The Assassin's Creed games are stupid. Don't get me wrong, I love AC2 and Brotherhood. They give you a lot to explore, look really nice, and keep you occupied with all sorts of side content. That said, they're incredibly stupid.

The sci-fi conceit that connects all the games isn't very good, and its execution is laughable. Every major figure in history possessed a magic doodad and secret societies and blah blah. Even if you go along for the ride, it's not told very well at all. A central story is teased through impressionistic glimpses and moments of seemingly important posturing, but that story is never actually told, because doing so would require some forward movement that would only pay off with excellent writing.

So we have fun running around and stabbing people in neat settings, trying not to think too hard about all the coincidences we're supposed to be amazed by and all the lazy historic landmarks that the series awkwardly gropes. We put up with all the embarrassing shallow video game character melodrama because it's outweighed by the gameplay. And, really, as long as the games are competently made (which isn't a sure thing following Revelations) that's fine.

Now we know that the inevitable Assassin's Creed III will be set in America during the Revolutionary War. I'll be there on day one with everyone else, but in the meantime how about some predictions?

  • You will calmly walk through a full scale battle, pushing soldiers from both sides out of your way as you remain undetected, magically cloaked by a small cluster of turkeys.
  • The collectibles in this game will be Ben Franklin's missing kites. You will discover them on rooftops and tree branches, held in place by tangled strings with keys dangling from the end.
  • After assassinating a corrupt American, you will tread on a Don't Tread On Me flag. Symbolism.
  • You will witness the Boston Massacre firsthand, but will not be able to control your character. One of the event's victims will be someone you care about.
  • A cinematic fight (literally a cinematic) will leave a crack in the Liberty Bell.
  • You will scan glowy conspiracy matrix code that has been hidden on the Declaration Of Independence. Also, you might have to find pages of "the real" articles of confederation as another collectible.
  • Freemasons did everything. Also, computers and magic.
  • A drummer boy will rotate his drum, revealing the bottom to be the barrel of a small cannon. The piper next to him will adjust his instrument slightly, revealing it to be a blowdart gun.
  • You will discover that Benedict Arnold was not a traitor, but a patsy that had been turned on by the Templars.
  • After speaking with the chief of a Native American tribe, you will partake in a hallucinatory ritual that will blend the spiritual world with flashes of sci-fi computer bullshit. This will lead you to discover that the hawk noise which follows the climbing of a vantage point is actually the sound of your bloodline's spirit animal.
  • Instead of gold, you will scour the game world for hidden chests filled with freedom.
  • One mission will require you to sneak aboard a ship, using the Boston Tea Party as a distraction.

Syndicate
Great co-op that does as much as you probably could with the license in an FPS, though the single player campaign is a series of lifeless corridors with almost as many cover spots as cliches. 6/10

Asura's Wrath
Combat that looks great on paper but never really feels satisfying, QTEs upon (repeating, unavoidable) QTEs, and CRAAAAZY things happening on screen that carry absolutely no impact beyond making you think "huh, I guess that guy is large". 4/10

SSX
I'd like to zip around the screen instantly like Space Harrier and have arcadey fun on every inch of these amazing looking mountains, not barrel forward with the turning radius of a Resident Evil 1 character. 7/10

Army Corps Of Hell
If this was anywhere near as cool as its title, I'd be giving it a thumbs up in a 90s magazine ad, wearing a rad pair of shades and going "WHOA!" as my hair was blown back. 5/10

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell

More Video Game Article

This Week on Something Awful...

  • Lair Flair!

    Lair Flair!

    Your lair. Maybe you lure victims to it, maybe you hide in it between killings, or maybe you haunt it 24/7 because you’re tragically confined by a curse. Whatever the situation, for most of us monsters, a living/un-living space is an important part of our identities. In this column, Monstergeddon award winners share their lair tips and techniques!

  • SkyMall Product Review: Bark Deterring Ultrasonic Collar

    SkyMall Product Review: Bark Deterring Ultrasonic Collar

    Works great on my child, who hasn't barked at all for as long as she's worn the apparatus. When she turns three, we will remove it for a trial period.

Copyright ©2014 Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka & Something Awful LLC.