I count myself as a fan of the Assassin's Creed franchise, but even I get a little confused about which game has what kind of stuff in it. Now there's a chart that clears up any confusion.
Image: Ubisoft (MobyGames)
Sometimes, in the heat of discussion, I forget exactly what you could do in each entry of the Assassin's Creed games. I think you could use a boat in the third game, but I'm not exactly sure. Could you ride a horse in the Constantinople-focused Assassin's Creed: Revelations?
An industrious Reddit user named Big_Diesel_Gaming has created a master chart for all of the different things you can do in these games, in what game you can do them, and in what context you could do them in.
I love everything about this chart, and it really helps me put some words to the reasons that I enjoy the Assassin's Creed series. While the assassinating and historical exploration are always a part of the games, they are always changing and refocusing what the core player experience is supposed to be.
Sometimes you just don't need to whistle in the games, but sometimes it's a critical mechanic that fundamentally alters the stealth interactions that the designers are putting together.
This chart is basically a map of priorities over time, and it neatly demonstrates parts of the experience that drop in or fall out. There is always an Animus, for example, because that's critical to the way that Assassin's Creed grounds its historical exploration. Similarly, there's always a core tension between free will and order, the two pillars of political ideology that have driven so many people to great and evil things over the course of the games.
We can also use the chart to see some changes in the way that gameplay has altered in the games. The earlier games' focus on "social stealth", or standing in a group of people to blend in with a crowd, has given way to a form of stealth that is more in line with the crouching, hiding and sneaking that is more in line with most other open world games with stealth elements.
I'll admit to being a fan of a big ole chart in general, but this really is a great chart for helping think about a big franchise and how it has changed over the years.