Assassin’s Creed is undoubtedly one of gaming’s biggest contemporary franchises and one of the most recognizable titles to come out of Ubisoft. It has also been the source of much controversy due to the way that the franchise seem to stagnate for years after it initially became popular.
However, Ubisoft seems to have taken some pages out of the “How to Make an Action RPG” handbook with Assassin’s Creed Origins that came out in 2017, and it seems that all the AC titles in the foreseeable future will stick to the same formula.
Now, the franchise has been around for over ten years at this point, with a total of 21 games release in that timespan. The 22nd one is already on the way, so we figure now would be as good a time as any to make a list of all the Assassin’s Creed games release so far, complete with a short overview of each one.
The main series includes games that belong to the series’ canon, and they are the games released for the PC and the major consoles.
Believe it or not, the original Assassin’s Creed game was very unique at the time it came out. It featured an interesting take on storytelling by using genetic memory as a means of throwing us back to the medieval ages in the Middle East. There, we took on the role of an assassin named Altair ibn La-Ahad as he stabbed, slashed, and parkoured his way through sprawling medieval cities.
Despite how spectacular this all seemed initially, anyone who played the first game will agree that it devolves into repetition fairly quickly. Because of this, the first Assassin’s Creed would serve mainly as a launching platform for the games that would come afterward and make more of the concepts that it introduced.
Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed II is a direct follow-up to the first game that takes place immediately after its modern-day events, all the while making a significant leap when it comes to the era that the player would be assassinating in this time – Renaissance-era Italy.
Ultimately, Assassin’s Creed II is one of the most widely belove entries in the series. It introduce one of the most likable and recognizable Assassin’s Creed protagonists – Ezio Auditore da Firenze – but it also made some critical improvements to the gameplay that helped streamline and diversify it, thus making it a more enjoyable experience.
Brotherhood is a continuation of Ezio’s story, which doesn’t deviate much from the mechanics of Assassin’s Creed II. Instead, it simply builds upon them, most notably by adding a new management system that allows the player to recruit people as assassins whom they could then call upon for aid in combat or send on missions that would yield various rewards.
Other than that, there were also minor changes to the combat that made it more fluid, but Brotherhood was also the first Assassin’s Creed game to include competitive multiplayer.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Revelations are the final chapter of Ezio’s story, and it features a dramatic shift in setting, migrating from Italian cities such as Firenze and Rome to the heart of the Ottoman Empire – Istanbul. However, there were no such major changes in regards to the core gameplay mechanics, as they remained mostly the same.
The only notable additions were the “hook blade,” which allow for zipline traversal of the city and some new assassination opportunities, as well as a tower defense minigame. As such, Revelations remains one of the more forgettable entries in the series – unless you’re in it for the story, that is, as it wraps up Ezio’s story quite nicely, and in a way that is sure to pluck at the heartstrings of the original game’s fans.
Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III makes another timeline jump, although not one as major as that of Assassin’s Creed II. This time, the game takes place during the American Revolutionary War, where we play as a Native American named Ratonhnhaké:ton who adopts the alias of Connor to blend into American society.
The game moves the focus away from sprawling urban environments to the untame wilderness of the Civil War era America, and the free-running mechanics are adapt accordingly. Other than that, it also introduced weather changes, animal hunting, naval exploration, and several new weapons not seen in earlier games.
The game was remaster for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and the Nintendo Switch in March 2019.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Black Flag, like the previous game, is also set in the Colonial era, although it takes place several decades before the events of Assassin’s Creed III. The player assumes the role of Edward Kenway, the grandfather of the previous game’s protagonist.
As obviously imply by the pirate theme, Black Flag places a lot of importance on naval exploration, and it adopts a more open-world approach than any of the games that came before it. Apart from the upgradeable ship, the ability to build up your assassins’ guild-like in Brotherhood, and the improve naval combat, Black Flag didn’t introduce any other major components to the Assassin’s Creed formula.
Freedom Cry was initially release in December 2013 as a DLC for Black Flag, but it was release as an independent game soon after. And considering that it was originally just a DLC for the previous game, it’s more or less obvious what can be expected of the game. It features a new protagonist, Adéwalé, a former slave turned assassin, and the events of the game/DLC take place twenty years after those of Black Flag.
Unsurprisingly, Freedom Cry doesn’t offer any big changes in terms of mechanics and storytelling, which is only natural, considering that it was initially a DLC. It does, however, add a good amount of new content and some new pieces of gear that help make Freedom Cry feel distinct from Black Flag, if only marginally so.
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue
The final game to be set in the Colonial era, Rogue is one of the staler Assassin’s Creed games. It is the first and only game that would have the player assuming the role of a Templar rather than that of an assassin, and there are some gameplay changes to reflect this. Most notably, a greater accent is placed on some more conspicuous of weapons, such as the grenade launcher, for example.
Rogue continues the naval exploration trend of its predecessor, moving the setting from the Caribbean to the Arctic, but no big changes to the core mechanics were made, apart from the addition of new weapons.
The game was originally release only for the PS3 and the Xbox 360, port to PC a year later, and was finally made available on the PS4 and the Xbox One in the form of a 2018 remaster.
After the brief naval detour of Black Flag and Rogue, Assassin’s Creed migrates back to the expansive European cities with Unity, as we assume the role of Arno Dorian, an assassin operating in Paris during the French Revolution. Unity also put a greater accent on RPG elements, as it allow a greater deal of customization of the character and their playstyle than what was seen in the previous entries.
Other than that, it was the first game to feature a cooperative multiplayer, but it did not expand much upon the core formula apart from adding – more weapons. Most notably, there’s the Phantom Blade, which is essentially just the crossbow and the traditional Hidden Blade combine into a single weapon.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Syndicate takes a minor temporal step ahead of Unity in terms of the setting, moving from Revolution-era Paris to the Victorian era London. This is the first game in the series to feature multiple protagonists, as both of the Frye twins (Jacob and Evie) are playable throughout the game.
Gameplay-wise, the only notable additions are, once again, a selection of new melee and ranged weapons, while the multiplayer aspect of the game is omitted entirely. Ultimately, Syndicate was the last Assassin’s Creed game before the big shift that Origins would bring.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Origins broke the years-long stagnation of the franchise by introducing some major changes, both in terms of setting and in terms of gameplay. It takes us all the way back to Ptolemaic Egypt and greatly refreshes the stale Assassin’s Creed formula with a new combat system and RPG elements.
A big change to the combat system was the introduction of hitboxes, as opposed to the paired animation system of the previous games. What this means is that the player can damage multiple enemies with a single attack, but that is a two-way street, as it is easier for multiple enemies to overwhelm the player. As such, Origins provides a more dynamic combat experience that feels ever so fresh and fluid compared to what we’re used to with this franchise.
The game also features a much more spacious open world than what we’ve seen before, allowing the player to switch seamlessly between the cities and the wilderness of ancient Egypt as they explore it.
And that would be all the Assassin’s Creed games released thus far! But of course, knowing Ubisoft, the list won’t stop expanding any time soon, for better or for worse.
We’re very sure that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be received well by the gaming community when it gets released in late 2020.