Its failure to capitalize on what it does well over anything it performs poorly at is what makes this game suffer.
Remember those Assassin Tomb/Templar Hideout missions from ACII and AC Brotherhood? How the goal was to ascend from platform to platform in order to get that treasure in end which got you one step closer to the all powerful secret armor the game had locked away? Well, think about that but take away the rewarding aspect of it and you have Damnation. I'll admit...it appears that Damnation had a lot the original platforming ideas that was implemented in the later Assassin's Creed games (the execution is almost exactly the same). Even a certain enemy on the game looks EXACTLY like the Followers of Romulus from AC Brotherhood (Damnation- summer 2009, AC II- fall 2009...if Codemasters would have sued Ubisoft, they may have actually had a case!). However, Assassin's Creed is able to take these same platforming elements and either integrate into the combat system or reward players for having to endure a some times change in pace in the gameplay. Damnation never does this! The pace remains this slow, the majority of the game. The platforming is so long and drawn out with only to be rewarded with yet another long and drawn out platforming sequence! The balance between this and the action that's needed for this to be considered a well rounded experience, isn't there. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of action on this game (it still is a shooter), but just not a lot outside of the platforming...which becomes very annoying.
When you take this element and combine it with the other game mechanics that under different circumstances would be forgivingly imperfect, you have a very underwhelming experience on your hand. The game lacks a map providing enemy location or where next to go. You can use a special ability (gained after the first chapter) which will show you all the enemy location within your current line of sight...BUT you remain stationary when using this. Meaning that you're suspetible to enemy attacks when using it and you literally have to either memorize or keeping stopping to use this to know where your enemies' exact location are. This gets especially frustrating when there are tons of enemies on the ahead! Some times its obvious were to go but other times its not! Honestly, I can't imagine anyone who plays this game not needing a FAQ of some type to help them figure out where to jump to next...it could be just my level of gaming expertise but please keep in mind that I have been doing this since I was 4! And then we have the good 'ole, good for nothin' machine gun. This has to be the WORST weapon that I've used in a shooter! You can have an enemy dead in your sights..point blank range (totally not exaggerating here) and the d@mn thing will still somehow only hit the target a few times barely causing any damage!!! Its the same case with the automatic pistol except with that, as soon as you fire it, the line of sight jerks away from the target which again it only hits a few freaking times!!! Oh and the visuals are very last gen and the sounds of the gunfire (especially the machine gun) are unneccesarily loud and arkward sounding btw!
On aspect of the game which did have potential were the motorcycling scenes...but that's all it ends up being...potential. You basically drive through tunnels, avoiding gaps, and running over enemies that are in your way (shooting from the back of the bike if you're player 2 on co-op). What could have made it better? I dunno...being chased or chasing other bikes maybe? Special kills while on the bike? Shooting aerial enemies? Anything beyond just running over wandering enemies! Next, lets talk about the story! Bad voice acting...check! Poorly explained story...check! Uninteresting characters...check! Unclimatic ending...check!
You see...my overall point is, a few of these things would be forgivible on their own epecially by me since I'm a huge fan of shooters but when all combined together like this, you can't help but to notice everything that it does wrong. Damnation doesn't do anything excpetionally right to keep give it the overall benefit of the doubt.
- Has the same platforming elements that made the AC series a hit
- A descent variety of weapons
- Boss fights are ridiculously easy. The levels are more difficult.
- Motorcycle scenes could have added more
- Overall unrewarding experience
- Bad stoytelling, uninteresting characters, and poor voice acting
- Too many broken weapons! (broken as in, not working like they should)
- Last generation visuals
- Horrible sound effects
- Slow paced and long, drawn out gameplay
- Low replay value
- No in-game map to help navigate through vast levels or to consistantly see enemy location
In all, folks...I tried to give this game a chance but I was so glad when it was over. There was no way that I could take another long platforming section without losing my mind. At the end of the day, I base the majority of my scores on how well I enjoyed myself while playing a game and well, I just can't say I did this time. There are better things to do with your boredom and money.