Assassin’s Creed: An unrequited obsession

Confession: I used to be a journalist. Sort of.

I worked as a staff writer for a while at a place that covered news for engineers and the like. My specialty was design software, which meant I spent a lot of time researching and working with software and the companies that made it, either trying to figure out the finer points or digging for a story.

One of those companies was Autodesk.

Although it’s historically known for producing engineering software, Autodesk also has its thumb in the pie that is the entertainment industry. It makes some of the most powerful software used in Hollywood.

It also makes 3ds Max, the software that Ubisoft uses to make the Assassin’s Creed games.

One time, when I was digging around, I discovered a little writeup on the press site talking about how the software had been used to create Brotherhood. At the time, that was the only Assassin’s Creed game I owned.

Needless to say, I got excited.

I spent almost a year trying to devise ways to convince my boss to let me talk to the folks out at the Montreal office of Ubisoft, just so I could write (read: geek out) about Assassin’s Creed and how cool it was.

I never did figure out a way because it was just far enough outside of my subject, but it did make me realize the level of obsession I had for the games.

An impossible love

I absolutely adore Assassin’s Creed. The artwork, the concepts, even the map design. There’s just one problem:

I really, really suck at them.

I’m actually not even sure how I made it through the tutorial for Brotherhood. It told me so many things about the fighting style and gameplay, and it all went right over my head.

So why do I love the games, if I’m atrocious at them?

It’s all in their stories.

One of the things I adore about the Assassin’s Creed games is their emphasis on historical events and (for the most part) portraying things accurately. Brotherhood, for example, focuses on 16th-century Italy, and as a former student of Italian literature, I find it insanely cool.

In fact, the first thing I fell in love with about the game was that as you run around the open world, it gives you little tidbits and fun facts about the time period and the map. The amount of research that would have gone into putting so many details into such a large map is something I seriously respect.

That’s why, to me, it doesn’t really matter that I’m terrible at the game and die a lot. And it’s why I will shamelessly continue collecting the games.


Do you have a game that you’re terrible at but love to pieces anyway?

3 thoughts on “Assassin’s Creed: An unrequited obsession

  1. I feel the same way about AC! I love the heck out of it. The designs, the narrative, the entire concept of historical playgrounds; however, there’s just something about the actual core mechanics that don’t mesh with my brain. I’m awful at their version of stealth. I fail at the combat. But I still fumble my way through because I enjoy it so much. I’ve been revisiting 3 lately. What an ambitious game.

    Also, it’s wicked cool that you used to work for autodesk. I use Sketchbook Pro for all my digital art.

    1. Ah, it’s so nice to know that it isn’t just me! They really are beautiful, wonderful games, and they absolutely deserve our love even though something doesn’t quite click for the combat.

      I actually worked for an independent news source, not Autodesk itself. It would be so cool to work for it! It’s awesome that we have that in common though, I love your artwork!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.