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Assassin's Creed Collection: When Figurine Partwork Magazines Attack

So, in news I am still not quite ready for and haven’t had enough coffee to take seriously, GamesRadar have pointed out that the Assassin’s Creed Collection has turned out to be a hideous partwork figurine subscription service.

Is it wrong that it’s kind of so terrible that I’m now really into the idea?

I have a soft spot for things that are so dreadful and badly conceived that they go beyond dreary or tedious and become sources of ongoing joyful fascination. This looks like it might become one of them and I’m in genuine danger of subscribing. I don’t even like Assassin’s Creed. In fact I can’t stand Assassin’s Creed – it’s boring as all hell and the wall running is bad and the Abstergo stuff is utter bobbins that gets in the way of meaningful exploration of a world: DON’T GO OVER THERE OR YOU WILL DESYNCHRONISE FOR SOME REASON – YOU KNOW, SCIENCE OR WHATEVER.

But my ongoing irritation at Asscreed can’t compete with my love of trashy terrible things that seem like the product of some kind of fever dream involving a Ubisoft wiki and an explosion at a tat factory. I mean, you get a belt buckle. And a tankard. And a BINDER.

God, it’s been years since I collected a partwork magazine. It was called Treasures Of The Earth and I was really intrigued by it because you got a little gemstone and presentation boxes and factsheets and things. This was pre-internet so to explain it in modern terms, I basically subscribed to a print-out of the gemstone section of Wikipedia and got some “free” rocks for my trouble. In my defence I was also only nine years old.

But the cost began to mount and the publishers extended the magazine beyond its initial run leaving me torn between completing it or tapping out as it felt steadily more money-grubbing and empty. I was also a primary school kid so the entire endeavour was sapping, like, all of my pocket money.

I should know better. I mean, this looks so dire. Ezio looks like a cautionary tale from Botched, which is a US reality show where a couple of surgeons try to undo plastic surgery disasters. Cesare Borgia’s outfit has given him a Kim Kardashian hourglass figure. Altair seems to have some kind of bloating and a feverish sheen to his skin.

But the belt buckle.

“Proclaim your allegiance to the Assassin Order by proudly wearing this metal belt buckle. Worth £14.99”

Leaving aside the eyebrow-raising valuation and questions about the use of the word “worth” in this context, you get to proclaim your allegiance to what, in the fiction, is supposed to be this highly secretive order ON A BELT BUCKLE. It’s like wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m an undercover cop – AMA” while pretending to be on a stakeout.

Also the content teasers for the upcoming issues are… yeah. Issue 2 features “Renaissance Italy” while issue 5 is apparently “Beyond imagining”. Issue 5 is the one with Kim Kardashian Cesare Borgia and it also has “PATRICIDAL MANIAC’S RISKY ROMANCE” which is a cover line you’d probably find on Take a Break or Chat magazine.

I’m also fond of the horrifically complicated pricing and gifting structure:

  • You will receive your dispatch within 28 days from the acceptance of your order.
  • With your 1st delivery, you will receive 3 issues (1 FREE), with your FREE Assassin’s Creed The Official Collection Binder and FREE Assassin’s Creed Belt Buckle.
  • Thereafter you will receive 2 issues packed together every 4 weeks at a price of £9.99 per issue.
  • Issue 1 comes at the special price of £2.99.
  • Issue 2 comes at the special price of £6.99.
  • Issue 3 onwards is priced at £9.99.
  • With your 2nd delivery, you will receive your FREE Assassin’s Creed Tankard.
  • With your 4th delivery, you will receive your FREE Assassin’s Creed Display Stand.
  • Gifts are reserved for customers starting their subscription with issues 1, 2, 3 or 4.
  • As a subscriber, I will automatically receive any special issues, though I will have the option to opt out of these beforehand.
  • You are free to cancel your subscription at any time. You will be able to keep your free gifts and you will not owe any money for goods not yet delivered.
  • Please hide my credit card.

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