BOOK REVIEW: ABSTERGO ENTERTAINMENT: EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK / AUTHOR: CHRISTIE GOLDEN / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
With a game franchise which beautifully weaves rich historical backdrops with slippery fiction and sci-fi (lack of leading ladies aside), it makes sense to flesh out the concept on paper. Along with the popular Assassin’s Creed tie-in novels comes this elegant coffee table companion.
Spun out of Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed instalment, the flawed but stunning Unity, the Employee Handbook is incredibly immersive, perhaps more so than the games themselves. Sectioned up with dividers and with plenty of fold-out letters and post-it notes, it’s as if you’ve genuinely gotten a job with Abstergo, and it’s a hard call to not get suckered in.
You take on the role of a research analyst on Arno Dorian’s case - the main character of Unity - taking over from his original in-game analyst Robert Fraser, with his notes, correspondence and research making up the majority of the book. Reading it is like playing a ‘choose your own adventure’, where you gain rewards as you go along until you earn clearance for the revealing secrets at the end of the book. Because of its structure, it’s better to read it through from cover to cover.
Filled with high quality artwork, the book captures the dreamy period setting of the French Revolution with all the stylistic trappings expected of the series. As well as giving insight into potential future titles, the Employee Handbook is a warm reminder of a franchise that has been with us for the better part of 10 years.
Part brochure, part art gallery, and part game companion, Abstergo Entertainment: Employee Handbook is a must for any serious Assassin’s Creed fan. The trouble is, it leaves you longing for a job with the company, flaws and all.
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