YMMV / Assassin's Creed

  • Annoying Video Game Helper: In the platforming sequences, the camera will often helpfully pan over to demonstrate your intended jump, but throws off your directional controls since they are relative to the camera, not the character.
  • Arc Fatigue: While he's a popular character and the games aren't necessarily hated, Ezio's story took place from games 2 through 4 of the main series (Supposedly so there were games coming out while development of 3 was underway). By comparison, every other main character has had only headlined one (The Kenway family members, Arno and Shay) or two.note 
    • The whole series got hit with this as time went on- Unity and Syndicate were both panned for largely just being a case of "Seventh/Eighth verse, same as the first," with many critics arguing that they were just treading water and carrying on arcs that weren't appreciated by the majority of the fanbase (Namely, the Modern Arc). It's telling that the vast majority of the fanbase openly rejoiced when it was announced that the series was taking a break for 2016.
  • Archive Panic: The series' convoluted ongoing Myth Arc and its regular annual new releases has led new fans to be Locked Out of the Loop with the massive troves of backstory and Info Dump needed to get up to speed, as of now the series has four numbered sequels but six main console games, not including PSP, Nintendo DS and Play Station Vita releases, or for that matter the novelizations by Oliver Bowden, one of which Assassin's Creed: Forsaken has attained canonical status, or the graphic novels. The main games are also very long, which means that if you want to start on the series as a newbie you have a busy month and a half ahead of you.
    • Black Flag averts this- outside of knowing the basics of the Myth Arc (Assassins Vs Templars, Animus, Juno), you can go into the game and have a relatively easy time keeping up- as long as you don't play the Aveline DLC on Playstation.
  • Broken Base:
    • The parts of the games that take place in the present. Some fans think of them as a valuable, interesting addition while others just plain and simply hate them, and are glad when those parts only take up a small percentage of the respective game.
    • Also the series becoming one revolving around Historical tourism rather than a complete present day Assassins vs Templars conflict, which is relegated to the backstory and lore rather than gameplay. This one has actually gotten worse in light of Ubisoft's recent comments that they want to make more robust modern-day segments in future games going forward (Victory onwards). The divide is largely between fans who don't give a damn and just want to roam about in whatever historical setting strikes their fancy, and those who are invested in the series' long-running Myth Arc and actually care about the over-arching plot.
  • Complete Monster: The Assassin's Creed series is well known for its complex morality with its struggle of Assassin vs. Templar, but several villains have managed to show they are nothing but monsters. Majd Addin in the first game, Reginald Birch in the novel Assassin's Creed: Forsaken, Governor Pierre de Fayet in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Maxwell Roth in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate come to mind. See those pages for details.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Subject 16/Clay Kaczmarek is a major one.
    • Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane even more so. Introduced in ACII as part of Lucy's assassin cell, they have gone on to garner a massive fanbase. In fact, Shaun is now the longest running character in the entire franchise - AC and Rogue being the only core games he does not appear in.
  • Follow the Leader: Assassin's Creed is where the trend started of AAA Sandbox games allowing you to climb towers to unlock the map and see collectables, much to the derision of the playerbase who found this repetitive and boring but part of Assassin's Creed's charm. They became less than pleased however when other Ubisoft games, Watch Dogs and Far Cry picked this up.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Assassin's Creed has recently gotten a lot of complaints about the fact that the core gameplay of social stealth and combat has barely changed since the first game with later games merely adding a bunch of features to pass things off as new.
    • Assassin's Creed III is cited as the point where this became a problem, as many felt that the game's main missions was basically scripted events, even the Assassination missions which should be stealthy and open-ended. It was also seen as being overstuffed with side activities and additional features. However, this was an ongoing trend since the well-liked Assassin's Creed II and its follow-ups Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, had moved away from the stealthy original and was filled with additional features and content. What made them acceptable was that the games were Mission-Pack Sequel and as such the additional features were condoned, and seen as part of the appeal of the touristy cities with exotic architecture. The fact that the New World setting of AC-3 lacked the tall buildings and fancy architecture only brought these problems forward.
    • III was criticized for its Gump Factor with the hero interacting on first name basis with all of America's founding fathers and participating in several key events of the American Revolution which to many beggared disbelief. Yet this was always part of the Franchise's appeal: Altair in AC-1 conversed on even terms with the very Christian King Richard the Lionheart and later fought Genghis Khan, Ezio counted Leonardo da Vinci and Machiavelli among his best friends, and interacted with a "who's who" of the Renaissance, Black Flag also had the hero interact with every famous English pirate of that time. In the case of III the American Founding Fathers and the events of the Revolution were perhaps too prominent, known to every schoolboy, with the setting seen by foreign gamers as Eagleland. The other historical figures and settings, while somewhat well known aren't held in nearly the same reverence nor are their memories part of current political discourse.
    • Assassin's Creed: Unity is an inversion, an example of a Franchise, as a result of the divisive reaction to III, returning to the Franchise's roots — greater focus on stealth, less focus on side activities, more assassination missions, toning down The Gump — and getting thoroughly trashed for essentially repeating its original sins. Assassin's Creed I was criticized in its time for repetitive side activities, lack of additional interaction with the open world and endless collectibles. Unity returned with repititive Side Story quests, endless collectibles that dotted out the map to the extent that people became nostalgic for the much reviled flags of I. Where III was criticized for Connor being too central to the Revolution, Unity was criticized for the hero being too marginal to the events, with the game being highly criticized for its shallow representation of history. The game which followed, Syndicate received praise for making more diverse side missions, a fairer look at the historical events and having additional features missing in Unity.
  • Homegrown Hero: The whole series plays with this as, while the historical protagonists are Arab/Italian/British/Iroquois/French, the descendant characters of the Framing Device are always American/North American. The only true exception is the comic Assassin's Creed: Brahman which is set in India with local protagonists in both the modern-day and historical section.
  • It's the Same, so It Sucks: A common criticism of the franchise as time has gone on is that the gameplay has barely changed as time has gone on. Unity got a lot of flack in particular for this, as following the navel combat of Black Flag and Rogue, it returned to the tried and tested formula with little change. As well, the frequent usage of viewpoints is often mocked, since it's often the most boring part of the game.
  • It Was His Sled: The original trailers and information did their best to hide the existence of Desmond and the modern storyline, except for a few out-of-place "glitches" (now recognizable as elements of the Animus). A rather fancy trick, given the fact that Desmond's storyline is of greater overall importance.
    • Desmond or any part of the modern plot was only shown in two trailers ("Black Room" and "Gameplay" for Revelations) and the press-releases close to never talk about it. The twist can be still held up under the right circumstances.
  • Memetic Mutation: Ubisoft's marketing gaffes have led to a few. There is the tendency of Ubisoft advertising items and accessories of characters in new releases as "iconic" before the game's release. We have had Arno's "iconic" Phantom Blade (which did not become iconic) and the "iconic" Rope Launcher of Syndicate. Then they took this trend out of AC to Watch_Dogs with Aiden Pearce's iconic cap (Just... no)
  • Older Than They Think: Not the story, but the Hidden Blade. See Blade Below the Shoulder for a list, of which many items were originated before this game.
    • The idea of the Templars trying to take over the world, while the Hashashin try to stop them has been done before in the Broken Sword series.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Despite the games focus on unearthing a particular set of memories of a character or a moment in history, the gameplay encourages sidequests as a means of furthering synchronization. This leads to all kinds of Headscratchers like in Assassin's Creed III where in the Present the earth is on the brink of an upcoming solar flare, Desmond should ostensibly have little interest or time to the many sidequests his ancestor has access to.
    • On a wider note, this is the principal accusation leveled by Minerva on the Assassins vs. Templar conflict, noting that they spent far too much time searching for Pieces of Eden to control or keep out of hands than using said gifts to find the Grand Temple and solve the crisis together.
    • This becomes Harsher in Hindsight where at the beginning of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, after discussing Ezio's vision at the vault, the Assassins debate on their next course, with Mario showing interest in the mysterious 'Desmond' while Ezio is focused on consolidating the Brotherhood and Machiavelli is obsessed with defeating their surviving enemies who he notes, accurately, are too dangerous to ignore altogether. In other words, the Assassins throughout history were often diverted from their real responsibilities.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: To some extent, Desmond Miles was disliked as an Audience Surrogate and a generic protagonist but these same critics, including Ben Croshaw disliked the fact, at least after the first and second games, that the present day story was ultimately an Excuse Plot for the historical portion and eventually a Shaggy Dog Story since all the focus on bleeding effect and Desmond absorbing his ancestors abilities via a sacrifice he was tricked into making ultimately didn't pan out and was eventually removed altogether.
  • Uncertain Audience: Partly because the games are so Genre-Busting with Multiple Demographic Appeal, some feel (especially the recent games) that the series has an Identity Crisis about its true genre and the kind of audience its actually targeting:
    • The first game created the unique social stealth system of blending in hiding spots and using hit-and-run tactics, but they also had a combat system with ranged and melee weapons (Swords and Throwing Knifes) that are intended to be used. The game's Parkour and Climbing mechanic is also seen as clashing against the game being purely stealth. The Ezio games introduced additional features from Puzzle and Action Adventure, Economy and RPG upgrades like the Brotherhood system that some feel make it more Historical GTA than an Assassination simulator. III introduced naval, a host of other features and a crafting system, and Black Flag was a highly popular game but most people felt that it used AC as an Artifact Title and is more properly a pirate game than an Assassin game. Others don't mind these changes as it keeps the series fresh and they feel that it's Justified given that the Assassins and Templars are conspiracy organizations and would obviously take on new fronts and new roles in different post-Crusades societies.
    • There is also the conflict between fans who feel that the games are about Conspiracy Theory and the Assassin versus Templar conflict as well as the mysteries of the First Civilization and those fans who feel that the games are primarily Historical Fiction and the Conspiracy elements are merely an Excuse Plot to justify gameplay elements. The latter fans feel that the games should have greater focus on historical settings, events and places while the former feels that these elements make the games too unbelievable and increase The Gump factor which for the others is the series' main appeal. The former group are also the ones most invested in the Modern Day and are disappointed by the declining role it plays in the games in favor of straightforward historical simulations. The latter group feel that the games should feature even less modern day and convert to a straightforward historical tourism series and more than content with the series becoming an Artifact Title.
  • Unconventional Learning Experience: The games are often credited for teaching gamers history, geography and architecture via its extensive encyclopedia and post-modern approach to Historical Fiction.
  • Villain Decay: Zigzagged throughout the games, the Templars can be portrayed villains that make a legitimate point with their goals, such as with Al Mualim in the original, but apart from the Revolution era ones in the 3rd game, the later games simply portray them as power hungry raving lunatics that want to cause The End of the World as We Know It to solidify control when they already rule the world.
    • That said population control/reduction is one of their long term aims. Their involvement in both World Wars has members express a desire for as much people on both sides to die as possible. What better way to shape the world as you see fit than to start from scratch.
  • The Woobie: Many characters in the Franchise and extended story:
    • Subject 16. Everything about Subject 16. The Trauma Conga Line of the Bleeding Effect that he undergoes could put many of the entries on that page to shame. The revelations in later entries, namely that the visions he experienced were not only his ancestor memories but "calculations", visions of possible futures, only makes his ordeal even more agonizing, making him the true Mad Prophet of the series. His struggle to hold on to his sanity against the clutter of memories, Juno messages and false futures is nothing short of heroic, especially after his betrayal by Lucy Stillman. His ignominious death, the fact that even fellow Assassins - Shaun and Rebecca - call him Subject 16 even after his death only makes his life a vast Shaggy Dog Story, leave alone that he was in the end a puppet for Juno to con Desmond into sacrificing himself to release her.
    • Daniel Cross is acknowledged and discussed by Rebecca as such. His backstory, constant Mind Rape via bleeding effect and the fact that he's an engineered Tyke Bomb by Abstergo to destroy the Assassins as a "sleeper agent" including as we learn his Implied Love Interest Hannah Mueller only makes his relative innocence horrific. The backstory of his ancestor Nikolai Orelov and Innokenti, as well as the remarkable survival of his great Aunt Anna in present-day Russia is probably the only happy part of that tragedy.
    • Desmond Miles ultimately. A decent young man who chafed under his father's dubious parenting skills only to run away and somehow make it as a bartender in New York with an active social life, only to be taken against his will by Abstergo, undergo the unpleasant and bitter realization that his Jerk Ass father was right about the Templars all along and the cherry on top is his death, via Batman Gambit by Juno. Even after that, his body is unceremoniously desecrated by Abstergo, who harvest his DNA into Sample 17 and use their acquisition to make crappy video games about his Pirate Ancestors.
    • Jennifer Scott, the daughter of Edward Kenway and Caroline Scott. We see her as the cute and innocent 8 year old girl, delighted to see her cool father and his cool ship for the first time. Then we see that she's become a famous society beauty who still honours her mother by keeping her Family Name over Edward's. But then you read Assassin's Creed: Forsaken and find out what happened to her, namely that her father had engaged her into a marriage she did not want with Reginald Birch, who was not only a Templar but killed Edward and then kidnapped her and sold her into sex slavery. When Haytham rescues her years later, she's bitter and angry at her father, full of hated towards Reginald and appalled that Haytham is serving the Templars. She ends up becoming a bitter old spinster, estranged from her brother, who unbeknownst to her would soon be dead at her nephew's hands.
    • Connor, who's specifics can be seen on the YMMV page for Assassin's Creed III, is a Jerkass Woobie to some, but a Woobie nonetheless. For starters, he lost his mother and his home at a very young age, and when barely a young adult had to leave pretty much forever to become an Assassin. There's more than enough to go on talking about, like his forced Patricide and the fact his whole fight for freedom becomes a Shaggy Dog Story, and those are just the things the game calls specific attention to. He pretty much loses everything despite a typically good nature and several attempts to be an Actual Pacifist.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/AssassinsCreed