The Assassin’s Creed video game series is well known for creating a unique stealth-action experience that allows players to control deadly assassins throughout various points in history. Initially, the franchise’s story followed the life of Desmond Miles as he used a device known as the Animus to live the lives of his ancestors who were all assassins who protected artifacts known as “Pieces of Eden” from falling into the wrong hands. However, the folks at Ubisoft decided to kill Desmond off and to cease any plot thread related to the character. He was the focus of five or so games in the series, but the developers changed direction and disposed of him and any impact he and his ancestors had on the overarching story. They continued on without him, but perhaps they should revisit that original premise.
Despite the games focusing on the lives and adventures of various assassins from different places and time periods, they were all tied together through Desmond’s story. Getting rid of him made future games feel disjointed. This ongoing, connected story kept players interested and always coming back to see what happened in the next installment. The search for the Pieces of Eden, the fight against the Templars, saving the world from Juno and the First Civilization, and the relationships between the characters were all entertaining and intriguing. They all made it hard to not want to return to the series for every game release. That’s no longer the case, unfortunately.
Each game felt like it was building up to something huge. The apocalypse was coming. One group wanted to prevent it while another wanted to use it to reshape the world to their liking. The heroes find necessary Pieces of Eden. They find hints as to who and what is causing it. They uncover an ancient mystery. Desmond sacrifices himself so that the others may stop a great threat. Then nothing. All that buildup for the story to be abandoned.
Now the newer games, which are still quite enjoyable, are closer to being standalone stories and in-depth history games. They still have “modern day” segments, but they don’t fully tie into what came before. They don’t retcon anything, but they use a similar formula to tell their own separate stories.
It’s time the Assassin’s Creed developers bring Desmond Miles back, even if it’s just using his spirit trapped in the Animus or some other science fiction in-world explanation. Doing so could bring old fans back to the series, resolve any loose ends left open, and tie the series together into one big story again. They could also finally give payoff to all the buildup and mysteries the fans were introduced to years ago before being left hanging. The newer games may still be popular and successful, but the amount of attention they’d get upon Desmond’s return would skyrocket. The series just hasn’t been the same since Desmond was disposed of.