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Eight years ago, my whole gaming experience was changed with the release of one game. I was, as were many others, trapped in the Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare circuit. They were the only games I played -- literally -- all day long some days. Then I was introduced to a brotherhood of assassins, and I never looked back. I started on a journey back in 2007 along with many other gamers, as we saw that there was more out there than the first person shooter. We've played through the games and waited patiently for Ubisoft to release the next new assassin and just prior to Halloween this year we were given a new game and new characters and it has been a glorious journey so far.
If you haven't played an Assassin's Creed game yet, but are wondering if you need to play the previous games to understand what's going on -- the answer is no, but it helps to know some of the background -- That is where this article comes in. I thought it would be an interesting jog down nostalgia lane, to look at what each game brought to the franchise as it's grown to be one of the best-selling franchises in gaming history.
Let's start at the beginning. (For sake of time and my sanity, I'm only going to be looking at the primary games available through console & computers.)
Assassin's Creed -- The Beginning
This is where we are introduced to a new world: a world of swordfighting, near limitless parkour and stealth in a beautiful historical re-created world. Our main character of Altair shows us what being an assassin is all about: he's strong, silent and deadly.
Assassin's Creed II -- The Evolution
The game changes with this iteration as we're introduced to the Italian Renaissance and our new character Ezio, which ushers in a more personal story line as he is far from silent like his ancestor Altair. Through this game we develop Ezio into an adept Assassin.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood & Revelations -- Everything Changes
The world of that we know takes another step forward as we are introduced to online multiplayer, recruitment of a brotherhood of assassins, zip lines with a hook blade and even bomb crafting. We also focus on creating a better Assassin and conquering all that stands in the way of the Brotherhood.
Assassin's Creed III -- The Revolution
We shift gears here and join a new character of Connor. Much different than Ezio, but still equally intriguing. The free-running and parkour systems were overhauled in this game as Connor is able to cover impressive distances in the frontier by chaining moves through the trees. It brought a new sense of freedom and exploration to a game that until now had been trapped in the city-scape.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag -- Raising the Flag
Adding pirates to the Assassin's lineage was a bold move for the franchise, and it paid off by the boatload. Navigating the open seas, building and upgrading your own pirate ship and traversing the various islands and habitats bring a whole new level of awesomeness to the game.
Assassin's Creed Rogue -- Growing Darker
The script is flipped in AC: Rogue as we find our new character shift. We join the fray as an Assassin-turned-Templar to throw our once useful skills and abilities upon our adversaries as around every waiting corner could be an assassin seeking vengeance. Every boat could be boarded at any moment. We gain new insight into the Templar-Assassin conflict and see that it's not all black and white, it's various shades of grey.
Assassin's Creed Unity -- The New Era
With this games release we were introduced to a new combat system; a system of timed parries that opened your enemies up for counterattacks rather than button mashing instant-kills of previous iterations. The game brought new challenges and reasons to focus on stealth rather than rushing in for a fast slaughter.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate -- Double Trouble
The newest game brings about a whole new form of gameplay as you can control two separate assassins: twins - Evie and Jacob Frye. Both character bring their own unique style and abilities, Jacob being the brutal fighter and Evie being the stealthy minx. The choice is yours and this game is double the trouble but also double the fun as you explore old London-town.