By D.G. McCabe
I like the Assassin’s Creed series. Sure, the first one had some repetition issues, and I hear that Unity had some pretty major bugs upon release, but Assassin’s Creed II and IV are fantastic games, and IV is near perfect.
Let’s use Assassin’s Creed IV as an example. You’re sailing the high seas taking ships from the Spanish and British navies. Or you’re embarking on exciting missions of stealth and/or action. There are buried treasures to find and sharks to harpoon.
Then, all of a sudden it stops. You’re back in the present day. Exciting pirate action has been put on hold for the time being, and you have another exciting task. Walk around an office building! Attend boring meetings! Read boring documents on computer screens! Hear eight different bosses drone on about a convoluted story that doesn’t make sense!
Jarring, isn’t it? One minute you’re sailing the high seas doing all sorts of pirating. The next minute you’re having all the fun of a particularly boring day at work. Unfortunately this isn’t a problem specific to Assassin’s Creed IV – every game in the series has some version of this.
You’re living it up in the exciting past, then all of a sudden you’re in the near future because you’ve really been in something called an “animus” essentially dreaming this up. Well it’s worse than that actually, you’re experiencing the “genetic memories” of your ancestors, which makes absolutely no sense when you stop and think about it, but hey, time travel!
Oh, and it turns out the Greek gods were real and they want to destroy us. Also the Knights Templar secretly control the world. And some other pointless blah blah blah can’t I go back to being a pirate?
If I wanted to walk around an office building, attending boring meetings and hearing people drone on about things I don’t care about, I would just go to work. Oh I’m sorry, I actually like my job for the most part. The near future backstory of Assassin’s Creed is like working at f’n Initech and having Bill Lumbergh ask you to come in on Sunday.
The near future backstory of every Assassin’s Creed game is annoying at best, but usually just ridiculously convoluted and frustrating, inserted into the games at the worst possible times. Can Ubisoft just get rid of it? Please?
I can’t be the only one who feels this way.
(c) 2015 D.G. McCabe