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 part 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 and 2017.
  • 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.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After the disastorous launch and technical issues of Unity, Ubisoft realized that the annual releases were starting to bring the series down. The next game was much better received, and Ubisoft decided to not release a new game in 2016, so that they could plan the future of the series and allow the next game more development time. Time will tell if it will work, although it did work the last time.
  • 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 comments that they want to make more robust modern-day segments in future games going forward (Syndicate 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 care about the over-arching plot.
  • Complete Monster: See here
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Subject 16/Clay Kaczmarek is a major one despite technically being a Post Humous Character because of his vivid personality and....unique state of existence.
    • 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 - Assassin's Creed I and Rogue being the only core games he does not appear in.
  • Escapist Character: Most of the Assassins avert this (Connor especially) on account of having really serious and dark stories, which only highlights how difficult and tragic their lot in life is. But Ezio Auditore is pretty much the exception, he's rich, wealthy, charismatic, popular with ladies, incredibly skilled as a warrior and politician, and gets to be best friends with Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli, not in the sense that they meet so and so historical figure and got their autograph, but is best buds with them, knowing their flaws and defects, in a way no one in real-life can really know the past. He also has the happiest ending of most Assassins, retiring after restoring his brotherhood to former glory, finally settling down and marrying a very Nice Girl (who is also nearly two decades younger than him) and getting time to spend with his kids and live in reflected glory of his life's work. No other Assassin in the franchise, neither Altair, nor Edward, nor Connor among others had it so good.
  • Fandom Berserk Button:
    • While every assassin has his/her fans and detractors, Altair - being the "original" - is off limits to most, even to those who don't particularly care for him. Call him boring, one dimensional, or simply say he has no growth in his game and at least half the fandom will be climbing your back with "DID YOU EVEN PLAY THE GAME!" comments and angry rants.
    • Same for Ezio, who is already a bit of a Base-Breaking Character. If you call him a sexist or a womanizer without a personality you should probably duck behind something solid because the fandom does not like Ezio criticized.
    • In general the Fandom can be seen as being divided into splinter groups dedicated to their favourite assassin, and saying something against any of them will cause severe backlash. On the other hand, just about everyone is ready and able to defend every character to some degree; insulting any of them is a massive no-no.
  • 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 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 were 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, and 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 and 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. Assassin's Creed: Revelations has an Italian protagonist in Ottoman Turkey, while Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin's Creed: Rogue and the Prolonged Prologue of Assassin's Creed III feature white protagonists in a New World setting during the Pre-to-Late Colonial era.
    • From the perspective of settings, one can observe that none of the games featuring non-Western protagonists (Assassin's Creed I, Assassin's Creed III, Freedom Cry, Liberation, Chronicles: China, Chronicles: India, Origins) are set in entirely non-Western settings and periods. For instance, Ezio in Assassin's Creed II is an Italian, or rather a Florentine, in a period and time where Italians, and Florence in general, are prominent in society and culture, but Altair, Connor, and Bayek of Siwa are Assassins in an era where their lands are occupied by foreign invaders and conquerors. Chronicles: India and Assassin's Creed: Brahman is set during The Raj, while Shao Jun first established herself as a Satellite Character for Ezio's retirement, and Ezio still shows up as a "mentor" in a few sequences of China.
  • 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 naval 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: Alongside individual examples collected on each separate game's page, Ubisoft's marketing has 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, and the "iconic" Rope Launcher of Syndicate. Then they briefly took this trend out of AC to Watch_Dogs with Aiden Pearce's "iconic" cap, and then to The Division with a whole host of other "iconic" items such as the "Iconic Division Jacket".
  • Newbie Boom: Many people who don't like or care about the series ended up liking Black Flag. It got problematic when those who came to the series to play as a pirate clashed with the fans who thought Black Flag was In-Name-Only, and that if one only liked Black Flag but hated the rest, they couldn't really be counted as an Assassin's Creed fan. This led to sailing becoming somewhat of a Broken Base; some wish to see it return, while others note that the "exploring a historical city" aspect would suffer if sailing was shoehorned in so some players would be able to sail around in empty seas near the historical location.
  • 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.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: On account of its ubiquity and overexposure and spin off media, Assassin's Creed is often written off as another open-world game, with many people forgetting how fresh and innovative it was when it came out.
    • The open-world foot, parkour and climbing of Assassin's Creed I was more or less one of the first attempts to make a detailed and immersive game where the background buildings, with its roofs, side walls, ramparts were fully interactive and accessible. Unlike Grand Theft Auto and its clones, most of which had vehicle traversal, and as such had buildings and roofs that were mostly background scenery and open only for scripted sequences, the open-world in AC-1 was fully interactive by hand and foot, with nothing truly inaccessible and out of reach.
    • Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed III more or less became Genre-Busting explorations for how open world games could work as Historical Fiction, giving you a real sense of simulating the sense of being in the past.
  • 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: 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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Chunks of Subject 16's messages at the end of the first game reference places many thought subsequent games would go, such as Yonaguni (and its underwater formations that may or may not be manmade), Egypt, the Aztec and Mayan era and China. With the exception of China, none of these locations have been featured in the other games. Yonaguni hasn't been mentioned once, Egypt has only been seen in a non-canon comic (though it might become the setting of Empire), the Aztec have only been referenced in a Facebook game and while Mayan locations made an appearance in 3 and Black Flag, the era itself remains untouched.
    • There's a vocal minority that dislikes the conspiracy themes and modern-day segments, who would just like to play a stealth-based game about being an assassin in different periods in history.
  • Uncertain Audience: Partly because the games are so Genre-Busting with Multiple Demographic Appeal, some feel 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.
  • 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 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 loses everything despite a typically good nature and several attempts to be an Actual Pacifist.
    • Altair, who counts more as an Iron Woobie. Lets see, when he was 11 his father was killed by the Salah ad-Din in exchange for Ahmad Sofian's life, who later committed suicide in front of Altair because he couldn't live with the guilt causing Umar's death. This cost him the friendship to Abbas. Fast forward, Altair starts a relationship with Adha who later dies. The year after, through his own fault, he get's Kadar killed, Malik crippled, and is stripped of his rank as Master and publicly humiliated, forced to reclaim his honor through relearning what it means to be an assassin. All while Malik (and most everyone) takes every opportunity to remind him of how terrible a person he is. He grows as a person, earns Malik's respect and then... finds out his Mentor and foster father Al Mualim is a Templar, forcing him to kill him. He becomes Mentor, marries, has two sons. Yay. Or not as one of said sons - Sef - is killed, Malik is blamed for it, and branded traitor. Altair is so distraught that he almost believes it but Maria manages to make him see reason and they rescue Malik from the dungeons. Which lasts about a day before Malik is beheaded and his head is given to Altair in a sack. They leave, return, Maria is killed. And despite all that, and despite losing his faith in people overall, he never stops fighting for a better world.

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