It's not common knowledge, but international mega star, Beyoncé, is a huge Assassin's Creed fan. I'm quite surprised more hasn't been made about this, given her influence, but now you know. Her 2006 stratospheric chart topper, Irreplaceable, was at one point all about Assassin's Creed - a game she played an early build of and loved so much she simply had to pen a song about it, even before it hit stores.
The song, which went on to the biggest tune of 2007 in the US, originally talked about how the star loved Assassin's Creed so much that it could never be replaced by another game. In a strange turn of events, however, Beyoncé has a phobia of flags, so was quite shocked to see so many in the game when she played it just prior to the release of Irreplaceable. This shocking twist resulted in the song hastily being rewritten to focus on a relationship, and the original song never saw the light of day.
Bizarrely, she also has an irrational dislike of first-party PlayStation exclusives.
At one point, then, Beyoncé thought Assassin's Creed was irreplaceable. But was it? Welcome to VG247's The Best Games Ever Podcast: Ep.17 - Best Assassin's Creed game that isn't an Assassin's Creed game and you can't pick Ghost Of Tsushima.
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“What is VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast?” you ask while wondering if the dates in the above story are accurate in any way. They are, I think, although I had to do some rewrites when discovering the song was released in 2006 and not 2007. Anyway, this podcast, which is why you're on this page, is essentially a 30-minute panel show where people (me and some others on VG247) decide on the best game in a specific category. That's it. It's good. Listen to it.
We’ve got some details on the show’s content below (if you want to get a refresher before heading to the comments to make a wonderful, considered post or don’t want to listen but do want to know what games we picked), so if you want to avoid spoilers, don’t scroll past this fan-made creation of what Chris Bratt would look like if he was in Assassin's Creed. (Support friends of VG247, People Make Games, on Patreon).
The best Assassin's Creed game that isn't an Assassin's Creed game and you can't pick Ghost Of Tsushima
This is the topic of Episode seventeen of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast. Here’s a rundown of who picked what.
Tom - Mirror's Edge
Yes, if you just look at Mirror's Edge without my level of intellect you'll likely wonder what I'm on about. It's all about the parkour. Such a big deal was made about the free-running in the original Assassin's Creed, and rightly so, and Mirror's Edge feels like a first-person take on this. It's brilliant, and just like AC, the combat is a bit ropey.
Alex – The Saboteur
The Saboteur was one of those games that came about in what I feel was a sort of golden age of experimental open world games - of which Assassin's Creed was one. It has a lot in common with Grand Theft Auto as well, to be fair, but the similarities to Assassin's Creed are also pretty undeniable. There's stealth, clambering around buildings, and an open-ended approach that feels much like the earliest entries in the AC series.
The primary difference, of course, is that you're killing nazis. Which is a video game staple we don't get to do enough of, honestly. Toss in some really interesting and artistic visual choices, a fun protagonist, and the general originality of the project, and the result is pretty strong. It's a shame it never had any chance of getting a sequel - cruel parent EA closed down its development studio before the game even released.
James - Sly 2: Band of Thieves
If you think about it, Sly 2: Band of Thieves (Sucker Punch Productions' best game imo) is basically an Assassin's Creed game, but with a racoon.
Sly is the hereditary heir to the Cooper gang, an clandestine organisation of gentleman thieves who have been fighting against the evil Klaww gang for generations, and the similarities don't stop there. Between the three playable characters, Sly, the stealthy parkour master, Bentley, the ingenious gadget specialist, and giant pink hippo Murray, the brawn to the others' brains, you have all of the main pillars of Assassin's Creed's gameplay too. What's more, on your globe-trotting adventure around real-world cities like Paris and Prague, you're breaking up criminal organisations who're abusing the semi-mythical Clockwerk parts to further their nefarious aims - just like the Pieces of Eden in Assassin's Creed.
Come back in a week for another episode of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast.