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Is Assassin’s Creed cool again?

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Assassin’s Creed has become a staple of modern gaming. The series has been around since way back in 2007. As with any franchise that has been around for 12 years, the game series has had its ups and downs. Now, however, it would seem the game is once again on the rise.

Now 21 games strong, Assassin’s Creed has flooded the market with a bevy of amazing titles. That being said, not every Assassin’s Creed has been a smashing critical success. Ubisoft, parent company to the franchise, has a reputation for annually releasing sequel after sequel when it comes to their properties. Assassin’s Creed was certainly no different. First off, let’s take a quick look back at when it all started.

Assassin’s Creed has become a staple of modern gaming. The series has been around since way back in 2007. As with any franchise that has been around for 12 years, the game series has had its ups and downs. Now, however, it would seem the game is once again on the rise.

Now 21 games strong, Assassin’s Creed has flooded the market with a bevy of amazing titles. That being said, not every Assassin’s Creed has been a smashing critical success. Ubisoft, parent company to the franchise, has a reputation for annually releasing sequel after sequel when it comes to their properties. Oversaturating the market with the same series year after year, Ubisoft is sometimes considered somewhat overzealous to release their new video game titles. Assassin’s Creed was certainly no different. After one too many releases, the franchise began to create some dissonance with fans. Of course, the famous series has seemingly already gotten fans on board once again. First off, however, let’s take a quick look back at when it all started.

The inaugural Assassin’s Creed was released back in 2007. Having been released two years into the life cycle of the Xbox 360, the title luckily had a healthy size gaming fanbase to support it on consoles. Still, it’s not like the franchise needed much help. After all, the first title was pretty amazing.

Assassin’s Creed follows the story of Desmond Miles and his ancient ancestor Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. Through the use some sci-fi tech known as the “animus,” Miles is able to experience the world through his ancestor’s memories. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that this is mostly just an opening premise to allow the player to delve into a fictional telling of the third crusade during 1191.

Altaïr is revealed to be the member of an even more ancient order known as the Assassin’s Creed, which is at war with the secret order of Templars. Both parties are battling for control of the known world, claiming to want peace through opposing measures and tactics.

Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, the talented development team took this opportunity to show off their in-depth historical knowledge, as they offered as much fact concerning the crusades along with the fiction as they could.

The game won multiple E3 awards, as well as end of the year awards and nominations. In the end, the new intellectual product was a smashing success. It was fresh, fun and full of interesting notions. However, things truly kicked off by Assassin’s Creed II.

Assassin’s Creed II was released just two years later, featuring a new protagonist during Italy’s renaissance era. The game sold a whopping 9 million copies upon release, meeting great critical acclaim along the way. With the smashing success of the franchise’s sequel, it was off to the races.

A total 19 Assassin’s Creed games have since followed in the footsteps of their two predecessors. However, few of the titles were ever able to reach the level of excitement and wonder that fans felt when playing the first two titles of the series.

Of course, the franchise remained a financial success throughout. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, for instance, went on to sell better than either of the first two titles within the series. However, the game was still met with a middling critical reception.

There was seemingly a turning point, critically speaking, when Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was released. Having heavily featured naval combat as an integral part of the gameplay experience, the title offered a grandly different experience than its predecessors. Consequently, the title seemingly wrangled back in a large number of previously jaded fans of the series that had become oversaturated by the franchise.

However, the game was followed up by Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. The title was not nearly as well received and quickly lost steam with the seemingly more and more jaded fanbase. The games continued to sell, but were reaching a more and more casual audience. The hardcore fans were stepping out of the conversation.

In 2018, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey made its way into stores and onto consoles worldwide. The game has received grand reviews and has embedded its way into popular culture yet again. Memes quickly began spreading around the internet concerning the title. Hardcore fans began picking up their controllers. The franchise, once again, had entered the conversation.

It seems like Assassin’s Creed will always be here. Now 12 years and 21 titles strong, the series has had ups and downs. But, it has remained alive all the while. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the series is its ability to keep pulling fans back in. People who have played half a dozen or more of the series are picking up their controllers yet again to play Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. How long can Ubisoft Montreal keep fans in the loop and hooked on this series? Maybe Assassin’s Creed will truly be here forever. If that isn’t a sign of a talented team of artists and developers working to make something special, perhaps I don’t know what is.

Author

Hunter Boyce is a writer, which probably seems pretty obvious with "author" prominently displayed. He mostly writes about video games. However, he was previously a mixed martial arts news writer. When not writing about people pelting each other in the face or about leveling up in the latest RPG, he tends to spend his time as a web producer in Atlanta. You can shout all of your MMA and video game related quandaries at him at @SomthinClever on Twitter. Feel free to make your demands to him in ALL CAPS. He loves that.

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