Critical Eye: Assassin’s Creed

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One upon a time I had a dream. A dream where I was a successful Assassin and would go round killing anyone who looked at me funny. Unfortunately, murder’s kind of frowned upon in modern society, so I had to make do with Assassin’s Creed. I waited a very, very long time for this game to come out. And when it did…I almost put my foot through my TV screen. Why? Let me tell you why…

Beggars/Madmen

I see no reason for the beggars to exist in this game. None, zip, nada. It’s like the developers just put them in the game as a big “up yours” to the players. If I had a dollar for every time one of the beggars came up to me begging for money, getting in my way and then causing the guards to chase me when I punched them in the face…I’d be a very, very rich man. I tend to just lead them to a quiet place before killing them quietly. I consider it a public service.

The madmen are in the same vein only about a thousand times worse. If you dare walk within five feet of them they push you, knocking you out of your special “walk mode” (more on this later) and causing all manner of guards to all of a sudden realise you’re an Assassin and stab you to pieces. Bloody nut jobs…

The “Stealth”

One of the main selling points of Assassin’s Creed was the way one would remain hidden, primarily by blending with the crowd. Sounded nice. The way it was done though… It appears that by walking very, very slowly (a turtle could outpace you) and keeping your head down, one could avoid alerting the guards to your presence. But should you dare look up, all of a sudden they realise you’re a threat and seek to punish you, despite everyone moving at the exact same speed around you. Theoretically, guards are in 3 modes: relaxed, cautious and alert. In relaxed they ignore you completely. In cautious they will react to anything out of place, such as you running through a crowd, knocking things/people over or stabbing someone in the face. In Alert mode they’ll attack you on sight (i.e. you don’t walk really slow and keep your head down). In reality, they’re only ever in the latter 2 modes and even when they’re only cautious they’ll attack you should you so much as accidentally bump into someone.

Repetitiveness

I know I’ve said this every review so far, but I can’t help it. Assassin’s Creed is almost as bad as Devil May Cry 4. There’s a whole 3 ways of finding information on your target, and every mission follows the same basic path. Get information, find target, kill target. Sounds okay, but again a lack of interrogation techniques renders it boring within about three missions. The odd boss or two are a little variant, like one guy who hides on his boat or another guy who has about five look-alikes across the city. But it’s not enough. Every mission degenerates into a swordfight with your target or his guards, or both. Some may say that’s a lack of skill. It’s actually more like a lack of options. The bad guys spot you too easily for you to be all sneaky about it.

Overall

Assassin’s Creed is a good game. It’s just not what it could have been. A classic. Once you’ve completed it, that’s it, there’s nothing to do except a few gimmicky things like finding flags or whatever.

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