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.