Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: April 2, 2020
Titan Books has published a hardback book titled Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide available from numerous online retailers and high street book stores. Can Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide deliver what it sets out to by producing an official companion guide to the Assassin’s Creed videogame franchise?
Assassin’s Creed is an action adventure stealth videogame franchise developed by some of Ubisoft’s very best development talents and published by Ubisoft. The Assassin’s Creed franchise is one of Ubisoft’s all-time best-selling and most popular franchises that is saying something for a squadron of development teams and a publisher that has such well known franchises as Far Cry, Ghost Recon, Prince of Persia, Rainbow Six, Rayman, Splinter Cell and The Division. Since the first Assassin’s Creed released on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in 2007; there have been over 140 million sales spanning over 20 games including spin-offs on portable and mobile platforms, while there are various other forms of media that have received spin-offs including a cinematic film starring Michael Fassbender, graphic novels, paperback novels and more besides.
Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide is in an experienced author’s hands as Arin Murphy-Hiscock is a freelance writer and editor for a multitude of books.
Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide begins with a foreword written by Head of Content for Assassin’s Creed Aymar Azaizia including the origins of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, how he was first introduced to the franchise, his first involvement in the franchise, the interesting dynamic of the lead character meeting historical characters through different periods of history and more besides.
The introduction chapter from pages 4 to 15 shines a spotlight on both sides of the conflict between the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templar Order, alongside emphasising what each side believes in, their alliances and technology and a timeline of major events.
The Precursor Civilization chapter begins on page 16 concluding on page 39 focuses on the ancient race of Precursor beings including facts about the timeline of the civilization; breakdowns of each character within the known Precursors of the story; quotes from major characters relating to the Precursors; the artefacts, technology and weaponry of the era; locations and temples; and much more besides.
Before the Brotherhood chapter starts on page 40 and ends on page 59 showcases the end of the Golden Age of Greece and what followed including a biography of lead character Kassandra, alongside her enemies and allies. However, as this is a pre-Brotherhood chapter; there is just as much focus on characters from the Ptolemaic period of Egypt and Romans such as Flavius Metellus and the alliances and enemies of an entire multitude of characters throughout those respective eras of civilization, alongside smaller biographies for such supporting characters as Gaius Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.
The Assassin Brotherhood chapter begins on page 60 concluding on page 109 includes a timeline of the history of the Assassin Brotherhood; the three tenets and three ironies of the Assassin’s Creed; structure; training methods; abilities such as Eagle Vision; weaponry; and facts relating to the crest and reason for assassins severing a finger. Meanwhile, there is a biography for every lead character assassin encompassing their known years, birth place, location, their historical period, their guild, major alliances and enemies and a full biographical overview including Altair Ibn-La’ahad, Ezio Auditore, Shao Jun, Edward Kenway, Adewale, Aveline de Grandpre, Connor, Arno Dorian, Arbaaz Mir, Jacob and Evie Frye and Nikolai Orelov, alongside smaller biographies for such supporting characters as Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Nikola Tesla.
The Templar Order chapter starts on page 110 ending on page 153 comprises a Templar history; a structure of their order; and a biography for every main Templar and antagonist encompassing their known years, birth place, location, their historical period, their guild, major alliances and enemies and a full biographical overview including Robert de Sable, Rodrigo Borgia, Cesare Borgia, Prince Ahmet, Laureano de Torres y Ayala, Madeleine de L’Isle, Baptiste, Haytham Kenway, Shay Cormac, Francois Thomas Germain, Elise de la Serre, Crawford Starrick and Lucy Thorne, alongside smaller biographies for characters that are Templar allies.
Technology and Weapons chapter begins on page 154 concluding on page 177 provides detailed coverage of the Animus from development, a timeline of how the Animus progressed in different forms, terms and vocabulary related to the Animus, alongside the original design and numerous variations of the Assassin’s signature weapon; inventions by famous inventors such as Leonardo da Vinci; a vast quantity of ships with an overview of each ship accompanied by statistics, armament, ammo and equipment; and much more besides.
Locations and Settings chapter starts on page 178 and ends on page 215 includes an intriguing timeline of the main time periods situated throughout the story of the entirety of Assassin’s Creed franchise, alongside substantial coverage of each location including Ancient Greece, Ptolemaic Egypt, the Levant, Renaissance Italy, Constantinople, Golden Age of Piracy, Seven Years’ War, American Revolutionary War, Louisiana Rebellion, French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and more besides.
Modern Day chapter begins on page 216 concluding on page 253 looks at the modern day continuation of both sides in modern day civilization, their respective technologies and a biography of people within the modern day Assassins and Templars or other factions and unaffiliated individuals of the Assassin’s Creed franchise story.
The concluding chapter titled Real-Life Brotherhood is a two page spread between pages 254 and 255 dedicated to the passionate Assassin’s Creed franchise fans from cosplay and fan created video content to development team talent, community teams and fans participating in live events, alongside fan art that shows genuine talent; Real-Life Brotherhood is a love letter of appreciation to continuous support for what the developers create by long-term Assassin’s Creed fans and newer fans alike.
Quality of writing is of an excellent standard on a consistent basis as Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide produces amazing insight into everything Assassin’s Creed related with historical context factored into the story, characters, locations, technology and so much more.
Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide’s presentation is spectacular as it comprises fascinating artwork from front cover to back cover including main characters and the outlines of environments from throughout the franchise; complimented by an intriguing synopsis, while the positioning of artwork depicting everything from characters and environments to artefacts, technology, weapons and more besides allows for a huge quantity of text to be presented in such a easy on the eyes framed fashion that is quite reader friendly.
Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide’s value is for fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise that are looking for a chronological step-by-step guide of the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise throughout 256 pages.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide delivers the most official companion book to the Assassin’s Creed franchise comprising history, characters, locations, technology and much more besides. Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide is highly recommended for fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, any individual Assassin’s Creed videogame or a fan of videogame tie-in books in general.
10 out of 10
• Title: Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide
• Writers: Arin Murphy-Hiscock
• Contributions: Aymar Azaizia (Foreword), Artists and more
• Publisher: Titan Books
• Length: 256 pages
• Cover: Hardback
Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide can be purchased in the UK from Amazon and Forbidden Planet, while Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide can be purchased in America and Canada from Amazon. You can also find Titan Books’ official website including a back catalogue of captivating books and product details regarding Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide.