Cynic Critic
Cynic Critic: Assassins Creed

We all know that Assassin’s Creed wasn’t actually that great a title. Sure it was fun, and it was really novel to run around in a Middle Eastern nation stabbing up templars, grabbing feathers, and ignoring Desmond’s damn existence in the Animus. Ubisoft really did do a damn good job of making something that was ultimately incredibly repetitive fun for the first few hours or so. After that, the same challenges over and over again was a drag, and sometimes you get kicked out of the Animus for no reason at all, so I can go walk over to the bedroom and go to sleep and then sneak out later to replay missions in my downtime… Thanks Ubisoft, I’d have rather just stayed in there.

It was with the second title, inventively named Assassin’s Creed II, that the public started bumming Ezio Auditore in the face, and even then that only ramped up when Brotherhood was being rammed down your throat at every website, TV break and store you went into. Whilst working at a large UK videogame retailer that shall not be named for legal mumbojumbo, I had the pleasure of meeting an Assassin’s Creed fan firsthand, well I actually met many of them but this guy sums the legion of fans up in one go. Upon having achieved 1000/1000 Gamerscore on Assassin’s Creed II, only 2 days after its release, he went and got a tattoo of the Assassin crest across his heart because he just couldn’t get enough of it. It’s clear then that not only have Ubisoft successfully made a franchise out of something rather tenuous, it also has managed to gain a legion of fans who would be willing to mail their nether-regions off to Ubisoft in exchange for free games for life.

Oh look its Ezio Auditore, doing what an assassin does; not drawing attention to himself. Oh wait no he's Italian, he must love it!

My issue isn’t with the fans (well clearly I have AN issue with the fans but thats not why we are here), after all they are only human, and many people like to be told what to do next, so lets read on. Assassin’s Creed II added a lot to the franchise, it sorted out those repetition issues by fudging some other escapade into the middle of your standard ‘chase after this man’, ‘chase after that man’, ‘walk slowly behind this man’ style missions. Its environments were also tighter, partially thanks to the renaissance Italy setting, where buildings were tall and thin and streets were narrow and dark, and where Leonardo Da-Vinci is just conveniently hanging around looking for a friend. Ezio only officially joins the Assassin’s Creed at the end of the game, so for a large part of it he is just running around killing people with little ‘religious’ motivation, least not one we see. It’s more a tale of revenge, but due to a lack of cocaine and machine guns it can’t play out like Scarface, or equally violent films with shoddy Italian accents.

Speaking of which, this is what really gets my goat, the accent, in fact the whole god damn dialogue. I think its made worse because of its faux Italian accents alongside english voices and modern colloquialisms and terms. If you want to be historically accurate use terminology and syntax from the time, don’t have someone walking around putting a spin on curse words by making it ‘Italian’, yes, that is done by just adding an ‘o’ to the end of it. Why not do it all in Italian and then subtitle it? Probably because it wouldn’t have been as successful, just look at hollywood they feel the need to remake a multi million selling film just because it was in a different language. You could argue that the voices are twinged with Italian accents because it’s how Desmond would hear it, his brain filling in the gaps though his memory. If that was the case should they not all be speaking with American accents as thats how his brain would naturally fill in the blanks, realism however isn’t what the Assassin’s Creed series is going for.

Usually you take a guy out for dinner and a date before doing THAT with someone.

All these gadgets and inventions that are being churned out during this period are astounding, a hand mounted pistol that doesn’t blow your arm off, now thats some fancy gadgetry that they have there! Or how about what essentially is a machine gun mounted onto a carriage, do I really have to explain the complete lack of realism in that? It seems that for Ubisoft, and its adoring fans waiting to donate their blood to the creed, the inclusion of Leonardo Da-Vinci is enough to explain away all these things; despite the fact that at this period in time he would have been a painter, his inventing streak came later in his life and even then he never built a single one, he only imagined the possibilities through science.

Desmond is also an absolute pain to have to deal with, a pain made only worse by the forceful inclusion of out of Animus sections in both AC2 and Brotherhood. I already have enough Nolan North in my life thanks to every other game under the sun, so giving me more of him and then placing him in a soulless and dull character really doesn’t help at all. Maybe my dislike stems from spending hours trawling across the gameworld finding every god-damn feather, from some pretty unlucky bird I must say, only for the game to not give me an achivement, yet still reward me with the cape and then give me the achievement for having the cape. Great bug you guys have gotten there Ubisoft, real quality QA testing, although I am aware this is a random occurrence.

The most interesting thing about Desmond, there is nothing interesting. The look on Lucy's face says it all.

The Assassin’s Creed series is now in essence Ubisoft’s Call of Duty. They really have to do literally nothing to promote it, they don’t have to come up with a great storyline either, because generic bad man does something bad seems to please the masses all too well. It also has a yearly release cycle and a multiplayer mode shoved in for no real reason. It may add a whole new time-sap for the game but was it ever really needed, or indeed asked for? No doubt millions will pick up the next incremental addition to the series with Revelations due out this year, but surely fans must be growing tired of the same gameplay year on year. Batman: Arkham City would have certainly been less enjoyable if I had played it only a year after its original, maybe Assassin’s Creed III will bring about a radical rejuvination like ACII did, who knows. Until the next inevitable sequel until the end of the world, only time will tell if people will get as fed up with the franchise as I have.

The views expressed in these series of articles are all those of the authors and not necessarily those of The Gamers Hub. You can find our review of the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood HERE

29 Comments to “ Cynic Critic: Assassins Creed ”

  • Vanessa H.November 5, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I loled at the dinner and a date pic hahaha

  • DanielNovember 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Whiny, very whiny.

    • DrakeNovember 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      He makes sum pretty tenuous points but I see what hes gettin at. the name is after all cynic critic so probably summin like a deliberate attempt to play devils advocate. captions were funny thou.

  • RayJanuary 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Sounds like Ubisoft made the game he was always dreaming of making growing up as a scared little nerd hidding away in his room. And now he’s realy pissed off.

  • TylerJanuary 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I find this article very immature.

  • ChristineJanuary 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    He’s just expressing an opinion, just like your comment. Nothing wrong with that.

    • TheDoctorOctober 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      It’s ok for you and him to have opinions even if you two are massively wrong and whiney.

  • PuriFebruary 2, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Through the lens of having played Revelations (and all three previous console releases as well) I can now say he’s actually got at least one good point. While I love the series, Revelations did suffer from lack of ingenuity; other than the frankly dismal Den Defense inclusion. I agree, Ubisoft needs to make ACIII as big a game changer as ACII was.

    However, there are things here which are simply opinions and should not influence you if you don’t want to be influenced. I happen to like the Desmond sequences, they give a breather after tense sequences. Also, the “random” killings in ACII were more fun that the structured deaths of ACI, which ultimately is the point of a game (to be fun). One thing really annoyed me though: the writer forgot you can change spoken language in ACII to Italian when you begin; it explicitly asks you that. Don’t complain about something you could have fixed yourself, mkay?

  • SwayFebruary 14, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Ya know, you’re right. More realism is EXACTLY what I want in the games I play. Maybe we’ll get lucky and instead of another AC title, Ubisoft will release a grocery shopping game. Or a visit your Grandma game. Or a driving your kids to school game. Or maybe, if we’re really lucky, a going to the bathroom game! Number one or number two, which will it be this time?? How exciting! Actually, most of that’s been done in GTA at some point….

    Seriously dude, more realism? What games DO you like, if that’s what you’re after? Modern Warfare? Where you, an undercover agent, walk through an airport mowing down civilians, because it IS for the greater good, so ya, I can see that happening in real life. Halo, Resistance, any of the shoot-em up aliens games, those are all things that could happen to me tomorrow. Even sports games, body check a guy from behind, bashing his head off the dasher, 2 minute penalty, I think that’s fair. Oh, and the guy is fine by the way. This on the way to a 160 goal, 300 point season. That happens on the regular in today’s NHL, no big deal. Oh, and that part of AC1 where Desmond leaves the Animus to go to bed? Irritating, for sure, but definitely realistic.

    Personally, I think the AC series has one of the most interesting story arcs in gaming today, ever, in fact. From Desmond, Altair, Ezio, the Assassins and Templars, their historical and modern incarnations, the Pieces of Eden, the First Society, I can’t wait to see how it all gets tied together, you just don’t get that kind of ingenuity in story telling in most games these days. If the gameplay from the first game was still more or less the same in the newer games, would I still be playing? Not a chance. But it HAS been improved upon, greatly, and will continue to get better I’m sure. Are there holes, things I don’t like? Of course! Having Ezio ignore your ideas of performing a leap of faith off a tower in favour of casually hopping off the platform to plummet to his death can be a strain, but hey, there are problems in every game, you deal. The bit with the language, why people are speaking in English rather than Italian most of the time, is ADDRESSED in the game, and frankly, I never questioned it anyway because to me, and most people I think, it’s just not that big an issue. Does ANYBODY care if Leonardo Da Vinci was spending most of his time painting rather than engineering, or maybe concentrating on his hip-hop career during this particular time period? Really? Back then more people wore brown shirts than green ones, and their shoes were made from pastries, not leather, waaa waaa waaa. You whine about the gun not being realistic but don’t bother to mention that someone could get hurt jumping off a tower into a bale of hay? Ugh. And I imagine the feathers could have come from more than one bird, maybe.

    Anyway, hope you find a game you like, fingers crossed on that bathroom game eh? Hopefully the title will be creative enough for you.

    • NickAugust 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      I get what you are trying to say but you are way off base with the realism complaint. Obviously a game that lets you do what you can already do is boring, but a game that lets you do what a more powerful person could do in a world that follows the same rules as ours – that’s realism people are talking about

  • JustaGamerFebruary 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

    AC is a totally cool franchise. It is unique in it’s own right and has a ton of depth from style to presentation, graphics to gameplay. You know your playing an AC game from the seconds it boots to the end of the credits.I also cannot wait for AC3 as I ave played each of the console titles and am invested in the overall story arc. Watching the climax of Altair in Revelations had an emotion to it, and watching the final moments of Ezio in Assassins Creed Embers (a must watch dload animated short based 10 years after AC Revelations) was not only touching but meant alot to AC fans like myself.
    I could add more but won’t bore you further.

  • Alfan ZakiyantoMay 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    well, you said something about making it 100% Italian then subtitle it? you can just open the setting menu, changed the spoken language from “English” to “Italian”. and turn on the subtitle setting.

    well, most of the gadgets are based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s invention. look at that flying machine, it is invented by Leonardo and is the basic model of the modern helicopter.
    the tank is also a real design made by Leonardo, I don’t really know about the boat and machine gun though.

    and about the gameplay. they surely have made some changes on the gameplay. for example. the weapon wheel in the AC II. they didn’t have it in the AC. in the AC Brotherhood you can manage the assassin’s guild, recruiting assassins and other stuff, so basically they are not using the same gameplay over and over again.

    the story line is pretty interesting though, I think you don’t really know about what is going on because you can’t listen to the voices since you don’t like the accent and stuff.

    Problem = Solved

    • johnJune 4, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      the whole thing is your way more advanced than the average people in the game,that’s why you know more these are what ifs mostly to make the game more interesting and i think you need to make a game that will be perfect and that everyone will love……… your dreams

  • Ioannis H.June 23, 2012 at 7:42 am

    It seems to me you didn’t like the the whole franchise to begin with. So how could you be let down by something that you didn’t even like in the first place? And do you know what all those TV breaks, websites and stores ramming AC Brotherhood down your throat are doing? They’re doing a little something called advertising, all the brands, stores, companies and corporations do it in the world of media all the time. If the ads really bothered you that much, then you must of had something personal against the whole franchise beforehand. Also, that AC fan you met with seemed to be a little bit on the crazy/forever alone side. So don’t label him as someone to represent all AC fans.

  • SkeezJune 26, 2012 at 4:44 am

    You’re just hating on a successful game, that’s all I read here. Pretty crappy article

  • Clark KentJuly 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Bro,you suck

  • F1 MarcianoJuly 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Made up junk. The Americans already hate it. Why couldn’t they make this Connor character a real American instead of this “half-British” fantasy. The Americans would have bought it by the millions. Bad marketing design. Stupidly written. No planning. Very rushed job. SUPER-MEGA-WHALE FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE!! FAIL!!

  • ZacJuly 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

    No offense but i think you haven’t examined the full picture. There is a lot of background that goes into the Assassins Creed series. Lots of which this article writer doesn’t understand, and at first I didn’t understand. A person can play all Assassins Creed games yet still have no clue whats going on. And I think that is what is happening with this guy.

    Assassins Creed features a history that is impressive, all about Templar’s, Illuminati the Adam and Eve story, past civilization theory etc. My point is a lot of things in this game have a reason.

    The pistol is a weapon thought of by Altair, he created it by visions given to him by the Apple of Eden. He wrote down all of his findings of the Apple of Eden in a codex. Long story short, the codex pages were sent to Italy in order to protect them from Templar’s attempting to hunt down Altair for the Apple. Ezio found these documents and gave them to Leonardo da Vinci, (a family friend) to decipher. He re-created these designs and gave them to Ezio for good use. Don’t you think Leonardo da Vinci (one of the greatest minds that ever existed) could have created a machine gun that fires 10RPM when already has blue prints for a pistol that fires 5RPM.

    Another thing is the accents featured in Assassins Creed II, the Templar animus
    Desmond was using in Assassins Creed 1 had better language translating systems then the Animus 2.0 in Assassin Creed II. Thats why there is an accent in ACII for Ezio and not one for Altair in AC1. Key words and phrases in Ezio’s life are still recorded in Italian in the Animus 2.0 for authenticity.

    When you said “realism however isn’t what the Assassin’s Creed series is going for.” the whole point of the Assassins Creed series is to show things that are meant to be shown, things that have been veiled in secrecy and hidden from history. Did you expect realism when you read the title of the game ‘Assassins Creed’? Either way your wrong because it is a game your whinig on about being unreal. Or could all really be going on today, because remember the game is set in the future!

    Assassins Creed is a game you have to understand to really get whats going on all the time. If your one of those people who only play to kill people in a cool way, thats fine. But dont whine because you dont understand it. Because it isnt just about running around in a Middle Eastern nation stabbing up templars, grabbing feathers, and ignoring Desmond’s damn existence in the Animus.

    Desmond is in the Animus to find the Apple of Eden in modern day before the Templars. The Templars want Desmond because his ancestors Ezio, Altair and Connor have all had the Apple and hidden it. They want to find the Apple and use its powers.

  • CristianJuly 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Jesus christ, did a 9 year old write this article? Who gives a shit if the video game isnt 100% logical fact, its a god damn fucking VIDEO GAME. Made for entertainment, not realism. You could argue, OH NO IF YOU DIE, YOU GET TO LOAD LAST SAVE TIME. THATS NOT REALISTIC, YOU SHOULD DIE IN REAL LIFE! HERP DERP. Kill yourself you whiny cunt

  • Andrew ZinnerJuly 22, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Is this guy mentally challenged?

  • The Lord of ExcessJuly 25, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Assassins creed is great I am just not at all excited about 3 as the setting is very boring. I don’t get it at all … other than the lame American war of independence appeal … meh. I also agree that this is another big Walmart style offering by a company that has a property big enough that no matter what they do, it will sell. I’ll pick this one up eventually, but I’ll wait for it in the bargain bin at gamestop.

  • steveJuly 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    i love assassin’s creed! free your mind and the game plays on!

  • AltairJuly 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I am the biggest fan of assassin’s creed series.I also know the release date of Assassin’s creed 3.It’s release date is 30th October

  • MoutinhoAugust 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    excuse… “they don’t have to come up with a great storyline either” ? what are u talking about? the amount of research in this game is something i’ve never seen before. all the characters exist, in the right timeline, and all fit together with their real stories. this article is just a rant, something to pick-on because it’s diferent… i accept a critic, but only if it is constructive… this is anything but constructive… sorry man. what about that pistol that “doesn’t blow off his arm”? not everything that has been made in the past has malfunctions due to the lack of modern technology. this is just an example of a closed mind article. nothing more.

  • George BirdAugust 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Surely the reason to play video games is to escape realism for a bit? The fact that Leonardo was ‘just’ a painter at the time or that machine guns didnt come mouted to a horse cart has absolutely no relevance here at all. The invasion from space has not happened (officially) yet but I could still go and buy a game right now to kill aliens for the rest of the day but no doubt you would find the noise they made irregular or the colour of the eyes incorrect. If you have fallen out with the franchise then don’t play it, you are not forced to, I think tetris has been re-released so unless you have an issue with blocks and spaces then happy gaming………

  • ERICK OGAugust 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    go play barbies man people as dumb as you are always whining get a life if don’t like AC then don’t play it who cares if ac is not 100% real

  • ru kidding me?August 23, 2012 at 4:50 am

    realism?? if all of these are real, then you must be a Templar!!!
    dude, stop playing and stop bitching.

  • Mason178ASeptember 8, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Good game. Graphics could have been better. Game gets boring after awhile, otherwise entertaining for the first 2 hours.