Assassin’s Creed II will always be the greatest Assassin’s Creed in the series. There, I’ve said it, now we can move on. When Assassin’s Creed first came to light, many were vastly impressed with the game’s structure – despite how simplistic and singular the mechanics were. Then, its aforementioned sequel came out of the woodwork and smashed expectations out of the park. Some would argue that since then, the series just hasn’t had the same level of attraction nor the same level of personality and character. I disagree.
Assassin’s Creed III to the side (seriously, I hate that one), I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every title since. Sure, the series has had its ups and downs, but for the most part, there’s been a clear evolution regardless. However, I cant quite shake the feeling that Assassin’s Creed has become somewhat underappreciated as of late. This is especially true for Assassin’s Creed Origins. No matter which chat-platform or forum I visited, it seemed as though everyone was hating on the franchise, mostly due to its shift in functionality.
You see, Assassin’s Creed eventually fell victim to Tomb Raider syndrome, being that its core functionality ran stale by the time we got to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. It didn’t matter who the story was focused on nor how engaging the plot was, the gameplay was starting to feel dated. This led us to Assassin’s Creed Origins. Ubisoft’s attempt to go way back to the story’s starting point – Ancient Egypt, and completely change up how the series would play out. The end result made for one of the best Assassin’s Creed since Ezio’s debut in the second installment.
Don’t get me wrong, Bayek and company didn’t have a scratch on Ezio, but I loved seeing how everything started nevertheless. Origins’ vast map was jam packed with personality, secrets and certainly no shortage of things to get up to. The voice cast did a stellar job at relaying a great deal of emotion to further uphold the game’s interesting plot, and more importantly, the new gameplay systems slotted into place as though they were born for the role. Origins, if you haven’t yet played it for whatever reason, is well worth your time and attention.
Hell, even if you’ve not been keeping up with the series, or you’ve never given it a second thought, Origins is the perfect place to start. The game is much more RPG focused then anything that came before it. There’s a level-up system, skill trees, loot and everything in between. The upcoming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is following this design path, which in my opinion, is a massive step in the right direction. This very installment is what led me to hitting up this article. I’ve seen complaint after complaint that it’s far too soon to release another game, following Origins.
One thing to keep in mind is that the team working on Odyssey is not the same team that worked on Origins. Odyssey has been in development for years and it’s just about ready to ship – releasing in just a few months time. The team are hardly going to sit on it for a year just to please those that want to see more of a gap between new releases. I mean after all, you can always wait a year post-release and pick it up then, right? This complaint stems from Ubisoft’s shift to move Assassin’s Creed from an annual release schedule to something less frequent.
The problem here is that Origins and Odyssey were practically being developed in unity, so a close release window was always going to be inevitable. Plus, Ubisoft has already stated that 2019 wont see a new installment in the series, so I will personally snatch what I can. The point in all of this is that the series has become far less appreciated than what it once was for a range of reasons, which is a shame because the franchise has never been at its strongest. I’m not suggesting that any negative criticism is wrong, but I will say this…
If you, like me and everyone else, felt burnt out by the time you hit the end of Syndicate and never returned to see Assassin’s Creed’s massive overhaul, I thoroughly suggest that you remedy that at your earliest convenience, or simply hold out for the upcoming Odyssey (Spartans, baby!) later this year. The series’ new take is vastly superior to the old system, and it plays like an absolute gem. Would you agree? Would you disagree? What do you think of the series’ new direction? Hit the comment section below to get in on the action.