Review by plumpwonton
"You might as well go work in an assembly line"
I had my sights set on Assassin's Creed for a couple years, waiting eagerly for what was supposed to be a contender for 2007 Game of the Year. I bought the game back in November, a day after it was released. I took it home and started playing- and I was having lots of fun. I loved climbing up any building, scaling viewpoints, and assassinating random people on the streets.
But that's when things went bad. REALLY bad.
You see, the thing about Assassin's Creed is that you'll have a blast the first hour or so, but then the game falls into a boring and repetitive state. You play as an assassin named Altair, and the main storyline is composed of 9 assassination targets that you must kill. The problem? Every one of these assassination missions, every last one of them, is virtually identical.
Before you kill your target, you must do some investigating to find the best way to strike. Unfortunately, the investigations of each type across all 9 missions are identical across the board. You'll either be pickpocketing (follow someone and press circle), interrogating (follow someone and mash square), eavesdropping (sit on a bench and press triangle), or running errands for informants such as collecting flags or eliminating guards. The informant missions are the only fun ones. The rest are extremely boring, and sadly it's the main meat of what you'll be doing in Assassin's Creed. Although some of the backstory of your target is revealed, I felt absolutely no connection between what I was doing as a sneaky assassin and the overarching story. Instead, found myself squirming impatiently for the scene to end.
There are flags you can collect in all the cities and villages you visit in the world of Assassin's Creed, as well as Templars that you can assassinate. These are sort of a nice diversion from the main storyline, but by the end I was left wondering why I was wasting my time with these in the first place. There's absolutely no reward for collecting these flags and killing Templars, unlike in the Grand Theft Auto games where collecting hidden packages yields new weapons. Simply put, there is literally no point in collecting flags and killing Templars, save for a personal sense of accomplishment.
There are also some minor flaws with Assassin's Creed, most notably the horrible dialogue. There are beggars and people giving speeches on the streets, but their lines are severely limited and you'll hear everything they have to say after 20 seconds. Then it just repeats. Also, I know this has been brought up before but why Altair speaks with an American accent is beyond me.
So what does Assassin's Creed do right? For one thing, it does have an intriguing storyline and plot twist that kept me fairly interested by the final scenes of the game. Climbing buildings and jumping across rooftops is definitely fun, and I never really got tired of it. The actual assassinations themselves are also pretty cool once you actually get them.
So overall, I would say Assassin's Creed is not worth your time. However, AC is what most people would consider a blockbuster title, and I know that some people absolutely love this game. I would highly recommend renting it first to see if it's for you. I for one was severely disappointed. Ubisoft has a lot of work to do if I'm going to even consider Assassin's Creed 2.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 02/21/08
Game Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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