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Assassin Games Are a Mysteriously Alluring Trend

/ May 3rd, 2013 No Comments

Assassins Creed 4 - Coming October 29th
Assassin Games

Assassin Games

Assassin games have rose to prominence in the most recent generation of video games. It has become a popular trend for developers to produce games featuring assassin protagonists. The assassin games trend can see its roots in the stealth genre, which really took off in 1998 with Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation and Thief: The Dark Project for PC. Shifting into 3D changed the genre causing it to appeal to a wider audience. With the exception of Tenchu, these stealth games featured less on assassinations, but more on stealth and avoiding conflict. These early stealth games laid the seeds for the popularity of assassin games in the mid-2000s.

The center of this assassin games popularity can easily be seen in the hugely popular Assassin’s Creed franchise. Starting back in 2007 with the original Assassin’s Creed, it become a surprising hit for Ubisoft and found a large audience among gamers. The free running, less demanding stealth gameplay and focus on action and assassination is why the game spawned numerous sequels among both home and handheld consoles, while other assassin games of the time did not. Other assassin games around the same time were Hitman: Blood Money and Tenchu: Shadow Assassins, but unlike Assassin’s Creed the series kind of died down then despite similar assassin themed gameplay. Assassin’s Creed is still a popular and thriving franchise with the latest game, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag coming out this Oct. For a perspective on why this quick turnaround might be worrisome, check out Chance Asue’s the Plunders and Blunders of Assassin’s Creed 4 and read about Assassin’s Creed 4 gameplay here.

2012 saw two successful and popular assassin games in Assassin’s Creed 3 (and its PS Vita counterpart Liberation), Mark of the Ninja, Hitman: Absolution and Dishonored. This year is looking to be another big year for assassin games (and to a degree stealth games). The year has already seen the release of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which takes a new bent on the Metal Gear formula with an action focus and sees Raiden on a mission of revenge and murder. As mentioned previously, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag will be released on Oct 29 and following that Ubisoft’s modern assassin take in Watch_Dogs will hit store shelves in Nov. Watch_Dogs and AC4 close proximity raises an interesting question for Ubisoft, seeing as they feature some similarities, is the company trying to float a more prominent assassin games series? Possibly coming out this year (or 2014) is Metal Gear Solid 5 comprised of Ground Zeroes and the Phantom Pain. Then finally 2014 will see the newly announced Thief reboot, which given the announcement trailer seems to be closer to what most modern assassin games are trying out.

It looks like gamers fascination with assassin games has not waned and will not be ending anytime soon. Gaming Illustrated readers, what are your favorite assassin games, let us know in the comments.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Associate Editor/Editorial Lead at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. Currently, he lives in Tustin, California. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
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