Assassin’s Creed needs less fantasy, more history

I’ve always loved the historical aspect of Assassin’s Creed games. That’s really the main reason I play them — to experience a period of ancient history and get a feel for what life hundreds or thousands of years ago would have been like. Whether it’s Victorian London, Ptolemaic Egypt, or Renaissance Italy, Ubisoft’s global army of artists and designers has created some stunning settings — and something of the calendar. history, it was a pleasure to witness these times with our own eyes. It’s still an important part of the series, but from Origins on I’ve noticed more fantasy elements start to creep in and as a result it seems like Assassin’s Creed is losing some of its unique identity. its.

Assassin’s Creed has always struck a nice balance between history and science fiction — at least in the early games. The sci-fi content became more prominent as the series went on, but was mostly kept in the background. As you run around Constantinople, Rome, the Caribbean, or wherever you become a historical assassin, engaging excerpts of stories about ancient forerunner races and magical artifacts will be conveyed. for you. Back then, the Isu – a race of advanced beings and a core part of AC’s dense lore – were extremely strange and mysterious. I remember discovering Truth for the first time and was completely mesmerized by it. I’ve been deeply invested in mythology and find its mysteries captivating.

Related: I still haven’t forgiven Square Enix for giving up Deus Ex


However, after Origins, much of the mystery of the Assassin’s Creed universe was lost. You keep meeting or seeing Isu in some form, and while there are still unanswered questions, these characters no longer hold any power in terms of creating a sense of mystery. Origins and Odyssey also lean so much on the more fantasy side of their historical setting — especially in the expansions — that they almost feel like live-action fantasy games. The history is still there and the settings are still meticulously researched and beautiful to look at. They don’t feel like real like they used to be.

When I played Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla, I felt like I was being told history in a mythological way, rather than a document of a time and place that actually existed. This works in a number of ways, creating a great sense of spectacle and making you feel like you’re starring in one of those old legends. But when Odin shows up in Valhalla and Eivor visits the mythical kingdom of Asgard, you forget that this was once a series entwined with historical realism. As someone who prefers a more grounded Assassin’s Creed experience, it pulls me out of the story and shatters the illusion of time travel.

Okay, nothing in Assassin’s Creed is Actually imagine. Odin is an Isu, and Asgard is a partial projection created by Eivor’s own personal knowledge, life experiences, and beliefs. It’s her brain filling the void, shaped by her cultural outlook. Conveniently, Ubisoft is able to explain everything in the series, even how fantastical it might appear, with a sci-fi wave of the hand. But when science fiction becomes indistinguishable from something out of a Tolkien novel, it starts to feel rather silly and contrived. Assassin’s Creed can be basically any kind of game it wants now, but in doing so it’s gone Assassin’s Creed.

AC Odyssey

Seeing the new cinematic trailer for Dawn of Ragnarök, the next Assassin’s Creed Valhalla expansion, I’m even more convinced that the series needs to go back to its historical roots. In it we see environments resembling the Lord of the Rings, Odin battling monstrous creatures with glowing lava for blood, and other visuals that wouldn’t look like it would in a high fantasy game. Top level, full of dice. I mean, it looks cool, but it’s not Assassin’s Creed. If Ubisoft wants to make games like this, it should just start a whole new semi-historical series, rather than downsize the stuff that sets Assassin’s Creed apart.

I’m sure a lot of AC players are concerned about this, and you can ignore my annoyance if that’s the case. But I know for a fact that there are a lot of fans out there, myself included, who want to see the historical side of the series pushed to the forefront. This intensifies the focus on fantasy games – or extreme sci-fi to be more precise – not what I signed up for when I first got into these games. In my dream world, Ubisoft would reboot the AC completely and start a new myth, with new mysteries, and return to making them a sophisticated undercurrent, instead of a copy. Huge $40 extension.

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AC Crossover story cover
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Valhalla are passing in the free DLC

Who will win the fight between Kassandra and Eivor? Find out tomorrow.

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