There are a lot of Assassin’s Creed games. If you look at just the main titles you have six, but then the second one has two spin-offs with the same protagonist. So you’re at eight now. But then you have even more spin-offs and smaller titles that bring the Assassin’s Creed count to over 20. Yeah, that’s more games than many even realize exist for one of gaming’s biggest franchises.
Yet, for some reason, many opt out of the games outside of the main triple-A series for fear of getting something second rate. But that’s the wrong way to go about it, and we’ve put together a few reasons why that is.
It’s More Assassin’s Creed
When you’re a fan of something, you probably want more. There’s nothing wrong with that. Assassin’s Creed has a deep story underneath all of the sword-fighting, dudes with cool hoodies and Templar schemes. A lot of it actually branches outside of the main games, leaving gaps that you can fill in elsewhere.
Some of these gaps are easily fixed by reading one of the many books based on the series (both comics and full-fledged novels). But some require that you start jumping into the other games. Games like Assassin’s Creed Rogue or the new Assassin’s Creed Chronicles series build on the same story in interesting ways by allowing you to peek into the lives of some of the characters you know and love.
For instance, you could have found out that Ezio had a hand in helping Shao Jun (the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China) become an amazing Assassin. There are plenty of interesting tidbits like this one scattered throughout the side games that give more insight into the main characters. And there’s also the added bonus of more assassinating action as well, just in case the story isn’t enough for you.
Travel The World
Okay, so technically you travel the world in the main series, but let’s be real for a second. The annualized Assassin’s Creed games are pretty predictable in their selections for locations. Different places around Europe, the Americas and a short excursion to the Middle East. While each location was done quite well, right down to easily recognizable landmarks, there has still been a large portion of the world left ignored in those games. But that’s where the smaller and side games come in.
China, India and Russia can be visited in Chronicles, so you can see how the Templars have meddled with each of those nations’ history. Heck, you could even visit the bayous of Louisiana in Assassin’s Creed: Liberation. These varied locations and plots that stray away from the core are just as amazing (if not more so) than those that fans of the main games have grown accustomed to.
It’s also nice to get a change of architecture, combat styles, and different versions of armor from different societies.
The Characters Are Interesting
One of the focal points for the Assassin’s Creed franchise is its characters. While the intrigue of a centuries-old war and the creed itself may be interesting, it’s the assassins themselves that players are drawn to. If you don’t believe us just ask a fan which game is his/her favorite, and then ask why. You’ll often get an answer revolving around the protagonist of that iteration.
Whether it’s Ezio’s charm, Edward’s daring nature, or the Frye twins’ wit, it’s the assassins who make the games. By passing up on some of the smaller titles, you can miss out on characters who can compete with even the most beloved representatives of the series.
One truly notable character is Shay Cormac. He was an assassin for years before he began to find fault with the brotherhood’s methods, leading him to become one of the most famous Templars in the order’s history. He took down many well-known assassins as he built his legacy, and that would probably make most fans hate him. But playing as him in Rogue gives insight into one of the most complex and tortured characters in the franchise.
So you may want to dip out of the main line every now and then, some characters are dying to properly introduce themselves to you.
Each Assassin’s Creed adds something new to the combat. In some of the spin-off games, you can even see the first appearance of later tools and weapons.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China shows Shao Jun using the rope dart to both defeat enemies and get around. It would later be adopted by Edward, Adewale, Shay and Connor. Arbaaz Mir (Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India) uses a chakram that can be used as a weapon or as a means to solve puzzles requiring distractions. He also has a hidden blade that splits into three.
It’s cool to branch out and see different methods being put into action. It gives us a glimpse into how the assassins evolved over the years and what they adapted from one another.
Each of the side games brings something fresh to the table, even if that thing isn’t on as large a scale as the main games. While passing up on them probably won’t affect how you currently feel about the franchise, allowing yourself to experience them will only make your appreciation grow deeper. So if Assassin’s Creed already has you hooked, you should definitely give them a chance.
Do you already enjoy the side games? Which is your favorite? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.