I’m sure almost every hardcore gamer in the world has played at least one, a few, or all of the Assassin’s Creed games. And who can blame them for that because it is a very successful franchise. If you are unfamiliar with the the game, developed by Ubisoft, it’s a historical fiction that focuses on real life events. It explores the struggle between two groups, the Assassins and the Templars, each of whom have a different way of achieving peace in the world. It’s story is set in 2012, where you meet Desmond Miles, a bartender with strong ties to the Assassin lineage who has chosen the life as a commoner. Abstergo Industries, who are the Templars in modern time, knows about his ancestry and kidnaps him to make him experience the memories of his ancestors. It’s all part of their plan to find the location of “Pieces of Eden” so that they can control mankind. Desmond meets the Assassins of the present and works with them. The game follows Desmond through multiple stages as he experiences his ancestral memories, meets other prominent Assassins, and learns more about the Pieces of Eden before his rivals do.
AC has a massive story-line that has expanded into multiple games, comics, films, and novels. Currently a live action film of the game, starring and co-produced by actor Michael Fassbender, is being made and is set to be released on December 16, 2016.
Since people are already on their toes for the theatrical release, let’s take a look at some facts about the popular gaming series you may not know about.
12. Scalping Was Originally an Option in AC III
The makers of Assassin’s Creed III wanted to make sure that the game represented Native Americans in the best way possible. So Thomas Deer, who worked at Kahnawake Language and Cultural Center as a liaison, was brought in to help Ubisoft. According to Deer, he said he had direct input that did affect the gameplay. One of those matters regarded scalping. It was originally going to be in the game but Deer told Ubisoft that the brutal practice was not something that the Mohawk Tribe would do (the main character Ratonhnhake/Connor is part Mohawk). There were other announcements as well that scalping was going to be in the game but the action got cut for being too graphic.
11. The Death Of Ezio Happens Outside Of The Game
Ezio was a main character for a couple of games but his story wasn’t entirely resolved in the main story. However, it is explained in Assassin’s Creed: Embers, an animated short film (spoiler warning!). In it Ezio is a frail 65-year-old man and has retired from the Order. He is living in an Italian villa with his family. Some years have passed and he meets a young Chinese woman named Shao Jun (part of the Assassin Order in China) who is seeking his advice about how to save her people. He helps her and she leaves with valuable wisdom. Later, while in Florence, Ezio is approached by a young man who is belittling women. Ezio implies to him that he’s the problem not them. Immediately after this scene, Ezio begins to experience chest pains. Ezio then looks over to his family, smiles, and dies peacefully.
10. Has the Biggest Game Patch In History
Though it was highly praised for its outstanding visuals, Assassin’s Creed Unity received mixed reviews due to poor story-lines and gameplay. When it was first released, fans were plagued with numerous bugs and other issues in the game. It was fair to say it was a hot mess to the point that Ubisoft had to issue an apology and suspend sales. Ubisoft sent out patches to each of the problematic gaming systems. Sadly, Microsoft Xbox users had the worse of the bunch and had to even re-download the game. The patch was 40GB! So far, it still holds the title for the biggest gaming patch in history, which is not a record to be proud of.
9. Unity Looks An Awful Lot Like Paris
According to Gaming Bolt, a representative from Ubisoft spoke of the massiveness of Assassin’s Creed III: Unity, saying “First of all, in terms of scale if you combine the entire playable landmass of Assassin’s Creed IV:Black Flag, you’d have a smaller surface than the city of Paris in [Assassin’s Creed: Unity]. In Unity, the scale is bigger and deeper, allowing the players to explore the all interiors of the city. It’s actually quite close to the actual scale, that’s why our version of Paris is so impressive. Every landmark in the game stands out even more than in previous AC games and it feels more real than ever before.” Now, that’s darn impressive!
8. It Was Inspired By The Hashashin
The idea of the game was inspired by a real medieval assassin group called the Nizari Ismailis. They were a sect from the Middle East lead by Hassan-I Sabbah back in the 11th century. The term “assassin” is said to have been derived from the word “Hashashin” which means “users of Hashish,” an offensive term referring to somebody who was a drug addict. It’s believed that the rivals of the Nizari Ismailis, the Mustali Ismailis, used this term against them during the time the Fatimid Dynasty fell, which led to the separation of the two groups. Still, there isn’t much real evidence that the drug was a motivator for the assassins.
7. Model Francisco Randez Modeled for Desmond
In most games there is some unknown person who’s lucky enough to model for certain characters. For Assassin’s Creed, Francisco Randez, a French Canadian/ Spanish model, was the man behind Desmond Miles. Though the faces aren exactly the same, the physical resemblance is very noticeable. Randez was also the model for Ezio Auditore da Firenze and Altair Ibn–La’Ahad. Randez, born and raised in Montreal, Canada, has been modeling for the fashion industry since the late ’90s, having modeled for brands such as Benetton and Jean Paul Gaultier. He is also a singer in a band called Moudjik and has had experience working in television as a journalist.
6. Nolan North Voiced Desmond
So now that we have the model down let’s take a look at the actor Nolan North, who provides the voice for Desmond Miles in the Assassin’s Creed series. North is an incredibly talented voice actor, who’s been described as “the nearest thing the gaming industry has to a bona fide leading man.” The dude has been in almost everything animated ranging from video games to animated television shows. He is also known for playing Nathan Drake in the Uncharted game series. Other credits include The Penguin from the Batman: Arkham franchise, David from The Last of Us, Edward Richtofen from Call of Duty and probably the coolest of this list, Deadpool.
5. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is the Best Pirate Game Ever
Well, at least according to those who have played the game. Essentially Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is, according to Ubisoft, the world’s leading pirate game. Darby McDevitt, head writer, reportedly told NowGamer that this would be the best title out of all the AC games. He says, “there’s no competition” when compared to other games with epic story-lines such as Uncharted or Beyond: Two Souls. “Maybe Wind Waker HD (laughs). Very different tone, though!” Sorry Zelda fans – seems like Black Flag did it better. McDevitt goes on to say that Ubisoft worked very hard to make a pirate game that felt like an actual pirate game. They seem to have proven that since fans highly agree.
4. Contains Plenty of Mario References
Yeahhhh, that happened. It may have been fairly obvious in Assassin’s Creed II when Ezio’s uncle would yell out the “It’s-a-me Mario” phrase (we’re pretty sure you just heard Mario’s voice when you read that). But there was another reference from the popular Nintendo game franchise that you may have missed. It’s the scene that occurs at the end of the fourth sequence when you meet Lucrezia Borgia in Brotherhood. This was a reference to the first Mario game. Whenever you completed a dungeon stage you would be greeted with the line “Thank you Mario, but our Princess is in another castle!”
3. Was Originally Part of the Prince of Persia Franchise
Long before Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft was well known for their Prince of Persia trilogy. In 2008 they originally wanted to bring back that character and have him jump start the Assassin’s Creed series but the idea never came to fruition. The game was going to be called Prince of Persia: Assassin, where the focus would be taken off the prince and placed on his bodyguard. Also, The Assassin’s Creed series was never planned to be a stand-alone title. Instead, it was going to be a co-op with Prince of Persia. That idea would have had the two main characters get together to fight off enemies.
2. 10 Development Teams Worked on Assassin’s Creed
It’s quite common for gaming development teams to overlap. While one game is getting made, another one is getting developed. Assassin’s Creed Unity was in development since 2010 and their team also worked on Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Ubisoft has almost 30 development teams so you can imagine the chaos with all the teams getting their priorities across and getting their tasks done before the release date. However, that didn’t stop any of those guys – they’re pros.
1. Best Selling Game from Ubisoft
Now this one may not be too surprising for those who keep up with gaming sales but it is an amazing achievement for Ubisoft, which was founded back in 1986. In 2014, not long before the release of Unity, the company revealed that the Assassin’s Creed series is their best selling franchise, having sold about 73 million copies worldwide! Far behind AC was Just Dance which has sold 48 million, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six have 56 million combined sales. Ubisoft’s other most popular franchises come in at 25 million for Rayman, 20 million for Prince of Persia, and 18 million for Far Cry.