A few months ago we had our first proper look at Assassin’s Creed The Official Collection, a series of fortnightly magazines. Each of the 80 planned issues is centred around one of the many familiar characters from Ubisoft’s flagship franchise, featuring a detailed fact file alongside a 1:21 scale resin figure produced by Hatchette Paperworks using Ubisoft’s original archive of reference material.
Our first impressions were mostly positive. The magazines themselves are great for fans wanting to brush up on Assassin’s Creed lore, detailing characters, events, locations, and other interesting key information. The figures are also of similar quality considering their £9.99 price tag; the only gripe fans may have is the inconsistent paint jobs. While generally good, the hand-painted faces look wooden and sometimes garish. Still, when lined up on a shelf, these figures look brilliant. They’re a great middle ground for those wanting to express their love for the franchise without spending hundreds on a limited edition busts or statue.
For more information about Assassin’s Creed The Official Collection, you can visit the official website. In the meantime, let’s talk through the latest batch of issues, discussing four new characters and the games they come from.
With issue three come one of the most divisive yet intriguing characters from the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise. Haytham is not only the father of Assassin’s Creed III protagonist, Connor, he’s also the son of Black Flag’s swashbuckling Edward Kenway. However, unlike the rest of his kin, Haytham is actually a Templar and through his deeds he becomes a Grand Master in the build up to the American Revolutionary War.
He’s a conflicted character and one that isn’t viewed favourably among fans. Those who played Assassin’s Creed III will no doubt remember just how long and drawn-out those opening hours were, with much of that time being centred around Haytham.
Next up we have issue four and a much more recent addition to franchise’s line-up of characters. Jacob Frye stars as one of the two playable protagonists in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the other being his sister Evie. He’s the more rash and impulsive of the two, often diving headfirst into all kinds of trouble before having to brawl his way out.
It’s that rough and ready approach that makes him a good character, if not a particularly accomplished assassin. There’s a brilliant synergy between him and his twin sister, the two of them making up for each other’s weaknesses, but equally egging each other on with a sibling rivalry of sorts.
Our first proper villain pops up in issue five – the infamous, somewhat psychotic Cesare Borgia. Unlike the four previous characters we’ve seen, he’s a real historic figure and one whose deeds have been told through various media adaptations besides Assassin’s Creed. Through manipulation and murder, the Borgias would rise to become one of the most powerful houses of Italy during the renaissance.
They’re a detestable bunch in the Assassin’s Creed game as patriarch Rodrigo Borgia is responsible for the deaths of Ezio’s father and two brothers. Cesare can be seen as the complete opposite of Ezio in many respects. Where he was moulded into a monster, the Borgia’s ruthless actions would inspire Ezio to become one of the Assassin Order’s most pivotal leaders.
Finally, to round things off, we revisit Assassin’s Creed III with Ratohnhaké:ton (or simply Connor, if you don’t fancy butchering the Mohawk dialect). I’m sure many will disagree with me when I say I found the third numbered game in the series to be a bit of a letdown. Compared to the Ezio trilogy, it felt too streamlined in some parts – most notably the combat – and too obtuse in others.
Connor also had his part to play. Again, having followed Ezio on his journey, being saddled with someone as wooden as Connor wasn’t an easy transition. It’s a shame, as all the right components were there. Having a Templar father and coming from a Mohawk tribe, there was plenty of material to make a compelling lead character. Assassin’s Creed III simply got a bit too bogged down in its history, giving air time to just about anyone even remotely involved with the Revolutionary War.
Alongside Altair and Ezio from the first couple of issues, these four new characters make a welcome addition to the Assassin’s Creed collection. Surprisingly, there seems to have been a slight step up in terms of quality, too. The facial details on hooded figures is still rather plain, though the clothing looks great, as you can see in the many photos.