- After I finished Brutal Legend, I had a couple options for what game to start next. I'm still not read to try Fable II again. So I decided instead to try Assassin's Creed, that game by Jade Raymond, assuming you believe the internet.
- Assassin's Creed put you in the role of Altair, an assassin working in the 12th Century Holy Land during the Third Crusade. His job is to assassinate nine men working with the Templars to prevent their schemes. The twist (and I hope this is not still a spoiler for anyone) is that the assassin's actions are actually a replay of the genetic memory of Desmond Miles, Altair's modern day descendant. You might not have expected any sci-fi in your historical murder simulator, but it works surprisingly well. At a minimum, it gives an excuse for giving you a HUD and tutorials.
- The game is a series of information gathering missions that lead you to your assassination target. What is cool about that is that it all takes place in three fully explorable cities. You can blend into crowds, climb buildings, and run across rooftops as you hunt your quarry and evade the authorities. I had so much fun climbing towers and exploring the city that I ended up completing almost every mission in the game.
- What I did not complete was the flag hunt. As soon as I saw the numbers required, I made the decision to not even bother. From what I've heard, this is the place where the game ran aground for the completionist set. Do yourself a favor and follow my lead. You'll only spoil the game for yourself if you push it to that extreme.
- I would be remiss if I did not single out the story. The tale of Desmond and Altair was good enough that even my wife was interested to see how it turned out. High praise, indeed, for Ubisoft Montreal. On the other hand, the final battle in the game were complete bullshit. I obviously never mastered the combat system in the game because I found the last three fights against hordes of enemies to be highly frustrating. I feel like I won in each case through luck alone. In particular, the fight against a ring of Templars was in such a confined arena that I could not even use Altair's primary ability to run away and stage the battle to my advantage.
- It was unfortunate to end the game on such a sour note but the other 98% of the game was really good. In fact, I look forward to trying Assassin's Creed II even more. I just have to make time with my wife so she can follow with me.
© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.