What does it take to become a Master Assassin? We catch up with pro hooded cosplayer Jamie Oakley about going back to the Brotherhood’s Origins
One of the best Assassin’s Creed cosplayers around shows off his new Origins outfit.
Christmas just isn’t the same without an Assassin’s Creed game. An open world to hurtle around, things to find, people to puncture, and rooftops to scamper across. Well, Origins should scratch that itch (gently) with first Assassin Bayek’s hidden blade. Of course, with a new Ancient Egyptian Assassin comes new cosplay, and UK-based Jamie Oakley is no stranger to popping his hood up and looking a little brooding. We caught up with him to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes. Now on his fifth Assassin cosplay to date – with a couple of versions of each sneaky stabber, including Edward Kenway’s Mayan outfit and Arno’s Master Assassin garb – Oakley builds everything from scratch. From hoods to hidden blades and bows, every layer of his outfits is hand-crafted from a variety of materials. This man is seriously handy with a sewing machine. “I’ve definitely improved,” Oakley says. “You learn more, and better ways to make things in this hobby. Probably the hidden blades have always been the most challenging. I always found them hard to make from scratch. I’m not a master at them now, but they work and look the part. Bayek’s was more difficult as the blade ran above the base itself.”
Thanks to the game’s revamped combat system, Bayek is the first Assassin to use a shield while fighting. And he needs it, as he’s not wearing much under that armour. Oakley was slightly perturbed that he might show more than he bargained for but just had to grin and, well, bare it. “Bayek was fun,” he grins. “When I first saw his outfit I was unsure of the bare chest aspect, but it looked amazing so I thought ‘Why not?’ Bayek was a nice build and the fabrics I used were pretty easy to find. A lot I already had from previous builds. One of my easiest builds for sure.” Bayek’s weapons were new to Oakley too. He constructed the bow on his own with wrapped leather to give it an authentic look. “Maybe his shield or bow were the trickiest,” he says. “Neither of them I have made from scratch before this project so it was great to try my hand with something new.”
Oakley is a regular on the Assassins cosplay scene, and a recent trip to EGX in Birmingham saw him carrying home a trophy. A previous CultureMaster star and now well-known across the Ubi community, he’s just enjoying the experience. “I’ve got a lot more followers on my cosplay page and met people who have been following my work. To me that’s amazing!” he enthuses. “Meeting new people is always great… This is my third time entering a competition. I’m not sure if I would enter one again but it was definitely fun. That’s not what this hobby is about for me. For me, it’s to show each other what you have been working on, to meet new people and talk about your costumes and get advice from each other. Having fun really.”
Assassin’s Creed stretches far beyond the games now. Comics, books, mobile games, and even the movie
“Probably the hidden blades have always been the most challenging”
mean the Creed community is huge. That’s Oakley’s favourite aspect of his hobby. “I have met some amazing people in the Assassin’s Creed community,” he says. “Not only is Assassin’s Creed my all-time favourite gaming franchise, meeting people who love it just as much as I do is great. I follow an amazing page called Assassins Cosplay Brotherhood. They arrange meets at conventions and events just to meet new people, make friends, or just to talk about the games. Not only that it’s a group to share ideas and have fun in your costumes. The admin/mod team are amazing and friendly people.”
When it comes to Origins, Oakley wasn’t sure at first about heading back so far in the series’ history, but it only took one look at the game in action to convince him. He’s particularly excited about taking in the view from Senu the eagle. “I was a little worried about where the game was set before I saw anything,” he admits. “I was unsure how they could make it work. After playing the demo at EGX I was amazed at how beautiful Egypt as a setting was. There’s so much to look at, and so much to see. I’m more excited now that it’s in Egypt and think it’s a perfect setting for
the next game.”
While he didn’t even get a year off last year as he crafted Michael Fassbender’s Spanish Assassin Aguilar, Oakley still wants to revisit some of his older builds and make them even better. When it comes to design, he’s leaving da Vinci in the dust. “My favourite-looking outfit would have to be Arno,” he explains. “The favourite that I have made, though, is probably the remake of Connor Kenway’s. I am planning to go back and remake Edward Kenway’s and Arno’s outfits just as I did for Connor. I know I can make them even better.” We prescribe a stint in Ancient Egypt before eagle-diving back in, Jamie.
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