For fans of Assassin’s Creed, E3 gave us a tantalising glimpse of what is to come from the franchise. For people who aren’t fans, E3 gave them reasons to become fans. Those reasons being a lack of absolutely anything else of interest. Ubisoft stole the show, and ACIII was its flagship.
Discussion of this title during the “worst E3 ever” as many have (unfairly) called it reminded me of something. The combination of the next Assassin’s installment and Microsoft’s desperate attempts to get us using Kinect with everything brought back to me a hideous memory: an April Fool’s Day video game prank that fooled my mother.
Hilariously unrealistic, right? Well, my mum fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. Despite the terrible gameplay, the obvious jokes about falling over tables, and the blatant disclaimer at the end that said it wasn’t real, she thought this was an actual thing. What’s more, she liked what she saw so much that she rang me up to chat about it.
I answered her call, and it took me a moment to figure out from her excited chatter what exactly she was talking about.
I immediately wish I hadn’t. “Oh, that. Yes, I have seen it. Why?”
“Looks good, doesn’t it? With the running and the jumping and the swoosh, pow pow.”
“You know, all the fighting. I think I’ll buy it.”
“But… it’s… never mind.”
I didn’t want to disappoint her. I just let her believe.
But then I got worried. What if she started practising the moves with swoosh pow pow sound effects? What if, by the sheer power of her positive thinking, my mother was to help Assassin’s Creed Kinect find it’s way into the real world? And what if she then actually started playing this abomination?
Would I ever be able to look at Altair, Ezio or Connor the same way again, now that their images were inextricably linked in my mind to that of a short, middle-aged Scottish woman attempting parkour in my living room?
Knowing my mother, she would not be able to separate the game from real life. After a few hours of running in a circle in the Animus loading screen and a couple of kills under her belt, she’d end up crouched on the kitchen table flinging plastic knives at my Dad. He would call me complaining that she keeps hiding above doors, screeching eagle sounds as he enters the room, and “killing” him by jumping on him – *snick* – Oh Dad’s dead again.
Having fine-tuned her abilities by knocking things off the mantelpiece and flipping all the couches (like Graham Chapman in the old Monty Python Mountaineering sketch), she would inevitably get stuck on the roof.
I’d get continuous calls from my family’s abode, more frustrating than the usual parental check-in fare. “Do you know how to make a tiny pistol?”
“Mother, I refuse to play Leonardo da Vinci in this ridiculous charade. Now stop throwing smoke grenades at Dad and give him back his kitchen knives.”
“He doesn’t need them…”
“He’s a chef and they’re from his work! Besides, you stopped playing Assassin’s Creed when you landed on the TV with your ‘parachute’.”
“Your design had flaws!”
The worst thing, though, is that if this ever happened I’d be forced into action. Only my superior Assassin skill could stop her. I would have to teach my mother the true ways of the Assassin order, to get her to stop messing around with knowledge she does not fully understand. I would have to become my mother’s mentor.
So please Ubisoft, do not be tempted to make this game. I know game companies are trying to tap into other markets but this one is too dangerous. You do not know what you will unleash.
And my poor father is sick enough of fixing the coffee table as it is.
Niall Thomas is simultaneously writing a thesis on Assassin’s Creed and trying to prevent his mother from becoming interested. In his spare time, he writes and coaxes his mother down from rooftops.