Birdwatching: Is Assassin’s Creed starting to dull?

Birdwatching is a column by Eddie King. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

The first time I ever played Assassin’s Creed was in Germany many years ago. I spent a full half hour navigating the tutorial trying to figure out what it trying to tell me to do in German. Despite the difficulties in this, I fell in love and when I got my first Xbox it was the first game I bought. Needless to say I got bored fairly soon.  The first Assassin’s Creed definitely deserves the title of a classic game, but at about the halfway point in the plot it requires the determination of a donkey hell bent on avenging his mother’s second cousin’s murder to finish. Five years later much has changed, so how has the memory mooching megalomaniacal man in a dressing gown been getting on?

After the revolutionarily intriguing first episode, Assassin’s Creed was well known but not perfect, but then came the sequel Assassin’s Creed 2. If you have not played this game then you should be taken out and shot in front of your families. It was the second coming and it had nothing wrong with it at all. It set the standard for any game that wasn’t racing or shooting. The aspects that made it so successful were the fact that you could climb just about anywhere you could see, the fighting looked absolutely insane, the plot was brilliant and had you wanting the next piece of the puzzle and all of this was in a manageable package that didn’t require ultimate gamer reflexes to operate. At the same time it wasn’t easy either and it certainly wasn’t boring.

If Assassin’s Creed was to Assassin’s Creed 2 what Call of Duty 3 was to Modern Warfare, then Assassin’s Creed 2 was to Brotherhood what Modern Warfare is to Modern Warfare 2. Anal analogies aside, Brotherhood was perfection with every little bit being a little bit better. The introduction of the multiplayer was all that was needed to keep me glued to the screen for a very long time. Even Red Dead Redemption took a back seat at this point. The choice of things to do became more in depth and the graphics were just getting sharper; much like Ezio’s blade, maybe a little too sharp. The first signs of problems had begun to emerge. I had trouble dying. Apart from the occasional stumble and misjudging the occasional free running stunt was all that ever stopped my heart beating. I was becoming worried that Assassin’s Creed was slowing to a crawl so far as new developments were concerned. Admittedly Brotherhood was nicknamed Assassin’s Creed 2.5 but as a new game I was expecting more and certainly more of a challenge.

Revelations again wasn’t quite Assassin’s Creed 3 but more Assassin’s Creed 2.750861 and it was the same story yet again, with the same easy combat systems in which one button push could dispatch six guards stunningly enough to make Qui-Gon Jinn’s bottom jaw hit the floor and the same fleet of efficient friends who could remove any threat in front of you without even having to draw your sword and the same ability to defy gravity as effectively elephants’ ears when jumping from building to building. Yes, the story has set the stage for a grand finale and pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place that you couldn’t have added otherwise, but it could have been so much better if Ubisoft had injected a little of the original Assassin’s Creed elbow grease and grunt.

Despite all this, I still have the bottom half of Ezio’s face staring me down from behind my desktop and Ubisoft will undoubtedly continue to relieve me of extortionate amounts of money for the privilege of finding ever predictable ways of killing people. I really love the Assassin’s Creed series and I will continue to play it because it is one of the most fun and unique games available today. That being said, I hope that when I hear the gentle rip of plastic that indicates I have Assassin’s Creed 3 in my grasp I will not give a sigh of sadness as I realise I have already played this very game before only with a man with a different accent, but rather a gasp of excitement as I am grabbed by the balls and dragged to a new world of tomahawks and tea into a new experience.

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22 Comments

    1. All I am trying to say Jasper is that I hope the next AC will be great and not the same as all the others. I want it to be something new; also the only thing I really said against AC was that it was becoming predictable and quite easy which is true and you yourself admitted to not getting on with Revelations because it lacked a little X factor. I am not the only one with these views.

      1. If you have a winning formula why change it? Well at least not to much. Also, i can pretty much predict what happens next in most games, movies and books nowadays but it doesn’t mean they are bad. in fact it just makes me feel good. 🙂

        1. Really? That makes you feel good? First off the winning formula thing yes you are right and I am not saying change assassin’s creed into something completely different I am saying keep up the good work, don’t slow down, don’t peak too soon. Secondly unpredictability is what MAKES a good film, book or game surely

          1. Yes it does make it a good game etc but a lot of ideas have been used and it almost gets to the point where unpredictable is extremely hard and not worth attempting when you can spend 100 million pounds on graphics. fair point?

            1. All I want is to have the chance to kill some god damn Americans in ever-increasingly epic and elaborate ways. With a tomahawk.

        2. They just need to improve on what they have already got, which from what we have seen so far, they have. The main changes that we have seen so far are to the movement system. The fact that Connor Kenway (yeah I already know his full name and what?) spends a lot of time swinging from trees instead of perfecting his Parkour is in all honesty a vary big change, that if Ubisoft do well (which TBH they probably will) is going to be epic, especially as the trees will change with the seasons. Also the fact that you are now apparently able to dive through people’s windows and go through their house is going to make being chased by way to many guards much more fun. So in all honesty this is just a long way of saying GIMME NOW!!!!!!

  1. IMO the reason that the fighting in the recent games has become so easy is due to the fact that we have been staying with the same assassin, Ezio. Over time, he would have become better at fighting and would have learnt easier ways to kill people, up until the point that guards and other people are almost meaningless. However, in AC3 the new assassin wont have the same experience that Ezio had, so the fighting should be harder. But this is all just speculation of someone who takes Assassins Creed way to seriously.

    1. I’m sorry but you are more addicted to AC than I am and I agree with you Henry but I was just voicing my hope that AC3 will be armageddon

      1. Well I damn well hope it wont be Armageddon, at least if Desmond has anything to say about it. (If you’ve finished Revelations I hope you get it….. OR ELSE) Also when reffering to the person that takes AC too seriously I was referencing to the person that all four games included has finished the campaign over 20 times (5 for AC one, 5 for AC 2, 7 for AC Brotherhood and im on my 4th playthrough of Revalations) Also taking both im level 40 something online on ACB and im like prestiege 3 level 20 in ACR.

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