First of all, this might just be a book to promote the console game, but it works. I’m a big fan of all the Assassin’s Creed titles – right back to when it first came out on PS3 and it was pretty much just the same mission over and over again. The titles progressed, as did the game play and Assassin’s Creed is now up to their eighth edition.
The first release was amazing, though repetitive. What Ubisoft, the creators did well was that they improved the game each time. Pretty staggering stuff really. Especially in an industry that makes billions each year, they don’t really need to bother. So why put a book out? Again, it’s just to promote the series… but it works because the book is not a pile of turd.
Sure, it’s no masterpiece, and it’s not going to be the next year 12 prescribed text. But it’s readable and also quite enjoyable. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the book (I will steer away from console games from this point on), tells the tale of two children of very different backgrounds, thrown together during the lead up to the French Revolution. One is a girl, who is from a Templar family; the other is an orphaned boy from an Assassin background.
Ok, so perhaps you have played any of the games before, a little explanation will be required. Templars don’t get along with Assassins. Pretty the entire the premise of the games is that you are an assassin and spend your time killing Templars and disrupting their plans. It’s a classic plot where the two children grow up together only to find out their past will stop them from getting along.
As the setting is during lead up to the French revolution there is a lot of history going on in the background. One great aspect of the Assassin’s Creed series is how actual history is threaded delicately within the story. It’s one of those ‘learn as you go’ type books. Historic events, as accurate are they are, are then explained via the secretive underworld societies that we are then lead to see how their unknown influence changed history.
The novel is full of action and is a great stand alone book, plus it would be a great way to tie your mid teen over until he gets the game for Christmas. Tell him if he wants the game, he has to read the book first. As we all know, the game will steal practically all the time away from reading, so you may as well try to get him reading at least one book this summer.
REVIEWER: Drew Thompson
TITLE: Assassin’s Creed: Unity
AUTHOR(S): Oliver Bowden
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House