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Assassin's Creed vol 1: Desmond h/c

Assassin's Creed vol 1: Desmond h/c back

Corbeyran & Djillali Defali


Page 45 Review by Stephen

"Ah, Ezio, ciao bene! And look what you have for me: yet another page of the Codex. Just what I always wanted! You couldn't have brought prosecco and panini, eh...?
“No matter, let's see... Hmmm...
“If I transpose the letters for numbers, the directions for plumbers, and the lint in my belly for the leaves in my tea... Yessss... It is perfectly clear to me now! It is essential that you assassinate every minstrel in town. You will gain nothing, but I will be rid of my headache.”

Minstrels: do NOT be pestering me with your luting, fluting jibber-jabber.

I love Assassin’s Creed. After the Italian Baroque, the Renaissance is my favourite era of Art History and Venice my most treasured city in the world. To scale then dive-bomb off the all the Florentine landmarks was a dream come true. It was certainly one way to conquer my crippling fear of heights, and I could not believe the lighting. On the other hand I quickly developed a Pavlovian reaction to each city’s minstrels: come anywhere near me with a lyre and I will garrotte you. You couldn’t commit a worse crime if you’d cried for a team hug. It doesn’t matter if I’m executing the final few seconds of an intricate, fifteen-minute stealth-athon, it’s a “Hey Nonny No!” from me.

Imagine my relief, then, to enter Constantinople in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. No minstrels! Oh, there are the begging women who get in the way and spoil my stride, and I can’t kill them ‘cause they’re laydeez. But see, they’re not strumming and humming the same stupid tune on a loop that makes me see red.

So what do we have here? Well, it’s emphatically not what came out of Wildstorm. This is a brand-new trilogy of graphic novels with a beginning, middle and end written by XIII’s Corbeyran, each more in synch with the games themselves. For a start they star Desmond, held prisoner under high-security at that mysterious… well, I think “laboratory” is the wrong word. It’s a bit like referring to Buckingham Palace as “detached”. Anyway: secrets buried in DNA (check), Animus reactivated (check) and it’s off to relive lives past (check).

Book one sends Desmond back to the marketplaces of the Holy Land during the Third Crusades; book two sees him checking out Gaul under Roman occupation; and by book three it’s a full-on quest for a revenge – destination Rome! Meanwhile, in the present day, things are really heating up.

Confession: I haven’t read them, no. I skimmed for the sake of synopses. Me, I’d rather immerse myself in the computer games themselves, then write spurious reviews extrapolating real-life potential from their game-play. In the spirit of which…

Mission: read all three book on the bus without being spotted, causing a disturbance or being called a big geek. Could be a tricky one: hardly designed for stealth, the Assassins’ garb. For full synchronisation: using your eagle vision, identify the miscreant playing X-Factor downloads on their iPod, gather their headphone wire from behind and silently strangle them before missing your bus stop. Make sure they’re dead. Seriously, take no chances. Destroy that fucking iPod.

Further missions available throughout Nottingham City Centre (see map):

a) Poison anyone pissing in our doorway over the weekend. This unlocks Page 45’s shopfront, and so ‘b’ and ‘h’ below.
b) Protect Page 45 from stumbling junkie theft.
c) Assassinate a traffic warden (stealth not required: no one will come to their rescue).
d) Investigate why Nottingham’s Mayor is allowed to park on the pavement outside Natwest Bank between 10-30am and 4pm when the whole of the city centre is out of bounds for those legitimately delivering to retailers and so keeping their life-blood flowing.
e) Read Page 45’s other game tie-in graphic novel reviews especially SILENT HILL.
f) Tweet these review to your gaming friends/colleagues.
g) Show me how to successfully defend a den. I’ve not managed it once yet. I’m thinking of trying something more basic first, like Mr. Bob-san’s cat flap. I fear we will have intruders.
h) Populate your villa / student bedsit bookshelves by collecting all 7,000 different graphic novels from Page 45. The more you collect, the more visitors you will receive, the more graphic novels will go missing and… oh, I love this mission!

Are they making a graphic novel of Skyrim soon? I hope so. I want to show off my Clopsy.