Monday, April 12, 2010

Played Lately: Assassin's Creed

  • 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.


  1. OMG snap, I was just looking at this today since I was thinking of picking up AC2.

    Long story short, bought the download from Gamestop and the damn thing won't download. Have sent irate email demanding money back. If I can find it some other way I'll try it though, it looks fun. ;-)

    Oh hey, how hard are the controls to learn/alter/master? (Assuming you're talking about the PC version.)

  2. @ Ysharros - I played the Xbox 360 version, but I've heard good things about the PC. Gamepad controls were a little weird to get used to, but then it became second nature. Actually I had to forget everything again when I started a different game because it is unique.

  3. I love Assassin's Creed. Even though I prefer the time period of the first game, AC2 is the almost perfect example of how to do a sequal. AC2 is not perfect, but it really does so much better than the first game.

    My only warning; the story in AC2 is all over the place. At one point I forgot what exactly I was suppose to be doing in the story.

  4. @ Jayedub - Glad to hear that. I was going to throw a Mass Effect sequel comparison based on everything I've heard, but didn't since I haven't actually played AC2 yet. Sounds like I have something to look forward to.