Are the Assassin’s kinda crap? Part one
Last week I wrote about how it would be very easy to have a women assassin in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Unity. As part of this, I wrote a brief story outline of how the story could work, in it I mention that Belle (the assassin I made up) meets the french assassin’s guild outside paris and how they live a rather bohemian existence. They later go on to betray her because they don’t want the embarrassment of others knowing their work was done by a women. This plot point is heavily flawed as there have been several high ranking women members who have been mentioned and shown in the games, but it got me thinking about the assassins as a whole and how apart from the protagonists of each title the rest of the Assassin’s do bugger all.
Lets start with the first time we meet the Assassins in Musyaf, they are under attack from the Templars, they being the defenders and the Templars being cartoonishly evil (and English) we take the Assassin’s Side. Why? Having a Castle makes no sense if you’r a band of covert killers, now I know the assassin’s the games are based on did have a castle or two, but even in real life it makes no sense! If they had been a travelling convey, that posed as merchants or entertainers, that would be covert and would makes sense with the ethos of hiding in plain sight that they have. But no, the Assassin’s need a Doom fortress.
Next up in Assassin’s Creed, their boss is evil! Al Mualim or as he’s know on the streets, ‘Old man who is clearly evil, wake the fuck up Altair’ spends the entire game lecturing, and I do mean the entire game. Any questions and he’ll tell you to shut up, any disagreements and he tries to kill you. Remember that boss fight that came out of nowhere at the very end of Assassin’s Creed, where everything you’d learnt about being sneaky and quiet was thrown out the window, only to be replaced with just stabbing up a pensioner. Now once Al Mualim is killed, Altair becomes the most senior member of the Assassin’s and therefore leader (Because you know, no other named character could), but since everything he learnt, he learnt from Al Mualim, Altair is gonna have to start from scratch.
From their we go to Assassin’s Creed 2, with young Ezio Auditore da Firenze living a nice care free existence before his father and brother are hung for being assassins. Odd if you think about it, the Assassin we’ve seen (Altair) could kill a man with a broom handle if he wanted, why are none of the other’s able to do this. Sure they could have been ambushed or taken in their sleep, but that just means they were complacent about the Templars who they should know, are always trying to kill them! From there Ezio is rescued by his uncle Mario, he clearly mistook his young supple body for that of princess peach. It would appear then that Mario would then be a semi-competent at the whole assassin thing, but no, from there he just becomes a pointless NPC and Ezio is expected to do all the leg work for the rest of the game.
It gets no better across the rest of the Ezio trilogy, with Ezio moving from Florence to Rome, to find the Assassin’s guild run down, meaning he needs to recruit a load of idiots who can’t stay out of trouble. By the time it the series gets to Revelations it’s almost comical to see a 60 year old man running about Constantinople while his twenty something mate explains what a hook blade is and gets high.The Ezio trilogy highlights the problems with the Assassin order. No one does anything. We go to Rome, restore the guild, move to Constantinople, restore the guild. It’s as if Ezio was sent by Assassin head office to make sure the regional branch of cutthroats and killers were still working.
Ezio is coming, look busy. (Assassin Motto)
Of course none of them are working, so Ezio has spend his valuable time sweeping up the bureau and shanking Templers. At the end of every game, after the Templers are beaten, we know that in the next game we’re going to have to do the same things again in a different location. I was rather happy with how Assassin’s Creed 3 opened with you playing as a Haytham Kenway and how he and his merry band of Templers actually got shit done, but no, can’t stay with some one villainous and fun, off to Conner and his crippling lack of character.
We’re asked to feel sympathy with the Assassin’s, we are shown that they are a colourful bunch of personality’s, but none of them do anything, and how can you feel sympathetic to some one that insists on doing nothing to help themselves?