The Assassin’s Creed franchise is one of the most popular video game franchises in the world, as many gamers have played at least one of the games that have been released since the first title arrived on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2007.
A smart mixture between unique gameplay elements, enticing historical backgrounds, and immersive stories consolidated the reputation of the franchise as it continued to grow and expand. However, as players roamed through new lands and pursued tales of glory, one of the core conflicts of the games appears to have been forgotten.
Assassins versus Templars
Within Assassin’s Creed, I, the never-ending conflict between the Assassins and Templars, is established, as the two organizations have battled since human history has been recorded.
The war between them is fueled by the major differences in the perspective of free will. Assassins fight for the right to live in a free world were humans have agency and can make their own choices without being guided. Templars argue that such freedom is merely a path towards chaos and destruction, and controlling humanity is not a choice but an obligation.
Great concept, poor execution
While this concept was explored in a thought-provoking manner in the first entry, the next ones failed to rise to the same level. Templars were depicted as stereotypical power-hungry villans that enjoy unsavory vices, torment weaker people without any reasonable justification, and encourage chaos and distrust among controlled populations.
As a consequence, most of the Templars that have been featured in the games are far from being memorable, since they have no real goal besides brutal levels of power. Such representation makes most of the protagonists likable by default.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has the chance to revitalize the eternal conflict by placing it in a different light, but only time will how Ubisoft decided to address the topic.