I am really against gender prejudices. One of the biggest prejudices I am trying to go against is that girls can’t be gamers. I totally disagree! I have been a gamer for as long as I can remember: I have vivid memories of holidays spent with my Gameboy Color while solely playing Pokémon Gold and Super Mario Bros. When I got older I discovered the magic of the x-box. Luckily I have a gamer boyfriend and with him came an enormous collection of games. Of course I love him without all the games but I cannot deny they are an appreciated bonus! One of my favorite franchises on the Xbox 360 is Assassin’s Creed. The first game in the series was released in 2007 and every subsequent year a new game was added. This coming fall the 9th game Assassins’s Creed Syndicate will make its appearance. I am really excited!!
Assassin’s Creed – The Beginning
In 2007 I met Altair, main character of the first AC game. Altair lived during the time of the Crusades and was part of a network of assassin’s. In game one we also meet Desmond, captive of Abstergo Industries. The premise of the first game was revolutionary: the entire gameplay is build on the principle of free-running. Your playable character, Altair, can jump and climb on anything. In the countryside this means that you can scale watchtowers and little country houses but within the beautiful cities there are domes, and palaces and hundreds of other buildings to climb. On top of a building you really have an amazing view of the city and although they are computer rendered they have an incredible amount of detail. Assassin’s Creed II takes place in Italy during the Renaissance and this time we meet Ezio Auditore. The story of Ezio plays an important role in the overall story line and he is featured in three games. With each game more functions were added: the ability to swim, fly and more elaborate fighting systems. At the core of the games, however, remained the free-running aspect. Where in AC I the cities still looked very similar, the cities in AC II, AC Revelations and AC Brotherhood all had their distinctive look and feel.
Ubisoft has in my opinion created a fantastic franchise. They met the growing of new and old fans with fantastic new settings. AC III was set in during the Revolutionary War in the US, AC IV Black Flag took place in the Caribbean and the stage of AC Unity is during the lively revolution of 1789 in Paris, France. Each of these three games had a new set of main characters and each its own distinctions. The playable areas keep getting bigger and bigger and as a gamer they are a true joy to watch. The main missions are often not really time consuming (although all games have enough missions to occupy your time with) but there is just so much to do outside of the main quest. In AC I the side quest is just searching for flags randomly hidden throughout the games but the side quests get more elaborate in the new games. I haven’t yet played the last games but my bf did: he spent countless hours trying to reach 100% completion!
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
After all the gaming pleasure I have had with the AC games I am really excited for AC Syndicate. This time we will travel to Victorian England circa 1868. England is in the climax of the Industrial Revolution with London as its bustling epicenter. The great novelty about this game is that there are two main playable characters: Jacob and Evie Frye. Together they will stop at nothing to put an end to the tyranny of the Templar masters of the city.
A couple of weeks ago the AC Syndicate promotion tour set up its camps in the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Via the Ubisoft website we were able to sign up and visit the tour, were we would also get the chance to play a tiny part of the game. The setting was incredible well chosen: the venue was an old gas factory and it could have come straight out of Industrial London.
The place was quite dark because all the windows were covered but they set up an area in the middle with PlayStation’s with crates to sit on for you to play the game. There was a barber, complete with oldschool barber chair and equipment, where you could get a haircut. There were also some nice ladies that gave you “tattoo’s”. Furthermore, they ran some in game footage and promotional clips on a large screen and they had boards with additional information about Syndicate and the previous games. These boards had weapon comparisons and information about Assassin’s and Templars.
It was really cool to play the game for a bit. I have never played on a PlayStation before so it took me a while before I got the hang of the controls (although they are supposed to be really similar.. 😉 ). The detail was amazing! Ubisoft has especially made the running and moving from building to building a lot easier and that is definitely needed in a ever growing worlds of AC.
I also left with a tattoo! Haha, not. Obviously this one is totally fake but I got the chance to experience what it would be like to have a real one. This baby had not intention of coming off: it took more than a week before it had totally disappeared from my arm. They really used the good stuff, much better than the gum tattoo’s I used to get when I was younger!
All in all the experience was really fun. We weren’t in there very long but it was nice to get a look at something before it comes out. If you get the chance to preview this somewhere, please do it! If not, check out the Assassin’s Creed franchise. It is fun to play, easy to learn and you’ll learn tons of cool historical stuff too!