Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor
This Fall, one of my favorite series returns. Despite finishing up its main story twice over, Assassin’s Creed simply doesn’t know how to stop making great games. With the addition of Assassin’s Creed: Unity coming out for the XBox One and PS4, the epic saga continues in a big way. But why should you be excited?
How about these reasons?
Being an Assassin Never Gets Old
What’s not fun about playing as a master assassin? Answer: Not a damn thing. Standing on rooftops, climbing up walls, blending in with the crowd…these are all moments teasing up to the big kill. I think that, as a society, we should be happy there aren’t roving bands of hunter-killers selectively shuffling people loose the mortal coil, and that means that release has to come from somewhere.
Primal Screaming is one option
It used to be that, if you wanted to have a good assassintating time, you played Hitman. Sure, the story was bland and the acting was terrible, but this was back in the dark ages of gaming, when console choices meant everything and PC Gamers ruled atop thrones made from graphics cards. Then came the Stealth genre, and suddenly assassin games flooded the market. Tenchu, Metal Gear Solid, and of Splinter Cell. But still, it wasn’t enough to slake our human-lust for the perfect kill.
And then the new generation (read: last generation) arrived. Graphics were pretty, physics were realistic, and suddenly the possibilities were endless. And what were we given? Assassin’s Creed.
Set in the ancient Middle East, you played as an assassin from an order of trained killers. Your job was to hunt down and kill Templar, because apparently they were just bags of dicks. Along the way, you also played this dude named Desmond in an alternate timeline, but that didn’t really matter. In the great cities of Acre and Jerusalem and Damascus you made death your instrument.
I remember standing on a rooftop in the morning light, staring down at my new target. The man had earned a clean death for his wickedness, and I was merely the tool sent to finish the job.
Yeah, there was a whole other storyline about pieces of Eden and ancient-future civilizations, and something about the ending to Nicholas Cage’s Knowing, but the games were amazing. And each title grew better and better. The mechanics improved, the storylines developed stronger, and the characters really emerged from mere archetypes to three-dimensional people. And all of this in service to a game where you get to take life in the most intimate and powerful way.
Some people say that violent videogames beget violent people, but I strongly disagree. I think that, for most normal folk, videogames are an outlet to that dark passenger inside us all. A way to live out the fantasy from the safety and security of home. This should be an extension of the imagination, not considered a tool that trains would-be assassins. And I should know. I’ve been playing for years, and my parkour skills haven’t improved a bit.