Review by Halo2298
"A bit late to the party, but I don't know why people think this game is great."
I've been meaning to play Assassin's Creed for some time now, but things kept getting in the way. Other games, real life, etc. Anyway, I'm a bit late to the party, but I finally played the game. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why people rave about it and say it's so good. It's not terrible, mind you, but it's like the score says, it's just okay.
So, I realize I'm reviewing a 2-year-old game, so I won't be too harsh on the graphics. For the time, I'm sure they were just fine. And I have to say, all together, they're really not that bad even two years later. Though, there definitely are better out there. The details given to the cities, landscapes, characters, and weapons have to be among the best aspects about this game. All of the environments feel very authentic. So, I suppose I'd give graphics a 8/10.
Let's talk about sounds then. The sounds are definitely very good. Nothing sounds out of place, and the voice-acting is pretty darn good. Never did I feel like I was listening to people in a recording studio rather than characters in a game. Absolutely great. If I had to complain about anything, it would be the voices of the begging women. Whenever she goes to whine about her family starving, she has the worst tone, like she's being sarcastic. Either way, it's a minor quibble. 9/10 for audio.
So, let's talk gameplay now. The first hour or so you're playing, the gameplay is great. Throwing knives, swordfights, stealth assassinations in the back... it's all quite fun. Completing the memory missions gives everything a very unique touch as you research the best ways to kill your targets. But after the first big kill, you move onto your second big kill. ... Which is mostly the same thing only in a different town, and SLIGHTLY harder. Every single level becomes beat up some guys for information, hold down the Blend action to walk away from the guards, save a citizen, climb a viewpoint (why do they put the best viewpoints in the BEGINNING of the game??? Save those for the end!!!), pickpocket, eavesdrop, wash, rinse, repeat until you've done everything for that stage. Granted, it's not even necessary to complete all of them as you can unlock the assassination missions after just a few investigations, but if you do that, you cut into the play time of this already short game. Overall, I'd describe the gameplay initially very fun, but in the end, incredibly monotonous, with the only noticeable difference an "increase in difficulty." I say because the game IS letting you know that the difficulty has ramped up by increasing the number of enemies and their skill, but your health, attack, and skills have increased proportionally, so it's really like nothing has changed at all. If you're particularly bored, you can run around the lands collecting the 420 flags that you've probably seen at least a few of. Granted, for 360 Owners, you can get achievements for doing this. For PS3 owners, there's absolutely nothing. No in-game reward. No trophies. No bonus ending. Just the satisfaction that Ubisoft made you run around in a sandbox for hours. That's definitely an achievement right there. So, gameplay here suffers with a 2/10.
That brings us to story. So, it's two years now. I can spoil the crap out of this game. Statute of limitations and all that. In fact, if you were waiting this long to play it, I imagine you're in the same boat as me and have just been meaning to play the game but never got around to it. So here's a summary to save you the trouble. Let me start by saying the story is decent. Your character is Desmond Miles, and he's been captured by an organization and hooked up to a machine that lets you see your ancestors' memories which are in encoded in your DNA. Apparently, everyone has memories this way. So, now you play as Altair while in the machine, reliving his memories. He's a cocky assassin who doesn't live by the Assassin's Creed and gets demoted as such. To redeem himself, his master makes him go kill 9 guys. Each guy is professing a radical path to peace that they don't regret. Not so different from the assassins' own ways. Turns out, in the end, your master is also a bad guy doing the exact same thing that those guys were, and now it's your job to kill him. You do so, and the game is effectively over for Altair. But now you go back to the real world where Desmond goes back to his room and sees crazy stuff on the walls. He now has one of Altair's abilities from being in the machine too long. So you can start seeing patterns around the lab that are pretty much the drawings of a madman. Nazca lines, Mayan apocalypse references, geometric shapes, cryptographs. Anyway, there are grand explanations of the ending online if you want to go see. Ultimately, it just left me saying, "wtf?" I realize that this is the first part in a trilogy, but the story is mediocre at best. I realized near the beginning of the game (3rd assassination?) that the master was going to be the final boss. There's tons of hints just giving it away. So it's not really a plot twist. To be honest, I was more intrigued as to what the ambition of the Templars (the "bad guys") was; only to find out in the end, it's exactly what they've been saying all along. Nothing at all deep in meaning. I'll give the story a 5/10.
Overall, I'd have to say Assassin's Creed is a decent game, but not in any of the places that really matter. Graphics and Sound are all well and good, but it's just smoke and mirrors covering up a mediocre story with incredibly lackluster gameplay. 6/10.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 12/07/09
Game Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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