Published on December 5th, 2011 | by Chris Hayes2
Assassin’s Creed: Lineage Review
Being a recent convert to the Assassin’s Creed video game series, I am fully aware of the beauty of the game. My first experience with the game started with Assassin’s Creed 2 per a recommendation by a GameStop employee familiar with the franchise. To say I was blown away by the artistic vision of the game would be an understatement. It would also explain why I subsequently purchased Assassin’s Creed 1 having determined this was a storyline I want to continue to follow. Currently, I have largely completed the first game in the series and hope to get through more of Ezio’s life in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, all so I can see what happens in the most current game, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. In an effort to immerse myself further in the story, I have taken a big drink of the Assassin’s Creed Kool-aid by purchasing the prequel DVD, Assassin’s Creed: Lineage (once again at the urging of my local GameStop guru). While I make the effort to not disclose too much, the following assumes that you are a fan of the series and as such are familiar with the tales told by the games up through Assassin’s Creed 2.
The movie is set in late 15th century Italy, with the story of Ezio’s father, Giovanni, as it was just before Assassin’s Creed 2 begins. We learn more about the daily happenings in the life of Giovanni and the family Auditore, including some small previews as to the man Ezio is to become. Giovanni Auditore, is known as a banker to all by day, but to the government, he is known as their top assassin. In this role of assassin, the government sends Giovanni on various missions to help protect their interests. As we see in game, there exists a tight family bond with the Auditore’s, which in the end is part of a double motivation for Ezio in the missions he carries out in Assassin’s Creed 2 and beyond. I can’t say the movie fills in too many blanks, but instead expands more upon what we learn in the early part of Assassin’s Creed 2.
In an effort to not spoil too much about the movie, I will instead continue by describing the abstract details of the movie. Assassin’s Creed: Lineage runs about 35 minutes long and seems to pass in the blink of an eye. The DVD box boasts another 90 minutes of bonus material. The movie is filmed within a CGI environment, and employs real actors; some of whom are actually the actors used to render the game characters (such as Giovanni Auditore). While the CGI is really well done, considering this isn’t a big blockbuster film, it is the acting, fight scene choreography, and cinematography that truly captures essence of the game itself. The actors move in the same way as the game characters do, and execute their fight scenes in the same manner as you see in game as well. When you combine that with cinematography that mimics the game and a CGI setting, you get what I consider to be an outstanding movie short.
With the actors actually looking like the in game characters, the dance-like fight scene choreography, and the beauty of the CGI and cinematography, this movie truly is fantastic. You truly do feel as though you are watching a real life cut scene (which I suppose you are). On top of the Assassin’s Creed: Lineage movie, the disk also contains tons of behind the scenes content, as well as the animated short, Assassin’s Creed: Ascendance. As is true in the game, the violence in the movie can be on the gruesome side, which I would imagine was probably true of this time in history. Not being a mainstream production, the movie itself does not have an ESRB rating, but it does state that it is “based on a game rated MATURE by the ESRB”, so keep that in mind before watching. I admit, maybe being a fan of the game has caused a bit of a bias for me. However, if you are reading this review and considering purchasing the movie, you too are most likely a fan of the series and will see the $7.00-$10.00 price tag as a completely fair price. I know I do.
– Demian Seiler