Despite the frustrating and non-Assassin based gameplay of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, the franchise remains one of my favorites. This is in large part because of the incredibly complex and rich story telling Ubisoft released with the Ezio trilogy. There is a confirmed new game release for the Xbox One and the PS4 entitled, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and I have high hopes that given it’s setting in the era of the French Revolution there will be no sailing missions. (Dear God help me if there are because I cannot promise not to hurl my controller in frustration across the room!)
This morning I decided to catch up with the world of Assassin’s Creed outside the games and jumped right into the AC Initiates database. Initiates is a site run by Ubisoft still in Alpha release, despite being available for months. A couple of side notes/observations about Initiates it is incredibly frustrating that the site isn’t accessible on mobile devices (not even so-called mobile devices that do not have cellular access) and it defeats the purpose of having missions related to Assassin Creed games that are heavily played on consoles but in order to get credit for those missions the gamer needs to interrupt game play to leave the room and seek out a non-mobile device.
Gripes over, despite the grumbles about the site Initiates has a wonderful amount of detail relating to the main characters of the game. I loved reading about young Haytham long before we meet him in Assassin’s Creed III or the invention backstory of Benjamin Hornigold. But most interesting is the dossier on Gavin Banks current Master of the Assassin Brotherhood. The details and relation of the game to real life events we are privy to every day. A great example is the Tunguska blast in Siberia and the Apple of Eden. Old favorites from the Ezio trilogy are alive and well on the Initiates site and are still active. It is incredibly satisfy to get a glimpse of Rebecca and Shawn outside the games and enjoy the intrigue and humor in brief snippets.
The Brotherhood is rebuilding in the present day world. Abstergo may be far more in the public eye but the present day Brotherhood is rebuilding cells world wide. It was fascinating to read who leads the Japanese cell and the activities that were going on in Russia. It is nice to read about women in the Initiates database and surveillance reports because women are still missing from the actual games. There is also a mini-game called Lost Memories which allows users to find memories around the world.
Adding to the already rich world of published material related to the world of Assassin’s Creed, there is a new book scheduled to release November 4, 2014 entitled Assassin’s Creed Unity: Abstergo Industries Employee Handbook by Christie Golden who also wrote Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag: Blackbeard: The Lost Journal. I’m far more interested in the Handbook than the Blackbeard’s book.
Access the Animus is an Italian fan site which summarizes the various extraneous materials published for the franchise. If you don’t have time to read the various novels and comics, and trust the review of someone else, then Access the Animus is a great place to catch-up and learn about the other Assassin’s roaming the planet in various times and places.
So, if you are in need of an Assassin’s Creed fix before the release of Unity then it is worth checking out both Initiates and Access. Little snippets of a glimpse of what is happening between the Assassin’s and Templars is certainly one way of filing the void between the release of major titles.