On Christmas Day of 2007, I played my first Assassin's Creed game on the Xbox 360, and ever since then I have always tried to imagine its wondrous world as a film. It's hard not to; the game's visuals are film-like in their drama and striking realism. Unfortunately, its blockbuster aesthetics leaked into the gameplay too, and, in terms of the original #AssassinsCreed, this meant too much linearity and hand-holding for my tastes.
However, it has been almost ten years since the release of Assassins's Creed. That's ten years and 17 games to be exact, which means the franchise has aged and improved a lot. And now, at long last, we're finally peering down the sights and taking aim at the first Assassin's Creed film, which is set to be released on the 14th of December. I haven't been overly enthusiastic about the previous trailers that we have seen in recent months (no thanks to Kanye West), but I'm delighted to say this trailer has finally gotten things right.
What Can We Learn From The Last Assassin's Creed Trailer?
We have seen the Third Crusade, the Italian Renaissance, the American Revolution, the Golden Age of Piracy, the French Revolution and Victorian London all lovingly portrayed in their bloody, grim realities throughout this series. As with all Assassin's Creed games, the historical period is crucial to the story and gameplay, and the film looks to continue that tradition.
Firstly, we can confirm from the trailer that this film won't be going flaky on us when it comes to the brutality and horror of the Spanish Inquisition—the most religiously charged backdrop we've ever seen in the Assassin's Creed universe. This was a time of widespread intolerance and repression leading to mass deportation and execution, all in the name of Catholic orthodoxy.
"The history of the world is the history of violence." It is this pretty depressing opening line that sets the scene before we are plunged into a city set ablaze by fire and war. An execution from the typical eagle-eye-view that we are used to in Assassin's Creed gets us started as the tensions, horrors and ferocity of the film's narrative are laid bare. On top of all this, the trailer appears to give us a glimpse of a new villain in the film: An Inquisitor, one who doesn't look very happy.
For fans of the franchise, the middle section of the trailer will be akin to listening to a broken record. However, it does give us a pretty clear idea of the story as well as the underlying themes of the film, something that has been missing in the previous trailers. Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), as we know, has been chosen, erased from history and forced into reliving his ancestor's life. He spends much of his time trying to figure out what the hell is going on, as we all were during the games.
We also get to hear for the first time what The Templars actually want, and yes, it is a piece of Eden just like the games! Hoorah! Additionally, Callum Lynch seems to have lost all personal control as he goes in search of the artefact that, according to the trailer, has the power to crush independence and any rebellion. It seems the struggle of personal control and oligarchy are very important, reflected also by the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition.
This film has some pretty big stars in it, but it's only this trailer that has given us an indication of what certain performers will actually be like. We get to see Jeremy Irons giving us the Templar low down as Alan Rikkin and Michael K. Williams as the descendant of Baptiste, a Haitian assassin who also appears in the games. things seem to be stacking up well! Wouldn't you agree?
This final trailer for the film seems to bind a lot of the elements that we had already seen into a more linear and cohesive set of events. On top of that, we can finally say that the game is attempting to replicate the AC universe we're all familiar with, while at the same time embedding itself in the dark, gruesome world of Spain in the late middle ages. And yes, we're very excited!
Tell us what you think of the trailer in the comments section below!