Although repetitive at times, Assassin's Creed is a beautiful and amazing experience thats one of the year's best games.
oogieboogie8 wrote this review on .
You play as an assassin called Altair during the Third Crusade, year 1191. He is part of an assassin clan in Mayasf. Your mission is to explore three key cities: Acre, Damascus, and Jerusalem, and take down nine key men who are making life tough for the citizens of the era. The cities literally live and breath with beggars, guards, scholars, thugs, and regular townspeople. The world you explore is extremely lifelike and referenced directly to the actual cities of that time. The world is so well planned out, that you can actually interact with every little detail in each city. Whether it be climbing up walls (which you can do with ease), pushing citizens aside, running from guards, jumping through merchants stands, and much more, everything feels very epic and exciting. It gives you a great sense of freedom.
Obviously, the game is true to its name. You have four different means of violence. A hidden blade, which is used to assassinate your targets (or innocent civilians, if you like), a sword, the basic weapon you will use while fighting guards, throwing knifes, what you use to kill your targets from afar, and your fists.
The story is confusing, but if you listen closely during the cutscenes you will understand it. All the time you spend in the cities are all memories, and you are part of a science experiment. This guy has kidnapped you and strapped you to a machine called the Animus. In attempt to learn more about your ancestors, this machine will dig through your mind and look for your genetic memory, or memory inherited from your ancestors. In this case, your ancestor is Altair, and you are using the animus to uncover his adventures. I know it doesn't really make sense, but it will when you play the game.
While roaming in towns, be aware of the soldiers around you, and be careful not to do anything suspicious while they are close to you. There is also a soldier alert symbol next to your synchronization bar (health). White means you are safe, and either no soldier sees you or doesn't suspect you. Yellow means they are suspicious, but they have no reason to assault you because you have done nothing wrong. Red means the soldiers are very alert that you might have done something wrong, and if you get to close they will immediately assault you.
There are a lot of things Altair can do, and its all mapped out onto the controller. To sum it up, there are high profile actions and low profile actions. High profile actions are moves that will likely alert guards, such as attacking people with your sword, pushing civilians, and even running. Low Profile moves are those that guards will not bother you for, such as blending (praying, basically, which is your way of fitting into the crowd as a scholar), gently pushing civilians, and even fist fights. When you do get caught, your guard awareness symbol flashes bright red, warning you that the guards can see you and are after you. You have two choices here. Either fight, or run like hell.
The fighting system is relatively easy to use. At the beginning of the game, you will mostly be button mashing to fight guards, but over time you will unlock abilities you can use to defend yourself. A lot of times you will find yourself fighting huge groups of guards, but if you are good at timing your combos and counter moves correctly, you could make it out easily. Even though there are say, six guards around you, they will not all attack you all at once in fear of hurting their own allies. So, they will attack you one by one, giving you a chance to take down each one. Once you rid of all of them, your awareness symbol should turn white, but you should still get out of the area. Once more guards arrive to investigate what has happened, they will attack you in suspicion.
Another method of escape is running away. If there are about twenty guards tailing you (trust me it will happen), then your chances of escape are low. Its best to first thin them in numbers, then run. As you run, your awareness symbol may turn yellow, which signals that the guards have lost sight of you. This is your chance to quickly run into a hiding spot, like a bench, blending into scholars, or a haystack. Or, if your on the roof, this box thing. After being in the hiding spot for about 10 seconds, your symbol should go back to white, symboling its safe to go back out again.
Along the storyline, you will be given assassination targets from a man named Al-Mualim, the master of the assassin's clan. You will be told to investigate the city for clues on where the target is, and when is a good time to strike. In the cities, you will be doing investigations like pickpocketing, interrogation (where you beat someone up until they give you information), and eavesdropping. You will also be doing side quests for other assassins who need your help. A long the way, why not check out some view points or help a civilian being harassed by guards? Once you do your investigations, you will need to assassinate your target.
You will find that some of the things you do will get repetitive, but not so much in the way that you will get bored of it. You will be doing a lot of the same kind of things, but in newer environments and situations that you don't really mind. Even when you beat the game, you can go back to previous "memories" and finish side quests that you skipped earlier.
Overall, Assassin's Creed is a very innovative game that gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, make choices, plan strategies, and have a whole lot of fun killing people.