So this has some minor spoilers for Horizon and major spoilers for Assassin's Creed.
The thing that always intrigued me the most in the Assassin's Creed series was the conspiracy stuff that came with the First Civilization, and how it build up in the first few games. I very clearly remember that ''Oh shit boy'' moment when Altair defeated Al Mualim and revealed the map on the apple. That really got me hyped for the sequel, more than anything else. And then, at the end of of Assassin's Creed 2, the moment in the vault, the ''What. The. Fuck.'' moment, it was so well done. But after that, the storytelling about the First Civilization became a bit stale.
Brotherhood was still really well written, but already back then it started to feel more like filler content, and Revelations most of all. I liked however that some modern day aspects were given a highlight in the DLC content. In Assassin's Creed 3, the weight of the world was really supposed to be on Desmonds shoulders, but I feel like they should have resembled this more in the writing. The ending was a bit of a anti-climax. After Assassin's Creed 3, the modern day story was pretty much BS. It really felt like Ubisoft was milking the cow to get more games out, without advancing the story. I also understand a lot of the playerbase wasn't really that into the modern day story back then, but for me it was one of the most intriguing parts of the series.
Now with Horizon Zero Dawn, a similar concept is in play, only in reverse I guess. But this time around, almost everything that you want to know is revealed during the game, but still leaves some mystery about ''The Old Ones''. The Cauldrens in the game (which are essentially the dungeons from AC 2, AC B etc.) really reminded me of the First Civilization parts of AC, only this was done better. At the end of the game you have a clear understanding of what is what and why, and it really gives the world more meaning and gives you a reason to fight for.
I haven't really felt this immersed in a game in a long time, and I'm really excited to have this kind of mystery back in a game that AC really lost over the years. Now what AC did wrong here was milking the story for too long, with losing the common thread over time. Big parts of the story are now found inside hidden side collectibles, which most players miss. With Horizon, it's still part of the main story. Let me know what you guys think! 🙂