By Howardian 8 Comments
This game is excellent because instead of provoking the critic in me, it provokes the child whose jaw dropped the first time he drove a car in GTA 2, or looked up and saw the Halo ring in the sky, etc.
The sheer bliss you (or I) feel when running out of the city into the juxtaposing desert is overwhelming.
I thought Witcher 3's world building will never be topped in my mind, and then this game came along, and went to the top of the list without even trying, not having the same level of terrain detail and variety as W3. A fucking Assassin's Creed game has an open world that compels me more than Witcher 3 or Just Cause 2 - what sorcery is this?
This game is my GOTY simply because, on top of - what in my opinion is - flawless quests, combat, stealth possibilities, architecture, enemy and animal AI, and exploration, it makes me say shit OUT LOUD all the damn time! I must've whispered to myself "just beautiful!" a hundred times now while making my way through the endless dunes and mountains of this desert. And the ability to teleport into the eagle and see my surroundings from the sky is a touch of genius.
Every time I plunge into an underground tomb I get chills because for the first time in any video game, it 100% feels real, like you're THERE in a cold moldy hallway underneath a pyramid, escaping from the scorching sun outside, walking in dead silence that is intermittently broken by a breeze making its way down to the dark halls of the deserted tomb and eroding the walls with the flying sand it brought with it.
I've found myself occasionally pausing for a moment to take in just how good it feels to explore this game. The desert is so harsh and unfriendly, yet so simple and straightforward, and though it is silent, it is more hard-hitting than an exploding battlefield.
This is why I pay money for games, to be astounded like this, with refreshing gameplay that is wrapped up in a perfect game world.
I haven't said these words since 2009 but, Assassin's Creed is my game of the year.