The major draw point for me was its story and accompanying historical references. Assassin’s Creed is set in 1191 in the Middle East during the Third Crusade. Viewed from the third-person, this stealth game features a story that is considerably accurate and definitely engaging. Your main goal is to assassinate nine different targets in three different cities within the Holy Land. This is done by individual use, or combination of the following: brute force, pick pocketing, eavesdropping, and silent killing.
The gameplay in Assassin’s Creed is interesting as it features two ways of control, one for travel and one for combat. You’re able to travel through the different cities by walking, by horseback, or by jumping from rooftop to rooftop. All three ways can be enjoyable and are never the same experience. But on the other hand, the combat is very dreary. With only one button to control your main weapon, there aren’t many moves available to you and the swordfights can become very repetitive. A counter attack will put the player in a sort of cinematic mode in which to view the kill accompanied by music, this is one of the coolest things in the game, but even this gets old pretty fast.
Visually, Assassin’s Creed is a beautiful game. The environment around you such as the surrounding land and the sky above, and buildings such as houses and castle walls are all done magnificently. Also, the people walking down the crowded streets seem to look different every time, and dressed in robes, Altair himself looks very realistic. There are a few graphical hiccups that do annoy at times. Things such as loading problems and freezing issues plagued the game which a lot of the time lead to a reset and loss of unsaved play. Personally, I very rarely if ever experienced any of these issues, but if my friends can get so pissed off as to give it back to me, I think it’s worthy enough to be put in the review.
From an audio standpoint, Assassins Creed does everything it’s supposed to do, and that’s it. Sword-clanking and jumping to rooftops with the corresponding thump all sound great. Voices of the crowd are also done very well as every single one seems to be unique. The problem I have here is while assassinating someone or while counter attacking. There is only one distinct sound and it is obviously repeated over and over again. For such awesome moves, a little variety is a must if said moves are going to be repeated many times over. And with most open world games, the in-game sounds aren’t usually enough for me. There are far too many long terms of silence, even though I know I’m supposed to enjoy the sounds of the game, I can’t help but feel a medieval soundtrack could have done wonders.
All in all, Assassin’s Creed quickly becomes repetitive and the niceties on the outside weren’t enough to hide the inner game-development laziness. It is a singleplayer only game with zero online or multiplayer functionalities. I would estimate the game took about twelve hours to complete, but because it’s really just the same thing over and over again, I could have had the same experience if it were half that time. Achievements are extremely boring and add very little replay value. Also, pointless side quests are available to you and there are many things to collect while playing through, but these things aren’t enough to justify a full price purchase. With a confusing twist and quick downward spiral, the story, the one point that attracted me, ended up being a massive let down as a wave of relief washed over me when the game finally ended, much like this sentence.