AUG 03th, 2019


After the conclusion of all major story content for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I starting growing more curious about Kassandra’s stance towards the entire timeline of the Assassins, Templars, and Elpidios’ lineage, and her role in all subsequent events (or the lack thereof). She predates everything and lived to see it all (except for the Isu), it was hugely disappointing for her story to abruptly end with handing off a staff, 2000 years laterto the wrong person. The fact that one character had to live for millennia and fought wars in every end of the earth just to protect a it (instead of storing it in some place), until she can hand it over to someone with a fraction of all that knowledge and skill, who ended up being rash and easily manipulated upon receiving such power, is beyond me, especially when Kassandra could’ve herself become the lead character of the present day from then on or became a form of mentor the brotherhood.

This is is only one example of the off-putting plot resolutions (or the lack thereof) in recent games. Stories are often written in a vacuum, without much regard to any previously established narrative and logic or any lingering plot lines. With each new game, countless of past storylines and mysteries are deliberately abandoned for the convenience of a senseless “fresh start”, characters never given proper closures and tons of lingering question that are either never answered or given short, weak explanations, and most of the time they aren’t given in the games.


Instead of waiting for millennia to deliver the Staff to Layla, why didn’t Kassandra deliver it to the wise reformer Altair Ibn-La’Ahad? The brave mentor Ezio Auditore? William Miles who was a mentor and an influential figure to the Assassins in the present day, and whose son sacrificed his life (with his aid) to save the world? Layla is credited as a “chosen one” without doing any reasonable build up to explain as to why that is the case, and after two 30-50 hours-long games with four additional story arcs, we’re still no closer to any clue about the purpose of the Heir or why the  games’ focus was shifted from Shaun, Rebecca and Galina to Layla.

What exactly is the purpose of the Heir of Memories? there’s talk of “restoring balance” or “equilibrium”, but it feels a lot more like an amalgamation of complex-sounding words to give the illusion of importance, without ever explain why so or leading anywhere beyond the game’s credits. Every recent Assassin’s Creed game seem to strongly imply that new each dev team places few new terms and ideas that appear to be important while the other team of the next game completely forgets about them and gives their own take and their own set of new “plot lines”, and neither of those end up taking the story anywhere or having their own self-contain explanation.

What was the point of The Curse of the Pharaohs arc for Assassin’s CreedOrigins? why did Layla need to witness that moment? How could the Apple of Eden create such elaborate and accurate illusions across vast distances that everyone could see exactly the same, and were so conveniently localized with “entrances” and “exits”? Where did the Lantern and the enclosed Piece of Eden that Arno found in Unity, end up? why did he send the small Apple enclosed within it to Egypt and for what purpose? Are Medusa, Cyclops and Sphinx, from Odyssey, mutations of existing living beings, created by the Pieces of Eden, or are they just projections? I know that the texts in the game imply that they’re mutations and the result of genetic experimentation using Pieces of Eden, but why do they disappear upon death in the form of a hologram and leave no corpse behind? How is that any different from Anubis, Sekhmet and Sobek in Origins, who were “Animus Glitches”. Do the Pieces of Eden have any significance at all now, or are they just a “jewels/teasures” that the “treasure hunter” needs to find before “falling in the wrong hands”? At this point it seems a lot more interesting if they actually fall into the wrong hands, provided that makes some significant change in the present day world of the game, and the narrative.

The Isu are civilization that perished circa 75,000 BCE, predating every known human civilization and their depictions of gods and monsters, yet somehow an Isu member, Aletheia in Odyssey, created simulations of their world and their most prominent figures, in accordance and likeness with Greek mythology. At the end of The Fate of Atlantis, we are told that these simulations were partly memories, but why are the memories showing Isu as Greek figures in Greek mythology inspired worlds? And why show a run-down and dilapidated version of these Isu worlds such as Elysium, with the excuse that “Persephone is angry and she made it like that” instead of actually showing it in its original glory, not as historical ancient sites? Why didn’t we get an actual chapter set in the Isu era/world to offer us real knowledge and why didn’t Kassandra just find a Forge to upgrade her staff, like she did with her Spear instead of playing VR in Aletheia’s simulation?


Elpidios, the son of Kassandra in Odyssey, was revealed to be an ancestor of Aya, yet we don’t even know what Aya ended up doing to make her so significant that she had to be a descendant of the Eagle Bearer. Yes, she assassinated Caesar and formed the Roman Brotherhood, but does that really require her to be of Kassandra’s lineage? or is it solely an excuse to link it to the other games, for those who wonder why Odyssey is even considered an Assassin’s Creed game to begin with? She could be easily replaced with any character to do the same things (many of which were in a comic series) and her lineage wouldn’t matter anyway. She could’ve still played a significant role without having to be related to someone with a high concentration of Isu DNA or held the staff or whatever, especially that she had no known sixth sense to justify the lineage.

Bayek founded the Hidden Ones who were proto-Assassins, and he had no recollection of anything regarding Darius or where his Hidden Blade, which is Darius’ blade, came from nor any knowledge of anything related to the Creed or any free will fighters before him (and neither did Aya who is a descendant of the Eagle Bearer who was raised by Darius) despite a long established history of the creed as one, not fragmented factions with vaguely similar principles, yet they were shoehorned only for an “origin” story be placed in the most marketable era of Egyptian history.

The Assassin Insignia itself is made out to have originated from the stamp of an eagle skull on the sand which Bayek utilized. But that doesn’t make sense because Babylonians who predate Bayek HAVE THEIR OWN INSIGNIA in the encyclopedia books, centuries prior (Fall of Babylon 539 BCE). The brotherhood WAS NOT BORN WITH BAYEK, and explaining the statues of Iltani and the others beneath the Villa Auditore with their own respective insignias as “added posthumously” makes zero sense, because you don’t just make up an insignia for a faction that belonged in a nation that ceased to exist millennia ago and refer to them as “members of said creed” when that creed supposedly didn’t exist and is not a mere collective, but rather an established faction that requires loyalty, adherence to tenets and an oath to join. Clay Kaczmarek himself stated “Behold the Assassins, children of both worlds” referring to them being descendants of the human-Isu hybrids Adam and Eve (through their son Abel’s lineage, while the Templars were the sons of Cain).


While the hardwork changed fundamental aspects of the gameplay opened the franchise to a much larger audience and kept that brand thriving in a stronger state than what has followed the backlash following Unity launching with numerous game-breaking issues, is something to be celebrated and appreciated, it is also something that came at the cost of the brand’s identity and lore consistency, which is something that hardcore fans invested a very long time and effort into following and understanding without much of a narrative pay-off. 

The least that that the core fans expect is a consistent rewarding experience, with significant progress per game and a worthy follow up and satisfactory outcomes in the next, and I raise a question that many already have done so, would you consider a movie that concludes its main villains fate into a book or a comic series or for its sequel to forget the questions raised by its predecessor, a fulfilling experience? If not, then neither should games be exempt from that. Imagine Avengers Endgame not showing Thanos’ fate in the ending, and instead asked audiences to read book to know how the story concludes, with the next movie throws a passing comment about what happened in that book, while they story is something completely different? Video games are an art form and a storytelling medium and every game that tells a story, should also find a suitable conclusion for it to be taken seriously, because otherwise what’s the point of adding an overarching narrative arc anyway?

The Assassin’s Creed franchise won the hearts of millions of fans and has offered some of the most outstanding moments in gaming history, and it’s disappointing to see it turning its rich lore into easter eggs, main villains into simulations, consistency to convolution and going from setting the trends to chasing them. You can’t maintain interest in a narrative that progresses in baby steps, seeing it devolving from a mainly grounded, interconnected gritty story that keeps you at the edge of your seat with its twists and cliffhangers per game, to a more comical romanticized vision of history and turn the lore into a series of Easter eggs going nowhere, and most importantly, you can’t expect to base the narrative of a story-driven franchise 70% on player imagination and theories. Leaving few aspects in the end for players to imagine is good, but to leave the majority of the storyline for players to solve for themselves (or forget about), without any official response IN THE GAMES, not on Twitter, NOT in interviews, podcast or reddit, is a recipe for disappointment and bad storytelling.

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