There are all sorts of crazy achievements, sci-fi oddities and hidden trinkets of knowledge tucked away in the Assassin's Creed games. One of the crazy achievements in the upcoming release of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate has to do with animal abuse.
Eurogamer picked up an interesting tidbit of news from the website Xbox Achievements, where they listed all of the achievements in Ubisoft's upcoming open-world assassin romp, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. One of those achievements is for killing your horse. It's listed as the following.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU
I don't know if this is enough to get the attention of the animal abuse activist groups, similar to how PETA came down hard on the raccoon-suit wearing Mario in Super Mario 3D Land. However, it was enough to spur some conversation and discussion into action as gamers began discussing the ramifications of shooting and killing animals in games.
The concept of killing animals – even harmless ones – isn't new to gaming. Most open world titles that have animals in them usually allow the player to kill said animals, ranging from shooting crows in Resident Evil 4 to punching cows in Jagged Alliance 2 to setting chickens on fire in Dink Smallwood, there have always been plenty of animal abuse to hand around in various games. I suppose with the upgrade in graphics it may begin to matter just a bit more to some gamers over others.
Red Dead Redemption featured a lot of animal killing, some of which was necessary to progress in certain parts of the game, but that wasn't enough to warrant much attention or making much of anything newsworthy. That was just the way it was back during those times.
In the case of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, this isn't the first game to feature animals or even the first game to feature animals being harmed in the Assassin's Creed series but it might be one of the first to actually make an achievement available that sort of denounces the perceived bad behavior of players who kill horses during carriage chases.
I suppose the big difference between Syndicate and games like Black Flag and Rogue is that in the earlier titles the animal hunting was a means of survival and resource gathering. It was part of the times. The same thing applied to Assassin's Creed III, where Connor would hunt various animals as a means of survival. In this case, killing the horses just as a means of stopping the carriage could be construed as excessive force and unnecessary roughness.
Even still, I doubt too many gamers will stop to shed tears if they're having fun. Also unlike vehicle chases in games like Sleeping Dogs or Grand Theft Auto, the fact that you can blow out a tire on a carriage means you have to stop the momentum where it starts and in that case it would be the horse(s).
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is due for release on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC on October 23rd.