This landmark franchise is known for allowing players to travel back in time. But which part is the most historically accurate? Let’s try to figure it out.
In Assassin’s Creed, the story has always revolved around real-life historical events and scenery. Jumping from era to era, players meet and work with real personalities from the past who have had a profound impact on our present. This is not innovation – many other games also use historical events as a plot. However, it is Ubisoft who insist that they place special emphasis on the credibility and accuracy of the story. The most amazing thing about this series is that sometimes the developers even get it. Each game can teach the player something, show what actually happened in a particular historical period.
With the release of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in 2020, the issue of storytelling accuracy has re-emerged in society. So it’s time to rethink the franchise and evaluate which games are historically correct and which are not. We share our TOP 10 most historic parts of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, events or scenery which can be considered believable (in terms of history).
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (2020)
The debate over the historicity of Valhalla began with the very first announcements. When the creators announced that they were not going to give up the opportunity to play as a female character, the gaming community literally split into two parts. Ubisoft themselves claim that the folklore of the Scandinavian countries often talks about women warriors, and in this aspect they relied on it.
Otherwise, Valhalla continues to balance on the edge. On the one hand, the developers were able to recreate the impressive, cold and battle-filled world of the Vikings, and on the other hand, they did not accurately convey their moods and life. Drakkars, settlements, outfits and weapons, character concepts look as historical as possible. At the same time, not all the customs of the fierce warriors were taken into account.
There are many minor contradictions in the historicity of Valhalla: Vikings surrendering to the enemy, women leading the campaign, and the possibility of having same-sex relationships. However, these are all gameplay assumptions, and the game’s scenery looks very authentic.
We recommend reading the review on Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla to appreciate this game.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (2018)
Odyssey is currently the longest-running game in the series. She also tells about the oldest period in history, demonstrating how people lived from 431 to 422 BC… This is the time of the Peloponnesian War between the warring Greek city-states of Sparta and Athens.
Going back in time even further – much further than the Origins events – was challenging. The lack of detailed information about this period in the public domain, as well as articles and documents that can be easily read, completely turned the world created by Ubisoft. But even without accurate historical evidence or records of people of this era, the authenticity of the world itself remains at its best.
Of course, the game has a lot of gameplay assumptions, including the ability to play as a female character, but the overall storyline and scenery are quite historical.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)
Black Flag has the distinction of being one of the best Assassin’s Creed games. There are some blind spots in the history of the golden age of piracy: either sources are missing or the information is incorrect. At the time, chronicling major events was not a top priority.
However, Ubisoft has managed to create the world as historically accurate as possible with respect to, for example, Blackbeard. As one of the most famous pirates in history, he obviously plays a big role in the game. Since his death in real life was quite horrible, the character dies in the game is not so frightening. Ubisoft even managed to correctly capture the time and context of his departure from the world, while not scaring the player with creepy pictures.
Undoubtedly, the developers had to somewhat romanticize and simplify life at sea to make the game more comfortable. However, this does not affect the overall picture so much.
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue (2014)
Since Black Flag, the franchise has already happened twice in America, with fans hoping to travel to Japan or another Eastern country. Instead, Ubisoft decided to take their story north, right during the Seven Years’ War. This is a lesser-known conflict as it only lasted seven years (a relatively short period compared to previous wars). The battles were fought between Prussia, Great Britain, France and the Russian Empire.
During this period, there were not many significant changes on a global scale, so the game there is no such deep historical immersion or bets on the events of the past as in other parts. However, it features a young George Washington starting his military career in the British army – and he was recreated very realistically.
Rogue managed to become quite historical primarily due to the fact that there were not many details in it that could be spoiled. However, the accuracy of the narrative cannot be taken away from the game.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014)
The revolution completely turned the way of life in France, and many historical figures of that time are still relevant today. They look particularly impressive in Unity. First, meeting Napoleon Bonaparte before he becomes the greatest military leader of his time is pretty cool. Ubisoft has learned to build a better and better plot over the years, and they began to retell the story with little or no gross distortion. Unity is proof of this remarkable improvement. Even buildings as important as Notre Dame have been faithfully copied from real-life prototypes.
The events that are described in Unity are well known and well covered, but it is still quite a difficult time for a computer game. In those years France was dominated by political unrest, different ideologies and changing technologies. This period can be covered over and over again without covering it completely. The only problem is that everyone in this version of France somehow has an English accent.
Unity’s historicity has suffered a bit because of how much information is publicly available. It was simply impossible to keep track of all the details, but the developers tried their best.
Assassin’s Creed (2007)
This title takes us back to where it all began. The action takes place during the Crusades, when it was difficult to know who was the good and who was the bad guy. Unlike Origins, the Crusades have different versions of events depending on who is writing about them. Muslims say they have won, and Christians confidently see themselves as winners, and this is even more confusing because there is absolutely no certainty. Historians describe the same conflict in different ways, so it is really difficult to draw a definite conclusion.
However, the Assassins in the game are more neutral, which greatly simplifies the story, since the main character does not take sides. What’s interesting about this game is that in fact there was an order identical to that described in the plot.
Without any historically accurate sources, it will not be possible to talk about the believability of the story, so the first part of the franchise was placed in the middle of our TOP.
Assassins Creed II (2009)
The second game in the franchise takes place during the Italian Renaissance. Also in this part, one of the best assassins of the series, the legendary assassin Ezio Auditore, was introduced for the first time. Leonardo da Vici plays an important role in the story of the protagonist. The inventions of this brilliant scientist and artist help Ezio in his missions. Without him, it would be impossible to complete the story and complete the secret mission of the protagonist.
It is also very interesting to cooperate with the Medici family, which is one of the pillars of the Renaissance. The city of Venice, where most of the game time takes place, is pretty cool in itself. Visiting iconic Venetian canals and climbing St. Mark’s Cathedral is something that only Assassin’s Creed II can do.
The main problem with the historicity of the second part of the franchise is the huge amount of semi-realistic rumors and gossip that hovered around Italy at that time. In a sense, the plot fell victim to them, but within the framework of the game franchise, these assumptions are not critical.
Assassin’s Creed III (2012)
Like the French Revolution, the American Revolution is full of conflict and disorder. This event also has many different sources, so it’s not hard to get it wrong. The coolest thing about this game is the trip to New York and Boston, which are recognizable at first sight.
What’s more, players can also encounter iconic figures important to the revolution such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Historical nuances permeate everything, even taking part in a midnight trip to warn of the coming of the British. It’s a shame that players don’t think Assassin’s Creed III is a good game.
The historicity of the third movement contrasts somewhat with its patriotism. The studio wanted to show the events of the revolution in an inspiring way, but because of this, the harmony of the narrative suffered.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010)
Rome is one of the most iconic cities in the world, and Ubisoft rightly bet on it in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. For the first time, Ezio will be able to get there already in the second chapter of the story.
Working with Cesare Borgia lends a special charm to the story, as Ubisoft correctly captured his character and temperament. In the history books, he did not look so attractive and interesting, because in fact he was not as terrible as he was shown in novels and films. The buildings in “Brotherhood” are almost identical to their real counterparts, and The Colosseum is an exact copy of the present. Playing this title, you can simply step back from the plot and take a walk around Rome in 1499!
The developers have chosen an interesting but difficult historical period for modeling. They had enough information at hand, so Brotherhood became practically the most historical game in the series.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (2015)
Syndicate is the only Assassin’s Creed game that can be traced back to the modern era. This title has a unique storyline, as it tells players about the times of the industrial revolution in Londonthus creating a truly unique gaming experience for fans. This is not the most popular timeline among developers, so Ubisoft was able to stand out favorably.
Unlike most games in the series, Syndicate takes place in a modern city with wide streets and tall buildings, and this brings major gameplay changes. Please note that all these structures were erected before the famous London Bridge. Some aspects of London look clumsy due to the peculiarities of the period, but in terms of historicity, they are almost identical to prototypes. Many structures gamers can see with their own eyes in the real world even today.
Due to the fact that Syndicate sends players to the events that are closest to modern times, it turned out to be the most historically accurate. There was enough information about that era in the public domain, including the memories of people of that era.