WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers for Assassin’s Creed III and completely spoils all preceding titles. It only covers the single-player game.
Assassin’s Creed, with its five–don’t let the “III” fool you–marquee titles being merely the vertebrae of a mobile game/comic book/novelization franchise empire that makes Mass Effect look compact, spins perhaps the most elaborate conspiracy theory that people (hopefully) don’t actually believe. Behind history as such, it posits, runs the ever-ongoing battle between Assassins and Templars, the secret struggle between human freedom and authoritarian control. And even that might be part of some kind of meta-conspiracy by the ancient Greek gods; these being actually, of course, the aliens who created humans to be their slaves, and apparently never quite got over the fact that we rebelled and killed them all, although really they all got killed by a massive solar flare, which by the way is going to happen again, and the only way to stop it is to go back into your DNA memories–oh yeah DNA records your memories–and figure out where your ancestors hid little trinkets that the Greek gods told them to hide so you could find them later, because they (the gods) can, like, see the future and knew that you were going to go looking for their stuff later. OK?
Left Gamer Review is sharply divided on the Assassin’s Creed Question: the West Coast staff can’t stand the series, whereas the East Coast lends it critical support. In aesthetic matters there is, as we know, only one correct answer; and we are inclined to think that it lies with the comrades who have, you know, actually fucking played the games. Ahem. Assassin’s Creed III is really a fine game, but the player is constantly nagged by the sense of missed opportunities, and ultimately comes away disappointed. It’s rather like The Godfather, Part III: if they’d just named it Mobster-Vatican Corruption Movie Sui Generis, everybody would have said, “Wow, that was pretty good!” Instead we’re all like, “Damn…what happened?”
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