Viewpoints were structures high enough for an observer positioned on its tallest point to view the surrounding terrain. They ranged from church towers and roof beams on a city's landmarks, to watchtowers and guard posts.
Viewpoints were essential for allowing an individual to collect their bearings, and navigate a landscape.
High Middle AgesEdit
Each city contained ten to twelve viewpoints located on the highest buildings; such as a cross on top of a Catholic cathedral, the top of a lighthouse in the port-city of Acre, or a palace guard tower in the city of Damascus. Individuals adept in freerunning, such as Assassins, would climb viewpoints to survey the area and take note of the people within the city, and their movements.
Some viewpoints, such as watchtowers, had archers defending the position, or guards set around and below it, who could either fire arrows or throw rocks to prevent anyone climbing from reaching the top. At the very bottom of the viewpoint, carts or piles of hay were conveniently positioned, providing safe locations for the performance of a Leap of Faith.
During the Renaissance, viewpoints functioned much as they did during the Third Crusade, and some were located on famous landmarks of the era. Assassins made extensive use of these, and would not only be able to dive into carts and stacks of hay, but also into those of flower petals, leaves, and spices, as well as into bodies of water.
In the cities of Rome and Constantinople, various towers, such as Borgia Towers and Assassin Dens, possessed a commanding view over the surrounding area, and could be used for the same purpose as a viewpoint.
Golden Age of PiracyEdit
During the Golden Age of Piracy, viewpoints once again served the function of helping an ancestor survey the area. Edward Kenway made use of these viewpoints to reveal information about his surroundings. Once viewpoints were synchronized, they also served as locations for fast-travel.
Shortly before, and during the American Revolutionary War, viewpoints retained their function of providing an ancestor with bearings of the surrounding area, and were once again located on famous landmarks of the era, as well as high points in the Frontier such as trees on the hilltops.
Contrary to the viewpoints used by other ancestors, the ones in America revealed only small bits of landscape, leaving the area open to exploration even after all of the viewpoints were synchronized.
Haytham Kenway and Ratonhnhaké:ton utilized viewpoints in Boston, New York and Frontier, and could perform a Leap of Faith to descend from them. In addition to previously seen places such as haystacks or water, they could also perform the maneuver into a moving cart, if it happened to be passing underneath the viewpoint.
When Desmond Miles relived the memories of his ancestors through the Animus, viewpoints served an additional function. They would unlock parts of the Animus map, and displayed the location of various events that occurred throughout his ancestors' lives.
When he relived Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's memories, he was required to climb a viewpoint whenever he entered a new city. On synchronizing with this viewpoint, the Animus map would display all the other viewpoints, along with the location of the Assassins' Bureau in the city. Climbing the viewpoints also allowed Desmond to find sources of information that he could investigate, and use to gain information on Altaïr's targets.
Viewpoints served a similar function in the Animus 2.0, through which Desmond relived Ezio Auditore da Firenze's memories. It also helped Desmond locate side memories, such as races, message deliveries, assassination contracts, and beat-up events.
- In Assassin's Creed, the "Fearless" achievement could be obtained by synchronizing with all viewpoints.
- In Assassin's Creed II, the "I Like the View" achievement could be obtained by synchronizing with ten viewpoints.
- In Assassin's Creed II, the "High Dive" achievement could be obtained when Ezio performed a Leap of Faith from the top of the Campanile di Giotto viewpoint in Florence.
- In Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, the "RHP Master" achievement could be obtained by synchronizing with all viewpoints.
- In Assassin's Creed, Altaïr could activate Eagle Vision once he had synchronized with the viewpoint. However, in Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, attempting to do so would simply have Ezio observe his surroundings again.
- In each game, the highest point was either inaccessible or not a viewpoint. In Assassin's Creed, it was located in the fortress of Masyaf; in Assassin's Creed II, it was the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore; in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, it was the Castel Sant'Angelo, and in Assassin's Creed: Revelations, it was the pinnacle of the Galata Tower, or one of the Hagia Sophia's minarets.
- Throughout the Assassin's Creed series, an Assassin could be on the viewpoint at the same time the eagle was, causing the eagle to clip through them.
- In Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, viewpoints were referred to as "High Points."
- In Assassin's Creed III, Haytham Kenway and Ratonhnhaké:ton would stand straight up on a viewpoint, unlike other individuals who assumed a crouched position on them.