Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nothing is True. Everthing is Permitted. - The Story Thus Far

My name is Desmond Miles and this is my story. I was kidnapped by a Templar front company called Abstergo and forced to relive my ancestors’ lives. First I lived as Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad an assassin that lived during the crusades fighting the Templars. Next I lived as Ezio Auditore, my ancestor that lived in Renaissance Italy, who also fought the Templars. I got pulled into this war between the Assassins and the Templars in the search for Eden.

And so begins Assassin’s Creed. These past couple of weeks I’ve put in roughly 60-65 hours into the Assassin’s Creed games, AC: I, AC: II, and AC: Brotherhood. I’ve played the entire series, discounting the Facebook game and the one for the PSP, in the span of two weeks, and am thoroughly impressed with the games. That isn’t to say there aren’t faults in them but we’ll get to that soon.

The Story Thus Far (There Be Spoilers Here)

The game begins with Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad assassinating a Templar executioner before Desmond, the story’s protagonist, de-syncs from the Animus, a machine that allows people to relive their ancestors’ memories from their DNA. Desmond awakes from the machine in a lab surrounded by Viddic, the closest thing the antagonists have as a face and personality, and his lab assistant Lucy. Viddic explains that Desmond has information they’re after; despite Desmond’s protests of having no idea what they are talking about and denying that he is an assassin.

Viddic and Lucy put Desmond back into the Animus to relive Altaïr’s memories in search for what is only known as a piece of Eden. During this stint in the Animus Altaïr is given orders to kill Templar agents on both sides of the Crusade by the Assassin leader, Al Mualim. By doing so he prompts the lead Templar, Robert De Sable, to convene with both armies in an attempt to turn them against the Assassins. After their fight to the death De Sable tells Altaïr that Al Mualim was actually a Templar and plans to use the piece of Eden to control the people. Upon Altaïr’s return to the assassin stronghold he finds that the people are in a near zombielike state and under the control of Mualim. Altaïr fights Mualim killing him in the process, with the apple in Altaïr’s hand a hologram of the world is projected from it. On the hologram are markers all around the globe.

Being pulled out of the Animus at this point, Desmond is told that those markers are possible locations of other pieces of Eden and that Abstergo, the company holding him hostage wants them and that he is no longer needed. Lucy steps up and explains that they might need an assassin’s knowledge to get past the defenses to retrieve the pieces of Eden, thereby saving Desmond’s life. After the meeting with Viddic and other Abstergo executives, Lucy takes Desmond to the side giving him a sign that she’s actually an assassin and a friend.

It’s now that Desmond finds out about what is known as the bleeding effect. After everyone leaves, presumably to search for the pieces of Eden, Desmond’s eagle vision kicks in and allows him to see writing in blood, everywhere; different symbols with no discernible meaning. And that’s when the curtain closes on the first game.

After a brief recount of the last game, Desmond is awoken by Lucy and told that they’re both leaving. She explains that she’s as much as prisoner as he is and that she’s planned a prison break. Together they break out of Abstergo and join a couple of assassins, Rebecca and Shaun, at a nearby hideout. After making themselves comfortable, or at least as comfortable as an organization on the run can be, Desmond explains what he saw at the end of the first game, primarily the writing in blood on the walls. Lucy explains that the bleeding effect is when he begins taking on characteristics of his ancestors, being able to do what they can essentially, however it comes at a cost, the most likely one being his sanity. The person that had written on the walls in his own blood was the test subject before Desmond and after using the Animus so many times had lost his grip on reality and was hallucinating his ancestors’ memories. But the assassin’s intend to use the bleeding effect to train Desmond to become a full fledged assassin. Rebecca, using schematics given to her by Lucy, built their own version of the Animus that’s supposedly better than the ones at Abstergo.

Upon reentry into the Animus Desmond finds that he is now living the life of Ezio Auditore, his ancestor that lived during the Italian Renaissance, beginning from his birth. Ezio is born to a family of assassin’s yet does not know so, as far as he knows he’s just another Italian teenager born to a wealthy banking family. Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s father, uncovers a plot to overthrow the Medici family in Florence led by the Templars, mainly Rodrigo Borgia. Because he discovers this plot him and his family are charged with treason and hanged. Only Ezio, his mother, and his sister Claudia, escape to their uncle’s villa in Tuscany. This sets Ezio on a path of revenge against the conspirators. Going through the list of conspirators he meets people such as Le Volpe, the Fox, a famous thief of the time, his uncle Mario, and an entire Thieves Guild. He follows Borgia to Venice and attacks him on his trip back from Cyprus, the island where Altaïr hid the apple of Eden. During the confrontation all of his allies from the game reveal themselves to be assassins and accept Ezio into the order. They take back the apple but Borgia escapes.

Years later, the memories in between are inaccessible, Rodrigo Borgia has been elected Pope and is now, arguably, the most powerful man in all of Rome. Ezio assaults the Vatican with the help of the other assassins. Ezio chases Rodrigo Borgia into a vault under the Vatican where they fight, however Ezio cannot bring himself to kill Boriga, instead opting to combine the Papal staff, another piece of Eden, and the apple to open the actual vault. Where he encounters “Minerva” who explains, not to Ezio but to Desmond, that they were there before humans and created the first humans. She explained that they were not gods but just advanced and that there was something major going to happen that only Desmond can prevent. And it’s with this revelation that the second game ends.

Brotherhood begins where Assassin’s Creed II left off. Desmond, still being Ezio Auditore, is back at his Uncle’s Villa. That’s when the Borgia forces attack the Villa in an attempt to exterminate the Assassins. Mario is killed during the attack and the Apple is taken from the Assassins. Ezio and his family head to Rome to meet up with the other assassins, primarily La Volpe and Machiavelli. Ezio with the help of the other assassins begin to liberate Rome from Borgia control, eventually weakening their support enough to plan an attack on the entire Borgia family. After Ezio cuts Cesare’s financial aid to his army by killing a man known only as the Banker, Cesare returns to Rome to plead for Vatican funds from his father. Ezio witnesses Rodrigo Borgia’s, the Pope, attempt to kill his son Cesare Borgia, the leader of the Vatican armies. Instead Lucrezia, Cesare’s sister and lover also the Pope’s daughter, warns him of the plot. Using the poisoned apple his father had intended for him he kills Rodrigo. Cesare then races to the Apple which is across the Vatican district, Ezio beats him there and takes out his guards using the power of the Apple. Cesare is then arrested by the Papal guards when attempting to re-takeover Rome for incest and murder. Ezio not believing that Cesare will remain in prison checks the Apple and finds that Cesare had escaped prison and was assaulting a city. Ezio shows up and ends Cesare’s life by throwing him off the battlements.

Back in 2012 using the location of where Ezio hid the Apple Desmond, Lucy, Shaun, and Rebecca head to the Coliseum to find it. Desmond finds the hidden vault chamber and the entire group goes in. Desmond picks up the apple and time freezes. It is explained by a being called Juno, that he needs to find Eve to enter the Gate with him. But that the Cross darkens the horizon. Juno then forces Desmond to open his hidden blade and stab Lucy. As the closing credits roll Juno’s voice is heard saying it is done.

There's more to come. What're your thoughts on the series? And on a completely unrelated note, did anyone else have problems getting on yesterday? When I attempted to update it told me I needed to enable cookies and javascript, but both were already enabled.

(edit: Added the plot summary for Brotherhood)

1 comment:

  1. I feel the 4th game will be the best in the series, with updated engines, and being in Constantinople, with Ezio in the footsteps of Atair, to find the other peices of Eden, there has to be a huge twist in Ezio's final chapter, love the concept of the hooked blade, and better gun capacity, and using eagle vision during a smoke bomb assault, this game is gonna set bars for assassinations.