If there is one game that defined a generation and set the foundation for how to make open-world games, then it is certainly Assassins’ Creed. Any gamer worth their salt will have heard of this franchise as it is one of the biggest in gaming, up there with the Call of Duties of the gaming world. When the first Assassins’ Creed came out in 2007, the gaming community was infatuated by the stealth mechanics, story, but especially with the parkour. The system that was created in this game has inspired many others – Ghost of Tsushima and Shadow of Mordor come to mind.
For many years, Assassins’ Creed enjoyed enormous success which it deserved – each instalment represented a marked improvement upon the last and creating some of the most loved characters in gaming; Ezio Auditore and Edward Kenway come to mind. However, the series is not a category of positives. Somewhere along the line, Assassins’ Creed lost its way and became a shadow of its former self. This is the sentiment that is shared by many fans of the series who are now more outspoken than ever following the most recent release of Assassins’ Creed: Valhalla. In this game, the same parkour is present, admittedly better combat is also demonstrated but it does not truly feel like the game that players fell in love with in 2007. Why is this?
After what many call the ‘golden era’ of Assassins’ Creed ended, Ubisoft found themselves in a rut, desperately trying to produce games that would live up to the expectation that fans had after the first four instalments of the series. The next two games, Unity and Syndicate, would prove to be disastrous for the company where they were heavily criticised for the plethora of bugs that existed within them and for the lack of any substance in the world and stories that they both told.
Following these releases, Ubisoft took a break to revaluate what they wanted from the series. This proved to be one of the best decisions they have ever made, as it led to the current era of Assassins’ Creeds we see now with the release of Origins. Many had already left the series, desiring to play other things like casino games online, many more options can be found here, but some liked the sound of the new game when it was announced. The new RPG-led style appealed to many who had tired of the series, and new players too.
However, the release of Odyssey and Valhalla reeks of the familiar problem of stagnation, and the latter game seems almost like a reskin of the former.
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