Need to catch up on Assassin’s Creed before diving into next week’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity? Machinima’s got you covered. Inside Gaming stars Bruce Greene and Eliot Dewberry have teamed up with director Brendan Bradley to bring you Assassin’s Creed: The Musical, a five minute Broadway-style song and dance showcase that recounts the entire Assassin’s Creed saga. All your favorites are here: Altair, Ezio, Aveline. Oh, and Desmond shows up, too.
Assassin’s Creed: The Musical, as you might guess, doesn’t exactly take itself seriously. The opening number, “The Assassin’s Creed,” briefly recaps the games’ premise, but has a lot more fun mocking its ridiculous title (“Assassin! Assassin! He’s bound by his creed!”). The next song, a power-ballad called “Leap of Faith,” finds Altair using the series’ signature parkour as a metaphor for psychological turmoil, while the third piece briefly introduces all the other assassins — except for Connor, who’s relegated to the chorus, probably because nobody really likes him.
Don’t let the jokey tone fool you, though. Assassin’s Creed: The Musical boasts legit theatrical bona-fides. The music’s written by Cormac Bluestone (composer for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Joel Rubin, and the supporting cast includes accomplished actors and musicians like Matt Caplan, Jonah Platt, Ben Palacios, and Jaquita Ta’le of Nola Darling.
The crew’s dedication to their craft shows, and the video isn’t just for Assassin’s Creed fans. Broadway aficionados might not get all the game references, but they should get a kick out of the well-done parodies of The Lion King — the whole production looks like Julie Taymor as performed by your high school drama club — and Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins.
The project spun out of an episode of Inside Gaming Q&A , when a reader asked which video game the staff would turn into “a Broadway musical or Shakespearean play.” Joel Rubin responded with “Assassin’s Creed,” along with a snippet of an improvised song. Eventually, Rubin’s off-the-cuff composition morphed into Assassin Creed: The Musical’s pièce de résistance, “I’m Just a Man (With a Blade).”
This isn’t Machinima’s first musical foray into the Assassin’s Creed universe, either. Last year, Machinima’s Respawn channel posted “The Black Flag is Risin’,” an original, pirate-themed gangster rap set to gameplay footage from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Machinima also hosts Assassin’s Creed: Checkmate, a Black Flag fan-film directed by Joe Miale and starring stuntman and fight coordinator Reuben Langdon.
Assassin’s Creed: The Musical ends with a plug for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, complete with a jab at the game’s fluid release date, and an earnest plea from the actors: “Please like, subscribe, and comment,” they sing. “That’d be great!”
All in all? Not bad. What did everybody else think?
Assassin’s Creed Unity releases on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 11, 2014.