Great LOOKING game, great STORYTELLING game, not such an ORIGINAL
I have to say...AC was a good game, but I cant give it a better score than this. It tells a good story, but repetition settles in early.
Without a doubt, the game has an amazing story that mixes real history, with fiction. (Im sort of a medieval history buff so i understood A LOT) The game takes place in 1191 AD during the Third Crusade and September 2012 (Present day). The game has you in control of Desmond Miles, an Arabic bartender who is the ancestor of the legendary assassin Altaïr ibn La-Ahad (rough translation to English="The Flying One, Son of None, Arabic=الطائر ابن لا أحد), a member of the Hashshashin (translation to English="The Assassin Brotherhood"). You serve the Brotherhood's leader Al Mualim. He asks you to kill 9 leading members of the Order of the Knights Templar (in the beginning you have no idea they are member of the order) who all know the location of the Piece of Eden, a powerful weapon that can be used to control the and memories of humans, sort of like mass hypnosis. Al Mualim (who is also a member of the Templars) is using you to find the location so he can use it for himself and conquer the Middle East. When he locates it, he tries to use it to alter Altaïr's sight
Desmond Miles is being used by a corporation known as Abstergo, who are using his genetic memory, and a machine known as the Animus, to find the location of the Piece of Eden and the other pieces displayed in Altaïr's memory. When he is fully synchronized with Altaïr's memory, he is of no use to Abstergo (the Templars) and is to be killed. A researcher named Lucy Stillman saves you by telling the scientist that gave the order, that Desmond is still of use. (She says this as she makes a signal with her hand to show that she is an Assassin, the closed ring finger as if it were removed) and you are free. You now have the power of Eagle Vision. When using it, you see hidden messages on the floor and on the walls. All of them referencing to cataclysmic-grade events such as December 21, 2012 (which is also the date that the Templars plan to launch a satellite that will "end the war forever"), Revelation 22:13 ("I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.") and other important references to the end of the world in other religions. Also you can read the email of the scientist detailing the failed recovery of one other Piece of Eden and other unnamed artifacts, all resulting in disastrous accidents, including the Philadelphia Experiment and the Tunguska event. There is also one about the Holy Grail.
Truly a great story with lots of hidden references.
The game looks great. Just great. However, on occasion, there is texture pop-in, not such a great draw distance, and sometimes AI characters get stuck on pathing maps or clip into buildings. That's not a reason to say the graphics are bad though.
Sound: Not too sure, maybe a 4.5?
Its been a while since i played this, so im not too sure about the soundtrack. Voice acting is good and not too over-dramatic. Characters will have little comments when you do acrobatic feats in public such as "Is he crazy?", or "If he falls, I'm not helping him.". All of the targets are voiced well also. Altaïr barely speaks, but when he does, his voice is perfect and the mysterious tone fits him well.
This is where the game tries too hard and somewhat fails. While the game does have good gameplay moments (namely random knife kills, assassinations, running away, performing crazy acrobatics, etc.) However, the combat and mission structure is just too damn repetitive. After the little tutorial-esque beginning, you begin by exploring the Kingdom, the overworld of AC. The Kingdom is definitely the games largest area. The other areas are the cities of Masyaf, Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus. The Kingdom is quite auxiliary though, due to the fact that you can warp directly to the other cities once you've already been there. The only real reason to go back there after the third time is to get the flags, viewpoints and Templar Knights. Then once you are in town after sneaking through the guardhouse as a scholar, you are FORCED to gather information on the target. This involves mini-missions located throughout town. At first, you must scale the View Points (giant buildings) to further detail the map and mission locations. The missions include saving townspeople, interrogation, pick-pocketing, listening in on conversations and other assassin things. The PC version adds new mission types, but you need an uber, god PC to run it so im not sure what the new ones are. The first 3 targets require you to do 3 missions, while everything else requires 4. After you gather info, you go to the Assassin's Bureau to get your target. You locate him, kill him, and run. Then you listen to a speech from Al Mualim, get a new ability, rinse and repeat 9 times.
This isn't so bad until about the 4th time and then you start getting really really bored of it. The combat doesnt help the situation either. At the beginning you are just button-mashing square until they all die. Once you get counters and throw breaks, you just time the buttons and it becomes a "line em' up and knock em' down" game. Way too easy.
Unfortunately, the game features no endgame bonuses (besides not having to adhere to the traditions of the Creed, i.e. not killing innocents) and no challenge mode. The only thing you can do is look at the little text references and replay old levels.
The game looks great, sounds great, and tells an amazing story. But with no replay value, gameplay that is repetitive and lackluster combat, AC is not all it can be.
Final Score: 3.5/5