Review by Zylo the wolf
"Wow that was awesome! Wait, do I have do exactly the same thing 8 more times?"
Last generation Ubisoft were behind many underrated games. I'm sure that most of you have heard of Beyond Good and Evil, Prince of Persia, Splinter Cell or Rayman, but it seems to me that most people haven't played most of these games. However the Assassin's Creed series didn't just only have a lot of hype but it has also turned into one of the most popular franchises this generation. Just take the fact that Sony mentioned on E3 this year that they were proud to have an exclusive Assassin's Creed game released on the Playstation Vita. Assassin's Creed 3 will soon be released when I write this, so I decided to give the first game in the series a try.
I'm not really sure if I understood the plot correct, because it's actually really confusing, but the main character is a guy in 2012 named Desmond Miles. He's just a normal guy who works as a bartender, but has now been kidnapped by a strange research organization. Apparently they have found out that not only your own memories are stored in your DNA but also your ancestors, and Desmond hails from a great number of assassins through the history. The organization have also created a machine where Desmond can experience his ancestors memories, and it seems like they are especially interested in what happened during the Crusade Era. So with the help of science, Desmond's mind travels back to the Crusade Era where he's the Syrian assassin Altair.
Altair is in a middle of a mission to murder one of the Assassins Brotherhood's most dangerous enemies and also to steal a sacred treasure. Thing don't go as planned and both of Altair's partners are assumed to be killed while Altair barely manages to escape back to the assassins headquarters. But there he finds out that one of his partners managed to fulfill their mission while the other got captured. The HQ then gets attacked by the enemies and Altair manages to make them flee. But since he still has failed his most important mission he now has to start all over and murder 9 different enemies of the Brotherhood in order to prove to his master that he still is one of the best assassins.
The first thing you have to do is to ride to the city where your target is. On your way to the city you will find out that there are many guards who will attack you as soon as they spot you and that you have to either run away from them or kill them or they will chase you until you are dead. Another thing you quickly learn is that it's important to look out for tall buildings in this game. Remember this is the company who made all the recent Prince of Persia games so obviously there would be a lot of climbing involved. You can get a great view on the area when you are on top of a tall building, but you will also spot all the important stuff on your radar now.
Every city is guarded by a couple of guards, but there is a way to sneak past them into the city. A poor citizen are being assaulted by a couple of guards just outside of every city. If you decides to save the guy, then he will tell his friends that you are a brave men and people close by will help you. Sometimes scholars who wears the same kind outfit like Altair so the guards will think that he also is a scholar if he is close to them, so you can use them to enter each city without any difficulty.
Once inside the city you can either head for the assassin base in that city to find out who your target is and get hints on where you should go to find out more about your target or you can search for the tallest building and then climb at the top to get every important thing on your radar. You can also save more citizens in the city, and by doing so the people will help you if you need them when you are chased. You will also improve your health by climbing the tall buildings and saving people.
You have to learn more about your target in order to be able to kill him, so the best thing you can do is to look around in town if anyone knows anything. You can get help from other assassins if you complete a task for them, eaves drop on what people are talking about, beating preachers until they give you info or steal valuable letters from people. Once you know enough about the target, you can head back to the base in order to plan for your mission.
You will then get a tracker which shows where your target is on the radar, and once you reached that place you will see a small cut-scene before you have to reach your target somehow and then kill him. Even if not all of them are that easy to kill, the real challenge begins when they actually are dead. Now you have to escape from all the guards, who are now even more alert then ever, and make it back to the base when you aren't followed by any guard. Lets say that it took you five minutes to kill your target, then it might take at least 15 minutes to figure out a way to get rid of the guards. For most of the time you have to find a good place to hide where they won't detect you and then wait for them to go away so you can get into your base.
This is actually really awesome the first time, but the main problem I had with this game is that it wasn't as awesome the third time, and felt more like a chore the 9th time where I just wanted to finish the game. You can do exactly the same to get info on each target, and for most of the time all you have to do is to run to the target without any special plan, kill him and then figure out a way to get out of there before the guards kills you. This game would have been much better if Ubisoft could force us to use different tactics on the different bosses, like that you had to sneak close to one of them and kill him when he was in a huge crowd while you had to hide somewhere on another and then throw one of your throwing knives at him. But no you only have to run close to everyone and then press the attack button enough until the bastard dies. Personally I quickly got tired of it.
The plot is also really strange, as it was clear that Ubisoft were going to make a sequel to this game. You don't get to find out that much about Desmond Miles and even Altair's quest ends really strange. I know that there are many sequels but what if the game flopped and no sequel would have been released? Without spoiling the plot I can still say that every player would just get confused and without the help of Internet some players would even weeks after finishing the game because it just feels that you missed something really important.
But the game is still not that bad. For one thing it's the first Ubisoft game that I actually finished, even if I enjoyed other games more. It's also cool that the game takes place in a historical era instead of a fictional world. I would have liked this game a lot if it wasn't exactly the same thing over and over and over again. I have no idea how the story goes on in the sequels, but I guess it's still best if you begin with this game in the series, then maybe the plot will make more sense in the other games.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 10/11/12
Game Release: Assassin's Creed (EU, 11/16/07)
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