“It’s a small world!” they say, and thanks to Assassin’s Creed’s globetrotting murder sprees, the population of that world is only getting smaller. We trawl through our big gaming atlas to pick out the best locations visited in the series.
Boston and New York – Assassin’s Creed 3
We prefer exploring its nuclear future these days, but there’s still appeal in leaping around growing American cities (including an actually new New York), rubbing shoulders with historical figures and lobbing tea into the harbour. Take that you lousy fish! Oh, and the British.
New York – Assassin’s Creed Rogue
New York, New York, it’s a helluva familiar town! In Assassin’s Creed 3 we covered all this ground! The great sailing’s back, but location recycling brings it right down! New York, New York, can we go somewhere new now!
New Orleans – Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation
We’re not swamped with games set in New Orleans, but Liberation loses points for being set centuries before the jazz age (although a slit windpipe does make a sax hard to toot). But wading in marshes at sundown is pretty enough to justify our likely future as crocodile food.
Havana, Nassau and Kingston – Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag
Crystal blue waters and golden sands make this arguably the greatest destination in the series yet. Pirates prove to be the ultimate karaoke companions, our singing crew making for a nautical iPod as we sail past islands full of ocelots just begging to be air assassinated.
London – Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Bar a few cockney clichés, we’ll begrudgingly admit this is a lovingly rendered recreation of Victorian London. Bonus points for the horrible weather, minus a million for the unrealistic train shipments. Trains running on time? In Britain? Ridiculous.
Paris – Assassin’s Creed Unity
Paris’ streets are crammed with furious peasants at the peak of the French Revolution, only slightly spoilt by their thick British accents. By the time we’d figured out how to change the language settings, we’d grown used to the French telling us to “pull our head out of our arse”.
Italy – Assassin’s Creed 2
Renaissance Italy boasts the canals of Venice, the awe of the Sistine Chapel and a fist fight with the pope. Beating him to a pulp(it) almost certainly inspired Tom McCarthy to make Spotlight. Yet the charlatan snubbed Creed 2 in his Oscar speech. For shame.
Rome – Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Rome wasn’t built in a day, yet Ezio can dash through its cobbled streets in an afternoon. Lets you scale the Roman Colosseum, though slipping and falling doesn’t result in Ezio getting mauled by lions while a cheering crowd watches on. Missed opportunity there.
Istanbul – Assassin’s Creed Revelations
The world’s fifth most popular tourist destination is the star of one of the series’ least popular games. Feeling a little too similar to Rome and Renaissance Italy, Ezio’s swansong still has charming views and more sun than pasty team OXM sees in a year.
Jerusalem – Assassin’s Creed
The Holy Land is held back by the original’s tech limitations – put it next to Black Flag and it looks like upturned cereal boxes. But it has all the leaping, climbing and irritating beggars you could want. Oh, and the Brotherhood’s secret weapon: an abnormal number of benches.
India – Assassin’s Creed Chronicles
Features a gorgeous watercolour style, temple backdrops that make the 2D side-scroller feel far bigger, and all the luscious colour that presumably got sucked out of the original Assassin’s Creed. Also a useful cautionary tale of India’s biggest cause of death – constant elephant chases.
Russia – Assassin’s Creed Chronicles
Undoes all of India’s good work with a black, white and red colour scheme that’s presumably aiming for Sin City, but looks more like an unfinished colouring book courtesy of the world’s most untalented child. About as colourful and fun as a gay pride parade thrown by the Vladimir Putin’s government.
China – Assassin’s Creed Chronicles
The legendary Great Wall of China deserved better protectors than the cone-visioned dunces we stabbed through here. A flawed trip, but a striking one, with misty mountain scenery mixing beautifully with the red mist we sliced out of guards.
This article originally appeared in Xbox: The Official Magazine. For more great Xbox coverage, you can subscribe here.