Pubblicata: 22 maggio
Mechanics learnt gradually.
Good mixture of stealth and combat.
Good combat mechanics.
Un-skippable long cut-scenes.
Music is short and only plays at certain times, leaving long periods with only abidance sounds.
Assassin's Creed has two main stories: That of the present with bartender Desmond Miles who has been captured by a large pharmaceutical company called Abstergo and forced to re-live the genetic memories of his ancestor Altair, and that of Altair himself, who is an Assassin in 1192, during the Third Crusade, sent on a mission to kill nine men who bring war apon the land.
Desmond is told that Abstergo seeks information from him, and that a machine which can make him relive the memories of Altair will help uncover than information. While in the past, Altair makes a series of deadly mistakes which harms the Assassin Brotherhood. He is demoted by his master and sent on a mission to kill nine men. Some of them Crusaders, some of the Saracens. But all are working together for an odd purpose under the leadership of the French Crusader, Robert de Sabre. With each kill, a rank, equipment and abilities are returned to Altair and he will learn more about why these nine men work together.
Assassin's Creed largely takes place in the Holy Land of 1192 in five locations: The mountain fort and village of Masyf which is home of the Assassins, The Saracen-controlled cities of Damascus and Jerusalem, the Crusader-controlled city of Arce, and the Kingdom, which represents the lands in-between all four cites.
In Damascus, Jerusalem and Arce, three each of these men wait. Altair must travel to them and preform investigations to uncover his target's location and use the information to decide how to approach and kill each target.
In order to find a target, Altair must preform a series of Investigations. These take several forms: Eavesdropping on conversations to learn information, pickpocketing letters which explain more about his target's purpose and helping fellow Assassin's by assassinating other targets amongst others.
While playing as Altair, you spend your time in one of two states: Low Profile and High Profile, which are changed by pressing a button. In Low Profile, Altair preforms socially acceptable but slower actions, allowing him to navigate his way without drawing attention, such as following a target or remaining hidden. In High Profile, Altair preforms aggressive and socially unacceptable actions, allowing him to run or enter combat. Knowing the right time to use Low or High Profile is key.
The Blend mechanic allows Altair to blend crowds to help me remain hidden. This can be done either alone, or within groups of roaming monks to help him access places guarded. If guards are chasing him, he can attempt to blend within crowds, benches or haystacks to lose their sight of him and return to being hidden.
Almost every building or surface is climbable, allowing free running and parkour to get you to locations and out of trouble, from leaping from beam-to-mean, to climbing up a tall spire. If it sticks out, you can grab onto it. This also allows you to see the city surroundings.
Once investigations have been completed, Altair can then attempt to assassinate his target, which can often be done in multiple ways. The environment allows for multiple approaches to a target, and mission replayability means a player can play the mission again and try to assassinate a target in a diffrent style.
Each time a target is killed, Altair and the target engage in conversation, and each target always defends their actions, believing they are doing good and leaves Altair wondering if they really are deserving of death.
Altair has access to five weapons: A sword, dagger, hidden blade, throwing knives and his fists. The sword is a slow but powerful weapon, the dagger is faster than the sword, but deals less damage. The hidden blade is a one-hit, one-kill weapon, but only to character who are unaware of Altair. The fists are used for beat-up missions, where Altair attempts to get information from un-cooperative people.
Combat is preformed in the both Low and High Profile states, and which state you are in determines the actions taken. For example: Wielding a sword in Low Profile and pressing Action allows Altair to attack, built pressing Action in High Profile allows Altair to counter an attack in-stead.
Altair can also grab people to throw them off ledges to their deaths, or just down on the ground so they are out of combat for a few seconds. However, the enemies also have access to the same abilities Altair has. Enemies are split into three categories: Solders, Elites and Commanders: Solders are weak but often come in larger numbers. They take only a few hits to die and die to one counter-attack. Elites deal more damage, have more health, can grab and throw Altair, and take two counter-attacks to die. Commanders have even more damage and health than Elites, can break Altair's defence to leave him exposed to an attack, can counter-attack themselves and die to three counter-attacks. The can easily be identified by their uniform. Diffrent combat stratus are needed to fight depending on who you are facing.
Music is good, but sparse. Every time Altair enters a new location, a certain music track will play, but it is short, acting more like an announcing theme than actual music, and won't play again for some time. There is also a track for Altair being chased and Altair in combat, depending on what city he is in. While outside of combat, music is replaced by ambience.
There are alot of collectables: Each location has one hundred flags to collect (with the exception of Masyf, which has twenty) as well as sixty Templars to assassinate spread over the Holy Land and View Points to Synchronise. All locations can be revisited after the first time there.
Overall, a great game. Well-written story but the cut-scenes are long and un-skippable, so any replays means you have to watch them all the time. Missions can be replayed to assassinate a target how they want and in a diffrent style each time, but investigations often lack variety. Hunting collectables can be fun, but also irritating without a guide after so many have been found.