Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted. - Assassin's Creed Review

Let’s tackle the first game first. Assassin’s Creed was released November 14th 2007. It was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Gameloft, and Griptonite Games and published by Ubisoft.

The first game in the series has a lot of things going for it. But primarily it is the visuals; the graphics are extremely well done especially considering the release date. The cities are extremely massive and there are three of them, Damascus, Jerusalem, Acre, all with multiple sections and gorgeous visuals. There is also the land in between them known as the Kingdom also massive and the Assassin Stronghold of Masyaf. The story of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Desmond’s assassin ancestor during the Crusades, was brilliantly written. It had an intriguing plot and I couldn’t wait to figure out what happened next. The characters were believable and the villains were not clichéd in the least and exceptionally brilliant, especially Al Mualim. The plot twist at the end was sheer brilliance and next to impossible to see coming.

The plot and the visuals are really the only thing going for the game. The series as a whole is plagued by mediocre controls. For parkour being a large part of the game it isn’t fluid movement and sometimes the main characters in the game do stuff that you didn’t mean for them to do. It is most likely caused by an over simplification of controls and is probably just a byproduct of playing it on the Xbox 360. Another problem that plagues the series as a whole is the combat for a game that claims to stealth based and is called ASSASSIN’S Creed there is a lot of open combat and once you get the counter ability it makes it a joke. To win in against any number of combatants the player just needed to stand there and press the counter button, “X” on the 360, at the appropriate time and the player could not die.

The main problem with the first game is the times you are not playing as Altaïr, being pulled out of the Animus periodically completely removes you from the narrative of Altaïr and makes the game seem slow and sluggish. The mechanic was soundly done in the other games, but in the first one Desmond gets pulled from the Animus for two lines of dialogue and then a short walk to his bed to continue to the next day.

There were also way too many collectibles in the game. City or area had a set of flags that Altaïr was supposed to collect. Many of the cities had multiple sets of flags due to the different influences in the different districts. On top of having to collect flags Altaïr is also charged with killing Templars positioned all over the map, however unlike the flags killing the Templars was fun but didn’t add much to the actual gameplay. This is a problem with many games on the market and it’s hard to hold it against the game since it is entirely optional and has no bearing on the game.

Assassin’s Creed also got pretty repetitive. The main story was fantastic, although not varied. The sub-missions leading up to the main story mission were repetitive. Before the player can complete the main storyline in each district there are a set of submissions meant for the player to complete, using all the watchtowers, saving citizens from guards, pick pocketing information, beating information out of people, race missions, and assassinating a certain number of guards. Every one of these missions was essentially the same as the ones previous to it and although for the most part optional if you wanted the best shot at killing your main target it was best to take care of all the sub-missions.

Assassin’s Creed was the worst game in the entire series so far. It is a skippable entry; the second game has a complete story rundown in the beginning. It was enjoyable for the most part, but if you’re not concerned with actually playing it I suggest just skipping it and moving on to the much better Assassin’s Creed II.


  1. I agree- I skipped straight to Assassin's Creed 2. I love it! My friends also say that AC2 is a lot better than the original.

  2. I played only the first two. Really enjoyed the 2nd one!

  3. I've never played the AC games, glad I can skip the first one and save money