It’s been a while since I played the previous Assassin’s Creed game, so I decided it was high time to continue on with the series. Black Flag was next in the main storyline, so I dove right in and blew my way through it in record time. Once again, my biggest problem with these games is female representation. It’s just… not good, and if there were one thing I wanted the games to improve on, that would be it. As for everything else, sure, it’s not perfect, but like its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed IV is remarkably on point when it comes to race issues, as well as just being a fun gaming experience.
I really have just about given up on decent female representation in these games. It’s not even that women aren’t in Assassin’s Creed III—we do get a few characters, and they are anything but poorly written. They’re just not in it very much, and I know the story could do better. However,now that Trump has signed legislation allowing DAPL to proceed once more, showing how little both he and other Americans care about Native American lands and the rights of the people on those lands, Assassin’s Creed III was remarkably on point when it came to issues of race. Given the current political climate, it delves into a much-needed conversation about the oppression of minorities, white privilege, and the bad things that happened to make our country what it is today.
Crossover fanfiction is usually not for me, and neither are time travel stories, for that matter. But every once in a while, I come across one that, against all odds, works really nicely. Visitorverse is one of those stories. Written by three different authors, Visitorverse is, at the time this article is being published, a series of nineteen fics taking place in the world of Assassin’s Creed, only the rules of the universe are the same as those in Sense8. Six Assassins—Desmond, Ezio, Altaïr, Edward, Avaline, and Connor—as well as two Templars—Haytham and Shay—find themselves connected across time and end up visiting each other at seemingly random moments in their lives.
I was excited for the Assassin’s Creed movie and had made plans to see it the day after it came out. Unfortunately, due to our scheduling around the holiday, I’ve only been able to get to this review now, weeks after its release. I think I can safely say that the Assassin’s Creed movie wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t very good either. I really wanted this movie to do well, and it had a lot going for it, but it just fell flat in too many places. Thankfully, it didn’t pander to preexisting fans and turn every scene into a pointless Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately, part of me suspects that’s because the people who made the movie don’t know all that much about the games in the first place, and not because of any considered storytelling decisions. On the whole, though, the movie suffered from poor characterization and worldbuilding.
After the previous game, I was a bit hesitant to start on Revelations, the fourth game in the Assassin’s Creed series. But as it was the only installment in the main storyline left separating me from Assassin’s Creed III, the game I originally wanted to play all along, I decided to push my way on through. Revelations is the final game in the Ezio Trilogy, only this time around, Ezio has left Italy behind for Constantinople. I was a little sad that this was the last time I’d get to play Ezio’s character, but even though I love playing games where I get to explore different parts of history, I couldn’t work my way through this story fast enough in order to move on.
Trigger warning for discussions of sexual assault ahead.
I want to start this post off by saying that I don’t hate this game. I actually ended up enjoying the gameplay a lot more than I did its predecessors. And again, as someone who used to live in Italy, there’s a really strong nostalgia factor for me when a game allows you to run around Rome for 20+ hours. But not hating the game is a far cry from enjoying everything it had to offer. The first two games had their issues, like all stories do, but their problems are much easier to ignore. Brotherhood, again following the character Ezio, has a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses that Assassin’s Creed II had, but the game’s characterization missteps are much more apparent. And it’s the portrayal of one character in particular which nearly ruined this story for me: Lucrezia.
Trigger warning for rape, incest, and victim-blaming up ahead.