Where do I begin.
Assassins creed is a special, unique game by Ubisoft, its not perfect but its without a doubt an amazing game.
There is nothing that special about Desmond Miles, he is an ordinary working man, he lives an ordinary life and he wants it to stay that way. However, he is kidnapped by scientists who want something from him. Apparently our minds store the memories of our ancestors as well as are own, the scientists want to find something far back along Desmond's ancestors, all the way back to the Crusades. As it turns out Desmond is from a long line of assassins, and its during the Crusades that Assassins creed is set.
You play as Altair a man who disgraced the Creed and seeks redemption, its all a great story, despite the ending being a bit disappointing. The ending is only disappointing because it just stops, but what people didn't know in 2007 was that the story continues from where it left of in Assassins creed II in 2009, so I easily forgave Assassins creed for the disappointment.
Assassins creed is an open world game, all corners of the cities you visit (Acre, Damascus, Jerusalem) can be explored, all buildings can be climbed, all streets can be walked through and so on. Now baring that in mind, how on earth can a game this huge have such good visuals textures and generally superb graphics (for 2007, but it still looks great today). Assassins creed not only looks good but feels amazing alive. Crowds of people make their way through the streets, shop owners shout out into the crowds trying to sell their merchandise, and then there are the darker parts of the cities, poor slum towns full of beggars asking for money, insane giggling maniacs and drunks who push you around if you get to near, thugs who wander the streets looking for fights. In Acre, which has recently been taken over by crusaders, bodies litter the side of the roads and buildings are in ruins. Probably the best thing about Assassins creed is the fact that everything feels like it's been pulled straight out of history. None of this is perfect, the frame rate will often fall behind the game, sometimes people will pop in right in front of you, however, the crowds are so big and the buildings are so detailed you can't help but feel that Assassins creed is to advanced, in an age when open world games have average graphics.
Away from the visuals everything else in this game is superb. Assassins creed boasts superb voice acting, everyone sounds authentic, despite talking in English, with on exception... Altair.
This is amazing! Imagine a movie where the supporting actors are superb the extras are superb but the main character does an average job. Well its like that in this game. Desmond's voice actor does a great job so does the scientists, the peasants, the guards, knights, soldiers, Altair's fellow assassins but not Altair himself. To make matters worse Altair isn't a very likable character in my opinion, when he interrogates people he kills them after. Now with some people you don't care, but when one guy found out that Altair was going to kill his employer he actually agreed that he needed to kill his employer. So I was shocked when Altair murdered him anyway, apparently so he wouldn't give him away. BUT THE POOR MAN JUST AGREED THAT HIS BOSS NEEDED TO DIE! Why would he rat Altair out?
Despite everything Altair is fun to play as, sword fights in this game are a blast, despite the combat being fairly simple. Its mostly just dodge or block enemy attacks and then jump in close for a slash, and individual enemies aren't particularly difficult. But when your surrounded buy six soldiers armed to the teeth you must make use of counter attacks to survive. Combat animations are fluid and watching a brutal death animation after countering an attack feels great. Altair is a master with a sword, but he also makes use of throwing knives and a hidden blade up his sleeve which he uses for assassinating people.
And if Altair is outnumbered and out classed he can always run for it. Assassins creed has hundreds of hiding spots dotted around the cities, carts of hay (which can also be use for soft landings when jumping from dizzying heights) sitting on a bench between two people, hiding in a group of scholars and so on.
Climbing is also enjoyable, Altair can hold on to anything that sticks out more than two inches, its amazing watching him climb to the top of a tower and being rewarded with a lovely view of the entire city. However climbing is far from perfect and can hold some frustrations. There is no jump button in assassins creed, instead you hold down R1 and X and Altair will free run, that is break into a sprint and automatically climb or jump over anything in his way. But free running is often a frustration, Altair might jump of a tower and fall to his death only to respawn miles away from the tower and have to travel their all over again, and all you wanted to do was reach the ledge above you. Frustrations included jumping across from one building to another (a distance you should be able to reach) missing and falling all the way to the streets below. Jumping around in circles like a deranged lunatic, I could go on and on, none of these happens all the time, but you will notice them and remember them, particularly on timed missions.
While on the subject of missions its worth mentioning that there are a load of side missions and activities for you to complete. The simple rescue the civilian being tormented by guards, to picking people pockets to find information, assassination challenges, races and so on. There are also hundreds of flags for you to find, scattered around the cities.
Assassins creed is a very long game, especially when taking part in side missions, there isn't very much replay value, save one, which is to enjoy all your favorite moments from the story. The best thing about Assassins creed is probably that it re created the crusades into an authentic feeling adventure of conspiracy murder and betrayal. Well done Ubisoft