Assassin's Creed was one of the most highly anticipated games that I can remember in recent history. There was so much hype surrounding it that I never thought it would be possible for the game to live up to expectations. As usual though Ubisoft did not disappoint me and I found myself exuding a great amount of joy from stabbing person after person.
Assassin's Creed is interesting in that it has two different stories being told simultaneously. First there is the story of Altair who is a disgraced member of the Assassin's guild. Altair is charged with assassinating nine targets in order to redeem himself and restore his name. The second story is of Desmond Miles who appears to be your average bar tender (at least on the surface). Since I don't want to spoil what I found to be an enjoyable story I'll suffice it all to say that both stories are interlinked and both are told very well.
For me Assassin's Creed met a lot of my very high expectations. To begin with assassinating your target is always fun regardless of who the target is. Stalking your prey and then jamming a knife into their back is always a very satisfying feeling. I was also pleasantly surprised by the combat system. Now typically I would find one button combat to be boring and not worth my time but the counter feature of Assassin's Creed works very well with the tempo and atmosphere of the game. Instead of hacking and slashing your way through like you would in other games you instead take a defensive position and counter. When done correctly (and it's not hard to do) what follows is a great cut scene where Altair puts together slick combos that typically end with the soldiers being impaled by your sword or dagger. Basic, but very effective. One of my favorite things about Assassin's Creed was the wide array of places to explore and the way in which you could scale any building or object. Climbing to the top of a tower and then diving off into a hay cart never got old. The ability to climb everything in the game really lends itself to the atmosphere Ubisoft attempted to create.
For all it's ingenuity Assassin's Creed can get ironically repetitive. It's rare that a game this innovative with features we have never seen before can become so repetitive at times. Part of the problem with Assassin's Creed is that there is an overwhelming lack of variety. As much as I enjoyed slaying the guards and saving pedestrians, it is the same experience over and over again. There are about 5 to 6 different side missions in Assassin's Creed and you end up playing them about 20 times each. The game really could have flourished with some diversity. I mean I know there are no cars to steal but I find it hard to believe that this was as imaginative as Ubisoft could get. Altair is probably the least stealthy Assassin I have ever seen. For a game that is all about doing recon and then finding a way to reach your target I often found myself with no way to get to my target and get a clean knife to the throat. For about half of the assassinations in the game I had no way to not tip off the guards and then instead of an assassination I ended up slicing my way through the guards and then ultimately dueling it out with my target.
I found that as long as I don't play Assassin's Creed for more than 2 hours at a time the game can stay fairly fresh. If your one of those people that plays the game for 8 hours at a time you may find that it gets repetitive and you may struggle to finish it. With some tweaking and some variety in the side missions Assassin's Creed could end up being a great trilogy.