Yeah, it’s a comic. What’s your problem? Graphic novels are books too, y’know, just in picture form (and in my opinion a lot less cluttered).

All joking aside, the critically-acclaimed Assassin’s Creed: The Fall comic series  follows the complex interwoven stories of a Russian Revolution-era Assassin named Nikolai Orelov and his modern-day descendant, Daniel Cross (be warned, I’m proceeding here assuming you, the reader, understand the basics of the Assassin’s Creed universe, but if you’re not in the know, look through the AC Wiki). Shortly after the last of the three-issue series was released, I purchased them as separate issues, and was promptly disappointed when, after only a few months later, they began pre-orders on a Deluxe Edition, collecting all three. Tying snugly into the  pre-and-post-Desmond-capture Assassin’s Creed story arc, The Fall series now has a  sequel titled AC: The Chain available for purchase by its Ubisoft Montreal-based creators Ubiworkshop (link goes to their main website), conveniently located in the same building as the development team working on the Assassin’s Creed series. If you’d prefer to avoid any further spoilers than what I have already typed here, then stop after the next paragraph.

Now that the formalities in most reviews are out of the way, let me get to the good stuff: the review. The front cover art of each issue stays relevant to the content of each issue’s plot, except for the first issue (try to figure it out yourself by comparing the cover to the story in the third issue). The progression from the dark and moody cover of issue one to the vivid colors of issue three relates well to the plot as well. Page one is a harsh tease at readers, most of whom probably won’t guess who the man with the glossy, unreadable badge is. Once you know, however, you’ll be kicking yourself in the buttocks for not thinking of it before. Heads up: BIG story spoilers ahead. I’d stop reading now if you don’t want to spoil yourself. For those who can’t resist the temptation of spoilers, to save your eyes from wandering, here’s a non-spoiler picture (though that’s debatable):

Okay, no more spoiler-phobics left? You have been warned…. So, on to a synopsis of the story: Occurring in a time frame around the turn of the century (~2000 A.D.), AC: The Fall, as I typed earlier, centers around the stories of Daniel Cross, a social outcast whose life seems to drastically change for the better with the Assassins, and Nikolai Orelov, a Russian assassin who grows from being an unquestioning hitman into a dropout from The Order of Assassins. Having gained the blessing of The Mentor (look up his information on the AC Wiki) to join The Order after being violently “retrieved,” Daniel is told a phrase (You’re very special…) that activates hidden assassination instructions in his head, planted there during his time in captivity at Abstergo that has been the reason why he has felt driven to seek The Mentor. Daniel proceeds to unconsciously assassinate The Mentor, and when he wakes up, he leaps out the window to escape the assassins outside the room they were meeting, finding his way back to the Abstergo facility that he was held at and ending with Daniel returning to the Animus that Abstergo first experimented with him in.

 

The painstaking attention of the writers to the historical accuracy of the series shows itself in the events around the Russian Revolution and even the election going on during issue 3. The beautiful and elaborate composition , the story, and the little details like shading all delivered a package that I am quite frankly blown away by. Being not much of a comics junkie, I was greatly moved by the series.

Unfortunately, I won’t be getting my hands on the continuation of Daniel Cross and Nikolai Orelov’s story in AC: The Chain until after October 30 (the release date of AC3, if you didn’t know), so you’ll have to wait for that. Don’t worry, Ubiworkshop wisely made The Chain a single-issue release, but here’s a preview pic that ought to cause chills in those who have read The Fall:

In conclusion, the Assassin’s Creed: The Fall series is a worthy tie-in to the massive AC universe, and is a worthy addition to any gamer’s collection. While they are all slightly short and quick reads, they are definitely worth the depth and content they add to the Assassin’s Creed universe as canon. I have high hopes for both Assassin’s Creed: The Chain and what it adds to the story arc of Assassin’s Creed 3. Look out for my review of (possibly?) both this November.

 

So, final verdict? Definitely Highly Recommend.

 

Cedric Lansangan

Street Fighter Producer Consulting on Remember Me

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