"This assassin sticks out like a sore thumb"
At the time of Assassin’s Creed’s release, articles praised the title for its innovative level design, crowd-based social mechanics and “player creativity” in accomplishing the task at hand. The reality, however, is quite the opposite. The levels feel stagnant, the mechanics gimmicky, and any sense of freedom becomes redundant.
At first, the game seems like it could have had promise. The tutorial introduces us to Desmond Miles, the modern-day narrator-observer-facilitator that progresses the story. Through his memories, we play as Altair, a “master” assassin during the Third Crusade, who, due to inexcusable arrogance, loses his rank shortly after the opening mission. During this time, and shortly thereafter, the game introduces us to some fun mechanics, such as climbing up buildings and traversing rooftops with relative ease, a la Prince of Persia, as well as performing our first true assassination in the city of Damascus.
Unfortunately, killing designated targets isn’t as simple as walking up behind them and stabbing them in the back, and this is where things become tedious. Before he can unlock his targets, Altair actually has to conduct investigations to discover information about them. At first, these tasks seem enjoyable, but soon their inanity works against them. Many of these quests employ stealth to either pickpocket unsuspecting messengers, eavesdrop on loose-lipped conspirators or trail loud-mouthed henchmen until you reach a quiet place to interrogate them. These activities play into what Assassin’s Creed tries to accomplish with its “hidden in plain sight” approach to stealth, but their execution just doesn’t match the intent. In fact, once you’ve completed a few (re: three) assassinations, you’ll have seen everything the game has to offer to the point where beating up interrogation suspects, inconspicuously listening to chatter and stealing letters simply becomes too tiresome to tolerate. Even assassinating smaller targets for imperiled informants can’t shake the sheer monotony permeating the majority of the game.
Community review by wolfqueen001 (August 21, 2016)
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