Review by DandyQuackShot

Reviewed: 08/20/12

Why Can't I Have a Cool Gene Like Nose-Diving Into Hay?

Assassins Creed is a huge hit series featuring a dude in robes silently walking around and stabbing people in the back. Well, unfortunately this great concept has its ups and downs which does not make this a very good game. The only other competitor in the assassinating business is Hitman and Hitman: Blood Money is still one of my top favorite early Xbox 360 games. Assassins Creed works where it works but the game play and story just get repetitive. My first experience with the Assassins Creed series was playing the Bloodlines game on PSP. So when I picked this game up I was wanting to go ahead and get prepared and get into the series to be ready for Assassins Creed 3. After playing this game however I am just leaning on skipping all the other games and will be satisfied waiting for the third game to come out as I am more interested in the Revolutionary War than finding out if the modern day guy will bust out of that place he is in.

Assassins Creed is based on a guy who is locked up in a corporation that has developed a machine that extracts memories of one's ancestors through the genes they carry. They take him to his ancestor Altair who you will play as during the age of the crusades in the Middle East. Altair belongs to a clan of assassins who follow a leader that tells them who to go kill in order to keep the balance of good and evil in the world or something to that effect. Altair is at first a major team betrayer but afterwards he comes around and starts doing business again while earning back his tools of the trade. In between the memories you have of stabbing people, the story goes back to the modern day where you get to know the people running these memory tests on you and try to figure out what is going on. The assassins have a big feud going on with the templars and this ongoing feud seems like it will continue well into the future.

As for the game play, Assassins Creed really suffers from repetitive and long and boring speeches by the people you have to assassinate. Obviously, no normal human being could do what Altair can do by climbing buildings and making these huge jumps off buildings and towers. He is like an ancient Catwoman. You will get assigned a target in a particular ancient city in which you have to go and discover six interesting factoids about your target (three to be able to go assassinate and three more just to get some achievement points). You can only learn these things by listening in on a conversation using your "synchronization sense", beating a guy up for information, stealing a letter, or doing tasks for your lazy companions. Side options include scaling towers to synchronize viewpoints and saving poor citizens who are being harassed by the city guards and collecting flags. In a sense, the game play is basic free roam sandbox stuff but set in a more ancient environment. It's not bad but they could have thrown in a change up here and there.

The fighting is fun as you can learn different moves and be able to easily vanquish all city guards and other bad guys who will corner you but only attack one at a time. It is easy to counter their moves but better yet to get on top of a tall building and just toss them all off one at a time. Killing civilians will harm you so that's a good thing.

What is not fun is when you finally get to take on your intended targets. These guys usually do not go quietly as they quickly spot you during the long cut scenes and then you have to fight them and a bunch of guards. Once you finally kill the intended target he will lay there and give this entirely way too long speech before dying. The developers intended to keep you awake during these scenes by having you press a button to switch camera views during these scenes (which also unlocks an achievement) but still I couldn't really follow these long dialogues.

What I especially liked about Assassins Creed were the graphics and detail in the graphics and characters. Having recreated some of the ancient cities like Jerusalem and Damascus was really cool to see and explore and a tremendous job was done to make these places look awesome. The many denizens of Assassins Creed are very unique from one another as you move about each city with different clothes and faces for most of them except for guards and other guys. The voices could have been more different as you usually hear the same voice for the beggar woman that tries to hold you up while she begs for money. Then there were the mentally ill guys in the game which I thought was entirely unnecessary as all they do is act crazy and push you (and only you) around. Didn't appreciate that too much.

I came away with a lot of questions about this game like why did they need a disclaimer that a bunch of developers who made this game come from different religious backgrounds to make a game about assassinating people? Why do the assassins cut off their ring finger? What was up with the mentally ill guys? When is the modern day guy allowed to eat and shower?

Anyway, for replay value there are the achievement points. I don't think there is any DLC for this game but there are plenty of other games and stuff to download for the other games in the series.

Final Recommendation 6/10

If you want a good game about assassinating people then Hitman is still the game. Assassins Creed is much more wrapped up in a story line and history than it is about performing a hit on a target in the game. I think I am more inspired to just skip the other games in the series and wait for October 30th 2012 since I am more interested in the history part of Assassins Creed than the story of the game. I'm sure this series has expanded and gotten better since 2007 but I don't think this is a series I could really get into.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)

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