After the launch of the series opening entry back in 2007, Assassin’s Creed has become a behemoth of the industry, and Ubisoft’s flagship franchise. The series, which now ranks as one of the highest selling of all time, has spawned all kinds of additional tie ins, including novels, an ill fated film, and a variety of comics, which began in 2015. Since then, several arcs have been released, which have largely been well received. The complete collection of Assassin’s Creed Conspiracies is the newest entry here, but is it actually any good?
The Assassin’s Creed Conspiracies Complete Collection from Titan Comics takes the series to an era surprisingly not yet visited during the games, The Second World War. The story opens up with a bang throwing the reader into the midst of an exciting factory infiltration in Norway, 1943, before flashing back three years to London. Eddie Gorm is the protagonist here, an English dockworker who gets dropped into an entirely new world filled with hidden blades and intrigue, after Nazi bombings of the capital have tragic consequences.
The narrative that unfolds over the whole collection is intricately crafted, and throws up some interesting, albeit sometimes predictable twists. The way the story develops convincingly fuels the motivations of the main players, making the events that transpire feel earned and satisfying. The story fills in the three year gap it establishes at the beginning, so by the time you reach the conclusion of the Norway opening for the second time, the additional context helps paint a picture of the grim path the characters have walked to get there. The comic does take some fairly outlandish turns at some points as it zips between various locales across Europe including Spain and Germany, but this isn’t really much of a departure from the series, which has often strayed into bizarre science fiction territory.
The pacing is also solid, and there’s a nice balance between quieter, dialogue driven passages and intense action sequences. The artwork is well done throughout, and colours are noticeably dulled somewhat, in keeping with the grimy vibe of the conflict it portrays. Characters are easy to distinguish between, and the action itself is clear and easy to see, with plenty of hidden blade assassinations, keeping in line with the feel of the world we know and love. You get the sense that Titan Comics know exactly how to tell their story, while including all of the signature hallmarks fans of the series would expect. Brutal violence, famous historical figures, sequences set in the present all intertwined amidst the never ending struggle between the Assassins and the Templars.
Much like the games though, the scenes set in the present are the most uninteresting part of the comic, often weighing the story down and providing an unnecessary diversion from the more compelling elements at play. One particular strength of the WWII set narrative is its moral complexity, often asking difficult questions of its characters, and sometimes placing them in situations in which there is no real right answer. This ups the stakes, and it does the best thing a story can: it makes you care. The dialogue is mostly solid with some snappy lines, although it can sometimes come across as cheesy and at its worst, it feels like it has been ripped out of a bad action movie.
For any fans looking for an Assassin’s Creed fix outside of playing any of the newer entries in the series, then the Assassin’s Creed Conspiracies Complete Collection from Titan Comics is certainly not a bad bet. The story is compelling and comes together in satisfying ways, as well as giving us a complicated protagonist to care about in a setting that hasn’t been fully explored in this universe.
This is an exciting ride that fans of the series shouldn’t miss out on.