"Assassins, Templars and Bears oh my!"

We all know that Assassin's Creed: Revelations has released this week (Nov. 15, 2011). We also know that this is the final journey of Ezio Auditore and Altair. As we will (possibly) never revisit any of Desmond's ancestors ever again, as Assassin's Creed III (3 for all of those kids out there), will be coming out next year in 2012! However, we aren't talking about old Desmond right now, well maybe you are, but I ain't. AC: Revelations has really captured the moment of being Ezio one final time and I am very excited to be Altair before the epic story of AC III. NO SPOILERS ARE IN THIS ARTICLE!

Quick Recap of what has happened AC I - AC Brotherhood

Apples, always begins with apples!!!
Apples, always begins with apples!!!

Desmond was a bartender for the rich and famous in the United States and concealed his real identity from the Templars, or Abstergo, so that he could escape the responsibility of being an Assassin. While his plans fell through, Desmond was eventually captured through a fingerprint scan and taken by Abstergo to be forcibly placed in a machine called the Animus in Italy. Animus [singular] is a machine that is used to relive the memories of ancestors that are withheld in the strands of a person's DNA. Within Desmond's DNA, he saw that his entire history is filled with Assassins. Assassins are a group of people established in the holy land (Jerusalem) that are fixated on stopping the Templars from controlling the world through mind control and chaos. Desmond relived the memories of Altair Ibn La Ahad a 12th century assassin from the holy land who had discovered the apple of Eden; which was a key item for the Assassins to defeat the Templars. Next, he was Ezio Auditore, a 15th century Italian. Gaining more in depth detail about Ezio than Altair, Desmond relived Ezio's memories from being a rich playboy to a grief stricken assassin with a mission of vengeance, to finally a legendary grand master of the order of Assassins.

Eventually being contacted by the creators of the Apple of Eden. They told Desmond that a great disaster destroyed most of their species and also a whole lot of humans at the time, they also mentioned of another disaster that will befall mankind in 2012. Finally finding the apple of Eden after Ezio had hid it many centuries ago, everything got crazy/dark. Now, Desmond is trapped in the Animus and is trying to find a way out before the entire world is doomed!

The three assassins - Altair, Ezio and Desmond

Three assassins, all with very close resemblances.
Three assassins, all with very close resemblances.

From my point of view; every assassin that you get to be in the video game, they always become better! I don't know if that is just me or if anyone else can tell. For example, Altair began with the regular abilities like to attack/counter, climb and so on, but with Ezio he gained newer abilities like to jump while climbing to a higher area and different abilities during combat, like the pistol. While in my opinion is that Ezio is far better than Altair, we can also look at Desmond. We've been Desmond in every single Assassins game but have never really GOT to play as Desmond. We would have 2 minute missions like "turn on the power, reach this outlet... etc etc", but we were always given invincibility and could jump from a high area without worrying of death, cool, but not a great experience. Seeing that Assassins Creed III will be a totally different turn on the series, we will not be able to play as Ezio or any other ancestor of Desmond, we will actually be playing as Desmond! So we will be possibly seeing no abilities and different weapons as Desmond is in our modern times, sort of. You know they are only a couple months in 2012, while we are actually in 2011! So the anticipation of being Desmond with health, armor, weapons and all is really interesting and I can't wait to see what happens with him in the future.

Each Assassin Has Their Own Problems

While Altair, Ezio and Desmond all share the same goal, they have their own problems. Altair was sort of finding his own grove on being an Assassin and bending the rules as he saw fit, possibly why all the other assassins disliked him. Ezio was a playboy that did not want the life of an Assassin, that is until his father and two brothers were killed. And Desmond is sort of like Ezio, except he changed his name and everything, but it looks like destiny calls only a few people to the challenge. Ezio has liberated multiple areas in Italy for over three decades, while Altair made sure that the Assassin order still was held together in the future. With them, Desmond now has his turn to write his name in history.

What makes Assassins Creed Franchise great

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The reason why the AC franchise is so successful is that they take a lot of real world history, bend its arm to finally have a great game. We've got Da Vinci (who is Ezio's partner and closest friend) who acts as the inventor of mostly all of Ezio's weapons and also some of the famed things that Da Vinci made in the real world like his flying machine. While he does not appear in the AC Revelations (so sad), he does play a big role as being one of the greatest inventors of our time, and one of my favorite top 10 inventors. And if you were wondering, he did not design the iPhone (so you think!) Ubisoft does an incredible job at studying world history and integrating it into the game, having the Assassin order founded in Jerusalem (which it did) in the AC I game, it was great to see that Ubisoft took to such great detail in making sure it was authentic. Sure it could have been placed in any other area of the world at any given time is great, but with it being where it originally was created that makes this game even greater.

Ezio - 16th Century Batman

Every time I think of Ezio, especially now in Revelations, I think of Batman. Lets face it, they are both wise, lots of cash flow, own the entire city, lots of weapons and armor and always get the girl in the end. What difference does it make that they live in different time periods and aren't related (so we think). While Ezio kills for the greater good, Batman will always find a way in the end to beat the villain without killing. Moral code and all. I like to see that a lot of Ezio is in Batman, except Batman has a huge cave underground and a long arm villain rogues gallery.

Supporting characters

Lucy, Rebecca and Shaun will always be considered "supporting characters" to me. Every time I think of those three being assassins, I think of them being intern assassins that only file paperwork (which they do a lot of), but they hold together the assassins bread with their peanut butter. As Desmond has his team, Ezio and Altair also have theirs. However, Altair always seemed to be a prideful young assassin than a team player, just because of his bigger than life problems. But Ezio had his uncle, sister, mother and a bunch of other people that were his posse. This is because of him having no training since he started off being an assassin in his mid to late 20's, while Altair started as a child.

Assassin's and blending, never a good thing

"I'm praying that you won't see me!" - Altair

I've never understood why the guards are so... dumb. Assassin is wanted + guard chasing + crowd of people = gone like the wind. If this occurred in the real world will be able to get away with anything, but sadly, this doesn't work. I think the guards confuse the assassin with a minister from the church, I guess back then everyone used hoods. Someone with a ton of armor and weapons should be able to be easily spotted by the common guard, jeez even a dog could spot the difference. But this tactic that has been used since the beginning never gets old and throughout all of time, no one will ever spot the assassin (until it is too late).


When you hear the name "Duccio" you automatically want to walk up and punch him. Duccio is the most annoying and comedic character in the AC games since AC II, since then he's appeared in every Assassin's game even in Revelations! Just seeing him makes you cringe up and want to stab him in the head, he's just annoying and the biggest loud mouth in the world. The conversation that he has with Ezio in the Da Vinci Disappearance was just priceless.


The AC franchise is one of the most involved and incredible games that really bends history to tell a story that is unlike any other. While it has its pros and cons, if you can move past that you'll enjoy the story and eventually the ultimate conclusion of AC Revelations and the beginning of the next game. Altair and Ezio will not have their own game in 2012, but Desmond will certainly gain his own full game next year! Until then...

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Duke Nukem Forever: Hail or Fail To The King?

 "I'm out of Bubble Gum"
Duke Nukem Forever is being released on June 14, 2011 (tomorrow). With so much Duke action from E3 last week, plus the reviews of this week and before it, and little talk about how the multiplayer will be grandstand to games like Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (eventually 3) and also other kings of online competitive gameplay, should Duke Nukem Forever go back and be rethought? Or has it done good enough for now until 2K Games and Gearbox Software LLC put a Duke Nukem game that lives up to all the expectation of years pass. With Duke Nukem having come out 14 years ago, he has changed from a 2D character in the game Duke Nukem to becoming a more modern 3D type anti-hero first person shooter. However with more and more games for Duke Nukem being released back then, the story was the same, "...kill the aliens for stealing the women..." or something of that nature. For some weird reason the aliens keep forgetting the beating they got from Duke the last time and will always come back with bigger weapons and more soldiers, which has worked for the past 14 years. So is it time for 2K Games and Gearbox to think of a new story that will grab a hold of new players and also shove new material down the throats of old players that didn't enjoy this game? Duke is back and we'll see if he is a failure or if we'll be hailing his return to FPS (first person shooters). 

What Makes Duke, Duke?

 "There is no Plan B!"
Duke Nukem is a character to say the least. Duke states that he takes steroids, but how much is this really true? Probably proof would be him being able to withstand great damage and also the reason why he can practically bend steel with his bare hands. Vitamins or steroids, Duke Nukem is comedic. His quick remarks and also his lewd hand gestures and fowl language makes the experience of Duke Nukem even more exciting. Sure Duke Nukem Forever has a lot of cons, more than pros, but at least 2K and Gearbox put a Duke game out there. That's got to count for something? But you say, "Duke's newest game was a load of crap, and it was better off in the grave..." totally true, but what if this is only the beginning to something better? Sometimes it takes ugly for the better to be released. Little to nothing is known about Duke Nukem's past, childhood, prison record, schooling or if Duke Nukem is his actual name, all just speculation but one thing is for sure "If it breathes, I can kill it!" With that Duke Nukem has survived in gaming for over a decade. If Duke Nukem didn't appeal to gamers in the early 90's, his series would've ended there, but for some reason, Duke got a hold of them by the throats and shoved down an awesome experience. Probably 99.9% of gamers that have played Forever and say it is crap and a disgrace to the entire franchise, which is true, but I am sure that the 1% left in the gaming community actually thought this was a step-up in Duke games.  

Babes, Boobs, and Nudity, Duke and Women

"Ha, Ha, ha! Shake it baby!"
Men want to be Duke Nukem, women want to be with him, Duke Nukem lives up to it's name by grabbing hold of an "M" rating from the ESRB. I mean could you imagine a Duke Nukem game to this very day that should have "T" or "E10"? If Duke Nukem Forever grabbed a "T" rating gamers everywhere would be pissed even more about how Duke has been downgraded to a mild language rating. The reason why women fawn over Duke is above everyone. It's probably because he saved the world so many times, and he also has a statue, and makes the President (or any world leader of that nature) look like a douche bag. Duke's game reminds me of Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2, while the breast mechanics in DOA Xtreme are more loose, 2K tries to make the women in Duke Nukem Forever as believable as possible. Duke has his own private stripping bar for the women that willingly do that to have "fun" with Duke. Could women be Duke's downfall, or weakness, if he is going to be assassinated? Or will Duke's common sense protect him to save the world another day? Who knows, but one of the key factors that has helped Duke's series to survive are women/boobs.  

Duke's Narcissist Nature And His Comedic Humor

"This is taking forever..."
Duke likes the way he looks. Could this be a mystery on Duke's past, was he just some nerd kid that wanted the girl but never could get her? Throughout the Nukem games, players can make Duke talks to himself in the mirror if players press the button prompt. This is also why Duke gets all the women and why only the attractive ones get to sleep with the King! It is because of all the ster--, I mean vitamins that Duke takes. Why does Duke always wear shades in his more modern games? It hides his face and also it takes away the fear that Duke has at failing and loosing the girl. But Duke never looses the girl right? He's like Mario and Princess Peach, except Mario (Duke) is sleeping with every other princess in the castle. Duke swears like it's 2012, and like he has nothing else to do. Every sentence or so, he'll cuss. Does this add to his comedic/tough guy nature? Or how about when he throws crap/feces at enemies and gives those same one liners over-and-over? I mean Duke Nukem Forever really went all out to add the ability to weaponize poop. Does that really make Duke's character and game humorous or just annoying. More annoying then humorous. On the subject with peeing in the toilet. Why do games do this to themselves? Dead Risings 2 had the ability to save by using the bathroom, Duke Nukem uses the bathroom and continues to use the same one liners and quotes over and over. Is 2K games going to add a pee bar when needing to use the stalls? Humor like this doesn't need to be in games. It just seems like 2K ran out of ideals for making Duke, Duke and just placed that inside their game.   

Duke Nukem, Bad Encouragement To Children?

"Sorry Kids, but to enter you've got to have balls of steel!"
"I am going to grow up to be like you someday..." - Johnny a.k.a. Kid, from Duke Nukem Forever. Duke has fans all over the world. He can't walk outside without being followed by attractive women, or being attacked by alien pigcops with a vendetta against Duke. With all of this fame, it goes straight to Duke's head. But does he take it the humble hero way? No! Part of Duke's narcissist nature comes from his fans and all the women he sleeps with, but is Duke encouraging children in the right way? "To be like me kid, you'll have to take steroids/pills a.k.a. vitamins, and you'll love to sleep with all sorts of women..." is this what Duke's legacy is all about? It seems that way, but you would think Duke would have children by now. Duke Nukem wouldn't be called a family man. I bet his origin was that he ran away from home at an early age, now that he's an adult he'll do whatever he pleases. So marriage is like facing the alien battalion/emperor all over again. Duke does whatever it takes to get the job done and never thinks twice on how it will land on his reputation. His rep makes him the most dangerous guy on the planet, and the #1 target for sending aliens down his back. So is "growing up to be Duke Nukem" a good choice that parents should let there kids become? I mean what are the odds that an alien invasion would actually happen in the real world? Is Duke Nukem going to be a good role model or characteristic choice when it boils down to saving the world?  

Duke Nukem, Good Encouragement To Children?

"I better not find this on Ebay..."
Lets face it, we've all wanted to be like Duke Nukem in some way, size or shape. Whether if it's saving the world and getting a gold statue in your name, or being rich with so much money you could buy the world, Duke Nukem is awesome. In a world without heroes like Batman, Nathan Drake, Ezio, or Lara Croft (just speculation so read on), at least kids have someone to look up to. Duke encourages kid that they can be almost like Duke, but not a carbon copy, because there is only one true Duke. Duke has a butt load of money, hot women, awesome weapons, and a sick cave, now who doesn't want at least two of those four things? Duke is telling kids that they have something to look forward to, and parents in Duke Nukem Forever seem to enjoy it enough to let there son become the next legend.  

Duke Nukem, Fighting Skills -- How far can you go with a simple right hook?

"Come on ugly, I'll take you on with my mad skills."
Duke knows how to use every gun on Earth, and also seems to know how to use alien weapons. But where do Duke's level of fighting skills come in? We see throughout the game, specifically Duke Nukem Forever, that Duke can punch the crap out of any alien that comes his way.  However, how far will a good 1, 2 take on an army of elite aliens? Can Duke Nukem beat up Ryu Hayabusa with just his right hook? Or is it because of Duke's "vitamins" he can just take on a million aliens at once with just bare fist and a can-do attitude? Whatever the reason is, I don't think in real life if Duke was fighting a person with some serious unarmed combat skills, he would win. It just seems that Dukes fighting mechanic is just for show than for logical reason (which most games are based on). 

Duke's enemies only want justice, and boobs!

 Justice is All They Want!
 Justice is All They Want!
Every time the aliens come, they come with the same old enemies just with bigger guns and different designs. Duke beats them again and again, and they come back like weeds in the yard. Do they only want justice for loosing the countless women of Earth? Aliens from another planet and women of Earth never sat right for me. I mean don't these alien thieves have women on their own stupid planet, or are they going extinct and they need to mate with other species? Well if they didn't learn the first 1,000 times, then Duke will show them again and again, "Don't take our women!" Time has made the aliens soft, and thus Duke has always beaten the alien emperor that controls the entire armies of villains. Do the aliens only want justice for the soldiers they've lost in the battle of Earth, or are they just pirates seeking for the next thrill or the greatest threat in the universe? There motive seems broad, and all Dukes games are about saving the world. I think if Gearbox wants their title to survive, they need to find a better story and different villains. I am tired of saving the Earth...

Why are only the hot women attracted to Duke Nukem?

Duke Nukem Forever never fails to represent!
Duke Nukem Forever never fails to represent!
 You'll see much of this, and less in game.
 You'll see much of this, and less in game.
How rarely do you see a fat lady in Duke Nukem? Not at all. 2K games likes to add the fact that only hot women live in Duke's world. It seems weird and stereotype that the game only features prostitutes as women in the games, but that is mostly how Duke's series has survived for so long. I mean, aren't most of us biased to see hot women in tight leather or skin tight outfits in video games? 

That seems to be the only type of women that are in video games rating from "T" to "M". But I can see why that is in there, to appeal to other more mature video gamers. 

Duke's Enemies, To Boring.

"We Aliens like Duke Burgers!" 
Lets just all say it, Duke's enemies are boring! They've been in all of Duke's game, stealing women and trying to rule Earth. They just get changed in color or size, but Duke takes them all down. Pigcops are the most stupid. If they are titled 'cops' they should at least have the the weird police hat, or shades, I mean they just charge at you and one shot they'll go down. The bosses are same old, same old. The basic plan of survival in a boss fight is dodge, shoot, kill the enemies (varies for certain bosses), finish the boss. Doesn't matter what difficulty you have Forever on, the enemies/bosses are boring. If the franchise wants to succeed more, then a change in enemies are a must. And they also must have a motive!  

Duke Nukem, Would He Be More Cooler If He Was On The Opposite Side Of The Law?

 "Eat Your Heart Out Agent-47!"
If Duke Nukem wasn't fighting the alien scum off of our planet, and his game wasn't based on saving the world, could it be more of an anti-hero just trying to be understood by the government? With 2K Games and Gearbox having Duke Nukem Forever, they can look to the future of the series and know how they want Duke Nukem to go. I mean would Duke be cooler as an agent with his own agendas that (still gets the girl), but works behind his government? Duke isn't loyal to the United States or any other country of that matter, and now they know what Duke is doing they are going to kill him! This would be a nice change from all the alien madness, because currently aliens are all over the place now. So if Duke was fighting his fellow man, it would add a better since of realism and break the pattern of alien invasion. Plus he can have a bunch of cool human gadgets that would help him kill his fellow agents. I bet if Gearbox thinks about it, they would come out with an incredible game. Also this would give the company a chance to talk about more on Duke's past experiences with the U.S. Government. 

Duke Nukem Reboot?

"Oh Yeah!"
Lets face it, Duke Nukem Forever has let down a lot of old gamers and threw off new ones. With this, Gearbox has two choices. 1. Create a better sequel with graphics that don't look like it came from games from 2007 or 2008, and the story isn't nothing but crap and keep it fresh with new environments, weapons, people and possibly a co-op story mode with a second protagonist. or 2. Reboot the series. Currently, I would think that for Duke Nukem to be a thriving series like Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty or games of that genera it needs a reboot. Currently, Lara Croft or Tomb Raider is getting a reboot with a set date to be released in holiday 2012, so I don't think of any reason for Duke Nukem to dwell as always the reference of "the worst FPS in gaming." Take Duke back a little bit. Tell his origin story, don't set him up to become the hero of Earth 5 million times over, change his history. Games that do that are destined to succeed. Maybe even make the series a third person shooter. Gears of War turned out to be a huge success as a third person shooter it had won tons of awards, and also look at Uncharted's franchise. While not cookie cutting any other game or engine, I think if Duke Nukem's series gets a reboot with technology/graphics that are being constantly upgraded to this day, Duke can win lots of awards as well. I am still speculating whether if Duke's voice should stay or go, it is a really classic and recognizable voice. Duke's series should still live up to the "M" rating though. 

Duke's Health, Is He Risking His Life?

Is this Duke's downfall?
Is this Duke's downfall?
Duke is supposedly in peak of human perfection in strength and agility, due to his "vitamins". However is it risking his life? Duke smokes his own costume made Nuclear cigars while also drinks tons of his Duke Beer, is all of this burning his life out? Smoking leads to lung cancer, and just because Duke may be indestructible on the outside it doesn't necessarily mean he is invincible in the inside. What if he is in the middle of fighting the aliens again? Will a heart attack or drunkenness end his life, and the aliens will have him as a trophy. I am cool with games neglecting the fact that reality is only a barrier in creating video games, but sometimes reality makes games greater than what they would originally appear to be. 

Duke Merchandise -- how much would you pay for it?

"I'm not a toy, I'm an Action Figure!"
Duke has lots of avenues that make him rich and pay for lots of his armor and weapons. For example, in Forever Duke has a giant underground Duke cave that no one knows about, it is hidden under the the Duke Museum which has tourist and allows him to get cash for them, and he is also a writer. So would you buy an action figure for collection that looks just like Duke Nukem? Or would you pass! I mean in real life people, they actually have cool merchandise and memorabilia that is wicked awesome. It is cool just to collect it even if Forever sucked, so again I ask, would you buy a Duke Burger or action figure? 

Multiplayer! It Must Suck!!

 Duke Cloned Himself
 Duke Cloned Himself
Multiplayer, I am going to say this quickly and painless. Multiplayer was really lacking, and doesn't even compare to FPS online gameplay like Call of Duty or Halo. When you die, body parts explode, that isn't even cool. I think I have said a whole bunch of this subject in this sub-title already, those who agree say "Hoorah!" If Multiplayer wants to stay in Duke Nukem, body parts exploding needs to leave, and the maps need better variety plus better dedication to the servers like MW2's servers.


Duke Nukem's Intelligence -- Is he the Einstein of modern times?

 I am Genius!
 I am Genius!
  "...And then will shoot a nuke at him."
No way he is Einstein smart, but I would degrade Duke's intelligence level. While it is mostly clouded by his arrogant nature, I am pretty sure he is a smart in the field of battle. I mean he knows how to save the world multiple times, so that has to count for something, right? Who knows if he created all the weapons he has on Earth and also all of the gadgets/vehicles. While he isn't curing cancer, he's owning the field of battle!   

Duke Nukem, World Wide

 This is my world!
 This is my world!
Duke goes to some weird, and also normal, locations in Forever. However, most of them are based off of previous Duke games that have been seen, time and time again. Sometimes I wonder if 2K and Gearbox are secretly laughing at giving a Duke game that has the same "alien invasion" story and also the same levels. Each time a video game company creates a game, I think they should add some new environments while also staying true to the franchise. However, Gearbox just cookie cut old levels from Duke's past games and just gave a more modern 3D feel. That really upsets gamers while also not giving them something really good to mess around with.  

Duke Nukem -- Video Game Legacy.

 "Who put that there?"
Duke has a good record at being a pretty decent franchise. While Duke Nukem Forever could've given a new story and also some new material, other than weapons and multiplayer, I still think Duke Nukem's Franchise can work out in the future years. So the company had hit a little dry spot with Duke's character/game, not all gaming companies make promising sequels, but it is what they learn from their mistakes is what is going to count. I am all for a sequel as long as they are going to change things up a bit and add better graphics/technology, I am more biased for a reboot, but that isn't in my hands. Duke Nukem Forever had the appearance of Master Chief's armor from the video games Halo 1-3 (eventually 4). What does this mean? This could mean that the secret identity of Master Chief is not John, but Duke Nukem. Or it could mean that Duke Nukem is the great, great, great (26x times great) grandfather of Master Chief. This is all for fun at saying that, but it is pretty cool. Bulletstorm had gained the idea of their game with some simple ideals from Duke's games, while the graphics of both games look almost identical, they have different stories. Duke has hit a ruff spot on his first game in years, but hopefully the developers get some really awesome material for a reboot or sequel. If Gearbox does another game, and creates an amazing experience for new and old players, people will forget the mistake of Duke Nukem Forever. Lots of games have had bad sequels at times, but also their developers had learned from their mistakes and made it an awesome next sequel. Sadly, movie games can not follow this procedure. 

Have We Waited Long Enough?

 The "Have We Waited Long Enough?" Graph.
We have witnessed the game Duke Nukem Forever, after multiple holds on this game, we finally see it. Lets face it, it didn't live to our expectations. Maybe if we waited a little bit longer, maybe just till the end of the year, Duke Nukem Forever would've had graphics and a story that would be more modern to "today's" gamers. Today it is all about graphics, technology, and how they integrate the characters with the story. That is why we have so many successes in PS3 and Xbox 360. While Duke Nukem could've done better, we can look at this game as a "Have We Waited Long Enough?" Duke game/phase. Maybe Gearbox has plans on a mega better sequel or a reboot of the entire series. Whatever is in the future of Duke Nukem, I am sure his franchise won't die to this game, he's Duke Nukem for crying out loud. The loudmouth of FPS'. So until the next game comes out, lets hope Duke won't let down old fans and also lets hopefully get some new players who will be dedicated to the series.  

Hail or Fail To The King?

"Duke Nukem Saying, Go Gold Or Go Home!"
It's obvious, the title has failed to Duke's expectations. I don't even know if Duke himself liked his own game. However, for me it sort of Hailed and also Failed at the same time. Why? Because I am a gamer that gives titles a second chance before I say, "Burn franchise, Burn!", I like to let things get a second chance before a major choice like "Hail" or "Fail". For 99.9% of the gaming world, Duke has failed them in every way, but for the 1% that are loyal to the series, we will live once again my fellow gaming brothers and sisters. Duke will return, Reboot or Sequel (yes I said that a lot), but those are the two choices Gearbox has with the series. Lets hope they make the right one.  
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