Assassin’s Creed: some bullet points

I absolutely love this game. Adore it. But I’m going to nit-pick.

The opening two hours are ludicrously bad. Tutorial after tutorial after tutorial, each repeating the last.

The sci-fi front end stuff doesn’t work. A number of times I’ve had a massive high from taking down a target and escaping, and all I want to do is get back out there and track down more targets, but I wake up from the machine, and get told to go to bed. Seriously silly stuff.

Altair’s voice-actor is pretty wooden, and his dialogue worse. I really like the in-game cutscenes that feature the targets, but the monologues between Altair and his boss, and in the future are really bad. It’s like the worst pretentious amateur dramatics.

I don’t understand why the devs decided to city hop between targets. I’d have much rather started the game, and the tutorials in Damascus, and killed three targets in that city, before finally entering the kingdom and moving on to the next city. The Kingdom, as it stands, seems to be dead space. Beautiful, but empty, and each target begins with a boring run and horse ride to the menu screen. The only reason I can see for spacing the targets in each city like this would be if the plan was originally to show the passage of time and effects of your actions on the cities, but because that doesn’t happen, it’s just a frustration.

There’s a bit of backward thinking in the way your powers are taken off you at the beginning. Because I now have both experience, and most of my inventory restored (7/9 dead) I’m finding the combat a trivial challenge. At the start, when I didn’t have grab breaks or counters, or an extended health-bar, I found fights extremely difficult. My extended utility has only made the game easier, and the game’s yet to step up with new twists or challenges.

The flag collection stuff is pointlessly videogamey, as are the informer challenges.

But I really do love this game. I love standing somewhere high, planning my route in, attacking, then leading my pursuers into a group of vigilantes. The cities themselves are gorgeous (the dock in Acre is my favourite place in a game, ever), Altair’s animation just jaw-dropping, and it’s the first time I’ve actually enjoyed just walking at street level in an open world game.

Brilliant beggars, too.

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4 Comments on “Assassin’s Creed: some bullet points”

  1. I cannot wait for this to arrive on PC, even if it seems to me to be one of those games where one of the best things about the game is that we can poke fun at them.

  2. There are a couple of games I cannot wait to play. This is not one of them. It looks pretty, but there does not seem to be anything next-gen about it. Am I wrong? hmmm.

  3. Pentadact Says:

    Just getting to this now. Still in those rubbish first two hours. It’s not an entirely fair comparison, but imagine if the first two hours of a movie were this bad.

    Had one moment where I glimpsed what the actual game is probably about, and how cool it could be, so I’ll soldier on. But what’s irritating is the sheer amateurness of the mistakes they make right away.

    Of course you don’t chide the player for something it wasn’t his choice to do. Of course you don’t introduce two completely different universes in the first three minutes. Of course you don’t remind him that it’s all a game every time he starts to get immersed. It’s not like the alternatives to these things are hard to do – in most cases, Ubi have actually put in extra work to do them.

    How do this many people come to work every day for years without asking, “Has anyone else noticed what a really bad idea most of this stuff is?”

  4. Had AC at Christmas. Completed it in three days. Traded it in for Mass Effect.

    I agree with your points, Tim. Heck, even the manual mentions how ridiculous the ‘flag collecting’ tasks are in the game’s context. Yet the developers, despite being more than aware of the monotony brought on by such tasks, continue to keep them in the game. That, I suppose, is only one of the many holes in AC’s gameplay which breaks immersion. Also, like everyone else who forced themself to complete it, you’ll find that it gets exceedingly repetitive. Not in the whole ‘Oh, Hitman gets repetitive!’ kind of way which makes the game awesome, but rather in a ‘why are we back here? Why am I chasing this guy down in exactly the same way I did the last guy?’ sort of way. Then there’s the half-hour long deathbed talks which we really could have done without.

    Anyway, you’ve probably completed it by now, but I still claim its a soulless invention brough t on by the developers to stall for time and get a bit of cash.

    Also: Thanks for the 3scapism comment.

    Update your damn blog moar, man!

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