Assassin’s Creed is about to make a triumphant return after a year off. Origins is available in a mere few weeks. The Geekiverse felt it was time to look back and offer a brief refresher while ranking each of the main entries in the series. This does not include spinoff games such as the Playstation Vita’s Liberation, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, etc.
Our panelists for this ranking include Josiah LeRoy, Tom Kolbert (not like Stephen “Colbert”), & Andrew Garvey.
8. Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Our Official Review
Though we wouldn’t say that Unity is a bad game per-se, it ended up being one of the weakest entries in the series to date (and definitely the weakest of the mainline games). The story takes place during the French Revolution, which isn’t a particularly exciting or sought after time in history as far as games go. It also featured a forgettable, blaze protagonist in Arno Dorian. The game was the first to be next-gen exclusive for the Xbox One & PS4 and suffered major bugs and issues that made for some of the greatest gaming memes you’ll see on the internet.
7. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Release Date: October 23, 2015
Our Official Review
Syndicate features the first sibling-Assassin combo, and its second female protagonist. Jacob and Evie Frye are opposite ends of the spectrum, with one leaning towards science and one leaning towards faith. The game beautifully trades off your time between the two, and their chemistry helps to make them some of our favorite Assassins in all of the series. I’d sign up for a sequel with the Fryes in a heartbeat.
Taking place in London during the Industrial Revolution, the Fryes are tasked with shrinking the wage gap, helping the poor, and putting the city back in the hands of its citizens. Ubisoft masterfully recreated the dark, gloomy feel that England usually portrays.
6. Assassin’s Creed
Release Date: November 13, 2007
Assassin’s Creed follows Desmond Miles as he uses the Animus to relive the memories and experiences of his ancestor; Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad.
A company called Abstergo Industries forces Desmond to enter the Animus and follow the legacy of a mysterious group of assassins. Desmond; as Altaïr, fights against The Knights Templar and searches for a powerful artifact throughout the Holy Land (Masyaf, Acre, Jerusalem, Damascus, Arsuf) during the Third Crusade (12th Century).
As the first game in the series there was room for improvement, but only after comparing it to its predecessors. The game felt ahead of its time as it utilized a balance of free running, stealth, counter-based combat, and a vast open world. Jumping from high points into hay bails and stealth killing guards never got old. The main story line was engaging and unpredictable with a cast of interesting heroes and enemies.
5. Assassin’s Creed III
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Assassin’s Creed III provided a major shift in the franchise, bringing us a brand new protagonist in Native American Connor Kenway, as well as a new setting that featured the American Revolution as the historical backdrop. Though Kenway came across as the AC Universe’s version of Anakin Skywalker, the historical run through some of the most famous battles in American history, mixed with the amazing figures like George Washington made this one of the most polarizing entries among fans. Oh, and the game features one of the biggest twists in the entire series. This also ends the Desmond Miles modern day story that was suppose to coincide with the end of the world in 2012, but ended up being a major disappointment.
4. Assassin’s Creed II
Release Date: November 17, 2009
Right from the beginning, it was clear that this was a very different game than the first Assassin’s Creed. We meet Ezio Auditore da Firenze as he is rallying his friends for a street brawl against his rivals. This is definitely not the serious and reserved Altaïr!
With a winner of a game already in the books, Ubisoft Montreal decided it was time to double down, and it shows in some of the additions they made. The combat in AC2 was refined beyond the already stellar combat from the first game, making AC2 feel much more fluid and natural. One of the new locations, Ezio’s villa, Monteriggioni, serves as an upgradable base that allows you to collect money which in turn gives you options for upgraded weapons, items, and some extremely fashionable clothing.
It was great watching Ezio mature from a rich punk into a well-trained assassin, and his growth continues in two sequels. Ezio’s winning personality, new gameplay elements, and the wonderful historical people and environments you interact with help make this one of the best games of the previous console generation.
3. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Assassins Creed Black Flag felt fresh in the series even though it followed the same premise as the previous games.
Edward Kenway explores the Caribbean during the 18th Century in his journey from low life pirate to a fearsome assassin (pirate/assassin). Edward begins his journey seeking power and wealth but ends up finding more then he bargained for.
The newly added features in the game include open water combat and exploration as well as a meta-game called “Kenway’s Fleet”. In this mode you send ships into simulated battles in exchange for in game currency (R – Spanish Real), a simple concept which is actually quite addicting. Improvements to stealth, close combat and pistol combat made the game much more enjoyable. Familiar aspects stayed true to the series although new naval combat (sinking enemy ships and ransacking naval forts) was truly entertaining.
2. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Wrapping up an amazing trilogy of Ezio-centered Assassin’s Creed games, Revelations does its best to tie up lose ends and help us say goodbye to easily the best hero in the AC cannon. At the same time, the story of Desmond Miles continues to progress as he attempts to stop the sinister plans of the Templars.
Revelations keeps many of the same elements found in Brotherhood, such as capturing districts and recruiting and using new assassins. New to the series in this iteration was the hookblade, which helped to make traversing the city of Constantinople a little easier and faster. Another new element was the Den Defense minigame. What do you do when the Templars are attacking one of your bases? Tower Defense minigame, of course! I’m a sucker for a good ol’ tower defense game, so, while it was a little out of place, I found myself loving its addition.
It’s hard to say goodbye to a much-loved protagonist, but Revelations did a great job. The story really kept the mysteries coming, and the ending, with its merging of the stories of Altaïr, Desmond, and Ezio, was definitely something to behold!
1. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Release Date: November 16, 2010
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is the direct sequel to Assassins Creed 2. Ezio Auditore da Firenze continues his effort; now as a skilled assassin, to destroy the Templars and the Borgia.
Brotherhood is the first game in the series to allow you to send other fellow assassins to eliminate targets for you. Upgraded combat features which include a Hidden Gun, dual wield combat, heavy weapon usage, and throwing knives improved on game play and entertainment value.
Using the same protagonist and location for this game didn’t feel repetitive. It was a nice expansion to a character we wanted to learn more about. Ezio’s story, growth, and skill helped earn our votes towards this game being one of the best in the series
How would you rank these differently? Are you excited for Origins? Tell us in the comments below!
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