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5 reasons to hate Assassin’s Creed

A conveniently skewed view of history. Corrupt religious leaders. Serious men in silly white dresses who leap flamboyantly about with knives strapped to their wrists.  Jade Raymond. What do these things have in common? They're hallmarks of Assassin's Creed, which has quickly grown from a single, divisive game to one of the most popular franchises of the current console generation. And if you've been paying attention, you know that makes it a perfect target for our continuing Week of Hate coverage. Specifically the part of that coverage in which we take a moment each day to nitpick a beloved series to death.


1. The spinoffs suck

It may seem like we’re reaching if the first thing we pick on isn’t even part of the main series, but if you’re hunting for glaring flaws in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, this is the most obvious. Not every game in a series can be great, but it's hard to think of many that have had such a clear divide as "console good, handheld bad." However fantastic the central Creed games might be, their handheld spinoffs – specifically Altair’s Chronicles, Bloodlines and Discovery – look like a bunch of stunted, malformed clones next to the (doubtless embarrassed) originals.


Art by Alex Barrett

Chronicles wasn’t terrible. It also wasn’t Assassin’s Creed, instead giving us a Saturday-morning-cartoon plot and a version of Altair who used a grappling hook to dodge death traps installed on the roofs of small houses. Discovery was a perfectly good Sonic the Hedgehog clone ruined by clunky stealth elements, and Bloodlines – while being the only handheld game to successfully replicate AC’s freeform exploration and climbing – was dull, brown and hampered by too-small explorable areas and idiotic enemies. With the 3DS and NGP bringing more muscle to the table, it’s possible we’ll see an AC spinoff that breaks the trend in the near future, but we’re not holding our breath.


2. The first game was outrageously repetitive

For its time, the first Assassin’s Creed was revolutionary, and the thrill of being able to freely run, climb and kill in a huge, open re-creation of Crusades-era Jerusalem was intoxicating. However, that intoxication made it easy to ignore the fact that AC was actually a very short game, padded out with grindingly repetitive side tasks. And for those without the patience for grinding repetition, it was hell.


Above: It feels like we followed and beat up like a dozen of this exact guy

Follow that guy. Pickpocket that other guy. Save that citizen. Climb that tower. Go and collect a bunch of flags within the time limit for your incompetent friend. And then when you’re done, get teleported all the way back to your headquarters so you can backtrack through miles of countryside, head to the next city and do it all over again. It might not have been so bad if not for the fact that many of the side tasks weren’t optional. You actually had to complete a few of them before you had enough “intelligence” to assassinate each of your targets, meaning that the interesting parts of the game were withheld until you’d accomplished enough arbitrary bullshit.

 

3. Beggars

Because fuck beggars.


Above: Seriously, we're sick of their shit


4. A history of horrible DRM

The PC release of the first Assassin’s Creed was apparently a hugely pirated game, and publisher Ubisoft didn’t want its sequels to suffer the same fate. Their solution? One of the most horribly draconian DRM solutions ever devised, which required a constant, uninterrupted connection to Ubisoft’s authentication server just to play the game.


Above: GHHGHHGHGHGHHHGN

If your wireless connection briefly hiccupped, Assassin’s Creed II would immediately kick you out, with no chance to save your game. Ditto if something went wrong on Ubisoft’s end. The DRM made the game practically unplayable for some, and while it was eventually toned down and then removed entirely, the fact that it was ever there in the first place was a slap to the face to PC gamers.


5. Brotherhood’s ending

After we settled accounts with the Borgias in Ezio’s timeline, the modern-day location of the Apple was revealed. As Desmond, we hunted through the Coliseum for a secret chamber – finally, the answers to Assassin’s Creed’s apocalyptic mysteries were within our grasp! And then… THIS happened:

Great. Not only did we not get any answers, but we got a whole bunch of new questions, the biggest being “Wait, what just happened?” Why did Juno hijack Desmond’s body to stab Lucy? Whose voices did we hear over the credits? We won’t know until Assassin’s Creed III, because there’s apparently nothing people who’ve bought a $60 game like better than a massive cliffhanger.

Apr 26, 2011

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Topics

Week of Hate

73 comments

  • bearded-bard - November 14, 2014 2:54 a.m.

    Assassins creed is a crucial game which divides casual gamers and hardcore gamers..Gamers who are talented at games,respect the industry and know if the industry respects them back and finally are not easily fooled by hype can see through how Assassins creed and Ubisoft are trying to screw them over. Assassins Creed did some cool tricks when it came out and we drooled over it but real gamers quickly saw (as they always do) that it was a shallow experience,no depth and repetitive as hell. The success of this series tells me how iphone generation has ruined games for us but on the other hand it also makes me happy that now i only have to play a select few games in the vast garbage pile of today's casual loving industry.
  • AcedBot47 - December 17, 2012 4 a.m.

    Dude, I can tell you something abt this. First is that the first game was just the beginning, it will have some flaws. Second, Brotherhood's next game is Revelations and it was just a story left incomplete so that people are hooked up for the next one. Third, Bloodlines, Discovery, Chronicles were just mobile games or psp games which were not meant to be as good as the original. Tell me one good COD game on PSP or mobile.
  • ThundaGawd - April 23, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    I like how you skipped over revelations in and insisted we have to wait until Assassin's Creed 3 in #5. You DO find out what happens to Lucy in Revelations (although you never see her in the game, so it could still be undetermined), but aside from that, the cliffhanger at the end of Brotherhood was like a sledgehammer to the nuts, waiting a full year to find out exactly what the fuck happened >.<
  • FunkyPickle - April 24, 2012 9:12 p.m.

    Revelations wasn't even announced when this article was made, silly.
  • guilherme-veloso-lioce - January 8, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    You do not know what you're saying, the first one was crap as the other games were a thing that hits you will never be a successful man, you're a noob, a noob idiot who has no idea of ​​the game world you is an ass, an ass full, you will never succeed in anything, but about the games on the games you will not get or be a failure so dumb and stupid you are!
  • scoutkid - January 11, 2012 7:58 p.m.

    Hey, if you don't have something constructive to say, don't say anything. I have played every game in the series, and I agree with his ideas. Keep the hate to yourself.
  • psycho ninja 4 - January 14, 2012 2:41 a.m.

    its called the week of hate. They complained about everything around that time.
  • rennikz - June 13, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    "you will never be a successful man," "you will never succeed in anything," "a failure" wow you sounds so much like my family.. (thank god i proved them wrong) it sickens me to no end that people like yourself exist in this world.....
  • NanoAssassin11 - November 20, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    I beat Revelations in 2 days and I have to say the ending was not my favorite but the other games were pretty good. Read the books too cause you can find them on amazon and visit my website for some positive aspects of Revelations. www.dorkydimension.com just go under more then hardware reviews.
  • NanoAssassin11 - November 20, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    OH NO DUDE! ASSASSINS CREED IS AN AWESOME GAME! MAYBE IF YOU WOULD PAY ATTENTION TO THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND PLAY THE OTHER GAMES IN THE SERIES AND CONSIDER READING THE BOOKS, YOU WOULD THINK OTHERWISE! AND THAT WAS NOT LUCY WHO GOT STABBED! IT WAS A DECOY BECAUSE ABSTERGO KIDNAPPED THE REAL LUCY GENIUS!
  • mahajinx - May 21, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    Ok, I finally finished ACB, and I must say that, all the previously said aside, I think the most annoying thing that I experienced in any of the AC games is the goddamn fixed camera!! I can't count how many times Altair/Ezio fell to his demise (or at least suffered a huge health loss, and/or even more frustratingly - time loss, making me miss a timed-depending full sync), just because I couldn't make him face the right direction because of the horrible angle of the stupid camera! >:(
  • javier1213 - November 10, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    Don't hate sounds like you just suck I beat the game in two days
  • SilentTee - May 5, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    1. Yes the beggars do suck. Especially in AC:B when three of them ran up to you at once. Annoyed me to no end. 2. I think what I hate the most about Assassins Creed is in Brotherhood when I spent all that time passing those damn Lairs of Romulus in order to get the Armor of Brutus only to find out it was butt ugly and I didn't want Ezio to wear it. Such a letdown! ;)
  • lovinmyps3 - April 30, 2011 6:16 p.m.

    Yeah, I was really disappointed with Brotherhood's ending. I didn't expect them to answer anything from II, as it makes sense to save that for III, but that ending was way too WTF.
  • boxterduke - April 29, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    Haha, too funny. The beggars one is the one I agree most with :) However the Bortherhood ending one is hilarious as well.
  • jcannihilates - April 28, 2011 5:56 p.m.

    What about the completely unruly controls? How many times did you run up a wall only to have your character heave himself over the entire building and fall to his death? So frustrating.
  • mahajinx - April 28, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    AC1 - I second all that about the beggars/crazies/bards, but what pi**ed me off the most was that, after a long looooooong time it took me to find ALL those stupid flags and chests and whatnot, I got NOTHING in return for all the effort! (I'm talking about the PC version. I know you get Achievement Points in the console versions). Now, I can't really blame Ubisoft for my own compulsive disorder, but I mean, COME ON! At least give me a 'Congratulations. You're a moron. You just wasted 2 months of your life collecting arbitrary junk for NO reason. Friendly advice - seek professional help!' message or something, or completely leave it all out of the game! ACB - those scaredy 'chicken' pedestrians! It's not so strange that they get surprised and drop whatever they are carrying when you gallop on a horse into them, but - they do the SAME even when you're slow-walking! Just try it, walk slowly through the street on a horse, and as soon as you even start approaching them, they'll immediately drop whatever they are carrying (a crate, an umbrella, an apple, etc.), make a surprised gesture, and then continue on their way like nothing happened, leaving the dropped thing on the ground behind them! Who does that?! AC2 - there were some weird looping animations (probably in AC1 as well, but I didn't pay much attention back then), such as a guy carrying a crate from one side of the street to the other, standing there for a while staring at the wall, then taking the crate back to the first side of the street, and staring at the wall, rinse and repeat. You don't normally notice these little things when you're zipping full speed through the place, but if you take it slowly through the streets, there it is! And sure, all this is just petty nitpicking, but it's still annoying when you see it. All that said, I really DO love the AC series, but this is the 'hate week' afterall, so... ;)
  • Zeb364 - April 28, 2011 6:28 a.m.

    This article is pretty spot on. Every one of these are valid problems with the series. Even the first games repetition which despite not bothering me at the time was unarguably a problem.
  • quincytheodore - April 28, 2011 5:32 a.m.

    AC 1 - Altair notices a beggar Money... Money.. Money, Please, sir, spare some coins.. I haven't eaten for days... "Altair escapes to the roof" F&ck you!!!! "Throw stone" Gawd darmit woman! Get a job!!! ----------------- AC 2 : Ezio notices an alarming number of whores
  • Fiirestorm21 - April 28, 2011 2:28 a.m.

    I haven't played Brotherhood yet, but absolutely in complete agreement on the repetition and the beggars. Not to mention the horrible endgames in general. (Does anyone miss slogging through endless Templars at the end of 1?)

Showing 1-20 of 73 comments

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