FEB 27th, 2019


From video games to graphic novels, a feature film, novels and numerous comic series, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has traversed through a wide range of mediums to deliver stories that either expand upon the extended universe or to pick up plot lines from the main games to finish in transmedia, the latter being a practice that was disappointing to say the least. However, the original stories told through transmedia the extended the universe were arguably as good, if not better than those told in the recent titles. Now making its first step with audio drama, Gold takes the unique approach of putting our present day protagonist into a blind Assassin’s shoes. An idea that is so new and fitting to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, given the Eagle Vision being a prominent feature that’s been introduced into the lore since the very first game. However, this idea is not doable in game format, unless you were telling the story from another person’s perspective.


Gold focuses on a young present day protagonist named Aliyah Kahn, a card shark and hustler who’s been dealt a rough hand in life. Surviving through her smarts and street scams, Aliyah struggles to get by until she loses to a mysterious older man, Gavin Banks, who approaches her to train and step into the Animus to view the life of her ancestor, Omar Khalid, a blind-Assassin who lived in England during the times of the Great Recoinage. During her training, Banks tells Aliyah of the centuries-old battle between the Assassins and Templars, imploring her to help him decode a secret message inscribed on an illegal form of currency, a coin with a mysterious code that can help them combat a virus/mysterious software from being unleashed in the present day, by no other than Abstergo.

The story is delivered through the beautiful performance of Riz Ahmed, John Chancer, Ray Fearon, Anthony Head, Tamara Lawrance, Gemma Lawrence and Danny Wallace, telling a gripping tale of imminent economic collapse, featuring appearances from Warden of the Royal Mint, Isaac Newton, con artist and counterfeiter William Chaloner and the Assassin trainer Rose Galloway. The story is split between history and present day, drawing a compelling parallel with the financial chaos of Isaac Newton’s 17th-century Britain and the economic uncertainty of our more recent history.

The story has numerous twists and the performance of each character will make you grow to picture and admire each one of them, and Omar Khalid has to be one of the most remarkable Assassins who would’ve made an incredible companion to a game protagonist, or a wise mentor. Isaac Newton is set up a bit similarly to Leonardo DaVinci, in Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood and the story would’ve arguably made a more intriguing plot for an English setting than that of Syndicate. It takes you on a journey through present and past and takes its time exploring the characters it introduces you as it follows a very similar structure to the games and a similar vocal performance and pacing, which is a good thing, and its episodic format makes the idea of an Assassin’s Creed TV show even more appealing.


On the other hand, Gold suffers from similar issues in the games’ stories in that it doesn’t go deep enough into the lore beside the localized events with the newly introduced characters and it doesn’t explore enough of the present day world. In fact the majority of the mysterious software is treated as more of an excuse for the historical story and its conclusion feels more like an after-thought than an actual established climatic moment, which is not unlike the recent games, unfortunately and suffers the same deliberate interruptions of dialogue where a character is permanently silenced or a conversation is cut short to avoid giving out more information on the lingering mysteries. This is another aspect that the games also suffer from, and that is stories being far too localized to feel satisfying.

The all powerful sinister global corporation Abstergo has room for so much innovation and far darker twists and turns than the games or this story dares to go. The First Civilization/Isu, the precursor race that predates mankind and played a pivotal role in their evolution, are strangely absent, along with their technology, the Pieces of Eden, in any traditional sense, which is strange given how they’ve played a role in almost every story so far.


The strongest part of the story is the historical storyline. The rest is more of a context that is created as an excuse for the historical story to be told, despite the present day taking a good chunk of the runtime. However, it makes for an enjoyable independent chapter in the wide universe of the franchise, despite having no real connections to the rest of the franchise beside some familiar names, which is not necessarily a bad thing since it’s an original drama. It makes me wonder if there’s any form of continuation intended for any of the characters in the future, or if they will ever tie into or get mentioned in any of the main stories in any meaningful way. 

It is good for a self-contained original story in the world of Assassin’s Creed with a unique idea for an historical protagonist and a welcome return of the traditional Eagle Vision, the sixth sense that a very small minority of the human race possesses, which is officially known as “knowledge”, allowing those who are blessed with it to feel and anticipate things before they happen, a sense that’s been replaced in the last two games with a literal eagle that that protagonist can see through their eyes. It is also beautifully-performed audio drama that has room to expand with its characters beyond this experience.

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