Assassin’s Creed – Banging my head against the Wall

From the way I was talking, you’d think that I hate this film…

… WRONG!!!

I actually, for 80% of the time (the first 80), actually liked this film; the film was Assassin’s Creed and the reasons that it was working was because of what I mentioned here in my pre-release thoughts.

They also threw an indirect fourth wall break that I found to be very clever and actually tied into the concept of gaming as a whole quite well.


The Animus is a clever piece of tech; however it is the side effects of the Animus I wish to talk about… the Bleeding Effect where the memories manifest.

In the film, Callum Lynch enters the Animus three times and there are three different results.

  • Result one, they are forced to pull him as mentally he becomes unstable and the Bleeding Effect is bad.
  • Result two, he suffers a violent paralysis, foaming mouth, violent shaking, the works.
  • Result three, he breaks the Animus arm and he gains all the abilities from his ancestors, the positive side of the bleed effect.

So what was the cause and why did the three effects vary.

The answer, free will, the very thing the Templars wanted to stop.

  • The first time, he was placed in with about 50% willing and 50% unwilling.
  • The second time, he was dead set on not going in, singing badly as he did it.
  • Third time, he was 100% willing to go in.

Notice the pattern?  Now ask yourself this, what happens if you fail in the game?  You de-sync; its not as violent but its loud so they are aware and creates a “painful” moment for the player.  You’ll also notice that, apart from Revelations where you are stuck in the Animus, you can willingly step out at any time… free will is an important factor.

But ask yourself another question, what happens when, for whatever reason you don’t want to play a game?  The answer; sometimes you finish playing the game feeling worse than when you started.

This had all the potential to be the perfect game to film crossover.  They didn’t just embrace the lore of Assassin’s Creed but the subverted it on so many levels as well.  They unwittingly broke the 4th Wall in an unusual way that allowed you to dive into the rich deep world of Assassin’s Creed… just a shame they messed it up at the end.

There is one more part I’ve thought about just now… this Friday I think.

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