assassin's creed

Characters as Old Friends

Played through the new Assassin’s Creed DLC last week.  Yes, yes; I know I should be writing, but a guy’s got to take a break now and then, right?  RIGHT?  And why not go back to Roma?

Allow to confess to you my delight at seeing dear old Leonardo again.  And that’s the thing — for a moment, it felt like I was seeing an old friend for the first time in years.  Not some NPC, not a character in a movie.  Someone I’ve watched grow and change.  Someone with whom I have interacted.

Now, before you get any images in your head of me weeping into my hankie at the sight of polygonally-represented Renaissance artists, let’s move on.  The question is, why was this different?  I’ve seen recurring NPCs before.  Why did I smile when this one came to the screen?

"Of course not.  Just allergies."



The representation of the friendship between Ezio and Leonardo has been very satisfying throughout the series.  In stalks a murderous thug, an armor-padded linebacker.  Up from the ink-stained desk rises the bird-boned polymath.  One man-hug later and you’re in.  These two guys are genuine friends and have been for decades.  Leonardo is more than the Merlin or the Q — he’s an actual part of the main character’s life.  These guys know each other.  The last beat of the DLC (which I will not spoil here) drives this home particularly well.

In a form surfeit with square-jawed white males in their thirties whose entire emotional range starts with a wisecrack and ends with a grunt, taking the time to show an actual friendship between men is a worthy accomplishment.

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