Assassin's Creed

I figured out another reason why I dislike modern AC games – they destroy rather than build the main character’s life [Spoilers in breakdown]

Tl;dr After Revelation, all games the protagonist is left with less than they begun with. I find it a cheap and bitter way to try and portrait growth only through loss. Breakdown below to prove (and to be corrected via comments)

After completing AC: Odyssey fully, I was extremely aggravated with how it ended and it dawned on me how the games have chosen the cheap way to gauge emotions for a long time now. To feign depth they just keep demolishing what you build so they could spout some generic "Life's a bitch" monologues/dialogues. It almost seems like the writers don't know how to create tension in no other way than breaking relationships.

The Original games you ended the game having built something both in knowledge and in material and/or relationship with only Revelations having an asterisk on the second part.

In Americas era there is some ups to try and compensate the massive downs – Connor has his homestead and technically his "brotherhood" that is so loosely connected that I always forget about it after I'm done conquering the States; Edward has her daughter and his randomly found wisdom wise man routine; Shay is kinda fine in his place in the Order, he just had to watch all his recently close people in the eye while they died, being the one who held the blade.

Later it's just awful – you get to see a game-full version of "win in the gameplay, lose in the cutscene". Arno loses everything he had but his newly-gained skills and toys; The Siblings lose all they built and worse with just one DLC; Bayek gets mangled up in the writing mess that was Origins (Aya was supposed to be the main character but got written out – almost) and only Abubakar Salim's immensely charismatic performance can make you forget how Aya is written like she did all the heavy lifting. And he still loses her along with almost all his friends. And Kassandra/Alexos would be almost good granted you made all the correct choices, but then come the DLCs and you get to be robbed of the fruits of your labours again.

I'm glad Valhalla isn't on Steam so I'm less pulled to play it, I'm glad they're going Free-to-Play so I'm more pushed away from this shallow husk of a series I loved for its philosophical writing, nuanced ideas and underlying upbeat constructive storytelling.

Fight me in the comment's. I'm sure there's bias in the way I'm presenting what characters gained and lost at the end of their journey.

Breakdown of the start the journey (not the game itself) and where we end it in each game:

  • AC1:

    • Desmond starts lost in his path and captured with pretty gloomy future; ends with having an ally, some purpose and hope
    • Altair starts with tarnished reputation, a personal grudge towards him, threatened home, stripped rank and lost trust; ends with gained respect (including the grudge), regained high rank, resolved conflict and threat and being in control rather than being commanded
  • AC: Bloodlines

    • Altair starts with distrusting Maria, ends with trusting Maria
  • AC2:

    • Desmond starts with one ally; ends with three and gained skill in parkour and hand-to-hand combat
    • Ezio starts with family friends turned enemies, half of his family murdered; ends with a huge network of allies and friends, a safe home and in control of the Templar-Assassin struggle.
  • AC: Brotherhood:

    • Desmond starts with his three allies; ends with 2 allies and removed a snitch, plus starts something important and gains a piece of Eden
    • Ezio starts with losing home and kin, has allies bickering amongst themselves; ends with new safe haven, reuniting his allies and bringing the Brotherhood to new heights
  • AC: Revelations:

    • Desmond starts without a clue and almost dead, ends with being alive while getting to know the mysterious Subject 16.
    • Ezio starts with an ally and new tools, ends with losing said said ally, gaining another, finding love and resolving his goals
    • Altair starts with being the head of order with some dissent; ends with losing wife and son and the order to said dissent with taking its remains back in the end (and having personal friends all over the world)
  • AC3:

    • Desmond starts with two allies and distrusting father and looming End of The World; Desmond ends with trusting father, two allies and resolving the End of The World, but losing life
    • Haytham starts the game with clean slate and quickly gather allies to take over the colonies; Connor/Ratonhnhaké:ton starts again with the support of your village and shaman, having lost mother; ends with losing his village, his childhood friend, his mentor, his father, his status with the States leadership, his surrounding nature (impending), while being a leader in a small self-brought-up community
  • AC: Liberation

    • Aveline starts with supporting family, business partner/love interest???, mentor; ends with losing said mentor (bitterly) and all family
  • AC4: Black Flag

    • Edward starts with estranged wife, wish for big loot and a rag-tag group of friends-allies in free Nassau; he ends with losing said loot, wife, all friends but Mary and Nassau. Gains a bittersweet ending song and a daughter and sudden wisdom
  • AC: Freedom Cry

    • Adéwalé starts with finding 2 allies; ends with leaving them
  • AC: Rogue

    • Shay starts with a brother, uneasy relationship with some elders but warm with others; ends with killing them all while also losing his closest one on the other side as well
  • AC: Unity

    • Arno starts with finding a mentor, careful support of the Brotherhood and the love of your childhood; ends with love and mentor dead and banished from the Brotherhood and bitterly leaving France
  • AC: Syndicate

    • The siblings start with no ground held in London; they end with no ground held in London (also being a high profile in Scotland Yard)
  • AC: Origins:

    • Layla starts with a breakthrough in her field with a friend/lover as a partner to help; she ends with being banished from said field, friend/lover dead and on the run
    • Bayek starts with having lost a son, but having friends, a wife and political allies; he ends with having no allies, losing most of his friends, and losing his wife who also took credit and control for the counter-organisation
  • AC: Odyssey

    • Layla starts with a crew and a new partner; she ends with mental instability, having killed her new partner in a quarrel
    • Kassandra/Alexos starts with building friendships and finding political allies, ends with most of their closer allies and friends dead or leaving on their own, husband dead, son given away most of their diplomatic work undone by Peloponnesian war or the leader of the Realm.

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