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Wolf Kanno's Crazy Ramblings and Incoherent Statements

Assassin's Creed

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So I finally got off my ass and played through Assassin's Creed 1. Yeah, I know I'm half a decade behind the rest but I've been busy. I was thinking of making a thread but figured a blog review or final thoughts would work better since it is such an old game. Anyway... my thoughts:

Story and Characters: The plot of the game is intriguing, a little weird but once you quickly accept the Animus, everything else doesn't feel out of place. The game has a pretty good cast of characters who are only hindered by lackluster dialogue sequences and little screen time. The targets are all interesting characters, but I wish I had a chance to really get to know them better cause several of them had great potential. Altair himself is an amusing asshole the player gets to witness his fall from grace and his climb to the top with a healthy does of humility. This is one of the moments where the less fleshed out story works as Altair could have easily been made to be unlikable if he had gotten more dialogue to angst his plight about.

My favorite part of the story is its setting. I'm a bit of a history nerd, so I tend to like it when a story tries to utilize a historical event. The game really made me want to read more on the Crusades since most of my world history classes tend to give the cliff note version of it.

The parts with Desmond are intriguing and get you wondering how everything ties in together. It has a small, but well established cast that make these downtime moments a pleasure to watch. My only beef with the games plot is simply its cliffhanger/"WTF?!" ending but it certainly doesn't sting as bad since I know their are two entries afterwards to keep the mystery going.

Visuals/Music/Character Design: Pretty damn good, the music isn't anything to hum to but its very fitting to the mood of the game and it doesn't try to cater to some historical elements either. Don't expect regional music.

The visuals are gorgeous and very well detailed; and the character designs are nice though the controls make some of the dialogue scenes that are not actual cutscenes, awkward cause getting a character to face them is actual more of a chore than you would expect. I'm happy the game actually stuck to some grittiness as well. Some people are just ugly in this game and it works. VA is good, but some of the repetitive dialogue can get grating and the english woman all sound like Angela Lansbury.

Gameplay: A mixed bag. For every good thing the game does, there is something bad that goes with it. The biggest problem with the game it somehow got this reputation for being a stealth game but in reality its an action platformer with stealth elements. Some assassinations are pretty much just straight up fights with mobs and the rescue civilian side missions cannot be done through stealth. Which is ironic cause the first section of the games dialogue tries to stress being the "unseen hand that guides". It doesn't help that Altair is a one man army who becomes increasingly invincible with each power up he acquires. Makes getting caught no longer a big deal unless you're trying to do a info gathering mission and getting discovered resets the mission.

Now that we've determined the games true genre, it works for what it is. Climbing around the city is fun though precision work can get troublesome as Altair occasionally spazzes out and doesn't notice a ledge or foot hold he can easily climb to. Combat is visually satisfying, but imbalanced. Once Altair learns Counter, he is pretty much unstoppable for the most part, quick dodge, guard break, and guard grab is just adding salt to the computer A.I's wounds, though the A.I. does get much better by the end of the game, so it doesn't feel as bad. All four weapons are satisfying to use, Altair's signature hidden blade is easily the fave.

The real problem with the gameplay is the sheer repetitiveness of it all. To build the map you have to climb X number of buildings to get it and the game makes you do it everytime you enter a new area. You have to save a dozen or so civilians every time a new map is unlocked and the major sidequests of the game is finding 33-100 of five different types of flags or hunting down 60 Templars which feels more like busy work.

Every info gathering mission is usually a collection of the same few tasks of eavesdropping, interrogation, pickpocketing, collecting flags under a time limit, or assassinating targets. Except all of it plays out exactly the same way, so it quickly loses its novelty halfway through the game. I started hoping for more eavesdropping missions cause they are the least time consuming task. Its not that they aren't fun, its just you end up doing each type of mission for what feels like a dozen times in the game and it gets old, especially when you screw up a mission cause your target wandered over to a Templar who all have this mysterious power to automatically know your an assassin, and then you have to kill five minutes either running away (forcing you to backtrack to the mission) or killing wave after wave of city guard, which will also force you to leave to reset the mission. Its crap like this that make the game a bitter experience at times, which is sad cause everything else is fantastic.

Overall: If you can get over the games terrible padding, you've got a rich story and world to play around with some great action/platform elements. I hope that later installments will find a way for me to get rid of beggars without them getting on my last nerve and forcing me on a homeless people killing spree.


  1. ljkkjlcm9's Avatar
    Congrats on finally playing it. Now play the infinitely better sequels and you will truly understand how awesome it is.

  2. Shaibana's Avatar
    U got off yr ass? when im playing games i usually get On my ass xD

    i liked AC1 too though it was a little to long for my feeling, and way to much repeating
    and i have to agree when u said: 'once altair learns counter atack he pretty much becomes invinseble' it also takes away the challenge a bit becaus if u want u can just wait for 1 of them to atack, and do a counter attack.

    and yes... the beggars are reaallyy anoying :O

    In my opinion AC2 is the best (so far). to me that one was totaly balanced
  3. Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
    In AC2 they replaced the beggars with even more annoying bards as a little prank, but you can throw a small amount of florins to distract NPCs. Now what's REALLY fun, is if you find some guard with a huge ass weapon like a hammer or a spear, use the poison on him undetected, and throw money at him. The poison will cause him to go berserk until he dies, flailing his weapon around wildly, and all of the NPCs will mob him to get the money you threw. By the time he's dead, the street will be filled with like sixty peasants rolling around the floor in pain (innocents don't usually outright die).

    Combat in AC2 is even more broken, but the wide variety of weapons makes it more fun. If you didn't like the cliffhanger at the end of AC1, you're probably not going to be too happy with the wtf ending of AC2. I want to play Brotherhood so I can see what's up with that
  4. Psychotic's Avatar

    But yeah as people said, AC2 is a lot better than AC1, and Brotherhood is a (slight) improvement on 2.
  5. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    I've already started on AC2 and I'm quite amazed at how much they overhauled the game (for the better) compared o the original. Makes me feel bad for Altair cause he'll probablt never get as much love as Ezio, seeing how he's working on his third console game and Altair only has his crappy original title and two handheld titles the main games mostly ignore.

    Cliffhangar endings don't bother me as much but had I played AC1 back when it came out without knowing their was a sequel, I'd be a little annoyed cause I can understand why the game got mixed reviews, so I wouldn't know if the story would ever be resolved.

    Part of me is hoping that a future installment in the series will be set in Russia between WWI and the Russian Civil War(basically 1910-1930). I'm happy to know the team will be avoiding WWII, so maybe a little Russian history would be nice. I want to see Rasputin, and then try to kill him a dozen times before he goes down.
  6. G13's Avatar
    Just in time to be caught up for when Revelations is released!

    The three-part comic series that came out around Brotherhood's release is based around that period in Russia. The writer's let on that a game for Nikolai, the comic's assassin, isn't out of the question for them. I think it would be awesome to play a part in the Tunguska event. If you're a story man, you should check out the comics, they're called The Fall iirc. The story is really, really interesting.

    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed AC1. A lot of people I've talked to about it quit playing once the gameplay reveals itself to be repetitive, and that's just sad to me. It's such an incredible game. Despite the later entries having better gameplay, AC1 is my favorite simply for its story. And Altair is such a badass. You definitely won't be let down with 2 or Brotherhood though. The gameplay never gets boring, or feels repetitive, and the story just keeps getting better and better.

    And if you're down for even more ACness, you should check out Assassin's Creed: Lineage, a three-part movie Spike played a bit before 2 was released to hype the game up/advertise, and to shed some light on the conspiracy backstory involving Ezio's dad.
  7. Fynn's Avatar
    I need a PS3 ;(
  8. Shaibana's Avatar
    Yes u do
  9. tidus123456789's Avatar
    It was not fully explored i feel...They could have added a much bigger variety of aspects to the gameplay like in the sequels.. Plus its annoying that everyone speaks in a middle eastern accent while Altair speaks in a very american accent :/ Sorta ruins it a little! But atm....Brotherhood is the game for me! Its come a looooooong way from AC1 xD