Author: Christopher F. Weaver
Ubisoft stepped into a real gold mine when they came out with this highly anticipated game. Assassins Creed is an action game with some stealth-ish qualities mixed in. It focuses on Altair, an elite member of a league of assassins who, through his pride and disregard for the ways of his brotherhood, has fallen from his place as a leader, to that of an initiate.
This works rather well for guiding the player into the controls as well as giving incentives to carry on in the game, but they did buy into the all too common habit of giving you a taste of what your character can do and then stripping you of your abilities. As aggravating as this is you will quickly be wrapped up in an in depth plot of intrigue and a beautifully immense scenery. The detail of buildings and historical events described and seen in the game really is a testament to the amount of work the people at Ubisoft have put into this game.
The ending is kind of ruined. There is a science fiction aspect which the game attempts to intertwine into the plot, but it is left as an undertone; that is until the end. The writers seem to erupt like the Campos Novo damn with the scifi plot which would probably have been confusing had it been present in the plot for the entire game
As far as gameplay is concerned, this game has some definite pro and con factors. The free running aspect and the combat system are outstanding.
Between timing attacks with deflections and taking on multiples enemies at once, battles (especially finishing moves) leave you with a sense of satisfaction that don’t normally come from games with only one attack button. Assassinations are really entertaining as well watching Altair slide his iconic hidden blade into an unwitting targets back has a certain level of bloodlust like excitement to it.
Your ability to run and climb through almost every inch of the cities you visit really makes you feel like you’ve got control of the game flow. And it gives variety to the path you take to get to your targets. The fact that there are more than one way to execute an assassination (shameless word play) really makes the game shine.
Sadly the game had more than just one weak point. The incredibly repetitive investigations missions you had to complete before every actual assassination utilized the outstanding landscape well, but became aggravating after you had killed your ninth target on behalf of another assassin in exchange for information. On a side note, these assassins you are helping out have some of the lamest excuses I’ve ever heard (i.e. I sprained my ankle!). The level of complexity on these side missions doesn’t improve at all. By the time you reach the final level the only addition to the challenge is another guard, if you’re lucky. The AI are irritating as well. You aren’t allowed to pass through the streets at more than a casual saunter without the guards charging you like an abusive husband after two beers and a losing lottery ticket. Riding a horse through anywhere but open countryside isn’t worth attempting either because by the time you are moving slow enough to keep the guards from being suspicious you might as well get off and walk.
Over all Assassins Creed is a solid game with an in depth and entertaining story. It has flaws but nothing that would ruin the game.
Hours to Complete: 20-30
Sequel: Assassin’s Creed 2