As a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, I’ve been waiting in anticipation for a long time for Assassin’s Creed: Gold to be released. Finally, that day has arrived!
Audible usually do very good things with their full-cast original dramas, so this felt like the perfect match for delivering a great audiobook. But did they succeed in their mission?
Assassin’s Creed: Gold is a stand-alone tale from the Assassin’s Creed universe in which we meet Aliyah Kahn, a card shark and hustler who’s been dealt a rough hand in life. Surviving through her smarts and street scams, Aliyah struggles to get by until she loses big time to a mysterious older man, Gavin Banks. Her only option to repay Banks is to become an Assassin. During her training, Banks tells Aliyah of the centuries-old battle between the Assassins and Templars, imploring her to help him decode a secret message inscribed on an illegal form of currency during the Great Recoinage of 1696.
With a cast of characters beloved the world-over by fans of the franchise, Assassin’s Creed: Gold tells a gripping tale of imminent economic collapse, featuring appearances from Warden of the Royal Mint, Isaac Newton, con artist and counterfeiter William Chaloner, blind assassin Omar Khaled and assassin trainer Rose Galloway. Equal parts adrenaline-fueled and thought-provoking, Assassin’s Creed: Gold draws a compelling parallel with the financial chaos of Isaac Newton’s 17th-century Britain and the economic uncertainty of our more recent history.
Anthony Del Col sets his story during the Great Recoinage of 1696 and like all Assassin’s Creed stories features historical figures, in this case Sir Isaac Newton and William Lowndes. The story follows the usual Assassin’s Creed format, splitting the story into the real world events and inside the Animus. With the games, the real-world story elements are always the weakest part, but this time around this isn’t the case. The two stories sync up perfectly, which is enhanced further by the well-timed pacing. There is never a moment where the story lulls, but when it does pause to take a breath, you don’t feel like your time is being wasted. In under five hours, it has a lot of story to tell, but never overreaches, the end result being a really tight story, and an enjoyable one at that!
As for the cast, obviously, Riz Ahmed (Omar Khalid) is the headline figure. His calm collected portrayal as a blind assassin in 16th century London was really impressive. Supporting Ahmed was Anthony Head (Isaac Newton) who delivers a faultless performance and the pair really bounce off each other. Yet, as enjoyable as these two were, it is Tamara Lawrance (Aliyah Khan) and Gemma Lawrence (Rose Galloway) who really rise to the top! It could be argued that Tamara Lawrance is in fact the lead here, and she backs that up with a commanding performance. She was great in The Long Song, so I was excited to see what she would do in this kind of role. She did not disappoint! As for Gemma Lawrence, she plays Rose, an assassin apprentice. She is feisty and leaves a big impact throughout the story. Lawrence’s performance was so good, that I think Rose might now be one of my favourite Assassin’s Creed characters. So much so that I want to have more, she could easily carry her own series and I think Gemma Lawrence would do a great job in the lead role.
Danny Wallace (Shaun Hastings) is back in the franchise and to be honest it wouldn’t be the same without him! His humour, as you’d expect is on point throughout. Nicholas le Prevost (William Lowndes) offers a fantastic supporting role, with his voice perfectly fitting that of Lowndes. Then there is the man himself, the legend that is David Rintoul (Finnegan). Easily my favourite voice over artist of all time. It was a small role, but his talent always shines through.
Audible’s original dramas never fail when it comes to their production value, and once again Audible have knocked it out of the park! Everything from the sound effects to the numerous supporting cast roles, the world just felt so large and so very real. Even if a quality story is missing, you cannot but be impressed with the quality of their production value. Thankfully, the story is just as good as the technical aspects, so when paired together you have the makings of a perfect audiobook!
Does Assassin’s Creed: Gold have any faults? Not when it comes to the technical aspects or the cast. But, despite mentioning how enjoyable the story was, there are one or two moments when convenience and plot armour are used a little too much. A little more risk of threat to some of the characters would have been a welcome addition. But despite these little issues, they never detract from what is, essentially, I really enjoyable audiobook!
Full of complex and rich characters, this suspenseful action-packed adventure makes Assassin’s Creed: Gold the perfect story for fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise! Riz Ahmed and Anthony Head deliver outstanding performances, but it is Tamara Lawrence and Gemma Lawrence who really take centre stage. The high-level production value is reflective of the final product, as Assassin’s Creed: Gold is another Audible Original triumph!
Assassins Creed: Gold is available now on Audible UK.