Our Daily Beard – 17/03/13
Today, I’m going to natter a bit more about Assassin’s Creed, because I’ve just recently completed AC3 (I like to take my time).
So, today’s post needs one of these:
Let’s poke some fun at the rather rushed-feeling ending of Assassin’s Creed 3.
First up, the Connor segments. The beginning of the end is sequence 11, the Battle of the Chesapeake. There’s a nice bit of history to look at here (it was a stonking 43 ship conflict), but it doesn’t have all that much bearing on the story, so I won’t go into it. In any case, the reasons and rhymes of the event are appropriated for the Ass/Temp struggle.
So Connor uses the battle to get to the last remaining Templar, Charles Lee. Cool and/or groovy. He goes into the fort and woopsie daisie, he gets hit by cannon fire. Not directly, of course, or he’d become a grumpy Native American stain on the cobbles. Still, you’d think he would have told them to count to twenty after he gives the signal, before bombarding his immediate location with spherical death.
Connor stumbles around and bumps into daddy Haytham. Argument followed by weird fight where they’re both wounded. Would have liked to see a more epic struggle here but it’s a nice piece and as an emotional turning point it gives Connor an excuse to go native, shaving himself up a nice Goth undercut and painting lines on his face. That’s when you know he’s angry.
So, tooled up, angry, shaved head- Connor’s on the warpath, right?
No, next he just walks up to Charles Lee. Just walks up to him, slowly, with plenty of warning, which is why he then gets battered on the back of the leg and caught by soldiers, while Lee escapes. Maybe he’s meant to be injured still, but he manages to fight normally 5 minutes later. I just don’t get why he lets this happen. Anyway, Charlie runs off to the shipyard, so Connor follows.
Cool bit now- you chase him around the big half-built ship that you probably saw earlier and thought ‘wonder what that’s there for?’. There’s some nice chasey drama here, particularly because it’s on fire (but not in the cut scene after). Then something very weird happens.
Connor is wounded by Lee, but he shoots Lee. Lee staggers off and gets on a ship. Connor gets on a ship too (“follow that ship!”).
Why? To go to a secret base? To find a place to hide and heal?
No, he goes to the pub. Fair play, but a bit… odd. It’s not like it’s even where the real Charles Lee died. Connor arrives a bit later at this random joint in the frontier. He sits at Lee’s table. Lee is just sitting there bleeding out and drinking. Connor stabs him.
Isn’t that just the oddest way to do in a Big Bad? I mean… why couldn’t he just die at the shipyard? Why have him sail to Monmouth? I envisage Lee on one ship, bleeding and slowly dying, and Connor on the ship behind him, bleeding and wobbly. Like some kind of slow motion final chase scene. Imagine how Skyfall would look if the wounded Silva got into a taxi at the end and drove off, so the knackered Bond gets a taxi too and follows him a short distance behind, both of them just sitting there bleeding, then Silva goes to a pub and sits there… etc. ODD!
Okay, okay, so at least he’s dead. We’ve got the shiny amulet of techno magic. Juno appears to Connor and says “Blah blah, thanks chuck. Now hide this somewhere very safe.” So much for the spiritual eagle flight bit- that was just to impress his primitive brain, I suppose.
Presumably the idea here is that Connor hides the shiny somewhere safe so that only Desmondo can find it, because she knows that he’s witnessing his ancestor’s memories. Side note: I love the idea of how the ancients can project into their future by mathematically assessing the probabilities of how our world would turn out.
So Connor needs to hide the shiny somewhere that the Templars will never find it. Somewhere that’s unrelated to him or the people that the Templars specifically know that he’s associated with. Somewhere that has nothing to do with another famous Assassin who trained Connor, certainly not if that mentorship was public knowledge.
Achilles’ grave. Yeah, not the sharpest tomahawk in the forest.
Against the odds, the Templars never find the shiny. Cut to Des, who says “I know where it is!”
Quick flash and they’ve gone and got the shiny. Plug it in and Des is presented with a big orb to touch. This is something to do with Des having the DNA of the ancients. Touching the thingy releases Juno, so basically she’s been manipulating events in order for Desmond to arrive at the temple at this time, yada yada.
If I remember right, Juno and Minerva are holographic projections- the ladies transferred their minds into machines in order to survive a prior solar apocalypse. Minerva shows up now, warning Des not to listen to Juno. Now, I love this series, but couldn’t really remember on the spot everything that these two had already said and done with Des. That made it hard to know who was cool and who was stool. So handily, Minerva shows you a nice video of what will happen if you stand down.
The world gets fried by the sun. You know, that event that we’ve been trying to prevent, at least for a couple of the games. She says let it happen dawg, you will survive and lead the handful of leftover humans as a god, then basically civilisation repeats itself.
Des will not do this, no sir. He touches the thingy without actually asking what Juno intends to do, aside from save the world from the solar flares by using some kind of force field.
She does. Win!
But then Des dies and she implies that she’s back and ready to subjugate humanity, who she hates with a moderate passion. So basically, we saved the world, but now there’s a scary ancient woman to contend with. Presumably she will find some way to be much more dangerous than she sounds.
Well, that was flat. Nice to see the world saved, though it happens very quickly. It’s a bit like when you kill Vidic- too quick and easy. It still bugs me that one man armed only with a knife is able to get into Abstergo and kill Vidic (you don’t use the Apple until you leave), even after coming in through the front entrance. Sorry, I thought this was a massive corporation that’s threatening to take over the world? Why were we hiding in Italy?! There’s only about 30 of them armed with sticks!
So what’s next for Assassin’s Creed?
Well, Juno’s a hologram, so it’s not too clear where she’s going to get a body from. I foresee Desmond not dying as such but becoming a vessel for her. That would make sense of his bloodline being important. Des may also appear inside the Animus, like subject 16. Either way, Juno seems to be into enslaving humans rather than directly killing them as she could easily have done.
In Black Flag, we know that instead of Des, we have Abstergo employees examining his DNA. Could this be taken a step further to say that Abstergo and the Assassins might team up to take on Juno’s new world order together? Or will Juno take over Abstergo as the first step of the conquest?
In any case, this is not a bad ending- that’s not what I’m saying. It’s just very squished-up. I like the irony, I just wish we knew a bit more about the first civ (they did some work to address this, but it still felt a bit vague). Juno had a little character development in terms of her hatred of humanity and the loss of her husband (all tied in with the Adam and Eve rebellion thing from AC2). I suppose the next instalment after Black Flag will cover these things as the Assassins do battle with Juno.
Most likely is more history-diving, the core of the series- contrary to what I used to expect, which was a big modern-day endgame with Des. I look forward to finding out. Despite all this plot-hole-poking, I really do love this series to bits. I just want Ubisoft to take me on as a writer.
See you tomorrow!