I was thinking about what I’ll will write about since I been lacking on some post and something came up after almost having no games to play over the summer. It then hit me after seeing a friend streaming his first playthrough of Assassin’s Creed 1 and it got me thinking about opening myself up to the series. Next thing I know I was hanging out with one of my close friends and asking him if I can borrow AC 1 and 2. Without delay he handed me the two games in joy that I had interest in playing the series and the very next day I pop in AC1 in to my 360. I expected to not like the first entire in the series due to the mix reaction from reviewers and fans. However, I didn’t expect those negatives about the game to show up so quickly.
I hate Assassin’s Creed 1. I hate it more than waiting in line at the DMV. I hate it more than some lazy college professors who’s trying to lecture us with very vague information. Every time I look at the box I get this sick feeling from it. I simply hate this goddamn game and here why.
The concept of the game is the Altair needs to get info on his targets in order to properly find and kill them. It a concept that fits with the theme of being an assassin and it would be fine if it wasn’t the fact that you repeat these task of pickpocketing, eavesdropping, interrogating, and helping assassin member before they give you info over and over again. For most games that do repeat task they usually change the design of the task to any additional abilities you get gotten. AC1 task are all the same from the beginning to the very end. You may have gotten a new weapon but that doesn’t make the small assassination mission any different since you still need to kill them quietly. You still have to wait for the man you’re going to interrogate to go into some dark place. Nothing changes. One of the worst parts about it is that if you fail a task you have to go back to the place to activate it again and for a few of them you have to listen to some speech that goes on for way too long. All this to redo a task that takes like 5 minutes to complete but ends up taking 15.
Controlling your assassin
Controlling Altair just feels unresponsive. Not his basic movements like walking, turning, and most of his freerun. It the combat and climbing that the main issue.
The idea of combat when you're no longer in hiding is that you’re a skilled swordsman that can easily take down of group of baddies by simply counter attacking.It a cool system but in AC1 it is very slow as enemies take a little too long attacking you and in the worst cases some attack at the same time so if you get once you’re going to get hit again,
getting you stuck in a limbo of attacks and not getting a good footing in the fight. But why not just attack them instead? Well because going on the offensive is very poor in the game. Attacking is sloppy as you just mash on the attack button and sooner or later you kill them. However, later enemies have the abilities to counter your attacks, making you hesitant to attacking anyone when they can easily turn the tables on you without warning. For most of it, the climbing is one of the unique aspects of AC1. It not super fast pace in some other open world games but interesting to see the animation of Altair climbing a large structure. However, the feeling of climbing starts to break apart as you notice how slow he is. It almost like Altair is thinking about every step he is about to take to see if he can grab it or not but the disconnect I get from looking at the screen is that I can clearly see that it is a reachable ledge. The worst part is that some ledges look to be reachable when the game says that there not. Clearly Altair need some lesson in climbing but I don’t think he need a lesson because he a bloody Assassin! Doesn’t he know how to get to high ledges by now!?
Kept on going
So this was the pain I went through in AC1. So why the hell did I kept going? Why all this pain which I mark as worse than Prototype repetitiveness? It was experiencing the story. See the series is built around the idea of two factions, fighting each other to see who is right about how humans should live, how our history is twisted by their conflict, how most of it start by early living beings of both high and low states, and on top of all of this the personal story of Desmond miles and his assassin ancestors. To think that this was some basic stealth game that was set in the past that turned out to be something more complex and interesting when looking at every detail is kinda mind blowing. The whole philosophy of the Assassins allows them to be more than just some group who kills people. It just unfortunate that playing the first game to see this is a hard pill to swallow.
With Assassin’s Creed 1 long behind me, I then turn my eyes to Assassin’s creed 2 and soon breath in the fresh air of it improvements.