I used the love the thrill of reading through a magazine as a child to find out all the latest news on an upcoming game. How it was being developed, what features were being included, when it was being released. I’d hang on every word about how it would revolutionize a console or become the start of a next big franchise, and then a few months later read an in-depth review in the weeks leading up to the big day, with a final score rating of 9/10. I’d ingested enough information by that point to know that I had to have this particular game, so I took my pocket money and slapped a pre-order on that bad boy and come release day I was never disappointed. Super Mario 64, Civilization II, Gran Turismo, all favourites of my childhood for one reason – I’d done my homework on all of them, because I had my trusty gaming magazines to conduct my research.
I miss that thrill. It doesn’t exist anymore and not because commercial Internet all but wiped out gaming magazines as a few still exist, but because the information simply isn’t there anymore. Gone are the days of extensive previews, new pieces of news filtering out of the developers office every week in the buildup to a release, now everything is all hush-hush to the point where at times I know very little about a game until I actually play it.
The Assassins Creed series is one that divides anyone who has ever played them. They divide Alan and I in fact, he buys the collectors edition of every new title the day of release whereas I’m… Not so keen on them. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as simple as Alan loving Assassins Creed and I hating it, even the individual games divide me as I wasn’t keen on the first Assassins Creed nor Unity overall, but I thoroughly enjoyed Black Flag, the fourth main game in the series. As it happens I recently bought Assassins Creed II, so I’m giving the whole thing a fair shot by now owning four of the main titles.
What I think divides fans of the series so much, particularly recently, is the mess surrounding the release of Unity. In the buildup to its release a lot of emphasis was placed on its four player co-op mode, and at first we must have missed something as we thought that feature was available throughout the entire game, it wasn’t until later we realised it wasn’t and then when we both played it realised further still that there were only a handful of co-op missions available altogether. However that was more of a personal gripe we had (not to mention the only reason why I personally bought it), the major problems were with bugs. And my goodness were they plentiful, just watch this video for proof of that: