Tag Archives: Assassin’s Creed

Sluggish Reaction: Assassin’s Creed (movie)

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I recently(ish) watched the Assassin’s Creed movie on Netflix. As a big fan of the video games I was eager to see how it worked on-screen and the result was…ok. I’ve read a lot of very negative reviews and I don’t think it deserves all the flack it got but despite a lot of positive elements and strong performances it just didn’t quite resonate as it should have.

Basic Plot

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The story starts with Callum Lynch, a death row inmate who is subjected to lethal injection and wakes up in an Abstergo Industries facility. He is greeted by scientist Sofia Rikkin and put into the Animus, a machine which allows him to live the memories of his ancestor Aguilar.

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Aguilar is sent on a mission, during the Spanish Inquisition, to protect a Prince. The Prince’s father has hidden the Apple and artifact of value to the Templars, the mortal enemies of the Assassins. Slowly as he is put into the Animus Callum gains not only the memories but also the abilities of his ancestor and begins to question his loyalties.

What’s good then?

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The action scenes are phenomenal and I would recommend watching the movie just to see Aguilar and his partner Maria in action. The fluid movement is like an amped up version of the game and made me ashamed of the bumbling idiot I turned Ezio into so often. The action is also very true to the game with the characters performing hidden-blade assassinations, acrobatic combat and leaps of faith which looked incredible and  more importantly fit into the action of the movie without feeling like fan service.

How does it connect to the games? (Skip to next section to avoid SPOILERS)

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Simple answer – it doesn’t. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the film should stand on it’s own feet. However I was hoping that the inclusion of Alan Rikkin, the elusive chairman of Abstergo, would make some clear connections to the games, but the movie gradually makes it clear that it belongs in it’s own timeline.

 I’ll try to break down the two key differences that separate the film and the games. First is the Animus, which instead of being a bed involves a mechanical arm suspended from the ceiling making the use replicate the movements of his ancestor exactly. Sofia states that this is the only model and was designed by her so no grumpy Warren Vidic!!

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Next is the Apple. There is a possibility the Templars could be lying but they strongly suggest they don’t know the origins of the Apple and there’s certainly no mention of Those Who Came Before or any other Pieces of Eden. Understandably bringing in a human precursor race might have been a bit much for a movie-going audience but the lack of origin for the device felt a bit odd when we know so much in the games.

Other than that it does follow a broad brush stroke similarities with the Templars warring against the Assassins for centuries and the Assassins having experienced a recent purge, leaving their influence diminished.

So what went wrong then? (SPOILERS END)

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Often with films it’s hard to nail down quite what’s missing but here’s what I think could have improved the movie.

Firstly more Aguilar. As I said the action sequences were phenomenal and his journey was really interesting but towards the end it just felt rushed so they could trigger a final sequence in the modern day world.

The ending itself seemed confused, with the Templar’s overall plot unclear, Sofia’s motivations kept changing and the open ending felt too abrupt. It’s hard to say more without spoiling the film but I would say the final act felt rushed in lots of ways and that was they key letdown of the movie who’s first two acts were solid.

That said the film definitely feels like Assassin’s Creed so if you’re prepared for a bit of a bump at the end I’d say still strap in and enjoy the ride!

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Species of the Week: Isu

Isu

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Earth

Notable Members: Juno, Minerva, Jupiter

Fandom: Assassin’s Creed

Appearances: Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed III

 

More commonly known as the First Civilization or ‘Those Who Came Before’ the Isu were an advanced race who rules the earth for millennia. They created humanity and used their technology (now referred to as Pieces of Eden) to control them. An uprising led by Human-Isu hybrids known as Adam and eve coupled with a solar cataclysm led to the end of their culture though they continued to influence events and  guide the Assassin Brotherhood through their technology centuries later. 

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed III which is why I picked this race for this week. Obviously I’m waaay behind on the series so I don’t want to research much more for risk of spoiling myself – in fact, learning the name Isu was a spoiler for me!! Anyway engaging with the real-world quests and uncovering the technology of the mysterious First Civilization has always been a favourite part of the game for me and I may come back to this race when I’ve uncovered more of their secrets.

Symbols (3)

This will probably be the last one of these posts as they do more to expose my ignorance than share any knowledge.

Anyway, these symbols were made by Clay Cazmarec in the Animus chamber – some are just coded messages but others are historic symbols and I thought I’d find what I can and post about it.

The Eye of Providence

The eye within a pyramid has long been a symbol of God’s all-seeing eye on the world. It is famous for its appearance on US currency and the conspiracy theories claiming it represents Masonic control of the government.

The symbol likely represents Abstergo’s goal to control the world through the Abstergo-Eye satellites.

Pentagram

Though the symbol has it’s origins in Greek and Roman mythology in modern culture it is linked with evil and satanism.

The symbol like represents Abstergo’s evil intentions

Nazca Lines

The Nazca lines are an astonishing feat of ancient design. Depicting animals, these massive designs are only visible from the air – a view their creators would have never had.

The symbols likely point to the location of a Piece of Eden in Peru, where the lines are located.

Omega

Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet and is significant because of Christ’s statement “I am the Alpha and Omega”

The symbol is likely a reference to Abstergo’s attempts to attain godlike power

Eye of Horus

Also known as the wedjat, the Eye is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity in Egyptian culture

It’s likely the symbol is a reference to Eye-Abstergo

The following two are mathematical symbols I won’t even pretend to have knowledge of. You are welcome to Google them in your own time

Borromean Rings

Lorenz attractor

Symbols (2)

Accover

Continuing this series I’ll look at the symbols of the various orders acive in the Crusades, you know, the symbols on flags you spent hours running around collecting…oh, no,  just me then?

Knights Teutonic

Insignia Germany Order Teutonic.svg

Like most of the Knights of the Crusdades the Teutonic Order adopted the Cross as their symbol, mounting a black cross on a white backdrop. The Knights were identifiable by a simple black cross marked on their white robes.

Knights Hospitalier

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Probably one of the coolest symbols for me as I went to Malta, where the order had it’s base of operations for centuries and the symbol was very prevalent across the islands. Even though Malta played no part in the game it’s cool to have a real connection to that story through it’s history. Even cooler was visiting Monterrigioni and Tiber Island in Italy!!

Jerusalem Cross

The Kingdom of Jerusalem was an attempt during the crusades to create a permanent state in and around Jerusalem for pilgrims to the holy city. The state lasted nearly two centuries but ultimately failed.

King Richard

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One of the most iconic English symbols are the three lions of Richard the Lionheart, still seen today on the England football strip among other places.

Saracens

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Yes, this is the flag of Turkey, but it’s the closest representation of the in-game flag I could find. The crescent and star are depicted in medieval images and texts as being the banner of some Saracen factions during the crusades and has been in use in various forms since the 2nd century.

That’s it, my knowledge of the period is cursory at best and I tried to give a basic impression rather than a full history – if there are any glaring errors or omissions leave a comment and I’ll fix ’em

Next time I’ll cover the mysterious symbols on the Abstergo walls

E3 2017: Assassin’s Creed Origins

OK so this one was no mystery as we knew Assassin’s Creed was back and the setting of ancient Egypt had all but been confirmed but it’s still an exciting reveal which surprisingly came in Microsoft’s press conference rather than Ubisoft, though they did show off some more gameplay in theirs.

I really like the setting and the prospect of seeing the Brotherhood’s foundation (though I hope they reference and link to Adam and Eve from Assassin’s Creed II).

The gameplay looks good, though I have to admit that, despite the literal version of Eagle vision – which is a really cool function – it doesn’t seem drastically different from previous games and I really hope this game delivers on breaking from a formula that was starting to get a bit tired…I think. I’m still on Assassin’s Creed III because I lost my saves after it finally became backwards compatible so I am a bit jaded with the franchise at the moment but I can’t deny the trailer still excites me.

Wonder where they’re going with the giant snake thing at the end – looks to have a more mystical element in this game.

Symbols (1)

Accover

I wanted to do something a bit different so I’m going to look at symbols used in different SF media. I don’t profess any knowledge or anything, but I think there is something about having a recognisable symbol that appeals to us nerds so I’m looking at anything I’d want to slap on a t-shirt…or already have!!

The Assassin Symbol

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The Assassin’s Creed symbol (here the Levantine variant from the first game) seems to have become one of the most recognised symbols in the world – it seems you can hardly walk down the street without bumping into someone sporting the logo on a t-shirt, hat or tattoo. I’ve tried to look into the origins of the symbol – it’s clearly an A for our benefit, but that doesn’t bear any historicity as the original Order were called Hashshashin and their symbol looked something more like this.

Ismail lion calligram

It does bear a close resemblance to the symbol of the Freemasons, and I believe the second game claims that the Masons stole their symbol from the Assassins. There’s also a theory around that it’s based off an eagle skull, which looks pretty cool! Regardless it’s an amazingly powerful symbol..and yes I do own clothing with it on!!

The Templars

Knights

Assassin’s Creed is a good starting place as it does show that symbols have had a huge place in history. While they have been the enemies of the Assassins since pre-history the Templars rose to prominence in the Crusades when they adopted the corrupted Cross as their public symbol and many wore the symbol on rings or other more subtle markers during the modern era.

Abstergo Industries Symbol

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Another great symbol so recognisable that I had to snap up the first line of Abstergo hoodies when UbiWorkshop started their production of merchandise. The public face of the Templar order this symbol recognised an international conglomerate with businesses in almost every sector and a secret agenda of world domination.

Next time I’ll look at some of the other Knightly Orders and their symbols from the Crusades