Assassin’s Creed is one of those video game franchises that I fear may be losing its identity. The last game we got was Odyssey (which I honestly didn’t play), and now we’re getting Valhalla very soon. What’s the issue? Well, I might not have played Odyssey, but I did watch quite a bit of gameplay. What I saw just… wasn’t exactly the Assassin’s Creed that I remember. It appeared to me that Ubisoft was just banking on the idea that we would all just love playing a Spartan. Cool on paper, but you just weren’t an assassin. A lot less stealth gameplay, no assassinations… oh, and not even a hood. It felt like a God of War game with a human version of Kratos.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, Kassandra and Alexios were pretty cool, but the game itself just didn’t speak Assassin’s creed to me. I’m tempted to play it just to see how they designed ancient Greece, because it honestly did look beautiful. Then again, if all I’m going to do is explore the beauties of ancient Greece, then I’ll have a problem. No Assassin’s Creed gameplay in an Assassin’s Creed game is just… well, not good. Speaking of which, I fear the same problem is going to befall on the upcoming Valhalla. The ability to play a Viking sounds fun, because you know, Vikings. The elephant in the room is still very much palpable.
For starters, you play Eivor, a Viking chieftain, but much like Kassandra and Alexios, he’s not technically an assassin. For starters, he wears no hood. He looks like a Viking should look, but this isn’t a Viking hack-and-slash game. This is Assassin’ Creed and the only signs of it I’m seeing are the hidden blade he used in the first trailer. Chronologically, the game takes place several hundred years after the events of Assassin’s Creed: Origins. So, that means the Assassin’s are technically the Assassins yet, but they’re still the Hidden Ones. Likewise, the Templars are still the Order of the Ancients. That explains why Eivor isn’t an Assassin, but based on the new story trailer, he comes across them during his invasion of England. Sounds like an interesting idea, but the thing is, we still want an actual Assassin’s Creed game.
I bring all this up, because in all honesty, I do plan on playing Valhalla. I got a thing for Vikings, hey, they’re awesome, but I don’t want this franchise to forget its roots. My point is we can see the franchise explore its lore even further and they can do it without the video games. Okay, maybe not without them completely, I don’t want to stop playing them, but there’s something special about the franchise. If I had to point out the most unique thing that separates it from other video game franchises is how it stays connected to history. Granted, it’s alternate history, but the way they tell their stories shows how dedicated they are to staying accurate while trying to tell a great story and make great games on top of it.
You probably won’t find another video game franchise like this and they’ve only gotten better with it over time. The Assassins and the Templars have been at war for centuries and they’re both supposed to be secret organizations operating in the shadows. The way the game works them in while affecting real major events in history; and yet both organizations still remain hidden in the shadows. One of the best examples I can think of is when Aya helped Brutus and Cassius assassinate Julius Caesar in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. You’ll never find that in the history books, huh? The point is, in the world of Assassin’s Creed, their history is rife with Assassin’s and Templars secretly pulling the strings on some actual historical assassinations.
Here’s the thing. History is always written by the victor and history is made up of a lot of bloody conflict. From the first Assassin’s Creed game, where the Assassins were actually Assassins and the Templars were actually Templars, their conflict stretches all the way to the modern age. We’ve seen this in the Desmond Myles storyline, but without him, it all just seems kind of uninteresting compared to the stuff we actually want to play. Layla Hassan, the new modern age protagonist, just doesn’t keep us interested like Desmond did. I have a feeling Ubisoft is going to want to stick with Layla’s story, but they shouldn’t forget about Desmond’s legacy.
This is where adapting Assassin’s Creed into a television series can prove interesting. No, not another live-action movie, because that already happened and it just failed. Seriously, I fell asleep within the first hour of that snooze fest. The lore of Assassin’s Creed goes a long way. Like, very long. It began in ancient Greece and continues in the modern era, so everything in between that involved lots of Assassins and Templars going at it. All of this, or at least a lot of it, can be shown in a television series. If you do some digging on the lore of Assassin’s Creed, you’ll discover that the Assassin/Templar conflict has affected nearly every major event in history. From the American and French Revolutions, to the assassination of JFK, or even the election of George Bush, these guys just don’t stop.
There is almost no historical event that these guys haven’t touched. If an Assassin’s Creed show is going to happen, then that’s what the premise would be. We don’t have to follow one particular Assassin like in the games. Every other episode can give us a different Assassin; the interesting part would be seeing historical events played out from their perspectives. No need to make a game for every Assassin, but if we have a show, we can see just how far both orders spread. Literally every country and region has their own order, and a show can take the time to show us those and how they operate differently from the others. The challenge would be showing how the Assassin’s took out significant historical figures while keeping it all relevant to actual history.
If they want to really stay loyal to the games, continue the legacy of Desmond Myles. Last I checked, he had several siblings and those are the characters a show can focus on. Bring back Desmond’s dad, Rebecca Crane, and Shaun Hastings in a way that will be relevant. Don’t have them make frivolous cameos, just let them be a part of the story again. They can all be mentors to the brothers of Desmond and explore the most significant and forgotten events in history. It’s been a while since we’ve seen those characters do something significant and their stories aren’t completed. A show can really develop them and make them even more intriguing, rather than just talking sidekicks.
Who else is up for an Assassin’s Creed show? I like to think of it as the coolest history show ever where you can learn something, while getting some entertainment out of it. The games likely won’t stop anytime soon, but even so, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a show to expand on them. Man, I hope Valhalla is good.