Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
I hesitate to call this a ‘review’. It’s more like a subjective list of impressions and tongue-in-cheek observations, condensed as much as possible:
- 90% of the time I’m having LOADS OF FUN, like I’m driving really fast down an empty road with all the windows rolled down. The other 10% I want to scream GOD DAMN IT ALTAIR WHY WON’T YOU LISTEN TO ME DOES THIS CONTROLLER EVEN WORK WTF WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Anytime I’m just playing around for fun, I can execute flawless swan dives and jumps and dashes across buildings and rooftops. Heaven forbid I’m being timed or chased… Altair suddenly controls like a water buffalo on roller skates. Try to make him climb up a ladder, he paws at the wall beside it. Try to get him to turn around, he just keeps trying to climb the wall in place because I didn’t pause long enough before trying to make him go another way. Swordfighting seems to be a little clunky, and timed reaction moves seem to be occasionally hit-or-miss.
- The game is nonlinear and you can go anywhere and do things in the order and manner you choose… but really in the same way that breakfast is nonlinear because you can choose the order and manner in which to eat your eggs and toast. That said, in terms of things you can do to the people around you, it took me two whole blocks to realize that there was really no punishment or repercussions for stabbing bystanders or breaking as much shit as I felt like as long as I took a break between rampages, and even if I died there was no real penalty.
- Fun, intuitive, fluid controls for running, jumping, climbing, and fighting, except for that one task in each level that requires rigidly-timed, super-accurate movement, during which Altair will spontaneously forget how all his limbs work and flop around like a dying fish while I scream in vain at the screen.
- The game has a fun, engaging storyline that I’m eagerly awaiting the resolution to… but to avail yourself of any of that information, you have to perform the same repetitive half-dozen tasks in every level. Check all the viewpoints. Rescue all the citizens. Eavesdrop, interrogate, pickpocket.
- Absolutely gorgeous graphics… that, while gorgeous, get as repetitive as the tasks you’re charged with doing.
- Knifing guards in the middle of a busy crowd is perfectly acceptable and nobody will notice you running away at breakneck speed… as long as you don’t brush up against a lady and make her drop her jar while fleeing. Then, Heaven help you.
- LEAP OF FAITH
- PONIES (also running over large groups of foot soldiers at breakneck speed on a horse sends me into horrible cackling gigglefits)
- BRB RUNNING TO JERUSALEM NAH BRO I’M NOT EVEN WINDED
- RIDING HORSES AS FAST AS YOU WANT FOR AS LONG AS YOU WANT WITHOUT STAMINA BARS WHAT BLOOD MAGIC IS THIS
- Bystanders’ snarky comments about any ‘socially unacceptable’ actions you do while they’re looking.
- FUCKING. BEGGARS.
- UNSKIPPABLE CUTSCENES AND DIALOGUE WHY
I like to metaplay that the game is actually brilliantly trying to put you in Altair’s shoes and make you as dissatisfied and annoyed as the character is about what he’s charged with doing.
Since this came out five years ago, I was honestly afraid it would feel too ‘dated’ to me to enjoy, and it doesn’t, at all. Any frustration and repetitiveness is survivable, and I still let out a giant whoop every time I do a flying-leap high-profile throat stab to an unsuspecting guard.
It’s fun, it’s gorgeous, and the flaws it does have, while frustrating at points, didn’t keep me from enjoying the game or make me want to shut it off… except for one time. I’m currently near the end but haven’t quite finished it yet, plan to do that tomorrow.
(P.S. SDFLSJKDF AL MUALIM IS DUNCAN)
ALL OF THIS IS ACCURATE.
I seriously need to replay the original Assassin’s Creed. I stand by my assertion that Altair is actually infinitely cooler and more badass than Ezio (and when Alti had his cameo in AC2, I was unable to progress for almost half an hour because I was wibbling at the screen so much. ALTI, MY LOVE).
- Altair is a quiet loner who dresses in monochrome and is a bit of an asshole and can kill you in 1,749 ways with only three dinky weapons.
- Ezio is a poncy ladies man with a bajillion capes and belts and buckles and gadgets sticking out of his fancy clothing and who likes to test out eclectic new inventions to crash parties and pimp out his villa and bed disposable love interests with interesting hair.
It’s quite obvious, really.
Altair is Batman. Ezio is Bruce Wayne.
(Ezio’s father and brothers are DEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!)