Assassin's Creed Vol. 1: Trial by Fire TP
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Price: $14.99
Creator(s): Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery (writers); Neil Edwards (artist)
Format: 112 pgs., Full-Color, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-7827-6305-5
Age Rating: Teens+
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Assassin's Creed may actually be better as a graphic novel than as a game, in some ways.  You can simply view the gorgeous art, rather than having to try to interact with it via game controls.  Also, the structure of sequential art and story force the tale to make sense in ways that a game doesn’t need to.

In this case, a bank official who is bored with her life and her job has just violated a mess of rules in a Robin Hood kind of way.  While waiting to get fired, she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a war between two organizations, one of which might be the good guys.  You see, the two organizations claim to be ones that she had seen in a video game, not always the best source of real-world information. Her choice of sides is out of her control, a minor plot weakness.

The result is an exploration of the past, via ancestral memories, in an attempt to save the world…or is that really what’s going on?  Betrayals and counter-betrayals taking place over the course of centuries are at the heart of the game, and therefore also of the comic.

There is some cute and snarky dialogue, good writing, and a lot of dodging death.  Even if you’re not a huge fan of the game, this story is a good blend of SF and fantasy in a world of computers and conspiracies.  There is even a nice text feature explaining the real history of one of the settings of the story, a good touch.

The level of violence makes this one best suited for teens and adults.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.