Game news Assassin’s Creed: Before Mirage and Valhalla, a revolution in its time, here’s why!
Published on 13/11/2022 at 13:20
While the future of Assassin’s Creed looks more than loaded, at JV, we offer you a little blow in the rear view mirror. Finally, what makes Ubisoft’s franchise so cult? In what sense was it a revolution in its time? Well hang on, we go straight back to 2007.
From Prince to Assassin
In the early 2000s, in the premises of Ubisoft, it was up to Patrice Désilets to imagine the future of action-adventure on PS3 | Xbox 360. At the time, the consoles, the first to display HD, arrived in studios around the world – and the man was a star of the famous French firm. Because yes, it was he who oversaw the development of Prince of Persia and The Sands of Time, a cult action-adventure game that will help to forge the reputation of Ubisoft (as well as a certain Splinter Cell). The title exceeds one million units, so who better to prepare for the future of the company?
From left to right: Prince of Persia The Sands of Time; Assassin’s Creed (2007)
With the help of author Corey May and Jade Raymond (now at the head of the PlayStation Haven team), the man will therefore bring Assassin’s Creed to life! In issue 29 of JV Le Mag, he tells how Prince of Persia served as his basis, thanks to its “parkour” gameplay as well as its more or less historical character, leading him to create the Animus and his traveling machine. in the memories of ancestors. “Ubisoft loves the idea” can we read on the same article, “in particular because it can be decline to infinity”. That’s the case to say. Assassin’s Creed is today thirteen main opuses, 200 million copies sold, one of the ten most popular series of the JV.
Back off to better blow up
Sure, Assassin’s Creed is a must, but above all, it’s almost one of the founders of modern video games, at least from the seventh console generation. At the time, Patrice Désilets and his team were like scientists, trying to define the potential of the PS3 and Xbox 360. As such, certain mechanics reflected technical innovations, such as the denser crowd than ever, which allows the hero Altaïr to hide, to escape the enemies. We can also mention the impressive details brought to the four cities of the adventure (Acre, Masyaf, Damascus, Jerusalem) which make possible an ‘escalation race’ which will mark its time.
The first Assassin’s Creed was released in November 2007, and then, few games exploit the capabilities of the new machines as well… even though names like Mass Effect, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Uncharted, Bioshock are appearing! However, the latest series from Ubisoft is not free from flaws. The structure is repetitive, the fights imprecise, the AI needs to be reviewed. But impossible to remain insensitive to his charm, his audacity. “Assassin’s Creed isn’t perfect, he’s like a cute kid who we can’t scold when he puts jam on our white shirt” summarizes Dinowan, a former journalist for JV, in his verdict at the time .
“Magnificent, epic, immersive, gripping, this first installment of a new franchise has far too many qualities and character for us to have the courage to punish it” – Test JV d’Assassin’s Creed
Ideas become references
Even if this first episode is the subject of a frankly enthusiastic welcome, it is ultimately its sequel, Assassin’s Creed 2, released two years later, which will establish the license of Ubisoft. On Metacritic, a famous ratings aggregator serving as a general opinion in the video game industry, it is the only chapter to have exceeded 90/100 – thereby winning the coveted Must-Play macaron. It’s simple, in AC 2, everything is better: the rhythm, the gameplay, not to mention the fantastic setting of Renaissance Italy, which brings the hero (Ezio Auditore) to meet THE Leonardo da Vinci.
“The structure of Assassin’s Creed was a bit repetitive, we massively reworked it (in the sequel, editor’s note)” – Jean Guesdon, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal (via IGN)
Assassin’s Creed 3, which arrived in 2012 after two other appetizer-like parts, will also add its stone to the building (parkour in the trees, naval battles). We could repeat the exercise for all the other episodes of the series but its essence holds, in the end, in a few key points : parkour, the famous secret blade, the leap of faith, the phrase “nothing is true, everything is permitted”. It is also interesting to note that some of these elements – although essential at the base – have gradually been erased, such as the present focus | past or the place of the assassination.
Establishing a pattern
Today – with hindsight – it’s not too much to say that the “Assassin’s Creed” model has influenced quite a few productions. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn or Ghost of Tsushima, for example, were quickly compared to Ubisoft’s license, while its famous eagle vision (which highlights important information) has almost become a standard. in games that mix action-adventure: Tomb Raider (2013) or even The Witcher 3 use this mechanism.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2020)
To go further, the very “business model” of Assassin’s Creed, with often one release per year, has certainly given some ideas. But now, Ubisoft has mostly moved to supporting its core episodes, giving them regular content after release. Valhalla (2020), the latest major installment, is an example of this. And for the French company, it literally paid off. In February, the adventures of Eivor exceeded the billion dollars of revenue generated. And given what the franchise has in store for the future, numbers like this aren’t about to stop.
A propos d’Assassin’s Creed Valhalla