Because of the big expectation towards AC III, and the way the Assassin's Creed series has moved along so far, I decided to replay the series, starting from AC 1. I stopped playing it in 2009, when AC 2 was released, and I completely forgot about it. I have played the series until Brotherhood, and I plan to buy Revelations when the price goes down.
So yesterday, I plugged the disc into my Xbox and started a new game. Man...
I remember when I first bought it. I played it for weeks, literally. Didn't play any other game until I finished it. The game managed to absorb me into its world. The only issue I had with it back then, was the awful ending. But when I started playing it again, it felt so...weird.
First of all, the Abstergo parts. Desmond takes FOREVER to walk from the animus to his cell. The place looks depressing, all gray and empty. Conversations with Lucy and hacking Vidic's email gave me a more clear vision of how the story starts unfolding from the beginning, but those sequences are pretty boring.
The in the Animus. It looks weird playing as Altair after playing Ezio for three games. I think this because Altair's design is so much simpler than Ezio's. His clothes are plain, he only has one sword, knife, and hidden blade, which games the gameplay a lot of simplicity. His voice acting doesn't sound according to the setting (time and place). It sounds weird having a man from the Holy Land speaking English in perfect American accent. On a side note, the voice acting of this games is horrible. Not that the Assassin's Creed series has excelled for its dialogues, but man, the voice acting is just terrible. At least the rest of games have tried to make the character speak according to their context. And the lack of subtitles doesn't help at all.
Then, there's the gameplay. The biggest difference I noted immediately was Alltair's agility. Climbing takes forever as well, and his moves when fighting (as well as opponent's moves) are too slow. As most of you might remember, you lose all of the cool abilities from the beginning, so the first assassination sequence was painful to play. You only have the hidden blade and the sword, you can't counter or dodge attacks, and coordinating your moves to chain a combo is more difficult. And having to complete a full sequence to get a new ability or weapon feels like too much.
To be honest, when I first bought the game, I wasn't bothered at all by the repetitiveness of the gameplay. 4 and a half years later, it's a torture. Go to this town, go to the Bureau, evesdrop some guys, pickpocket letters, follow and beat dudes, complete small favors for fellow Assassins, save the citizens from guards, climb the viewpoints, assassinate target, repeat. And then the Kingdom. Don't get me started about the Kingdom, and finding the flags and the Templar knights.
When it first came out, I thought of the game as revolutionary. It certainly installed a base for later games, both inside and outside the series. It's still good, but for today's standars, I think the review scores for AC 1 would be pretty average. Still have to give credit to the game, for starting what would be a fantastic series in my opinion.
Any comments? Have you replayed AC 1 after all the Ezio games? What's your opinion of AC1?