Assassin’s Creed: Lineage is a curiosity for fans of the series and little else.
Several games attempt to emulate movies in terms of deep characterization, strong narrative and other cinematic aspirations at the same time they use the interaction so proper and unique of the medium. To a certain extent, Assassin’s Creed is one such game and it was only a matter of time before we saw movie adaptations, especially taking into account the immense popularity. Lineage is a series of short live-action films that follows character Giovanni Auditore (father of Ezio Auditore da Firenze) in 15th century Italy during the Renaissance era. This new era also brought a conspiracy that tried to destroy both the Medici family and unified Italy, so Giovanni intends to locate the parties involved in the scheme and bring them to justice.
Lineage original came out as a three-part movie that works as a prequel to popular action game Assassin’s Creed II. This also showed that Ubisoft had cinematic aspirations and that the company was testing the waters for a potential Assassin’s Creed movie. Lineage might be a live action movie, but it has a lot of noticeable special effects. Although most of the times, these effects are put to great use, there are moments when they are so pervasive or obvious that they can be distracting.
Additionally, Lineage certainly feels like a promotional movie instead of just an Assassin’s Creed movie, since there are constant references to the games (these include characters, story, setting and a strong emphasis on mechanics, weapons and other elements from Assassin’s Creed II.) Also, while the quality of the movie is good, it was certainly made for those who are already fans and I’d be surprised if anyone became one after watching Lineage. That said, Lineage is something we’d usually get out of an expensive special edition and not free YouTube videos, so it’s hard to complain too much about a movie that’s available for free for everyone to watch.
In the end, Lineage is a well done film, but it feels like an experiment that never fulfills its potential and a curiosity for fans. There are certainly good moments to be had in Assassin’s Creed: Lineage, but if you’re not into the Assassin’s Creed series already, this short might seem confusing and frankly, not that entertaining.