Assassin's Creed 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Assassin's Creed 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Ubisoft Adds Assassin's Creed 2, Child of Light to Free Game List https://www.gameskinny.com/lurbu/ubisoft-adds-assassins-creed-2-child-of-light-to-free-game-list https://www.gameskinny.com/lurbu/ubisoft-adds-assassins-creed-2-child-of-light-to-free-game-list Fri, 01 May 2020 14:53:50 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

At the beginning of April, Ubisoft announced a period of free trials and free game giveaways to help encourage self-isolation and keep us all sane at home. One month later, Ubisoft is continuing that plan, adding two new games to the list of free titles up for grabs.

The excellent Rayman Legends is still free for now, and Assassin's Creed 2: Deluxe Edition as well as the acclaimed Child of Light are joining the ranks. These are all PC games accessed through Ubisoft's Uplay launcher, and they're free until May 5 at 2 p.m. local time.

Assassin's Creed 2: Deluxe Edition

Assassin's Creed 2 is the start of the fan-favorite Ezio trilogy, featuring Renaissance assassin Ezio Auditore de Firenze. As the "Firenze" in his name suggests, AC2 takes place in Florence, Italy, the heart of the Renaissance in Europe, which means you get to see Leonardo Da Vinci be the Q to Ezio's James Bond.

And while AC2 might not be nearly as free and open as recent offerings like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, it still features some of the best gameplay in the old Assassin's Creed style. Plus it's free, so if you're interested in the upcoming Assassin's Creed Valhalla, you won't lose anything by heading back to the series' origins.

Check it out on Uplay.

Child of Light

Child of Light is a wholly unique RPG, baking fairytale settings and storytelling into every aspect of the game, including combat. It's gorgeous, so much so we actually called it a work of art in our review (which doesn't happen often).

Lovely as it is, it's still a game at its core, and it offers plenty of absorbing RPG gameplay elements like skill trees and turn-based combat to complement the aesthetic. If by some chance you haven't experienced Child of Light yet, now's the time to do it.

You can get it here.

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While the free game offerings have subsided somewhat recently, there's still plenty of deals to find. PlayStation has two big sales going on, the second Big in Japan sale coinciding with Golden Week and then a games under $20 sale as well, and Xbox Final Fantasy fans can check out most of the modern Final Fantasy titles for a discount.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more video game deals news as it develops.

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The Importance of Characterization and Narrative in RPGs and Adventure Games https://www.gameskinny.com/xfy9r/the-importance-of-characterization-and-narrative-in-rpgs-and-adventure-games https://www.gameskinny.com/xfy9r/the-importance-of-characterization-and-narrative-in-rpgs-and-adventure-games Sat, 20 May 2017 14:00:01 -0400 Stephen Brown

CRPGs have been around for decades, with nearly all of them inspired by the likes of Dungeons and Dragons in some shape or form. The genre has also slowly merged with adventure games in recent years, allowing for new dynamics (and problems) to arise in their designs. However, with advancement in technology, video games, in general, have evolved into huge, intricate, and immersive experiences. Which has led for consumer expectations to rise.

Therefore, developers need to focus on creating complex and engaging storylines filled with memorable characters. That's what will keep the genre iterating -- and interesting.

Why Are Story And Characters So Important?

Story is what holds every RPG together, and it gives the player focus throughout his or her playtime. However, great storytelling isn't just about the main narrative, but also compelling mini story arcs and side quests narratives. When the player wants to explore and seek these out, they should be engaged by them and rewarded by them -- and not just with loot. Otherwise, these side quests become mundane, a chore to get through.

Likewise, characters are pivotal to any story -- the two cannot be separated. They work in tandem with great storytelling. They must have personality to be believable. They cannot be blank and emotionless A.I. If the characters are dull and unmemorable, then it will be difficult for the player to become invested in the game.

Although the story may boil down to saving the world, telling this in an interesting way -- with relatable characters -- makes the experience so much more engaging and worthwhile. 

Where RPGs and Adventure Games Get It Wrong And Right

The following RPGs aren't necessarily bad games, but they're also not necessarily great games, either. There are certain design and development decisions, specifically in the realms of narrative and quest design, that harm each game's overall experience. 

The Assassin's Creed Franchise

The Assassin's Creed series has had ups and downs, to say the least, Assassin's Creed 2 and Black Flag arguably the best games in the franchise. On the other hand, the series' side quests have never been great, relying too heavily on treasure hunts and endless fetch quests that offer little variety and no narrative payoff.

Comparatively, its main story has always been quite engaging and complex. This has been one of its strong suits (alongside fun and likable characters, like Ezio Auditore). Although the story in later entries isn't as strong as some of the early narratives in the franchise, it still contains its surprises, ones that keep the player engaged and coming back for more.

The Final Fantasy Series

The Final Fantasy series has always put a focus on its storylines and characters, which has allowed many entries to remain memorable and iconic years (and even decades) after their releases. Entries such as Final Fantasy VI, Final fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy X are regarded as the best in the long-running franchise. Even with dated graphics, the strong stories and relatable cast of characters allow them to stand the test of time.

Now, they are not without their faults -- one of them being the lack of side quests. Final Fantasy 15 corrected this to a degree by going open world and including countless side quests of varying quality. But its plot and characters were still a huge driving force behind the game, even through the late-game parts where the pacing of the narrative felt rushed. But in the end, it was still a successful narrative with an intriguing and well-written villain that sits among the best in the franchise.

The Elder Scrolls Series

Commonly referred to as the king of western RPGs, this franchise has always been one of the best at world building, providing players some of the most intricate pieces of lore in all of video games. Flawlessly incorporated into the gameplay, lore, story, and narrative-driven side quests have brought the series acclaim and provided originality. Skyrim may have better combat than Oblivion, but the quest design clearly took a hit, going with quantity over quality.

However, memorable and likable characters have never been present in the series, which does hold the games back from staying with the player long after they finish it. With the next game in the series, Bethesda will need to fix this long-running issue if they want to compete with the next example.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt improved every aspect and flaw from The Witcher 2. Its main story was epic and hooked players from the start. Nearly every character was detailed and layered, and each was easily likable and memorable as soon as you met them --  like The Bloody Baron, Geralt himself, Ciri, and Triss to name a few.

Many critics and fans alike consistently praise the side quests and for good reason. They all have a good, and often bizarre, story to tell. Players often seek out quests for narrative surprises, not loot. 

The level of detail, care, and passion that has gone into this game is unparalleled, far more than any other game out there. It has an impeccably written story and deep characters. Why? It's because every aspect of each has been created to such a high standard. The game's multiple endings allow for more than one playthrough, so you can experience many different choices over and over again. It is the closest gamers have ever come to a perfect game.

Final Thoughts

I hope that every developer learns the importance of story and characters in RPGs. It's needed alongside strong gameplay and quest design to truly make the game a masterpiece. Otherwise, the genre will pump out one uninspiring game after another -- many with little evolution.

Do you agree, or do you think I am completely crazy? Let me know in the comments. 

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Quotes & One-Liners That Will (Definitely) Put A Smirk On Your Face https://www.gameskinny.com/fhql2/quotes-one-liners-that-will-definitely-put-a-smirk-on-your-face https://www.gameskinny.com/fhql2/quotes-one-liners-that-will-definitely-put-a-smirk-on-your-face Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Ricardo melfi

Video games (just like movies) tell elaborate stories, build characters and use dynamic effects and shots. It's an immersive medium and before long, you're emotionally invested. You're right there in the game. Dialogue is such an important part of said immersion and (again just like movies) video games have fired off some awesome and memorable one-liners/quotes. Most of the time they're generic action and dramatic one-liners but every now and then, a little piece of gold finds its way out...

With that said, here are some of the funniest one-liners and quotes that are sure to put a smirk on that face of yours!

Duke Nukem Forever

The Duke

*Looks in the mirror*

"DAMNNN, I look good..."

Don't deny it. Whenever any of us played as the Duke, our inner narcissist couldn't be kept down for long and a smile slowly creeped its way across your face. How could it not after hearing that line? Then again, now that I think of it, I laughed at A LOT of his one-liners...

Portal

Portal P.A Announcer

"If you need to go to the bathroom after this next series of tests, please let a test associate know because in all likelihood, whatever comes out of you is going to be cold. Only temporary so do not worry. If it persists for a week though, start worrying and come see us because that's not supposed to happen."

Portal is jam-packed with sarcastic and humorous quotes/one-liners. It was hard to narrow it down but the P.A Announcer made me smile first. While GlaDos always holds a place in my heart, she won't be seen on this list.

Assassin's Creed II

Ezio Auditore da Firenze

"Your sister seemed quite satisfied with the 'handling' I gave her earlier."

Ahhh, the good-old mum and sister jokes. For being as old as they are, still pack quite a punch when used. Seriously, it hurts. Just look at how easily the Pazzis are angered when Ezio uses the above line on them! Ubisoft know this too and young Ezio is a typical, "your mum" kinda guy...

Left 4 Dead

Zoe

"Free copy paper? Sweet!"

What else could put your mind at ease when facing a zombie apocalypse? Guns? Water? Food? Defendable shelter? No! COPY PAPER! Left 4 Dead's Zoe shares STG's enthusiasm for the little things in a zombie apocalypse when she yells out her one-liner, in the copy room. Bless Zoe, you go girl.

Postal

Player

"Hey I'm just exercising my second amendment rights here, you fuckin' communist."

This insane game made absolutely no sense but who cares? The violence and gore made sure you never had a chance to think about that. What I did notice, however, was the player's one-liners. Most notably, the above one. My drink nearly came out of my nose when I heard this gem. Yep, apparently shooting and killing people is just exercising your right to... shoot and kill people? Otherwise, you're just a filthy communist aren't you?

South Park: The Stick of Truth 

Cartman

"If you have a fucking better name for them then fucking say it Clyde!"

There's something about Cartman spitting the dummy at people that's just so damn funny. He's everyone's favourite, evil, little shit. Stick of Truth was (finally) a fantastic South park game and the entire game made us here at STG lose ourselves laughing but when Cartman gets angry and says this to Clyde during the tutorial, it's hard not to laugh let alone smile.

Spec Ops: The Line

Robert Darden (The Radio Man)

"Geez man, where's all this violence coming from? Is it the video games? I bet it's the video games."

Yeah, I'm totally sure it's the video games and not the fact that you play as a highly trained, special forces soldier, trained to kill, dropped into unknown, enemy territory, are constantly attacked and have some tough decisions to make along the road. Definitely the video games...

Brutal Legend

Eddie Riggs

"Oh man... don't tell me I've been slaying hot girls this entire time!"

Eddie Riggs is your average, mediocre roadie who gets transported to a heavy metal dimension. Using his extensive knowledge of 'the metal', Riggs leads the inhabitants of this heavy metal heaven turned hell in a revolution against the dastardly General Lyonwhite. After seeing the face of one of his foes, Eddie immediately pauses mid-fight to ask himself the same question every man would. 

Marvel VS Capcom 3

Deadpool

*Everything he says in this game.*

We couldn't narrow it down with everybody's favourite merc, Deadpool. He's just too damn funny so instead we decided to just tell you to go out and play the game already! The great thing is when he actually talks to the player through the game and mentions the fact he knows he's in a fighting game. Absolute gold...

Sonic Colours

Sonic the Hedgehog

"No copyright law in the universe is going to stop me!"

This one made the list because it was unexpected, yet also feels personal. It transcends the game and touches on a real issue many gaming channels and platforms seem to suffer. You tell em', Sonic...

Uncharted 2

Nathan Drake

"Yeah good luck pal. That's almost impossible to... Oh, you did it... nice."

Nolan North is a great voice actor and the most recognised voice in gaming today. He does a fantastic job as Nathan Drake and can even get his disappointment and envy across the microphone. Being proven wrong is never funny but when you are, at least give the person credit. Real, genuine credit. Don't be like Nate, the jealous douche.

Assassin's Creed II

Mario Auditore

"It's a me, Mario!"

This joke is so old now but it seems to continue to get used. This one-liner was made famous by the super plumber himself and has been seen/heard/used almost everywhere in the world! It comes to no surprise that Ubisoft threw this little piece of chuckler homage in. I feel like I've heard this somewhere before...

Bulletstorm

Trishka Novak

"Yeah!? Go fuck yourself! You shit piles give chase, I WILL kill your dicks!"

Bulletstorm tough girl Trishka is a Final Echo mixture of sassiness and, well, extreme violence. You meet up with Trishka as she is getting sexually assaulted by one of the planet's denizens. Trishka can definitely take care of herself , as she proved as your companion in Stygia. You get the feeling she's got something to prove though and the one-liner she fires off above tends to prove it. Time to start working on your trash-talk Trish...

Conker's Bad Fur Day

The Great Mighty Poo

"I am the great, mighty, Poo and I'm going to throw my shit at you."

Now the line itself isn't actually that funny, but if you really want laughs then turn to a classic comedy method; turn it to song! The Great Mighty Poo serenades Conker on his Bad Fur Day (see what I did there?) and scored an ashamed little giggle from me. Guys really don't need much for comedy, do we?

Mortal Kombat

Boon & Scorpion

"Toasty!"

And:

"Get over here!"

The two most iconic one-liners that came from Mortal Kombat way back in the 90s secured their place in pop-culture, still being referenced and used today. These two quotes will ALWAYS wrestle a sub-conscious smirk from your face.

The Wolf Among Us

Bigby Wolf

"Urggh. This shit will kill ya'."

*Takes puff of his cigarette*

Bigby Wolf is the protagonist in Telltale's The Wolf Among Us. He's the tough, emotionally withdrawn, whiskey drinking, cigarette smoking, wise-cracking, bad-ass tasked with solving a series of murders of fairytale characters in 1986 Fabletown. Again, Bigby (short for Big Bad Wolf) has a lot of great one-liners that made us smirk. Soda will kills you but your cigarettes won't, eh Bigby? Classic fairytale irony at its best.

Far Cry: Blood Dragon

Sgt. Colt

"I fucking HATE tutorials and this one is TERRIBLE!"

The 80s have made a comeback everywhere and Far Cry: Blood Dragon is no exception. Blood Dragon is an 80s-induced trip back in time to Hollywood's sci-fi and action films. Sgt. Rex Colt is a cyber commando in the near future of 2007 in which a nuclear war has destroyed the globe. One typical 80s best friend betrayal later and a revenge plot is set in motion. We all dislike most video game tutorials as much as the next guy (or gal) and Colt confirms this notion. You go Rex...

That's it for this listicle! We hope you enjoyed the article and found a few things to entertain you. Please leave a comment with what you think is your favourite quote in video games and don't forget to check out our channel and links!

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“Your Possible Pasts”: A Fan’s Retrospective on the Assassin’s Creed Series https://www.gameskinny.com/cwb96/your-possible-pasts-a-fans-retrospective-on-the-assassins-creed-series https://www.gameskinny.com/cwb96/your-possible-pasts-a-fans-retrospective-on-the-assassins-creed-series Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Neal Cox

Before we begin: I want you, the reader, to know that this article will spoil all of the games in the Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection package (Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed Revelations), as well as various other games in the series (Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed III, etc...).  If you are interested in these games, The Ezio Collection is the perfect way to jump into the series, and you should pick it up now (or when most convenient). Now, back to the Article.

What’s worse: Waiting a long time for a cliffhanger ending to be paid off, or knowing that the payoff will suck?

This was a problem I was confronted with when playing Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection recently. This may sound like I don’t like the games, but I do. In fact, I would say that, like the title hints, I am a fan. I have beaten The Ezio Collection (II, Brotherhood and Revelations) thoroughly before, I have beaten Assassin’s Creed III, and I have played the other mainline entries within the series (Assassin's Creed, Black Flag, Unity and Syndicate), but I haven’t beaten them due to some problems that I will be discussing in this article. I have read the wiki, the codex pages, the in-game library, the whole nine yards. I love these games,  but after re-playing Assassin’s Creed II, I have to admit that they don’t make them like they used to.

PART I: Assassin’s Creed II

Assassin’s Creed II has aged okay. I mean this with love and caring, but its controls were always a mess. They hit the highest highs, making you feel like you are soaring across Italian Cityscapes like a renaissance Flash, and the lowest lows, sometimes giving you the impression that you are driving a car that has four flat tires and a wrench instead of a steering wheel. The “Back Eject” move has given me more grief than I’d care to admit, especially in the challenging “Assassin’s Tomb” missions. But when it worked, especially in the late game, it was a great feeling that has rarely been matched today. The Graphics leave something to be desired, but it’s a Ubisoft Game from 2009; what can you do?

What really makes this game though, is the story. Unlike the other entries in this collection, Assassin’s Creed II was more obviously planned ahead of time. It had a solid base to build off of with the original Assassin’s Creed, and with the proper feedback, development team and setting, the series was transformed into a critical and commercial success. This improvement, this confidence, was present throughout the game.

The story, following main Character Ezio Auditore Da Firenze on his path of revenge throughout Renaissance Italy, had a good mix of freedom and linearity that made the story feel epic, yet focused. It also used various in game items and quests, such as the “Glyph” puzzles and collectible “Codex” pages to help inform the player about the world outside of the game. The only thing that this game failed at, story wise, was fleshing out the modern day characters. But that is a gripe for another section.

The eponymous Ezio is not only a good character for games as a whole, but he is easily the best character in the series, period. He had range (angry, sad, romantic, funny), he had depth, and, most importantly, he had an arch. Not to skip ahead too much, but this is something that many characters in later entries lack. Ezio was not a wise-crackin’ Master Assassin at the beginning of the game. He was an angry and afraid kid, doing his best with the tools he had to avenge his brothers and father. At the end, however, he was no longer angry or afraid.

He was tired, but happy. He had done his job. He had killed the men responsible (minus Rodrigo Borgia, who he should’ve killed, but didn’t due to historical reasons), and now he was at peace.

While Assassin’s Creed II’s ending did leave a few confusing plot holes -- how will Ezio get out of that Vault under the Vatican? Why did he let the most powerful Templar in Europe, Rodrigo Borgia, live? What is the deal with these alien guys? -- it gave us enough to not need another Ezio story. To quote Minerva, the hologram of a long-dead alien who resides in the Vault, when she is speaking to Ezio at the end: “You’ve played your part.” It was time for a new character, a new setting, and a new struggle for our characters in the modern day.

PART II: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Oh, we’re playing as Ezio again. I can’t say that I am too disappointed by this continuation. Actually, I would say that Brotherhood is my favorite game of the three. I am also a self-avowed member of the Ezio Fan Club, so it was nice to see him again at the height of his power. But, there are some problems with this game, and it starts with this: All of his stuff will arbitrarily be taken away from him again.

This is to be expected in sequels, but that doesn’t make it right. And on top of that, it also symbolizes another problem with this game: This didn’t have to happen. The game didn’t have to take away all of your stuff, but it did. It didn’t have to exist, but it does. Why?

           

Money. Plain and Simple. I may love this game, but if the entries after Assassin’s Creed II was decided purely by artistic merit, that entry would have been Assassin’s Creed III. No, not the real one. Another one that chose a different time period (16th century Japan), a different character (A ninja, or samurai, or something cool) and was, you know, Good. Ubisoft had seen that their gamble had paid off, and now it was time to play it safe and make some more money. They had their character and setting, now all they needed was a story and a new engine to put it all together. This may sound like I am hating on them for doing this, and I do hate them somewhat, but you have to make money in the games industry. Why throw out a popular character and setting for “artistic merit”? Artistic merit doesn’t always bring home the big bucks.

Again, it’s not like these games are all bad. Actually, as I have been saying over and over again, they are pretty good. While Ezio’s a little more static this time around, he still has the same charm and charisma that makes him, well, him. Rome was fully-realized, fun to explore and full of secrets. Constantinople was also beautiful and fun to explore, but, like Revelations as a whole, wasn’t as fun as its predecessor.

The real saving grace of these entries, the things that made them all worth it, were the modern day segments. Most people don’t like them (they actually hate them with a passion), but that’s what I liked so much about the older games. These two entries gave the other main characters (Desmond, Lucy, Rebecca, and Shaun) more personality, more life. They also expanded on infamous and unseen Subject 16, AKA Clay Kaczmarek. He is ghost and predecessor that haunts you throughout the first three games, first with his blood and then with memories that he hidden within the Animus, before finally confronting Desmond in person. While the character developments for Desmond, Lucy, Shaun and Rebecca weren’t paid off in the next entry of the series, Clay’s story was. Revelations was his last game, and I thought that they handled him and his story well. Not great, but well. It's better than what the others got.

In the End, Brotherhood and Revelations were the last two games in the “original” sequence (AC I - AC III) that were any good. They had their faults, and I do blame them for taking up all of the good writing and characterization from the rest of the franchise, but they were worth it. They are games worth playing.

PART III: Where it all went wrong

Well, we’ve finally arrived to the bad years of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Revelations to many was thought of as the weak link, the one that would be remembered for its holding-pattern story and terrible tower-defense game. Then Assassin’s Creed III came out.

This failure hit me especially hard. I was really amped for this game before it released. I had the collector’s edition, I waited in line at PAX East to see a live demo of it, and even though I was worried about the creative licence that the game was taking with the Battle of Bunker Hill (they turned the battle from one right outside of Boston to one in the middle of some primordial jungle-forest), I was convinced that things would work out in the end. A little creativity never hurt anybody.

Well, that is true, and it is the lack of creativity that hurt Assassin’s Creed III. Connor was not a proper follow-up to Ezio. They thought that a lack of emotions would make him cool, like the Man with No Name or some other emotionless hero. Instead it made him annoying and, worse still, boring. He didn’t change. He started angry, and he ended angry.

New England, the place I love and call home, was not a proper follow up to Renaissance Italy. While it was fun to traverse and fight in, it was samesy and overall the game suffered for it.

The game-play changed, going full action-game on everyone. It made it fun to play, but at the cost of what made Assassin’s Creed... well Assassin’s Creed. Brotherhood and Revelations also, in my opinion, strayed too far into action territory, but Assassin's Creed III finally took us into full-on God-Warrior territory. Assassin’s Creed, the first one, was a stealthy game with hit-and-run action. I like fighting my way out of failed stealth situations (something that happens to me often), but now Assassin’s Creed had gone too far. Through a long and barely noticeable process, the series had become something entirely different. Something generic.  

The worst thing about this game, however, is its treatment of Desmond and the gang. By Revelations, Lucy was dead (and revealed to be a Templar Double Agent), Desmond’s dad had joined them and they were all ready to stop this world ending event once and for all. The stakes couldn’t be any higher. Naturally, all they did in the game was stay in a cave until another alien ghost guilts Desmond into dying so he can “save the world.” It sounds heroic, but when you see it play out with Desmond grabbing these two Pillars that essentially electrocute him, it feels anti-climatic. Like the writer of this game also hated Desmond, and wanted to give all of those in the “We Hate Desmond” Camp a real big victory.

There were some out of cave diversions, but they were just that: diversions. We got to see the modern world, and see Desmond in action, but never in full. Desmond came close at the end of the game, with him finally being able to kill people -- even though he’s had a hidden blade since AC II -- but he never truly turned into the Master Assassin that the series had promised us. To drive this home, the two reasons that the history segments exist, story-wise, is to:

  1. Find ancient artifacts called Pieces of Eden.
  2. Train Desmond so he can be an assassin (after AC1 at least)

But now the fans got what they wanted: A dead Desmond and a future for their beloved franchise.

And ever since, the series has been in a holding pattern. People like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. They also like the Sailing Sections in Assassin’s Creed III. I liked neither of those things. Nobody really likes Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and for good reason. It’s bland, it makes the Assassins bland and its main character, Arno, like Connor before, is also bland. Paris was nice, and the game looked good (when it worked), but that wasn't enough to save it from itself. What’s worse still is that it took place during The Reign of Terror, one of the most interesting time periods in human history.

I did not play Assassin’s Creed: Liberation or Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. I would like to play Rogue, its story intrigues me, but I don’t have much hope for it. I did play a substantial amount of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, and I found some of its characters initially interesting. Jacob and Evie Frye make for a good double act, but, as I brought up earlier, they both stay the same for way too long. Never are they unsure of themselves, never do they change or grow as people.

To be honest with you, I lost interest in the game halfway through. Maybe they do change and become entirely different people at the end. But Ezio -- my main man -- had already changed substantially, both age-wise and maturity-wise, by the midpoint of Assassin’s Creed II. They may be funny (at least Jacob is), but they aren’t dynamic. And that’s where they fail.

Back in September of 2016, Ubisoft was in danger of being bought out by French Media Company Vivendi (and they still are). Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, spoke to several news outlets, discussing the state of the company during these hard times. Guillemot was concerned that a potential merger with Vivendi would hurt Ubisoft's "creativity, agility, and risk-taking" which was  "intrinsic to our industry." However, I think they lost those things around Assassin’s Creed II. Sure, Rainbow Six: Siege is fun, so is Steep (to an extent), but what have they really done that’s knocked people’s socks off since Assassin’s Creed II? Far Cry 3 was daring on the narrative side, but game-play wise it was the blueprint for all of Ubisoft's other open world games. More Call of Duty than the daring and brutal Far Cry 2.

Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft

I hope Assassin’s Creed finds its way again soon. The gameplay in the last few games has improved, probably to the best it's ever been, but a steep price has been paid. I miss that crazy Ancient Alien/Conspiracy/2012-inspired story that was both a "risk-taker" and "creative." I miss Rebecca and Shaun actually being important characters to the story, rather than being some C-3PO/R2-D2-esque side characters that appear in every game because they have to. I miss the Assassins being good, and the Templars being bad.  The whole “we’re actually the good guys” thing the Templars tried pulling in AC III didn’t work, not because it wasn’t interesting, but because, to use Revelations as an example, the Templars will literally throw their henchman off of a carriage and to their deaths if they don’t ride fast enough.

If Ubisoft wants to make a million games set solely in the past, fine. I get that I am the only person who liked Desmond and the modern day stuff. Just give me one thing in return: more characters like Ezio Auditore. Not just one character, but several that grow and change throughout their games. Ones that have emotions, strengths and weaknesses. I would trade all of the conspiracy-laden modern day stuff for one more game with a main character like that.

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5 of the Best Voice Actors in Games https://www.gameskinny.com/yqv6h/5-of-the-best-voice-actors-in-games https://www.gameskinny.com/yqv6h/5-of-the-best-voice-actors-in-games Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:58:55 -0400 Aaron Grincewicz

Since I was very young, I recognized certain voices on my favorite shows as being performed by the same person.  As I got older, I learned just how talented these actors are.  One great example is Hank Azaria of The Simpsons, who voices at least a dozen regular characters like, Moe, Chief Wiggum, and The Comic Book Guy. Needless to say, The Simpsons has one of the greatest casts in history. Seth Macfarlane, the creator of Family Guy, is also an insanely versatile voice actor.

As great as those actors are, they are well known. It's often the ones who don't appear on TV that have the longest resumes. For those reasons, and more, I support these actors in the SAG-AFTRA strike.  Some of their voices (like Homer Simpson) pop in my head when I think of just about anything, making it tough to imagine a world without them.  It might seem like an insignificant thing to lose but for me, and many others, they've been a big part of my life. 

In recent years, video games like Call of Duty have started using well-known actors from movies and TV. While this makes the games more like blockbuster movies, there isn't always a guarantee that the actor will give the same Emmy-winning performance in a game as out. Veteran voice actors sometimes don't have the red carpet looks to be motion-captured in games, but they set the bar for the screen actors trying to step into their shoes. So without any further delay, I'll name five of the best voice actors in games today.

#1: John DiMaggio

Games he is best known for; Gears of War series (voice of Marcus Fenix).

Also known for; Futurama (voice of Bender), Adventure Time (voice of Jake the Dog).

"I don't like it when celebrities get voice work. But then again, if I was the producer, I wouldn't want a bunch of no-names doing my show and have to worry about word-of-mouth. I see both sides of the story."

 
 

#2: Jen Taylor

Games she is best known for; Halo franchise (voice of Cortana), Left 4 Dead (voice of Zoey).

 Also known for; the voice of Cortana on Microsoft devices. 

"You know, when I was initially cast, something the guys at Bungie said to me was, 'This character is in your head all the time. She is your best guide and the best aid that you have — the only guide and the only aid really. So we don’t want her to sound naggy, we don’t want her to be a pain.' They wanted her to be like the girl next door, your best friend that you want to hang out with.

And she's that and so much more because she is so smart. Obviously, she knows more than we could possibly know. It's always fun to play a character that is powerful in that way."

 

#3: Mark Hamill 

Games he is best known for; Batman: Arkham series (Voice of The Joker).

Also known for; Star Wars (Luke Skywalker), voice of The Joker in DC Animation.

"I never saw myself as much of an actor. I wanted to be a cartoonist like Charles M. Schulz and create my own world and be able to have a studio at home and not commute and be able to be with my family. I just didn't have the skills to pull that off and so I've gravitated toward theater because I like all of it."

 #4: Troy Baker

Games he is best known for; The Last of Us (voice of Joel), BioShock Infinite (voice of Booker Dewitt), Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (voice of Ocelot), Far Cry 4 (voice of Pagan Min).

Also know for; Voice of The Joker in several DC Animation productions.

"I don't ever want it to be about me. A friend of mine told me, 'The difference between fame and notoriety is fame is when people know you, and notoriety is when people know your work.' The first one is not respectable, but the second one is, because that leaves a legacy."

  #5: Nolan North

Games he is best known for; Uncharted Series (voice of Nathan Drake), Assassin's Creed Series (voice of Desmond Miles), Shadow Complex (voice of Jason Flemming), Batman: Arkham Series (voice of The Penguin), Destiny (voice of Ghost).

Also known for; General Hospital (Chris Ramsey '97-'03), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-Nickelodeon (voice of The Kraang), extensive work with Marvel.

"The Penguin from Batman: Arkham City is a real departure from what I'm most known for. People actually didn't realize it was me. That's the one thing about doing voice over work that people don't realize, and you can interview anybody in this industry, you have to be a good actor as well as having a good voice."

There are several more notable voice actors worthy of mention, but the ones I've listed have the most extensive resumes, acting range, and well-known games.  Their performances often help make the games they are in great.  I should also mention Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman), Tara Strong (voice of Harley Quinn, Twilight Sparkle, etc.), Frank Welker (he has possibly the longest voice acting resume being the voice of Scooby-Doo), and Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime).

Celebrity voice actors are often used to spruce up a marquee, and attract attention, but it's the career voice actors whose names you might not know, that often bring life to the characters they portray.  After reading this article, I hope you'll take notice of the credits from your favorite games, and animation.  You might notice the same names appearing dozens of time, often for more than one voice.

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The Best Moments When Games Break the Fourth Wall https://www.gameskinny.com/fa6uk/the-best-moments-when-games-break-the-fourth-wall https://www.gameskinny.com/fa6uk/the-best-moments-when-games-break-the-fourth-wall Fri, 10 Jun 2016 11:25:01 -0400 Brandon Morgan

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So, there you have it. Five games that managed to break the fourth wall in highly unique ways. These five experiences managed to stick in our heads long after playing them -- and not only because they truly pulled us into the game world, but also because they broke out of it.

\n

These developers know all about making unique experiences. What fourth wall-breaking game stands out for you, though? Let me know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/6d53681ab3010dff07c60d839ed9fa94.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/6d53681ab3010dff07c60d839ed9fa94.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8759","description":"

Borderlands

\n
Undead Ned
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Borderlands was a fantastic game in terms of a cooperative experience in a zany first-person world. Partnered with all of the content released after launch and everything already there to complete in-game, and players were treated to a pretty significant package.

\n

As for breaking the fourth wall, the end credits took care of that. An undead version of Dr. Ned appears, crashing through the scrolling credits for one final boss fight. The player thought things were over, and then Ned was calling them back for one more stomp.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/154351b49c315cfa119e65ea83282dd5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/154351b49c315cfa119e65ea83282dd5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8758","description":"

Spec Ops: The Line 

\n
Konrad's Speech (Ending)
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Spec Ops: The Line was pure genius. The game ensured players felt like sick, demented individuals for partaking in the sequences throughout -- all the while telling an interesting, compelling story of the darkness that ensues during wartime. 

\n

One sequence, however, stands apart from the rest. The end speech brought to you by Konrad literally calls the player out for empowering themselves by playing video games. Granted, the in-game character was originally speaking to Captain Walker, but the developer ensured it felt fourth wall-breaking, too.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/e97ae245de6fa0381d37f4e710421965.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/e97ae245de6fa0381d37f4e710421965.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8757","description":"

Batman: Arkham Asylum

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Game Crash
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Rocksteady certainly made a name for themselves with the Arkham games set in the Batman universe. Some were better than others, but a significant point in the first game really set the standard for fourth wall-breaking experiences recently.

\n

The point in question relates to the scene where Batman becomes the villain for a time. Joker then slaughters the hero. Players are told to use their middle stick to dodge the gunshot, but due to Scarecrow's drugs messing with the controls and mechanics of the game, we are unable to do so.

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Tomb Raider 2

\n
Shower Scene
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Tomb Raider has a come long way over the past few decades -- what with new graphics, a new story, and even a new character model changing things up. Almost everyone was a pervert when it came to the curves of Lara Croft, and the shower scene in the second game was easily a highlight of the experience of the tomb explorer.

\n

In this particular scene, near the end of the game, Lara acknowledged the camera being within the bathroom with her. She then told the player watching that they had witnessed enough before pulling her shotgun on us.

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Assassin's Creed 2

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Minerva's Reveal (End Game)
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Assassin's Creed 2 is often considered one of the best games in the franchise, as it made a pretty darn good sequel to the first release. There were some faults, sure, but what game doesn't have issues?

\n

When it came to the ending, however, things took a different turn. Minerva made an appearance, but instead of speaking directly to Desmond Miles, she walked right up to the camera and spoke to the player, essentially breaking the fourth wall down entirely. She is addressing a future version of Desmond through the player.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/1/7/5/1757599072d5e85.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/1/7/5/1757599072d5e85.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121159","description":"

Breaking the fourth wall within a video game is certainly not a brand new concept these days. We've witnessed it done in the right way for decades now -- with some games performing this feat better than others, of course.

\n

Sometimes, however, breaking the fourth wall can be a decoy tactic for when your video game is not quite clever enough. Other times, it is a witty way to include the player in just one more aspect of the experience.

\n

In any case, breaking the fourth wall is relatively interesting. And here are a few prime examples of how great it can be when it's done right.

"}]]]>
Assassin's Creed Ideas: Modern https://www.gameskinny.com/72rlf/assassins-creed-ideas-modern https://www.gameskinny.com/72rlf/assassins-creed-ideas-modern Tue, 23 Feb 2016 22:50:33 -0500 BlackTideTV

Welcome back to Assassin's Creed Ideas, where we look at possible settings for the next Assassin's Creed game each and every Tuesday -- there are a lot of possibilities after all...

If you missed any of our previous entries, you can catch up with the following links:

Before we talk about a possible modern setting in Assassin's Creed's future, we need to talk about the modern setting that we've already seen in the series. Part of the AC games usually takes place in a modern world with a  character using a special machine - an Animus - to relive ancestors' memories through DNA. If you're new to the series or only started playing since "next-gen" consoles came out, you probably haven't experienced a lot of this, as the games have been slowly waning out of their original plot.

Desmond Miles

Desmond Miles Assassin's Creed Trilogy

In what I like to refer to as "the original trilogy" (Assassin's Creed 1-3 including Brotherhood and Revelations as Assassin's Creed 2.1 and 2.2) Desmond was the main character and pushed the rather confusing story forward in both modern and historical times. Let's take a look at this guy's backstory, how he changed Assassin's Creed, and why he isn't in the games anymore.

Originally part of the modern-day Assassin's Order, Desmond decided to "pursue his own dreams" and ran away to become a bartender (it's as ridiculous as it sounds). In September of 2012, a Templar organization known as Abstergo Industries kidnapped and forced Desmond to relive his ancestors' memories through the use of the Animus so that the Templars could find "Pieces of Eden," extremely powerful weapons/artifacts. Here marks the beginning of the original Assassin's Creed game. 

After some time, Desmond breaks out with the help of an undercover Assassin. He then joins forces with her Italian-based Assassin cell and begins to train his abilities with the help of a new Animus in Assassin's Creed II.

Ezio Auditore di Firenze Assassin's Creed II

------------ WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! ------------

Cut to Assassin's Creed III and Desmond has become a fully fledged Assassin; players even get to bring him on a few missions throughout the game. He has learned of an impending doomsday (December 21st, 2012... no, really) and enters a special temple where an ancient device capable of preventing this disaster is held. Using yet another Animus, Desmond relives a different ancestor's memories and finds the key to unlock the artifact.

When he goes to retrieve the device, Desmond is confronted by two goddesses (real talk: the original AC games were all over the place). He has the option to save the world now, releasing the goddess Juno's power on it (killing everyone in the long run) or not save the world, get preserved and essentially become a god himself. Being the great hero that he is, he opted for death by releasing the Juno, stating that the remaining Assassins will deal with her. Thus ends Desmond's story. 

Other Modern Gameplay

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Abstergo Entertainment Desk

Apart from Desmond, the only modern day gameplay we've had access to is as an unnamed Abstergo Entertainment employee capturing footage from Edward Kenway's memories in Black Flag, and as a gamer playing through the memories of Arno and the Frye twins in Unity and Syndicate.

But is that truly it? Some die-hard fans believe that we've already had a modern day Assassin's Creed in the form of Watch_Dogs. Check out this YouTube video on the subject as it can provide a better description of the supposed Ubisoft shared universe than I can:

The Time has come for a Modern Assassin's Game

Whether you prescribe to the shared universe conspiracy or not, it is far past time we got a modern day Assassin's Creed. With Desmond's dying breath, he asked the remaining Assassins to fight off this goddess...so where are they all? We know a couple of them are running around trying to find more Pieces of Eden, but the Assassin's Order is supposed to be this huge thing - so I ask again, where is everyone?

Sure the battle between Templar and Assassin is one that takes place in the shadows of the world and everything they do or say is kept hidden from the public eye, but the shadows are where these two forces live.

Let us take control of a modern day Assassin and send us into Abstergo to take out some high value targets and disrupt the Templars' plans! Give us access to some crazy powerful black ops Assassin team armed to the teeth with weaponry and let us go wild! 

CIA Black Ops Lego Minifigure Team

Critics claim year after year that the Assassin's Creed franchise is getting tired, but that doesn't need to be the case. With a modern setting, anything could be possible. 

That's it for today's Assassin's Creed Ideas article. If you enjoyed, agreed with anything you read, found something wrong, have any input, or an idea for a future article, let me know in the comments section!

Don't forget to read up on the last three articles: Assassin's Creed Ideas: Ancient EgyptAssassin's Creed Ideas: World War One, and Assassin's Creed Ideas: 1920s America. For all of the hottest Assassin's Creed Ideas articles, follow the ACI landing page .

For the best of Fallout 4, Assassin's Creed, and Guitar Hero Live news, guides, and opinion pieces be sure to follow BlackTideTV on GameSkinny! To stay up to date, head over to my Twitter page @BlackTideTV.

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Assassin's Creed Ideas: 1920s America https://www.gameskinny.com/yqx2b/assassins-creed-ideas-1920s-america https://www.gameskinny.com/yqx2b/assassins-creed-ideas-1920s-america Tue, 16 Feb 2016 12:51:29 -0500 BlackTideTV

Welcome back to Assassin's Creed Ideas, a weekly column where - every Tuesday - we look at a new historical setting that would make for a great Assassin's Creed game! There have been two previous installments in the series and I'm sure you'd enjoy them, so check them out by clicking the links below:

This week we've got a shorter article based on a little idea in the latter of the two articles above. In Assassin's Creed Ideas: World War One, I brought up a quick thought that a 1900s based Creed game could set the stage for a new miniseries in the franchise, much like Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations.

America in the early 1900s

Returning from the First World War, American society evolved into an era known as "The Roaring Twenties," which in-turn released "The Great Depression" of the 1930s, lasting until the onset of World War Two, and the rest is history (haha).

Al Capone Roaring Twenties 1920s Gangster

Today we're talking about the lavish lifestyle of so-called "gangsters" in 1920s America.

Al Capone, Johnny Torrio, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, you may recognize many of these notorious gangsters, bootleggers, and gamblers as fan-favorite characters off of HBO's hit TV show Boardwalk Empire, but the truth of the matter is that they were all very real people, who committed very real crimes. 

Before the creation of the National Crime Syndicate (Syndicate... I'm on a roll today) in 1929, many gangsters in 1920s America held continuous battles from city to city over territory, as well as the importation and transportation of every American's favorite banned liquid: alcohol. Prohibition hit the country hard, effectively making gangsters' lives great... except for the competition part.

How does Assassin's Creed fit in?

We're constantly reminded of how the Assassin's order are the good guys in the Assassin's Creed series, but let's get real: they're ASSASSINS. They kill people. This is the definition of an assassin, provided by good ol' Google:

Assassin Definition courtesy of Google

A game set in the twenties having the Assassin order get down and dirty with organized crime could bring reality back into the series. Finally, players would see the truth behind what they've been doing in the games all this time: murdering people. There's no better setting to make the morality of the series seem abundantly clear.

I bet you'll never guess how many people involved in major crime agencies were assassinated in the 1920s. Who better to do that assassinating than the Templars and Assassins, hidden amongst the feuding gangs of east coast U.S.A. or Chicago? Using bootlegging, gambling, and battles over territory as a front, the two lifelong enemies could go at it in "secret," the media's attention on specific faces of organized crime like Al Capone instead. 

1920s Gangsters

An Assassin's Creed game with this base idea could be ridiculously elaborate and incredibly intriguing, allowing players to meet all of the infamous gangsters previously mentioned and more. Sprinkle in a backstory of bootlegging and the re-legalization of alcohol, have multiple cities available for exploration (Chicago, Atlantic City, New York), include many a reference to HBO's Boardwalk Empire (mainly because it's awesome), and give players the side option to create and manage an NPC gang fighting for territorial control in the U.S. and you've got yourself a damn fine game. 

So, what's up Ubisoft? Working on this yet? 

That's it for today's Assassin's Creed Ideas article. If you enjoyed, agreed with anything you read, found something wrong, have any input, or an idea for a future article, let me know in the comments section!

Don't forget to read up on the last two articles: Assassin's Creed Ideas: Ancient Egypt and Assassin's Creed Ideas: World War One. For all of the hottest Assassin's Creed Ideas articles follow the tag on the ACI Homepage.

For the best of Fallout 4, Assassin's Creed, and Guitar Hero Live news, guides, and opinion pieces be sure to follow BlackTideTV on GameSkinny! To stay up to date, head over to his Twitter page @BlackTideTV.

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Assassin's Creed Ideas: World War One https://www.gameskinny.com/ly987/assassins-creed-ideas-world-war-one https://www.gameskinny.com/ly987/assassins-creed-ideas-world-war-one Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:25:00 -0500 BlackTideTV

Welcome back to the weekly Assassin's Creed Ideas column! Every Tuesday we talk about another possible setting that the critically acclaimed series could delve into. Be sure to catch up if you missed last week's article on Ancient Egypt

This week's topic: World War One or the Great War

Traditionally the Assassin's Creed series deals with two timelines in each of its games: past and present. There is often a modern day person using an "Animus" to relive the memories of their ancestors through accessing their DNA. In the original trilogy, Desmond Miles, who was the modern day hero, actually became an assassin himself. 

There are only a couple of problems that could arise with an Assassin's game set so near to the present:

  • It might not fit with the overarching story of the series. The Animus may not allow memory travel to a time frame so close to the present.
  • Modern weaponry was used in the Great War. Modern weaponry would put an assassin at a severe disadvantage, and the series isn't about to turn into a shooter.
  • An Easter egg found in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag presented all of Ubisoft's future Assassin's possibilities at the time. What it also revealed was the fact that Ubisoft in no way wants to add the ability to drive in the "Animus." In other words, we won't be steering any tanks or dogfighting the Red Baron.

The Red Baron's Bi-plane

For the sake of this article's continuance, let's step away from the possible setbacks, talk about what actually happened during this time in history and how an Assassin's Creed game could become a part of it.

The Birth of World War One

Although it was one of the most tragic times in world history, the Great War is all but forgotten in contrast to the Holocaust and battles of the Second World War. In case you didn't take history class in school, or maybe you did and just didn't go, I'll shortly recap what happened. 

Straight from the get-go, Ubisoft would be able to relate the events of World War One to an Assassin's game. The entire war happened because of a single assassination.

On June 28, 1914 a group of six assassins (five Serbians and one Bosniak) led by Black Hand member Danilo Ilić succeeded in taking the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The goal of this assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary's South Slav provinces (shown in blue in the image below) so that they could become part of a Yugoslavia. 

South Slav provinces (Yugoslavia)

This action led to political outrage, as assassinations tend to do, and an ultimatum was sent to the Kingdom of Serbia. When the Serbs rejected some of the terms, ta-da! World War One.

Where does Assassin's Creed fit in?

I hope I'm not the only one that can see the obvious twist that Ubisoft could put on Ferdinand's assassination. The Black Hand could be a subset of the Templar Order, or the Templar Order itself, simply taking on a fresh new name.

Haytham Kenway Assassin's Creed III (3)

We've seen through the eyes of Haytham Kenway in Assassin's Creed III that the Templars perform almost identically to the Assassins. Perhaps it was the Templars that issued the assassination with a larger agenda at hand. Maybe they were framing the Assassins or someone within their ranks? 

Could the World War have been the result they were looking for? They could be trying to root out the base of the Assassins by leading the world's armies through the general location. Another possible option is that the Templars needed the world focused on a fixed point so they could stealthily operate outside of it. 

This is yet another time frame where opportunities are positively endless. Four whole years the Great War spanned. That gives the writers plenty of time to create a mystery for players, allow a generous helping of open world, trench warfare assassinating, and conclude the story. 

What to Expect

Depending on the route Ubisoft could take with this subject, expectations would be completely up in the air. We would most likely see the traditional World War template of Axis versus Allies with Assassins taking one side and Templars the other.

World War One Machine Gun

Automatic weapons are still less popular than semi-auto rifles in this period, so there wouldn't be too many guards shooting 900 bullets-per-second at players, however, the existence of more powerful ranged weapons would make stealth an even larger part of the game than it has been before. 

Trench warfare would be a staple of the game. In the off-chance that a soldier would cross into an enemy trench in war, hand-to-hand or other melee combat would be used to dispatch anyone sharing that quarter of the trench. It was much too cramped to use ranged weapons, making running through the trenches ideal for an assassin.

Atop all of this, a World War One Assassin's Creed could set the stage for a new "series" of Creed games à la Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, Revelations, etc. Returning from war, the United States launched into the "Roaring Twenties" where, due to prohibition, gangsters like Al Capone ruled entire cities. Soon after, the Second World War began with the uprising of Nazi Germany. But such are topics for future Assassin's Creed Ideas columns.

The Roaring Twenties 1920 

What do you think about an Assassin's Creed game set in World War One? Do you know of any issues that would arise that I missed? Perhaps you have an idea for how the story would go? Let me know in the comments section down below.

Remember to check out the first Assassin's Creed Ideas article on Ancient Egypt if you missed it, and to follow BlackTideTV on GameSkinny for weekly editions of this very series! See you next Tuesday.

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No Assassin's Creed in 2016? Good. https://www.gameskinny.com/xrq3h/no-assassins-creed-in-2016-good https://www.gameskinny.com/xrq3h/no-assassins-creed-in-2016-good Sun, 10 Jan 2016 09:15:36 -0500 Nick Harshman

This past week, Kotaku posted a story claiming they heard rumors that the next main entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise will not only be set in Egypt, but will also be released in 2017 instead of 2016. In other words, Ubisoft has decided to give the series a much needed rest. I for one cannot help but feel thankful that they have chosen to let the franchise catch it's breath.

Should this rumor be true, this will be the first year since 2009 that fans will not receive a main entry in the Assassin vs. Templar franchise. Of course fans can still look forward to Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India and Russia, which are due out January 12 and February 9 respectively, but those games serve more as spinoffs than entries in the main franchise.

Don't get the wrong idea, I enjoy Assassin's Creed quite a bit. Unfortunately, I also feel that since the decision to annualize the series, its quality has taken a dive year after year. This culminated in the debacle that was the Assassin's Creed Unity release: littered with bugs, a lackluster ending to say the least, and a love story that at times felt shoehorned in. 

Fast forward to Syndicate's release in 2015 and you'll find the game feels much the same as its predecessor - minus the bugs - and arrived with a resounding thud. Much of the gameplay is similar, combat is tedious, and the recycled combat animations are disappointing. This iteration could be considered the very definition of playing it safe. Designers eliminated the bugs, nixed the multiplayer and focused on a single player experience in Victorian London, one of the most popular time periods in fiction. As they continue to pump out new sequels every year, Ubisoft can't make the drastic changes the series so desperately needs.

If Ubisoft does take 2016 off, what changes should we expect in 2017's Assassin's Creed? First and foremost, the developers face a hard decision: do they continue to incorporate the present day storyline? If so, they need to expand upon it and move the story forward - as it is now the plot has plateaued. It almost seems as if they had no plan for after Assassin's Creed III and have been winging it since then. Taking a break will allow them to flesh out the plot for future games. 

Ubisoft also needs to completely overhaul the combat system. The foundation is there for Batman Arkham style combat, but the clunkiness and poor enemy AI prevent the current system from coming into its own. Combat akin to Shadow of Mordor would be ideal for the Assassin's Creed franchise as it allows for the free flowing combat style the developers could be looking for. 

Fixing the minor problems that have been plaguing the series for years resolves some of the fans' remaining complaints. Issues such as sticky jumping and inconsistent character movement, NPC characters lacking personality, and creating a realistic environment are just a few of the possible improvements Ubisoft should focus on.

Assassin's Creed is not a bad series and I would go out of my way to recommend it to others, but it continues to test my patience. Ubisoft would be well served taking a year and getting their head on straight. Here's hoping 2017's Assassin's Creed is the redemption the series needs. Who knows, maybe we'll even get a game set in Feudal Japan.

]]>
Top 5 must-have Funko Pop! Vinyl Games Figures https://www.gameskinny.com/kcfuq/top-5-must-have-funko-pop-vinyl-games-figures https://www.gameskinny.com/kcfuq/top-5-must-have-funko-pop-vinyl-games-figures Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:25:05 -0500 BlackTideTV

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Big Daddy (BioShock)

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There was a lot of stiff competition for the final spot of this top five. Hearts had to be broken, dreams stomped into the dust, but the Big Daddy 6" Pop! prevailed. 

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This extra large Funko will look as menacing on your shelf as it does in-game in the original BioShock. Oh, and yes, you can get a Little Sister Funko to pair it up with.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/0/9/209195c86a70beb68e061c8be2b3d619.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/0/9/tiny_209195c86a70beb68e061c8be2b3d619.png","type":"slide","id":"93278","description":"

Ezio (Assassin's Creed)

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Just one of the available Assassin's Creed figurines, which also include:

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  • Altair
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  • Ezio
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  • Connor
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  • Edward
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  • Plague Doctor
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  • Aveline De Grandpre
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  • Arno
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  • Elise
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  • Jacob Frye
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  • Evie Frye
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Ezio Auditore da Firenze seems to be the most appropriate Pop! to add to anyone's collection. Of any of the Assassin's Creed heroes, he's appeared the most and, because of this, is the go-to mascot assassin of the series.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/2/f/b2fd69f80be2d8882a8ec5cecaa9367d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/2/f/tiny_b2fd69f80be2d8882a8ec5cecaa9367d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"93277","description":"

Whiterun Guard (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

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"I was a Funko Pop! Games Vinyl Collectible collector like you once, then I took an arrow in the knee."

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I may or may not have included the Whiterun Guard just so I could put that quote in...

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Hilariously enough, if you look at the poor little guy, he really does have an arrow sticking out of his knee. Funko's just showing us that they have a sense of humor with this one, but it's a gaming fad that any collector can't be without.

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From the looks of it, the special Whiterun Guard is a GameStop exclusive. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/4/8646ca769aafaf69d13ab83b6045137e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/4/tiny_8646ca769aafaf69d13ab83b6045137e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"93274","description":"

Kratos (God of War)

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The Gods will punish you if you don't own this Funko! Kratos looks awesome with his ash-white skin, blood-red markings, ancient Greek getup and Blades of Chaos. 

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Although God of War is a PlayStation exclusive series, gamers would be wrong to not include Kratos in their collection. He's so adorable, yet so fierce!

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Kratos can also be found in two different special editions: Fear (Kratos' skin is black and his eyes are white) and Poseidon's Rage (Kratos is totally blue like when he uses the ability of the same name in GoW1).

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/1/3/013c94c2766b6894ebd8eefd05c03b60.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/1/3/tiny_013c94c2766b6894ebd8eefd05c03b60.jpg","type":"slide","id":"93272","description":"

Vault Boy (Fallout)

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There is absolutely, absolutely, no denying that the Fallout 4 hype is real. This Vault Boy figurine will keep watch for those pesky Super Mutants while you play!

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Sporting the oh-so-nostalgic (nostalgic from ten minutes ago) vault jumpsuit, this little fella cannot be missed by Fallout fans. A modern-day video game icon if there ever was one. 

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Vault Boy is extremely common, especially with the recent release of Fallout 4. Walk into any EB Games or GameStop and you'll probably find ten!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/5/4/c54a8e705e70d936ecd91168909c2ff7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/5/4/tiny_c54a8e705e70d936ecd91168909c2ff7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"93268","description":"

Funko Pop! Vinyls are taking the world by storm with their mass appeal, but why should gamers care? Let's just say, for instance, the gamers we're talking about only play video games and never watch movies or television. There is a HUGE line-up of Funko Pop! Games figures! 

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There are nearly 80 Funko Games figures (including special editions) so it can be pretty daunting to choose which ones to look for first. 

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These are the top five, easily obtainable (not including special editions), must-have Funko Pop! Vinyl Games figures that every gamer (who doesn't live under an indie-gaming rock) must have.

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Can't get enough Funko Pop!? Check out my article on Four new Fallout 4 Funko Pop! Vinyl Collectibles coming soon.

"}]]]>
A look at the Assassin's Creed series from best to worst https://www.gameskinny.com/e1sbj/a-look-at-the-assassins-creed-series-from-best-to-worst https://www.gameskinny.com/e1sbj/a-look-at-the-assassins-creed-series-from-best-to-worst Wed, 04 Nov 2015 09:00:32 -0500 Ty Arthur

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Floundering franchise or wellspring of ideas?

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While each title had something to make it stand out, it does seem like there's only so many ways to refresh and revitalize the same gameplay before you run out of ideas, and it may be time for Assassin's Creed to take a few years off and come back in a whole new format.

What do you think of our ranking of the games, and do you want to see a new title every year or agree that the series needs to take a break?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/8/c/58cbe6f21b73c2c527ca401e90f3f002.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/8/c/tiny_58cbe6f21b73c2c527ca401e90f3f002.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90415","description":"

Worst: Assassin's Creed: Unity

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Assassin's Creed unquestionably stumbled with its first faltering steps into the next generation of console gaming. Frankly the endless stream of bugs made people want to take up assassination as a profession and target certain game developers...

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If you went with the PC version you could look forward to crashes galore, but any edition had an absolute avalanche of technical problems crushing any hope of a good game experience. Bodies would contort in insane ways, parts of your face would disconcertingly vanish, sometimes you'd just fall through the floor, objects would float in the air for no apparent reason and you'd be taken with the irresistible urge to dance while climbing ladders or running across ledges. It was sort of like being in a horror movie, but not on purpose.

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The game was so bad that Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallet actually issued a formal apology to fans for the bug-ridden release and even handed out free DLC as a mea culpa. We can only hope a lesson was learned here and the series never dips this low again.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/7/ed7cfe3a76ba44fb73461d0c38cc27af.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/7/tiny_ed7cfe3a76ba44fb73461d0c38cc27af.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90414","description":"

Assassin's Creed III

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Just as it seemed like Brotherhood couldn't work, this entry in the series seemed destined for greatness, and both of those assumptions ended up completely incorrect. The setting had everyone excited – medieval European assassin game series heads to the American revolution? - but the end result was anything but gripping.

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I remember the excitement felt when the first video teasers landed was only matched by the disappointment of the end product as the main character isn't particularly exciting, the intro segments are way too long and the game was very buggy upon release. Although they don't get mentioned often, there were actually some graphical shortcuts used here that really didn't sit right, especially the foliage and leaves that looked like flat cardboard cutouts.

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The DLC is worth mentioning however, as the idea of George Washington becoming a tyrant who has to be taken down was incredibly interesting. Even with new animal-inspired powers for your Native American assassin, the end result was a little lackluster though, ending up quite repetitive with a weak ending.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/0/8c0308ed0554a114f976af19cef3c42e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/0/tiny_8c0308ed0554a114f976af19cef3c42e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90413","description":"

Assassin's Creed

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If you weren't aware of the twist ahead of time (and I wasn't when I first popped that disc in), the sci-fi/modern day twist at the very start of the game really messed with your head. Like “Sixth Sense” messed with your head. I first played the original Assassin's Creed on Christmas Day 2007 after having imbibed quite a bit, and honestly I thought at first that someone at the factory had messed up somehow and put the wrong game in the case. Those who trolled all the forums or stayed on top of the gaming magazines at the time actually missed out there.

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Opening mindscrew aside, there's no question this game has aged, and perhaps not very well. More interesting features and smoother gameplay have been added to most of the games since, so while this one has nostalgia going for it, its definitely among the weaker entries with quite clunky controls. For some fans, the placement of this game so low on the list might be a bit of a controversial one, and it really could be swapped with the previous entry for those feeling a little more generous.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/5/7/f570123ad1138de6da2f0476579bd960.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/5/7/tiny_f570123ad1138de6da2f0476579bd960.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90412","description":"

Assassin's Creed: Revelations

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Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the game that almost wasn't – originally set to be a handheld game for the 3DS, it was scrapped and an announcement was released from Ubisoft that there wouldn't actually be an Assassin's Creed game that year... until it was resurrected for the main consoles of the time as Revelations and came out anyway.

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While not an explicitly bad game, the formula was getting pretty stale by the time Revelations showed up, and those new features added in didn't really resonate with fans. The hook was kind of nifty, but looking back it didn't actually add a whole lot, and the minigame of defending areas against waves of Templar reinforcements wasn't particularly compelling. This wrap-up to the Ezio storyline was a middling experience that just didn't manage to knock it out of the park.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/b/edbb089d27fd7e46eb9bfa512e1a699c.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/b/tiny_edbb089d27fd7e46eb9bfa512e1a699c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90525","description":"

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

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With Syndicate only out for a few days now it's tough to make a real call yet as to where it really lands in the ranking of the series, as viewpoints are going to change as a game sinks in over repeated plays. Assassin's Creed III is probably the best example of that - it received stellar reviews from the major game sites at launch but is now universally reviled.

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We'll have to see with AC:S finally lands, but right now it seems to be sitting in the middle of the pack: there's some great stuff going on, but it certainly isn't the peak of the franchise. Carriage chases and top hats aren't quite as innovative as being a pirate.

As a standalone, side-story title it gives a brief glimpse into Victorian era assassins, again slightly changing the formula and abandoning multiplayer, but leading some to wish for another multi-game arc featuring a character we can love as much as Ezio.

Personally, I'm a fan of the top hats, mutton chops, flintlock pistols, and high speed carriage chases. With the organized crime aspects and shooting from a carriage while chasing down other horse-drawn vehicles, sometimes the game almost feels a bit like you're Nico Bellic in old time England. It probably won't ever be heralded as the best entry in the series, but it does sit solidly in the middle.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/7/4/4746508b364bdf405c8bc0d7a30eb362.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/7/4/tiny_4746508b364bdf405c8bc0d7a30eb362.png","type":"slide","id":"90411","description":"

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

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No one expected this game to work, and everyone thought an epic flop was brewing over at Ubisoft. How do you take single player stealth assassin gameplay and tack on multiplayer to it? Somehow it worked, and while the experience isn't quite the crazy wild west of say something like GTA 5 multiplayer, it definitely had solid appeal as you wondered whether the person next to you was a simple peasant... or an assassin with a blade ready. Honestly, it's still fun today, if you can find enough people for a match, that is.

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On the single player front, exploring Renaissance-era Rome (a much larger city than the previous games) while battling the corrupt Borgias family was quite satisfying, and adding in the ability to recruit followers added a welcome new dimension. Being an assassin is a good time, but leading a whole cabal of assassins is even more so.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/0/5/7051ca8cceac8ac2f66a1034c1f06b61.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/0/5/tiny_7051ca8cceac8ac2f66a1034c1f06b61.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90410","description":"

Assassin's Creed: Rogue

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How weird is it that the bone thrown to previous gen players who hadn't upgraded to the Xbox One / PS4 yet ended up being superior to the current gen counterpart? Rogue was almost an afterthought, put out because not everyone was ready to throw down the cash for a new console and pick up Unity (and as we discovered, those poor gamers actually came out with the better end of the deal). Culling out multiplayer and using a very clear template from the 360 / PS3 days might have actually made this a better game with the focus on tweaking and improving the formula.

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Of course, it's also worth noting you finally get to take up the cause of the other side and carry the torch for the Templars instead! Long range kills with the rifle and causing mayhem with a grenade launcher add in unexpected elements as well, offering a solid follow-up to the amazing Black Flag.

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On the downside, Assasin's Creed: Rogue is overall very similar to that previous game, but since that's one of the best entries in the series, that's perhaps not such a bad thing after all.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/c/0/9c0944d1cddbb7c999bd3774732c6882.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/c/0/tiny_9c0944d1cddbb7c999bd3774732c6882.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90409","description":"

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

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Everybody knows that pirates and ninja are mortal enemies, but apparently pirates and accidental Caribbean assassins go together a bit better. Black Flag moved us away from the story's roots a bit by throwing in a protagonist who didn't even intend to ever be an assassin and had no real knowledge of the war against the templars. He just found a cool outfit, put it on, and got down to the business of killing and looting!

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The emphasis on ship combat is what entirely makes this game great (so something good finally came out of the maligned third installment, which first introduced the idea). Between the island exploration, tense naval battles, and typical city assassination elements, Black Flag is one of the most straight-up enjoyable entries in terms of game play.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/3/733daae3fa77935d32a212e2b15d9704.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/3/tiny_733daae3fa77935d32a212e2b15d9704.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90408","description":"

Best: Assassin's Creed II

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Opinion is overall divided here, with fans about split as to which game is really the best, and I have to admit even I waffle sometimes on which is currently my favorite. Honestly, this and the next slide could be swapped on any given day and they'd probably still be right, as both Assassins Creed II and Black Flag are very solid high points. But, looking back across the entire series, the sequel to the original title just does so much right that it's worth being counted as the pinnacle.

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While the original title offered a previously unknown mix of historical stealth combat and modern day sci-fi shenanigans, the first direct sequel improved on nearly every aspect in major ways. There was no more running back and forth from the safe house constantly, significantly improved combat, better storylines, and the most loved protagonist in Assassin's Creed history: Ezio.

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The dynamic environments for fleeing (or stalking an assassination target) still hold up today even after so many iterations, and there was tons of fun to be had hunting down all the feathers, video segments, and statuettes. Granted, by today's standards it may not have the graphical flair (or the ship-to-ship combat that's become so highly acclaimed), but this is still one of the most fun, polished games in the entire series.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/6/e96583542322aa1f99d6af9037f55ad5.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/6/tiny_e96583542322aa1f99d6af9037f55ad5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90406","description":"

For a series that only started in 2007, somehow we've reached a staggering 20+ titles already (if you count all the spin-offs, mobile entries, and social media web browser games). That's on par with the Call Of Duty franchise that everybody likes to rag on for having an endless stream of yearly installments.

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Like clockwork, the official 2015 entry Assassin's Creed: Syndicate just finally arrived, this time culling out the modern day elements in favor of a more straight historical narrative and offering up dual protagonists in 1860's London.

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It goes without saying that with so many different games coming in such a small window of time, there's a pretty big gap in quality between them, with some significantly more worth your time than others.

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If you want to know what games are still up to snuff and which should be relegated to the bargain bin, you've come to the right place. We'll skip all the mobile phone and handheld games and instead focus on the core console titles that compose this rapidly expanding series.

"}]]]>
Late bloomers: A look at popular franchises that weren't always that well known https://www.gameskinny.com/nsav9/late-bloomers-a-look-at-popular-franchises-that-werent-always-that-well-known https://www.gameskinny.com/nsav9/late-bloomers-a-look-at-popular-franchises-that-werent-always-that-well-known Tue, 22 Sep 2015 19:30:01 -0400 katlaborde

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Resident Evil ser-
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Hey, wait! Nobody likes you anymore, Resident Evil! You're on the wrong list!

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What games were you introduced to mid-franchise or were you already playing these games long before everyone else caught on?

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Brag about it in the comments below! 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/3/3/233c8467f64aaafb406edec6349801d4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/3/3/tiny_233c8467f64aaafb406edec6349801d4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84842","description":"
The Witcher series
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Unless you were an avid PC gamer, the original Witcher seemed to pass by unnoticed. But lucky for everybody else, when the Witcher 2 finally came around, it was eventually ported to the Xbox 360, allowing a new group of gamers to witness one of the best modern RPGs out there.

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With its expertly told story and well-written characters, it's a wonder why it didn't catch on sooner. But with the hype that was behind the sequel's release, the eyes of gamers were watching eagerly, waiting to find out more.

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And they were not disappointed. 

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Image source: The Gamers Drop

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Metal Gear Solid series
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What is probably the most confusing and defended series ever conceived started off as a mostly unknown NES title. Before the time of PlayStation and 3D graphics, Snake was doing what he does best - sneaking past 8 bit soldiers and guard dogs in Metal Gear.

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If it was any other franchise, it would have probably fallen by the way side after its sequel, but when CD based gaming became the way to go, Metal Gear Solid came along and created a legacy that would forever cement cardboard boxes as the top echelon of stealth based technology. 

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Oh yeah and it gave us nanomachines. Lots and lots of gabbing about nanomachines.

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Image source: Kotaku

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/5/7/a57dc844322341ef60e4b7766e583609.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/5/7/tiny_a57dc844322341ef60e4b7766e583609.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84839","description":"
Call of Duty series
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Speaking of oversaturated, it's hard to imagine a world where Call of Duty isn't giving middle school children something to talk about during lunch time. Back in my day, Call of Duty was nothing but a buncha WWII shooters that would collect dust in the GameCrazy bargain bins!

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Kids these days don't know how good they got it, I tell ya!

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Before the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came around and wowed us with its pretty new guns and well, modern setting, we were stuck fightin' nothing but Nazis! Now, a decade later, we're patiently awaiting the release of Call of Duty 76. Thanks Call of Duty 4

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Image source: Get Into PC

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/0/5/d0512d2c66130882d1e58702b79a9eff.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/0/5/tiny_d0512d2c66130882d1e58702b79a9eff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84838","description":"
Assassin's Creed series 
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Back when the original Assassin's Creed came out, it was mostly met with lackluster reception. From its rinse-and-repeat gameplay to a surprisingly limited world, gamers and reviewers alike just weren't feeling it.

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Then the sequel was released. Assassin's Creed 2 did everything the original promised, with amazing parkour mechanics and clever stealth. From this point on, every game in the franchise would follow this blueprint, turning Assassin's Creed into one of the most successful, albeit oversaturated, franchises out there. 

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Image source: Amazon

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/c/1/9c184c72dabf336c78f894bed7862030.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/c/1/tiny_9c184c72dabf336c78f894bed7862030.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84836","description":"
Final Fantasy series
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Okay, I already know what you're going to say: 'But I've been playing Final Fantasy since Final Fantasy V!' or 'Final Fantasy VII has nothing on Final Fantasy VI!'

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While both of these may be true, it was Final Fantasy VII that brought the RPG juggernaut over to the West. While Final Fantasy may have already been a success back its home country of Japan, it was the 7th entry that wowed the U.S. with its amazing graphics and cinematic cut scenes.

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Now, when a new Final Fantasy is announced, fans from all over wait in anticipation, watching every subtitled and overly convoluted trailer as to speculate on what is sure to be a mind-bending story. 

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Image source: B-Ten

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/2/d/a2d08deda8edb0440c4073107537eb6b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/2/d/tiny_a2d08deda8edb0440c4073107537eb6b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84835","description":"
Fallout series
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Much like the Elder Scrolls series, Fallout was given a new lease on life through an overhaul in gameplay and scope. What was once a top down RPG became more accessible as a massive first person world for the player to explore.

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Of course, that world is filled with monstrous mutants ready to tear you limb from limb.

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Fallout 3 was an instant hit, nabbing the attention of gamers everywhere, as well as getting rewarded with multiple Game of the Year awards. With gamers even more pumped for Fallout 4 later this year, it's clear this series has journeyed from obscurity to being eagerly anticipated by all gamers.

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Image source: PC Games

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Elder Scrolls series
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Bethesda makes an appearance more than once on the list due to their ability to take somewhat niche franchises and turn them into some of the most anticipated releases in gaming culture.

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One of these franchises, of course, is the Elder Scrolls series. Now, unless you're a hardcore Elder Scrolls fanatic, you'd be hard pressed to name the subtitle to the second game in the series or if there even was a second game in the series. Everybody has heard of MorrowindOblivion, and Skyrim, but what about Daggerfall? No? Well neither had I - I had to look it up for this list.

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But then came Morrowind with its sprawling open world that was unlike anything before it, and from that point forward, Elder Scrolls has been one of the most popular RPG series out there.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/d/2cd542b7f1862ea31ebfb2b9a23002ff.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/d/tiny_2cd542b7f1862ea31ebfb2b9a23002ff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84803","description":"
Grand Theft Auto series
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When a new Grand Theft Auto title is announced, the entire world goes into a frenzy, whether it's fanboys experiencing sleepless nights until release day or Fox News attempting to scare parents into thinking Armageddon is around the corner.

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But it wasn't always this way. Before the revolutionary Grand Theft Auto 3 was released, introducing us to its open world sandbox, the series mostly flew under the radar as a top down shooter. It's amazing to think that one of the most influential franchises in gaming history had such humble beginnings. 

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Image source: Blogspot

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/e/5/1e50d5e33ba54129375fb49141e2ba24.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/e/5/tiny_1e50d5e33ba54129375fb49141e2ba24.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84772","description":"

Everybody and their mother has heard of Call of Duty and Final Fantasy, but for some franchises, this notoriety wasn't always the case. While some franchises resonate with the public straight away, some others don't manage to garner popularity until later sequels.

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These series are like the scrawny kid in gym class who transforms into a beast after hitting puberty. So join me as I chronicle gaming's late bloomers!

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Image source: Cinema Blend

"}]]]>
Assassin's Creed series debuts on PlayStation Now, today https://www.gameskinny.com/rx7ar/assassins-creed-series-debuts-on-playstation-now-today https://www.gameskinny.com/rx7ar/assassins-creed-series-debuts-on-playstation-now-today Tue, 15 Sep 2015 10:47:16 -0400 Courtney Gamache

PlayStation has announced that five of the Assassin's Creed games will be available to play on PlayStation Now. The streaming service PlayStation Now will provide a service of renting games using on-demand, which is how the early Assassin's Creed games will be played. 

Assassin's Creed Games Available on Streaming

While only five of the earlier Assassin's Creed games are debuting, PlayStation already has announced that they're adding Assassin's Creed: Syndicate once it's release date of October 23rd, with full compatibility with the PlayStation 4. Below is the list of earlier Assassin's Creed games that are debuting:

  • Assassin's Creed
  • Assassin's Creed 2
  • Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  • Assassin's Creed III

A catch in the system

Although some Assassin's Creed games are now available to play on the PS4, the only way to do so is through the streaming service of PlayStation Now. The PlayStation 4 is currently not backwards-compatible, which is slowly bottle-necking the way gamers are allowed to play their oldies but goodies. 

What do you think of the PlayStation Now service? Would it be easier for PlayStation to just develop backwards compatibility with the PS4? Give us your thoughts!

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7 of the most beautiful soundtracks in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/qv6s7/7-of-the-most-beautiful-soundtracks-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/qv6s7/7-of-the-most-beautiful-soundtracks-in-video-games Wed, 09 Sep 2015 02:30:01 -0400 shox_reboot

I don't know about you, but half my iPhone's music library has about 10GB worth of music that has come straight from video games.

Games have come a long way from just being something you do for fun. We now have the opportunity to play them for the stories they tell us, more like an interactive movie in a sense. And like movies, games have started using everything they have in their disposal to convey the emotions it wants us to feel.

Apart from the cinema-quality cut scenes we've been getting treated to over the past few years, gaming companies have been setting aside a big budget in order to snag the best music composers out there to make soundtracks that echo the tone and emotion their games are looking to convey.

We can always find faults in gameplay, plot holes in storylines, flaws in characters and other things that can turn us off. But music has never been something to find fault in.  

Halo 3 OST - Never Forget (Martin O'Donnell)

Halo is a favorite for many. And it's not surprising. 

It's a game that really brought a community together. Friends were made through this, so many of us can remember the nights we've spent playing split screen or organizing massive LAN parties for this alone. 

We can't forget Master Chief's story either. But this particular soundtrack feels more like a love letter to the fans of the series. The nostalgia we get just by listening to this beautiful piece is enough to keep remembering the reasons why Halo will always be up there as one of the greatest FPS's of our time. 

Metal Gear Solid 3: Way to Fall (Starsailor) 

This is not a song made specifically for the game, but in no way is it any less fitting. 

The Boss was always a pseudo-parent figure to Snake (Big Boss). The ending of the game, the tone it carries is matched perfectly by this song, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle so perfectly that it's difficult not to think the song was made for this game.

Or if the game was made based on the song. 

Assassin's Creed II: Ezio's Family (Jesper Kyd) 

I count Assassin's Creed II as the best in the series. 

This beautiful piece probably contributes a lot to why I think that. With Ezio's father and brother's tragic deaths setting him on the path for revenge, ultimately making the master assassin we know Ezio Auditore da Firenze to be, this melancholic soundtrack manages to capture the emotions perfectly.

Despite the Assassin's Creed series falling from grace since it's initial few releases, the soundtracks have always exceeded expectations. For that, here are a few honorable mentions;

Assassin's Creed III: Aphelion (Jesper Kyd)

Assassin's Creed IV: The Ends of the Earth (Brian Tyler) 


Dishonored: Honor For All (John Licht and Daniel Licht)

This song was written specifically as a reward for players who finished Dishonored.

The heavy emphasis on the violin fits the theme of 19th Century London perfectly, and the overall tone of the piece serves as a fitting representation for Corvo Attano's journey you undertake throughout the course of this game. 

You can ask for no more fitting a reward than this masterpiece. 

Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core: The Price of Freedom (Takeharu Ishimoto)

Ah Crisis Core. One of the gems from the PSP age. 

This beautiful piece is a fitting send off to Zack Fair, the game's main protagonist. The title itself is an indicator to the price he paid for wishing to break free of Shinra's clutches and giving Cloud Strife his freedom. 

If you haven't played this game yet, you're doing yourself a disservice. More so if you are a fan of Final Fantasy VII. Zack is a character everyone should be familiar with. The price he paid should not be forgotten. 

Elder Scrolls Online: Beauty of Dawn (Malukah) 

Let's be honest, Elder Scrolls Online was not as good as everyone thought it would be. But can a song make up for the downsides of a game? 

Normally, no. But this piece does a great job in coming close. I prefer to just think of it as something composed for Skyrim instead. 

Either way, even if you don't like ESO, get the soundtrack. You'll be saving money while getting some of the best, if not the best parts of this game: The soundtracks. 

Far Cry 3: I'm Sorry (Brian Tyler) 

Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? - Vaas Montenegro

Vaas is one of the most iconic characters to ever grace a video game. As such he deserves something to remember him by. For me, it's this soundtrack. 

That's it for now! What are your favorite tracks from video games? Share below so we may all experience them!

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Nine Celebrity Video Game Voice Actors You Missed https://www.gameskinny.com/puoff/nine-celebrity-video-game-voice-actors-you-missed https://www.gameskinny.com/puoff/nine-celebrity-video-game-voice-actors-you-missed Sat, 25 Jul 2015 17:30:01 -0400 Elijah Beahm

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While gaming struggled many years for recognition and acceptance, every day we see more proof of how mainstream it has become. As games become more commonplace, so do celebrity appearances in games. Got a favorite celebrity appearance in a video game? Let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e37bba8116e22736370bb85d9df3c50d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e37bba8116e22736370bb85d9df3c50d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6418","description":"

Phil Collins -- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

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While technically Phil Collins only says a few brief lines, there is an entire mission built around his in-game concert in this PSP/PlayStation 2 spin-off of Vice City. You have to stop some bombers with your bare fists, all while keeping Collins and a movie director safe. Your reward after preventing the heinous attack? An entire song performed by Phil Collins, in-game. As mission rewards go, this is a pretty rock solid one.

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Sean Bean -- Kholat

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Sean Bean must be very tired of dying, which is probably why he agreed to narrate the indie horror title Kholat. Not only does he get to be the voice players hear at every turn, but he gets to live by virtue of not being present. This is equally fitting, seeing as Bean's only other video game role was as the bastard son of the reigning emperor in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The lack of assassination attempts likely is very refreshing.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/d/2/2d204d97615d7feedcb06277e754eab1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/d/2/tiny_2d204d97615d7feedcb06277e754eab1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76639","description":"

Ray Liotta -- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

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You might be able to take the gangster out of the real world, but he'll still be looking for trouble. Ray Liotta's profilic movie career is full of action and mobster films, so it seems only fitting that his two appearances in video games are as gangsters. He not only appeared back in 2012 as one of the cast in Mob of the Dead for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but is the star of his own Grand Theft Auto game.

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Taking place in the middle entry of the PlayStation 2 GTA trilogy, Liotta plays Tommy Vecetti, a loyal gunman with an ax to grind. While many of the same ideas present in Grand Theft Auto III were present in Vice City, one of the biggest shifts was the greater focus on story. By bringing Liotta in, the series began a trend of voiced protagonists with real motivations. Vice City heralded a turning point for the franchise that would later lead to the further complex stories in GTA IV and GTA V.

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Elijah Wood -- The Legend of Spyro

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One does not simply become the lead actor in two epic fantasy franchises, but Elijah Wood pulled it off anyway. Not only did Wood get to play the iconic Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings, but was also brought on board for Krome's reboot trilogy of the Spyro series.

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While the games themselves had a middling reception (leading to Activision rebooting Spyro into Skylanders), the story and voice acting were highly praised. Not to be deterred, Wood has taken on other gaming related projects, including playing one of the lead antagonists in Season 10 of Roosterteeth's Red vs. Blue.

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Chloe Grace Mortez -- Dishonored

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Most people remember first seeing Mortez break onto the scene as Hitgirl in Kickass. She packed a surprising amount of punch for such a young actress, but she actually has done far more subdued roles. Take for instance her role in Dishonored, as the heir to the throne, Lady Emily Kaldwin.

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Mortez not only had to portray the character, but handle two completely separate voice overs due to the branching narrative. As a result, she played Emily as both a malevolent ruler to be, and as a peaceful idealist. Not an easy job for anyone, but Mortez brings something genuine to Emily that many young characters in video games lack. While Emily's looking all grown up in Dishonored 2, it's not confirmed if Mortez will continue voicing her or not.

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Tony Jay -- Legacy of Kain

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Tony Jay remains one of the few actors who can say he acted in one of the original hand-drawn Disney films and in several iconic video games. From The Hunchback of Notredame to Fallout, he's voiced dozens of characters for gamers and moviegoers alike.

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What remains one of his most iconic roles is the Elder God in Crystal Dynamic's Legacy of Kain series. His baritone voice carried great weight in every role, but he made Elder God truly titanic, mocking series protagonist Raziel's struggle. While he sadly passed away in 2006, his voice lives on for generations of fans through his prolific work.

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Christopher Walken -- True Crimes: LA

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While old school adventure game fans remember Christopher Walken's iconic appearance in Ripper, most gamers don't realize he's also the voice of George, a character from Activision's True Crime series. Walken not only voices the character, but narrates both the game's intro and outro sequence. What makes his inclusion particularly odd though is how subdued he is by comparison to his usually flamboyant performances.

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Ashley Burch -- Aliens: Colonial Marines

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Yes, right after Ashley Burch of Hey Ash Watchya Playin'? got her big break in voice acting as Tiny Tina for Borderlands 2, she voiced a very (let's call it "unique") Gearbox production. In Aliens: Colonial Marines, Burch plays the red headed, by the book pilot Lt. Reid. Reid often comes into argument with the lower ranking members of the cast, including ordering them to leave a marine behind at one point for the sake of the mission.

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What's most impressive is that it's actually hard to identify that it's Burch in the role until you read the credits. While more recent projects such as Life is Strange have highlighted Burch's range, this was one of the few times most gamers heard her do a far more serious voiceover. Sadly, neither Burch nor anyone else of the star-studded cast (including Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn) could save the game's dismal story.

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Kristen Bell -- Assassin's Creed

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It has been many years since the tragic twist ending of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, but that doesn't mean fans have forgotten about former series mainstay Lucy Stillman. What those same fans might have realized is that Lucy was played by none other than Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame. Bell played Lucy through each entry in the series, going from a side role to being one of the lead protagonists.

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Assassin's Creed is not Bell's only dip into video game voice acting. She also reprises her role as Cora from Astro Boy vs. The Junkyard Pirates in Astro Boy: The Video Game and as Anna from Frozen in Disney Infinity.

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Voice acting in video games is one of those professions that has its own stars, like Dee Bradly Baker (pictured above), Troy Baker, Tara Strong, and Nolan North. However, that doesn't take away the excitement when a movie, web, or TV actor takes their step out onto the digital stage. Sometimes though, they slip by us. Here are nine celebrity voice overs you probably didn't realize were in games.

"}]]]>
Assassin's Creed's Ezio is joining Toy Soldiers: War Chest https://www.gameskinny.com/4x5a9/assassins-creeds-ezio-is-joining-toy-soldiers-war-chest https://www.gameskinny.com/4x5a9/assassins-creeds-ezio-is-joining-toy-soldiers-war-chest Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:33:57 -0400 Fireboltz_7795

Ezio Auditore from the Assassin’s Creed series is coming over to join Toy Soldiers: War Chest. Ubisoft went on to explain that it isn’t just Ezio that is joining the ranks, but also other members of the Assassin Brotherhood. The plan is to include their stealth and parkour abilities to use as you try to obtain victory. 

What is Toy Solders: War Chest?

Toy Soldiers: War Chest (TSWC) is an upcoming game developed by Signal Studios and published by Ubisoft. It is set to be released sometime this year, and will be released on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC. This game has two options, where the player can either defend against attacking armies, or you can lead the attack yourself. Based on Ezio’s personality and abilities, I’m betting he’ll be part of the attacking squad. The game will feature both single-player and multiplayer options. You can buy the Hall of Fame Edition for only $30.00, which comes with eight characters. 

This is Quite the Crew

Ezio joins an interesting set of characters in this game. The game features four original characters, Kaiser, Starbright, Dark Lord, and Phantom, as well as G.I. Joe and He-Man. We can expect more Ubisoft characters to arrive as well for us to fight with this group. We might even get to see Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell join in, but only time will tell.

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