I just finished Assassin’s Creed. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I just got my Xbox this Christmas so cut me some slack. Also I’m a bit of a frugal shopper when it comes to video games and I got Assassin’s Creed really cheap, $8.00 or something like that, so why the hell not? Anyway at that price I’ll pretty much take a flyer on any game. If you’re not familiar with the story, basically you take part in an ancient war between two groups, the Templars and the Assassins. I would hope that the History Channel would take a cue from this as well. The Templars and all of their “history” are best left to works of fiction, not pedaled as real history. The Templars in Assassin’s Creed are far more interesting than their real historical inspiration. Throw in some interesting twenty-first century sci-fi and it makes for a good time.
As is my due diligence, I check out the reviews at IGN.com and it was pretty good, but not overwhelming by any stretch. All things considered it was pretty spot on. The controls were ok and the combat was kind of poor, especially when one figured out that a counter attack pretty much will handle anything. Also all of the side quests were pointless; or rather the point of “rescuing the citizens” was to get some fighting practice, but little else. I’m not sure, but I figure it was about halfway through the game that I quit saving the citizens entirely. I gained no extras from doing so and every so often I got killed because the entire city guard materialized out of now where. That was another big issue I had within the game: the guards basically being clairvoyant and able to recognize an assassin by his walk or in medieval Palestine that knowledge of a murder that happened two minutes ago could be spread throughout a city the size of Jerusalem. The “investigations” to get to the primary targets were also pointless and pretty dull. Again, about half-way through the game I figured out the style of information gathering I liked best and stuck to that, no errands for fellow assassins, thank you very much. Also being an assassin with crazy skills of stealth and killing, I really would have liked to gotten a chance to be stealthier. Basically the best method of killing a target was to bum-rush him and deal with the guards after the primary target was down, fun but not exactly challenging or engaging.
However what they got right they really got right in Assassin’s Creed. The settings are awesome and the detailed characters populating each city are very impressive. Just climbing the Golden Dome in Jerusalem was enough to justifying the purchase. Not only was it fun to play in a world (loosely) based on reality, but it was in a region and time period that doesn’t usually scream “video game!” I’m also quite story driven when it comes to my games and Assassin’s Creed did a great job, both with the story where the game play takes place and the 21st century storyline. In both cases I wanted to know more and where the next chapter would go which is one of the greatest attributes of epic style fantasy/science fiction. It’s not just the story within that one game or book, but the creation of a world that makes one want to return. Even with all of its faults, Assassin’s Creed makes me want to return. Now if only I can find Assassin’s Creed II for 10 bucks or less.