2007 was a massive year for video games, seeing the release of Call of Duty 4, Halo 3, Portal 2, and many more classics besides. But it also saw the genesis of one of the real behemoths of the gaming landscape, as 10 years ago today, on 16th November 2007, the world was introduced to the original Assassin’s Creed.
The game took an innovative spin on the historical action-adventure genre, following two storylines: one set in 2012 as we controlled Desmond Miles, a bartender with an unclear past kidnapped by a shadowy corporate organisation, and one set in the Levant in 1189, focusing on Miles’ ancestor – and master assassin – Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. It was a bold move, but one that payed off, as fans were enticed by the centuries-long war between Assassins and Templars, the implications that war had on the “modern day”, and the moral complexities the story explored. We were also introduced to many of the franchise’s mainstays, including the thrilling parkour, daring eagle dives and heart-poundingly tense assassination missions – and, of course, the now-iconic hidden blade.
10 years on, and the franchise is as big as ever, with 10 main console releases, countless mobile games, comics, and novels, and even a feature-length film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. But it’s never swayed far from its roots, even as the most recent main release, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, takes the series back to a time period prior to the Crusades for the first time – the tight swordplay is still there, parkour has only become more exhilarating, and the complex plot is ever more intriguing with each new release. Although missions could become slightly repetitive over time, its fascinating story and innovative mechanics made Assassin’s Creed a fantastic game that was far ahead of its time.
Remind yourself of this instant classic by checking out the cinematic trailer below: