Howdy there folks, it’s me again. Today’s blog is a somewhat interesting little tidbit I’ve thought up for the last few days or so, and finally decided to share with you guys. In the wake of sequels of sequels of sequels, who’s really the better game- Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed? Ha. Just kidding. That’s actually not what I’m going to be talking about here at all. While both are lengthy series’, they are two completely separate genres with little to no similarity in elements or execution, save the fact that they have both been very successful and very popular, especially in the past five years or so. I’m going to break things down into a few different categories here, mainly to show you the differences of these now yearly released games, in the wake of Assassin’s Creed III and Black Ops II, and in lieu of the inevitable releases of the so-called “Ghosts” and Black Flag. Here goes nothing.
Part I: Differences in Gameplay Mechanics
Segment A: World
As I previously stated, the Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed franchises are incredibly different in terms of mechanics, and virtually worlds apart. While, yes, they do now share the commonality of each releasing yearly for the past three or four years or so, there’s not much more to it than that. Cal of Duty features intense close quarters fighting, which granted, Assassin’s Creed does have a little bit of as well, but whereas CoD remains closely knit, AC travels the vast expanses of an open world hub area as well.
CoD- Close Quarters Combat, Small Travel Plan
AC- Large, Expansive World
Segment B: Locomotion
Call of Duty features the use of a sprint button, a toggle-to-crouch/hold to crouch option, and the occasional action to climb over cover or crouch beneath something when scripted. Other than that, the only type of traveling you’ll be doing is driving the array of vehicles present during combat scenarios, and constantly running for your life or gunning down foes as you run full-tilt towards them imposingly. Nothing like Battlefield, but marginally more than most other shooters. Assassin’s Creed, on the other hand, offers players a plethora of ways to traverse their wide open world. Various mixtures of free running and parkour, the occasional Da Vinci or Franklin machine prototype, and epic and graceful swan dives and tumbles make up this complicated platforming portion of the game. Well, and of course any horses you should choose to commandeer, if you dare…
CoD- Select Vehicles, Sprinting, Crouching
AC- Free-Running/Parkour Mix, Sprinting/Dashes, Equestrian, and Da Vinci Machines
Segment C: Combat
Call of Duty is an adrenaline rush from start to quick finish, often with an even more impressive finishing scene and level. Assassin’s Creed is a controlled ascent into interesting and insanely enjoyable gameplay, with certain areas that hit the peak between each chapter, and others that are relative lows to even things out and cater to all types of fans. Call of Duty features a brief campaign with many set pieces, whereas Assassin’s Creed’s hours long campaign offers endless exploration, hundreds of upgrades, and of course, epic assassination contracts across centuries of history.
CoD- Brief, Adrenaline-Filled Close Quarters Combat
AC- Worthwhile Exploratory Stalking, Assassinations, and Explosive Escapes
Part II: Differences in the Series’ Themselves
Segment A: History and Plot
Call of Duty does, in fact, actually have a plot- however, it is often glanced over in favor of the highly competitive multiplayer modes, rather than enjoyed as Assassin’s Creed’s history-rich plots are. The lightning fast series of events that either lead to world wars escalating, secret black ops groups fighting in hostile territory, or Russian sleeps executing deadly attacks after often intense and exciting, but sadly, forgettable. I guess the good thing about the Assassin’s Creed series is that you don’t easily forget what you’ve sunken fifteen plus hours into, per game. Couple this with a rich plot that is diversified by the historical figures present as well as fictional events they may take part in, from other perspectives, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination nearly every time, with few exceptions.
CoD- Intense, Fast-Paced Story, Fictional Plots
AC- Fiction Rooted in Historical Reality, Witnessed From Different Perspectives
Segment B: Release Dates and Numbers
So, for the past twelve years or so, the Call of Duty name has been a common one for both single player and multiplayer, with the fan focus shifting to the juggernaut’s multiplayer in the past five years or so. The series has spawned over twenty games, ten of which are the main console and PC iterations. It continually tops the charts for most months, and has yet to be unseated after finally taking over the mantle of multiplayer king from Halo a few years ago, by the books and by the numbers. Assassin’s Creed, on the other hand, has only been around for almost five or six years, and has already released five main series games, and several handhelds and console ports as well. The numbers are never quite as good as Call of Duty of course, but the games are often lauded for their epic stories, believable characters, and beautiful cities and countryside locations, as well as their animations and graphics. Each game has released a new title every fall, between October and November, in order to appease fans, for the past three to four years.
CoD- Juggernaut of the FPS Industry, Undisputed Sales
AC- Critically Acclaimed, Releases Every Fall
Segment C: Genres
This is, of course, one of the biggest differences of all between each of the series’ in question here. They are the children of two completely different genres of entertainment and gameplay. Whereas Call of Duty is strictly an action-packed first person shooter, Assassin’s Creed is a hybrid mix of stealth, platforming, action, and adventure- a la Ubisoft’s other similar fighting franchise, Prince of Persia. Whereas CoD competes with the likes of Battlefield and Halo for FPS top dog most years, Assassin’s Creed is in the relatively safe no-competition zone genres wise, although it must still constantly battle against the top games of each year for attention- such as this previous year’s Far Cry 3 and Halo 4, both of which were shooters and action-adventure sagas too. While their genres may not be the comparison in question, quality certain is, and can be similarly or differently shown in games such as some of the best CoDs (MW2, MW1, Black Ops) and worst ACs (Revelations, Liberation, Bloodlines).
CoD- FPS, Battles Halo and Battlefield
AC- Hybrid Action-Adventure, Battles Quality Titles Only
Part III: Differences in Quality and Reception
Segment A: Quality Concerns
With series’ that constantly release new titles, there are always going to be questions of quality, and rightly they are so asked. When we disgruntled gamers see a new ad for the newest CoD game, we all rage a bit, but eventually settle down when we have been assured that it will be a fine and decent game, as shown by the solid gameplay and performance overall. However, should there come a time when the games fail to live up to expectations or have run out of ideas, it’s going to be a day of reckoning for fans and haters alike I’d say… (Probably coming up with ‘Ghosts’, as I have no idea where Treyarch will go next with the series.) Assassin’s creed, on the other hand, having fewer games and a broader time period to delve deeply into, could probably release games for the next twenty years and still have plenty of story and content related ideas to grab onto. So, that wouldn’t be the issue for Ubisoft. Their only problem is being sure that they cater to fans with bug fixes and content available at decent prices, instead of making the same mistakes they had in hiccups such as Revelations and every portable game, which is always watered down and usually crap- although Liberation was alright, I’ll admit. Sure, bugs are bound to crop up in a game as large as Assassin’s creed III- but please, at least fix as many as you can here and there!
CoD- Mixed Receptions Lately, Top-Notch Combat, Poor Narrative Quality at Times
AC- Glitches Galore, Quality Work that Could be Tweaked
Segment B: Reception
Quite simply, the majority of the games have been received excellently in each series, although, of course, CoD has AC beat in terms of copies sold over the years, as to be expected. With the exception of the past titles released for each series, the others have all been received well, will minor complaints. However, as is common in many series’ that haven’t changed too much in their once epic formulas, the CoD and AC games have been getting some flak since MW3, Black Ops II, Revelations, and III- due mainly to disgruntled fans not seeing what they wanted, or for various other reasons present in-game and ends not meeting. There’s not much more you can do than march on though, as you will not be able to please every single fan every single time.
CoD- Well Received Up Until Semi-Mixed Reviews of MW3/BOPS2
AC- Very Well Received Until the Stumble in Revelations
Segment C: Where’s Next?
The next titles of each series could go in any given direction. Of course, we already know the majority of what is going to happen in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag’s setting and story location, as it focuses around pirates mainly- somewhat a series first, not counting the piracy committed by Connor in III. Call of Duty’s so-called Call of Duty: Ghosts, however, is an enigma currently, and little more is known other than that supposed title dubbed by Treyarch at the current time. I’d assume, as it usually does, it will follow some special ops group of warrior misfits against some as of yet unlabeled hostile country or government, and will feature many impressive set piece moments. The real question is though, will this one follow the narrative of a previous game as a sequel, will it be a new game entirely, and will it be set in the present, past, or future- and how far?
CoD- They Must Be Ghosts, Because I Don’t See Them
AC- It’s A Pirate’s Life for Me!
The Last Stand
Where do you stand on these two series’? Which is your favorite? Do you even like or dislike either? Where do you think they will go next? If you can answer these questions and more, or have different ones of your own- feel free to drop me a comment here with some feedback, leave me a profile comment, private message me in a one-on-one conversation for your own means, or simply draft your own response blog. Thanks for taking the time and consideration to read this piece, and as usual- have a great day, and I’ll see you the next time here on GIO…