The Evolution of Assassin's Creed!
The Assassin’s Creed franchise is mostly known for two things—being set in time periods and locations that hardly any other game has explored, and having a batshit insane conspiracy theory story. With the recent unveiling of the next game in the series—Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag—this may be the perfect time to look at the history of the series so far. Keep in mind, though, that we're only looking at the major multiplatform games for now. As a result, all the games on the PSP, DS, 3DS, and PS Vita haven't been mentioned.
Assassin’s Creed - 2007
The first Assassin’s Creed was originally a proof-of-concept for a new Prince of Persia game, but, for whatever reason, Ubisoft decided to make it its own game. It takes place in 1191 AD in the Holy Land. You play Altaïr ibn La-Ahad—an assassin who has been disgraced and must redeem himself by eliminating nine men who are prolonging the Third Crusade. While this may describe most of the story, it doesn’t end there.
The franchise turned out to have science-fiction and conspiracy theory trappings. You actually play everyman Desmond Miles. Miles was kidnapped by megacorporation Abstergo and was put into a machine dubbed the Animus where he is forced to live through the events of his ancestor Altaïr in order to help Abstergo find a hidden ancient relic. It is through this portion of the story that we learn about the ancient war that has been taking place between two factions—the Templars and the Assassins.
The Holy Land was a great place to kick off the mythos .
The first game laid the foundations of gameplay for the rest of the series. You could move around in two modes – high profile and low profile. When in high profile, you can run, scale buildings, jump on and off obstacles, with the tradeoff being that you seem more suspicious to guards. Low profile had you move slower, but you could blend in with similarly-robed scholars who roamed the Holy Land at the time, thus giving you a great way to stay hidden till you got the perfect time and place to strike.
All of the primary antagonists of the game turned out to not be as evil as you were led to believe. The Templars always believe that they are doing the right thing, but are curiously either blissfully ignorant, or straight out don’t care about the implications of their actions.
The game ended with a hook for a sequel, and was quite successful. It was praised for its innovative (at the time) take on stealth, but was criticised for repetitive gameplay and having too many action sequences towards the end of the game. Needless to say, though, it did manage to get a sequel.
Assassin’s Creed II - 2009
The next game in the series was Assassin’s Creed II. With it, we saw a major shift in the setting of the game. Instead of the Holy Lands during 1191 AD, we went to Italy a few hundred years later to the Renaissance era. The character this time around was Ezio Audiotore da Firenze. The game starts out in Florence with the birth of Ezio. His parents are inadvertently killed right as he discovers his heritage as an assassin, and he sets out for revenge.
In the present, the game picks up immediately after the end of Assassin’s Creed. Desmond and Lucy have to escape from Abstergo to an assassin hideout. The main aim, this time around, is to have Desmond learn Ezio’s abilities through the “bleeding effect”, so that he’s better equipped to fight the Templars, aka Abstergo.
Ezio was a very popular character .
Assassin’s Creed II managed to take all the criticisms leveled against the first game and fixed them. Instead of having a repetitive mission structure of having to find information and kill the target, ACII followed a more linear path where everything happened in the story missions. The game also brought secret missions through messages hidden by Subject 16. These missions served to fill in a lot of the backstory of the modern world, even leading to somewhat frightening implications because of parallels in the real world.
The game, along with Ezio, was a major hit… so much that the next couple of games stuck with Ezio and filled out his life’s story.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood - 2010
The next game, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, started off immediately after the events of ACII (notice a pattern here?), as Ezio escapes from Rome in the aftermath of his battle against the Pope. The game tells the story of how Ezio becomes the head of the assassin brotherhood, and brings some new gameplay elements.
Desmond is living through Ezio’s memories this time around to find out where he had hidden a secret relic, called a piece of Eden. For Ezio, the story revolves around driving the Templars out of Italy to keep them away from the piece of Eden. The new gameplay element revolved around the central theme of Ezio becoming the leader of the assassin brotherhood. It involved you finding people who are willing to fight against the tyranny of the Templars and training them. They could come at any time to help you at the touch of a button.
Ezio becomes the head of the Assassin's Brotherhood .
Another new feature that Brotherhood brought to the franchise was the inclusion of a new and rather innovative multiplayer game mode. The multiplayer was framed as Templars practicing their Assassin-killing techniques by using the Animus. Maps were set around Italy, and the games involved each player getting a target. Players were rewarded for stealth with higher points, and by extension, higher XP gains.
Once again, the game was a huge success, and both the brotherhood system and the multiplayer modes were lauded by fans and critics alike.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations - 2011
This brings us to Assassin’s Creed: Revelations—the final chapter in Ezio’s story. The developers had promised that this would tie up all the loose ends left in the plot from the previous games, and it managed to do it in grand fashion.
The story, once more, picks up immediately after the end of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The events of the end of the game have put Desmond in a coma, and have left his mind shattered. He has been put into the Animus, and is tasked with putting the fragments of his mind back together. To do this, he must live out the last chapter in Ezio’s life, and his journey to Constantinople and Masyaf—the primary location of the events of the first game.
The definition of back-to-back badasses .
Ezio sets out to find the secrets hidden by the old leader of the assassin’s brotherhood Altaïr, which have been locked behind a safe in Masyaf. To unlock the safe, he must collect a series of discs. These discs allow him to relive some of the moments of Altaïr’s life, and fill out a lot more of the universe’s backstory.
Along with multiplayer and a more fleshed out brotherhood system, Revelations brought with it a new tower defense minigame. The minigame, dubbed Den Defense, had Ezio defending against waves of Templars by strategically placing certain assassins in their path. This wasn’t as well received as the multiplayer and the brotherhood system, though.
It was by this time that players began feeling some fatigue with Ezio, but it was about the right time, as the next game in the series was set to feature a new protagonist.
Assassin’s Creed III - 2012
After the events of Revelations, Desmond’s mind has been healed and he is armed with all the abilities of Ezio. This is the time to take the fight to the Templars. Desmond takes on the memories of a new character this time around—Connor Kenway. The setting shifts from Renaissance era Italy to America during the country’s fight for independence against the British rule.
Connor is trying to save his home village and exact vengeance upon the man who killed his mother, while at the same time trying to stop his own father, who is a Templar. In Desmond’s story, he’s trying to find a way to stop the inevitable destruction of the earth, which far surpasses the importance of the war between Assassins and Templars. The game spells the definitive end of Desmond’s story.
Connor took on the Templars on all sides .
Assassin’s Creed III uses an entirely new engine for its gameplay. Combat has been drastically changed and has more in common with the Batman: Arkham games than with any of the previous games in the series. It also brought a major change to traversing the environments. While there are still rooftops you can jump around on, most of the game world is the frontier, where you can run around on trees and hunt animals for their pelt.
It also brought to the franchise the almost-universally praised naval battle system. You have to captain a ship and complete some missions while battling other ships in the sea. You could also board other ships for a more hands-on approach to combat.
The game, once again, was a success. While it was criticised for having the weakest story in the series, it was praised for the new gameplay, the frontier, and the naval battles.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag - 2013
We don’t know much about the game right now, except for the fact that we’ll get to play Connor’s grandfather Edward Kenway. It’s going to be all pirates this time around, and we’ll get a more fleshed out naval battle system. There will also be cities to explore on foot, and forests to hunt animals in.
It’s worth keeping an eye on this, mostly to see if they still stick to the sci-fi trappings of the previous games. Considering the end of Assassin’s Creed III, it’ll be difficult to use the same plot device this time.
won't be as boring a character as Connor was .
The game marks a number of firsts for the series, the most notable one being that this is the first game to have a number as well as a subtitle. Previous games have either been numbered, or had a subtitle. It is also worth noting that Connor hasn’t seen much in the way of expansion through more games in the III series, like Ubisoft did with Ezio and Assassin’s Creed II.
Considering all the things we know, though, this looks like it’ll be one hell of a game. It’s going to have vast oceans to explore, dual-wielding in the combat, and best of all… PIRATES!
Assassin's Creed: Rogue
is a sandbox action adventure game, released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 11 November 2014 in the United States, 13 November globally, and 10 March 2015 for the PC. Rogue follows the story of theAssassin-turned-Templar Shay Cormac between 1752 and 1760, during the Seven Years' War, and is the closing chapter in the Kenway saga. The game was written by Richard Farrese.
he primary locations in the game are New York, the Hudson River Valley and the North Atlantic Ocean, more specifically the area around Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, which is known as the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The North Atlantic is an icy water-based region, where icebergs can be used as cover during naval combat, as well as broken to reveal frozen cargo and Animus data fragments. With the help of an ice-breaker ram, navigation is supplemented and additional secret areas can be reached.
Meanwhile, the River Valley is a hybrid of land-based and naval gameplay, with seamless river navigation integrated into a map reminiscent of theFrontier from Assassin's Creed III.
Some mechanics from previous games' multiplayerhave been incorporated, such as a compass indicating the target's position being a part of Eagle Vision, and whispers increasing in volume to indicate the presence of nearby stalkers.
Environmental hazards have been incorporated in the form of poison gas barrels, which drives victims berserk within their expanding radius; Shay can avoid being affected by pulling a mask over his face. Accompanying this, swimming in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic damages Shay's health and underwater sections from the previous game, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, were removed entirely.
During naval battles, the Morrigan can be rammed by enemy ships, forcing Shay and his crew to protect their vessel from Assassin-affiliated attackers.Sea shanties make a return in Rogue, comprised of a mix of old ones from Black Flag and newly composed ones.
Hunting returns with new animals unique to the Arctic regions, such as narwhals and polar bears. White whales are fully included and are not community events.
Assassin's Creed: Unity
is a 2014 sandbox action adventure game, and a sequel to 2013's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the game has the player take on the role of an Initiate as they explore the story ofArno Dorian, who joins the Assassins to investigate the murder of his adoptive father on behalf of his adoptive sister Élise de la Serre, a member of theTemplars.
The game was released on 11 November 2014 inNorth America, 13 November in Europe and 14 November in the UK. It is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Assassin's Creed: Unity is set primarily in Parisduring the French Revolution in the late 18th century, with two additional areas in Versailles andSaint-Denis.
As the game is exclusive to next-generation consoles and PC, it will enable renderings of Paris to 1:1 scale and crowds numbering in the thousands. Players will able to explore the city's entirety, including seamless interiors and the catacombs of Paris, with landmarks like Notre-Dame having a quarter of the building's interior playable. Even empty buildings may have unlockable rooms with treasures inside. When standing on rooftops, a button can display 3D objects like alarm bells to help the player strategize.
For memories, instead of the player being given a series of objectives, Ubisoft has developed the Adaptive Mission Mechanic, which gives players several potential paths to complete a mission. For example, choosing to stalk a target will lead to a chase if they detect you, as opposed to causingdesynchronization.
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
is the ninth main installment in the Assassin's Creed series. The conceptual title and screenshots of the game were first leaked on 2 December 2014, following whichUbisoft acknowledged the leaked assets about Victory as genuine.
The game was released on 23 October 2015 worldwide on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while the PC version released on 19 November 2015.
The game has the player take on the role of anInitiate as they explore the story of the twin protagonists, Jacob and Evie Frye, both of whom are playable. The two arrive in London in 1868, as the Industrial Revolution reaches its climax, bringing its lot of inequality and poverty in a city controlled by the Templars. To stop their rule, the Fryes will take over the organized crime in an effort to gather an army and free London.
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is set primarily in 19th century London, during the Victorian era.
Syndicate's London is 30% bigger than Paris from Assassin's Creed: Unity and is composed of seven boroughs: Westminster, the Strand, the City of London, The Thames, Whitechapel, Southwark, and Lambeth. To create as much contrast between these areas as possible, certain architectural styles were isolated to certain boroughs .
Both playable characters will have different skill trees and the Frye twins' play-styles will reflect their different personalities. There will be the possibility to switch at will between characters between the missions.
Assassin's Creed: Origins
is the tenth main installment in the Assassin's Creed series developed by Ubisoft. It is slated for release on 27 October 2017.
The story takes place during Cleopatra's ascent to the throne in 49 BCE and centers around Bayek, the last Medjay, after he has left his native village of Siwa to pursue a certain mystery. This journey will lead him to travel across Ancient Egypt as the country experiences a shift in power, and play a role in the birth of the Assassin Brotherhood.
A new force called the Order of the Ancients is controlling Egypt through Ptolemy XIII's rule. Ptolemy XIII is the younger brother of Cleopatra and is referred to as 'The Boy-King'. Cleopatra and Bayek need to stop his rule which they do with the help of Julius Caesar.
The game will include modern day elements, which will run along their own storyline.
Origins' map encompasses Lower Egypt and eastern Libya, which can be explored seamlessly without encountering loading screens, and has been described to be "the size of Black Flag's Caribbean, but on the ground".Players will be able to visit major cities such as Giza, Memphis, Cyrene and Alexandria, as well as various smaller villages and settlements in Faiyum and the Nile Delta.
Unlike previous Assassin's Creed games, Origins will have no mini-map, instead employing an Elder Scrolls-esque compass bar that points the player in the direction of quests and objects of interest. Senu, Bayek's eagle companion, functions as the game's "Eagle Vision", being used to detect and mark enemies. The aerial perspective she brings also allows players to locate treasure chests, crafting resources and hidden passages. As well as this, Senu can be upgraded to distract or attack enemies.Using Senu will not unfog parts of the map, this will require the player themselves to step into the fogged area of the map to unfog it. Interiors are accessible, and the Library of Alexandria is available for exploration.Although it will not feature the traditional "Eagle Vision", it will feature "Animus Pulse" which will only highlight objects.
As a result of Senu's introduction, viewpoints are no longer primarily used to reveal information about an area and its surroundings. Instead, they serve as a way to increase the eagle's detection capacity. Synchronizing a viewpoint also allows the player to fast travel to it, a mechanic that has carried over from previous games.
Underwater environments return from Black Flag, with players now being able to dive in any sufficiently deep body of water to explore wrecks and underwater ruins in search of loot. Since hostile animals such as crocodiles and hippos inhabit these waters, an underwater melee combat system was also created. In terms of transportation, Bayek can use feluccas to traverse the water, and horses, camels and chariots to travel on land.
In addition, there are 20 tombs to explore; some of these are based on real-life locations, while others are fictional. The tombs will contain traps and some light puzzles, but they are, at their core, more about exploration and uncovering treasure.To navigate these darker spaces, Bayek can light torches and even set things on fire.
Much like Syndicate, Origins features a progression system where completing certain actions earns the player experience. Leveling up not only makes Bayek stronger, it also grants Ability points that can be spent to unlock skills from the game's Ability Tree. There are three main branches in this Ability Tree:
Master Warrior, which focuses on melee combat.
Master Hunter, which focuses on ranged combat and stealth.
Master Seer, which focuses on tools and manipulating the environment.
In addition to skills, there is a full crafting system, based on materials gathered through hunting, which can be used to improve Bayek's equipment, such as the Hidden Blade. This is necessary when assassinating higher level enemies, which will not die from one blow if the Hidden Blade has not been sufficiently upgraded.
The official PC system requirements for Assassin's Creed Origins. After a two-year absence, this series is back, this time set within an entire country rather than a single city. AC: Origins looks gorgeous and sprawling. Here are the PC specs required to run Assassin's Creed: Origins.
Assassin's Creed: Origins Minimum System Requirements (720p)
- OS: Windows 7 64-bit
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-6350 3.9 GHz
- RAM: 6 GB System Memory
- GPU RAM: 2GB Video Memory
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 270
- DX: DirectX 11
- HDD: TBA
Assassin's Creed Origins Recommended System Requirements (1080p)
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
- RAM: 8 GB System Memory
- GPU RAM: 3 GB Video Memory
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R9 280X
- DX: DirectX 11
- HDD: TBA
I certainly wasn't expecting that. A quick glance at the system requirements will tell you all you need to know - Assassin's Creed Origins is not very demanding on PC. The minimum specs for Assassin's Creed Origins are for playing at 720p screen resolution while the recommended specs are the PC hardware needed to play AC: Origins at 1080p.
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