Assassin’s Creed is one of the longest-running game franchises in the world. It was made by Ubisoft when they decided to move on from the Prince of Persia franchise. In fact, the initial idea was to create a game called the Prince of Persia: Assassin, but it was later scrapped and turned into this brand new thing. The first game was released in 2007, as a title for next-gen consoles at the time and it looked astonishing. It really pushed the boundaries of modern gaming and it’s one of those titles that can hold well even in today’s market. So, let’s see what happened from that point onward.
The first AC protagonist was Altair, but as far as characters go, he wasn’t that interesting. The game did a great job of setting up the world and theme but didn’t fully deliver on the whole open-world idea. A lot of the game’s flaws were addressed in Assassins Creed 2 which is the installment that introduced the fan-favorite character Ezio. The combat was refined, the world was bigger, the story was more gripping, and it even got 2 sequels called Brotherhood and Revelations.
The next installment did have pacing problems as it took hours for the game to get started. We were introduced to a new protagonist Conor, and Ubisoft really made sure the game is packed with features. AC 3 introduced naval combat as well as some other mini-games which made the overall experience more interesting. Moreover, this is when we finally got a conclusion from the original game, which concerns Desmond. Each of the assassin characters is an ancestor of another main protagonist who is accessing their memory through some futuristic tech, in order to find alien artifacts.
AC Blackflag is connected to AC 3 story, and it was another game that was released for next-gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One. It’s one of the best installments in the franchise as it doubles down on naval combat and focuses on the theme of pirates.
AC Unity is when things started to go south. Ubisoft made this one on an entirely new engine with the idea to support co-op. The theme was the French revolution, but the game didn’t look that good. A lot of previously available features were excluded so that the devs could focus more on combat and multi-player.
Syndicate did look amazing and was a vast improvement on Unity. This time around they already had lots of pre-made assets for the new engine, so the world was even bigger, and there were more interesting game elements, like chariots for faster navigation. The game also introduced the first female protagonist in the main series, and you could switch between the two characters depending on how you wished to complete missions.
Since AC was suffering from franchise fatigue at this point, Ubisoft made the right call to take more time for the next release. AC Origins takes place in Ancient Egypt, and the game really doubled down on the RPG elements that it has been slowly introducing over the previous games.
The last two releases were Oddysey and Valhalla, and both of these look amazing. At this point, we can regard Origins and subsequent releases as a new franchise as the games are vastly different from the ones that followed the original AC formula.