By Sam Coles:
It’s hard to believe that the original Assassin’s Creed is nearly 10 years old; it had an interesting premise with the aspect of reliving your ancestor’s memory through the machine called the Animus. However due to the abundance of sequels since Assassin’s Creed II on an annual basis the games got stale and started to leak over to other Ubisoft open world games where they became uninspired. Assassin’s Creed when it came out in 2007 was very different with its setting and premise and yes it has flaws and it’s repetitive but it was a platform that it could leap off and glide to the heavens with its sequels.
Assassin’s Creed takes place during the third crusade of Jerusalem and you play as Altair an orphan who was later picked up by the Assassin order and is trained by them to help them stop the Templars. Altair is known for being a bit of a rogue and generally breaks a lot of the rules of the order but not out of malice but to get the job done more efficiently. He is caught breaking the rules at the start of the game and is then demoted to a recruit much to his disgust. The story isn’t really anything special with a generic plot where the main character questions who the true evil ones are. The future plot with Desman is interesting but they have a habit of getting in the way of the game and grind everything to a halt.
The gameplay is an open world game and this was during a period before the genre over saturated the market where new open world games were fresh and exciting at this time. How the game works is that you must report to someone in each city and he will assign you a target and then you must investigate the city and find information about the target and then eventually murder them. I like this because it evokes aspects of Hitman where you eavesdrop on conversations and find secrets about the target whether it be their routines or weaknesses makes the world feel alive and organic. However due to the structure of the world it starts to get a bit samey after a while because the game fell into a routine of eavesdropping, tailing, syncing towers and assassinating. This is the game’s biggest flaw repetition and that is why it took me so long to finish the game.
Visually the game still looks great with its environments but the character models look a bit dated, but it’s the environments that really shine with detailed cities such as Jerusalem and Damascus coupled with the open countryside as you traverse between cities. Sound design is great with meaty noises as you drive your swords and hidden blades in your enemy’s chest or throat, you hear the squelch of meat as you stab them.
The repetitive nature of the original Assassin’s Creed is annoying but it is a landmark title and fixed all the flaws in the sequel, this is similar to Watch Dogs a game with lots of good ideas but ultimately flawed so let’s hope Watch Dogs 2 can do what Assassin’s Creed did. You can pick up this game for a cheap price these days and you can play it on Xbox One via the backwards compatibility if you choose to get it on 360.