I know a lot of you think of the Assassin’s Creed franchise as a series that caters primarily to the console crowd, and honestly, I cannot disagree with you. During the development of these games, they were designed with the console gamer in mind (and unfortunately, not the PC gamer), and while many PC gamers may feel as if they are getting a straight console port when playing these games, you owe it to yourself to give this games a try if you have not. Every title in the Assassin’s Creed franchise (save for the original – it wasn’t a game I particularly enjoyed) is a delight to play; especially Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. While Assassin’s Creed: Revelations isn’t particularly as solid as the previous two titles, it still adds enough new ideas to the franchise to keep the gameplay feeling fresh (most notably, bombcrafting; it can get addictive creating your own explosives and experimenting with them on unsuspecting guards).
So what is the point of all of this? It’s pretty simple: for those of you that have played through the Assassin’s Creed series (and if you have, you are probably a fan), you are undoubtedly familiar with the protagonist known as Desmond. Desmond is an odd specimen, in that he is the star of the franchise, but not particularly the main star from game-to-game. Rather, in the grand scheme of things Desmond is portrayed as the future of the Assassin’s, and every event that unfolds is leading up to a grand moment in which Desmond must truly carry on his ancestor’s legacy and practice the art of being an Assassin himself. Although Desmond has been the only mainstay in every Assassin’s Creed title thus far, Ubisoft has stated that they are going to end Desmond’s story in due time, and while it likely isn’t going to be in Assassin’s Creed III or the entry after (or possibly the entry after that), Ubisoft assures us that one day, we are going to witness the death of Desmond.
“Things that go on too long lack resonance,” said creative lead Alex Hutchinson, “we’re asking people to remember seven year’s worth of story. Which is like saying you were in junior high and now you’re finishing college. And you need to remember what you were doing in junior high. I think Desmond needs to end.”
Hutchinson states that for now, Desmond’s framing structure is akin to Rod Serling’s intros into the classic science fiction television show The Twilight Zone:
“It’s more like the Twilight Zone. There’s always a guy introducing it and he’s there every episode, but each game completes its own story. Assassin’s Creed one was Altair’s story. Ezio has been and gone. You can engage with these historical stories individually without having to necessarily understand Desmond’s story. But yes, we eventually do have to wrap it up.”
As for Assassin’s Creed III? Hutchinson claims that it is “90% a new game,” and is about as close as one could get to creating an entirely new IP without actually being one. With new game mechanics, a new environment, a new protagonist, a new time period, and a new story, Assassin’s Creed III is the latest evolution into the series; and yes, Desmond is essentially taking on the role of being a character that is framed structurally as Rod Serling in The Twilight Zone once again.
Will the Assassin’s Creed franchise end with the death of Desmond? Hutchinson didn’t say, but one thing is for certain: Assassin’s Creed is a franchise that values “continuity,” meaning that the death of one character does not mean another character can take its place. We’ve seen it time and again with Altair, Ezio, and now Connor in Assassin’s Creed III: why shouldn’t Desmond be any different?