A while back, Ubisoft announced an upcoming third-person stealth game with a slick and well crafted presentation for a game called Assassin’s Creed. At first glance many thought what we were shown was a cut scene, only to later be actual game play footage. Too bad the actual game turned out to kinda suck.
Graphically, the game looks really cool…that is, until the game gets artistic and randomly changes the camera angle. Ya see, when you defend yourself and kill your attacker, the camera changes positions to give it that cinematic look. Problem is that sometimes the camera will get placed behind a bush or wall. In addition, apparently quality control wasn’t important: instances of clipping thru walls and other models would occur frequently during fights near obvious such problem areas. Audio-wise, it was pretty decent. The voice acting was well done as was sound placement on a 5.1 sound system.
Playing the game is where the game loses its appeal. Essentially its a more-or-less a sandbox game. There are basically only about five kind of missions to complete (pickpocket, eavesdrop, intimidate [bully], save a citizen and flag collecting). The problem with these missions is that they get REALLY repetitive. You see, the story has about 9 or so chapters with a boss capping each off. To reach each boss, you have to perform “investigations” that basically consist of one or two of each of the previously mentioned missions. Now, multiply this by 9.
Along with the repetitive game play, the story itself falls short. The majority of the game takes place in the year 1191 where you play as an assassin who must regain his rank, weapons and abilities by completing assassination missions. In a somewhat veiled attempt to dodge the controversial time period (Christian Vs. Muslims), Ubisoft throws in a warning and a sub-plot that takes place in 2012. Unless you complete every mission with 100% accuracy (as opposed to doing the minimum requirements), you’re left with a story that literally walks out the door without any closure. In fact it wasn’t until I did some research on the game to confirm some facts, that I discovered more story that I wasn’t shown. I can only assume this is because I didn’t complete each mission to fully. What makes this such a bad choice of story telling is that the game makers made the assumption that the game will be played exactly how they planned.
The repetitive game play was an issue but not the review killer. Overall, the game feels like a game that had a great idea that was modified and “touched up” by committee. Without the future 2012 plot, the 1191 story would’ve been fine on it’s own.