When I moved to my new flat in London town, we didn’t have the internet for a few weeks. I know. It was a hard time. Thank you for your belated sympathy. What we did have though, was an XBOX and some games that my flatmate hadn’t gotten around to playing. We would have nightly sessions of watching her run around in Skyrim or murdering a few cops in Grand Theft Auto V, and sometimes I’d even get a go. Turns out I’m really good at not being caught by the police… and head shots. Take note NSA. (please don’t take note)
But there was one game that was lingering on her shelf that had caught my eye. It was Assassin’s Creed II. I’d heard a lot about these running-jumping-stabby games and everyone I knew loved them. So I asked and we popped it in. She had started it a while ago but hadn’t played it in ages.
We finished it in four days.
Our flat fell in love with master assassin and eternal klutz Ezio Auditore as he traipsed around Renaissance Italy, assassinating many a Borgia and eradicating Templar control from Florence to Venice. For those unfamiliar with these games, basically you play this guy called Desmond Miles who gets hooked up to this machine called the ANIMUS, which allows him to live the lives of his ancestors. This is all to find these orbs called The Pieces of Eden, aka the apples. The Templars are also after these because they want control of the world. This is all set up in the first Assassin’s Creed with Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, Desmond’s ancestor and creator of the Assassins, during The Crusades.
So yeah, we fell in love. You get to run around all these beautiful renaissance cities, your BFF is (a stupidly adorable) Leonardo DaVinci, and the Pope is evil. It’s a great time. A few months later my friend and I went to Venice and had a very dorky time running around like assassins. Here’s some dumb pictures…
I’ll write more about our Venice trip in The Nerdy Passport soon!
Okay, back to the games… so then we plopped in the next one, Brotherhood. One week later we had freed Rome from Templar control.
Flatmate and I would pass the controller back and forth, taking turns. She was better at stealth and climbing (I have the bad habit of accidentally flinging myself off high towers and falling to my horrifically painful death), and I was better at murdering people in a screaming frenzy. She’s English, I’m American. Enough said.
Revelations, with old Ezio (and flashbacks to Altaïr), was next and that one was, too, beaten in a week… on accident. Turns out we were farther along than I thought when I decided to goof around on my own aaaaaand I beat the game. I felt like I had cheated by doing it on my own, and quickly apologized when Flatemate came home.
I’m not allowed to play the plot by myself anymore.
Now it was time to switch gears and get our American on. Assassin’s Creed III brings us to The American Revolution aka How I Accidentally Murdered George Washington.
But to backtrack, in this one you play Connor, a half-Templar half-Native American who is pseudo-adopted by an aging Assassin who tells you to help Sam Adams and those fighting for independence. Got that? Basically you’re a really moody teenager with major daddy issues. After the charisma from Ezio in three games, Connor did nothing but annoy the hell out of me.
We beat AC3 rather quickly if only because I think we wanted it to be over with. Don’t get me wrong, it was rather cool to participate in many of the events that made my country exist, but I just wanted to throw a tomahawk into Connor’s skull by the end of it. I still enjoyed it though, if only because I did accidentally kill George Washington while on a mission to sabotage some cannons. I figured he was just a soldier named George… nope. So hint: don’t kill George Washington. I’m also severely disappointed Sam Adams never offered me any beer.
After beating AC3, we had averaged a game a week. We only had one to go before we were left barren and bereft. Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag was up next and we made it last for nearly a whole month… mostly because it was phenomenal.
Edward Kenway is a Welsh privateer who is after, more than anything, a bit of coin. He’s arrogant and self-absorbed, and I love him. Playing a pirate was a frolicking good time, and I got ridiculously excited every time I sunk a ship and plunder its goods (I destroyed FOUR Man of Wars once! FOUR! AT THE SAME TIME!). You sail around the Caribbean doing your pirate thing, watching as the Spanish and English blow each other out of the water. You got to play with ships a little bit in AC3, but this is the bulk of the game, and I’m glad for it. Sometimes you even get to play on other ships, which is where Edward’s BFF comes in, aka Blackbeard.
Being at the helm of the Queen’s Anne Revenge made me more excited than I should probably admit to. Those cannons! Me still my homicidal piratical heart! What I loved most about that game is that it turned me into a completionist. Flatmate had been home for a few days, and since I wasn’t allowed to forward the plot, I was getting every treasure chest and fragment and manuscript I could find. I was taking over the Caribbean and my ship was one swanky sexy piece of boat. Even after she returned from her staycation with the parentals, we actually enjoyed roaming around the waters, doing all the side quests and contracts. We didn’t do that in the previous games as much. Plus, we were really trying to make this one last.
Why? Assassin’s Creed V aka Unity doesn’t come out until Christmas time. After we finally finished IV, we were empty shells of our former assassinating selves. Sad face.
There’s been some worry in the gaming corner of the internet that the Assassin’s Creed games are coming out too fast after one another. I can understand that it could be a bit overwhelming, and that there can be too much of a good thing… but, frankly, all those worries were tossed out of my metaphorical window the moment I heard the next game was set in revolutionary France.
1789, Paris. Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Get on my telly this instant. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this game. The French Revolution was my first historical love and the fact I’m going to get to go play in it has made me the happiest little geek alive. Getting the sneak peak at SDCC this July only made me more excited, not to mention I got to run through their obstacle course at the con. More info here.
Unity looks gorgeous. Madame Guillotine is there at the ready and I’m an SO prepared to play Scarlet Pimpernel and rescue people from it, because we know that has to happen (and we’ll probably have to get rescued from it ourselves). Also, the first thing my partner-in-crime said? “Oooh yay we get to climb Notre Dame!”
Here’s the live gameplay demo from the XBox lounge at SDCC.
So, in short, while having no internet can be a horrible thing, it can also be amazing. I never would have gotten so addicted to these games. I wouldn’t have Assassin’s Creed earrings like I do now, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed gaming again. So, I’m happy for all of that. So check out the trailer for Unity and die along with me with these stupid beautiful graphics.
Now, I know you’re probably wondering, Curly, aren’t you going to say anything about the whole Ubisoft said it was too much work to make one of the multiplayer Assassins a lady? Well, sorta kinda? Like, there’s plenty of people who have written very eloquently about the issue, so I’m not even going to touch it. Was it a lame, dumb excuse? Yeah. Do I care? Eh. I always play as a guy in video games, so personally, not that fussed. However, I completely acknowledge there’s plenty of people who want to play as a lady if given the options, and frankly, there should be an option. But yes, it was a lame, dumb excuse, and obviously there will be ladies in Unity, the new trailer shows that (I believe she’s Arno’s love interest and she’s a *gasp* TEMPLAR). Why couldn’t they just make one of the multiplayers a lady? It was an oversight on their part that has bitten them in the ass, and rather rightfully so. But yeah, there’s my two cents.
To be honest, I’m just really excited about this game. It looks gorgeous. It’s one of my favorite periods of history, and everything I’ve seen of it has made me more and more giddy. So I’m personally looking forward to it and I’m going to have to save up for a PS4 just to buy this game. That’s how much I need to play it.
You an Assassin’s Creed fan? Never played before and now want to try? Let me knoooow and let us cavort in the comments!