forgot Desmond and the original setting of the first game as a whole. Due to the immense popularity of the franchise, the connective tissue between the games – i.e. the modern segments – has been stretched beyond its limits. Consequently, the Assassin’s Creed the franchise has become increasingly troublesome while being more limited than it should be.
Assassin’s Creed 2007 made too many narrative promises
On paper, the principle of Assassin’s Creed is original to say the least. There is definitely potential in the series’ The matrix-esque sci-fi elements, and the first game featured plenty of storylines in the Assassins and Templars dynamic, suggesting a long history between two powerful factions that would grow explosively. Desmond Miles himself, although a bit bland, was an interesting protagonist as he was placed at the center of this conflict and was a good audience substitute.
However, as the Assassin’s Creed the story has become too long, most of what made the original story interesting has been lost. It seems clear that while the game’s writers had a plan for the overarching modern-day plot, it has long been abandoned in favor of a less impactful story that primarily serves to keep the series alive for as long as possible. There were some interesting twists and turns in the early parts of the story, like Minerva talking to Desmond by Ezio in assassin’s creed 2, which lead to flabby, unsatisfying climaxes as the story meanders aimlessly. Had the first Assassin’s Creed didn’t require the show to have one foot in the past and one in the present, it could have led to more segmented and less cohesive stories within the larger scheme of the show, but it would have been much more interesting.
Assassin’s Creed Pigeonholed The franchise in modern times
It is not really controversial to claim that Assassin’s Creed is retained by its current sections. Apart from the aforementioned narrative issues, the split timeline of Assassin’s Creed creates issues when it comes to the gameplay and overall structure of each entry, as it’s not uncommon for games to abruptly take players out of the Animus and into the real world with its less developed characters and gameplay mechanics and less interesting. This can bring games to a screeching halt, throwing players into a side of the experience with less engaging game mechanics and activities to participate in.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that modern sections are not at all consistent between games. As with the modern narrative, these sections once held promise, with Desmond developing as an assassin alongside the character and even taking part in real-world missions, suggesting a possible game set exclusively in the present (although it is a frame that Assassin’s Creed should avoid). However, these sections of Desmond became less interesting as the games progressed and they started to feel even more like an afterthought after Desmond disappeared at the end of Assassin’s Creed 3.
Modern post-Desmond sections failed to be interesting, especially in the Assassin’s Creed games that take place between Desmond’s death and Layla’s assumption as the modern-day protagonist. Starting with Assassin’s Creed 4 The Black Flag, players began controlling a nameless, faceless, and voiceless Abstergo employee in slow-paced walking simulator portions of the game that seem mostly divorced from the game’s and series’ larger story. . It was even more stripped down in Unity and Unionwhich carried on the tradition of having nameless and faceless modern characters, but opted to remove gameplay altogether, reinforcing the idea that modern sections are unnecessary. Assassin’s Creedthe next set of can be connected to Valhalla, but Layla’s departure at the end of the most recent game hints at even more underwhelming and disconnected modern implementations. Additionally, the lack of cohesion between these modern sections calls into question the existence of the modern elements, as it is clear that they do not exist for the sake of consistency.
The historical action-RPG elements of Assassin’s Creed have almost unlimited potential; future entries in the series can visit all sorts of different time periods and tell countless unique, engaging, and self-contained stories while offering distinct gameplay and exploration. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the more scientific and current aspects of the Assassin’s Creed story, which have been woven into the series’ DNA from its first entry and have since been seen as inextricable parts of the Assassin’s Creed identify. Because so much importance was given to these parts of the story in 2007 Assassin’s Creed and in the well received Ezio-Collection of Assassin’s Creed games, it’s possible that the series’ developers felt compelled to continue, despite it running out of steam years ago. Assassin’s Creed may still be a popular game, but there are things it will need to do to remain relevant and engaging in the years to come, and shedding the baggage of its first entry is one of them.
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