How do you know if you’re a fan of a game or not?
I think I’m a fan of the Diablo games, but not the Assassin’s Creed games. Seeing the name Diablo on a game often means I’ll at least enjoy it, but I need to be convinced to try an AC game.
I loved Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and was pretty into Assassin’s Creed Valhalla for a long time before finally deciding the DLC weren’t appealing to me. So I expected I’d be interested in Assassin’s Creed Mirage, but I’m really not. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve left the AC fandom entirely, and in fact, it may be that I wasn’t ever in that fandom — I just really liked one of the games released under that title, and in fact, I would likely have liked that specific game even if it hadn’t been called that. A game about a mythically powerful protagonist during the Peloponnesian War? One that involved weird science fictional elements masquerading as gods and monsters? Atlantis as a high-tech lost civilization of precursors to humanity?
I mean, call it anything you want, I was likely down for that, and the parts of Valhalla I liked the most were the ones where it clearly took the AC mythos and ran it through a perceptual filter — clearly the Asgard we see in Eivor’s vision quests is her attempt to understand the Isu through the lens of what she was taught to believe from childhood. I loved this stuff. I was bored senseless by the Assassins and the proto-Templars. So was I ever a fan of the AC games? Or was I just a fan of the two games in question?
I compare this to my relation to the Diablo series. I’ve pretty much at least liked every single game released under the Diablo franchise, and I’ve loved several (Diablo 2, Diablo 3, and Diablo 4 are among my favorite games of all time) — there’s something inherent to the way a Diablo game plays and presents itself that I just enjoy. I mean, it might be as simple as the fact that I’m not a terribly big fan of subtlety — sneaking around from place to place and sticking to cover doesn’t interest me nearly as much as, say, exploding sixty-seven demons with ridiculous over-the-top attacks.
So in the end, I turn to you guys — how do you know if you’re a part of a fandom? Are you a fan, or do you just like one or two specific games?
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