Alright, so I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed for some time now. I know it came out a while ago, but I only recently got the game. Also, with ‘Assassin’s Creed 2’ on the way, it renewed my interest in playing the first one. I had heard mixed things about the game, but quite frankly I wanted to try it myself (and I had heard more good than bad).
So, I’m about 20 hours into the game with no end in sight, and I started to wonder why I was putting myself through this. Now, if a game is good, that thought shouldn’t really enter your mind. For example, one of my favorite games is Donkey Kong Country for the SNES. I remember playing that game for HOURS on end (I still pick it up and play it every now and again. J) I never asked myself, “Why am I putting myself through this?” In fact, I didn’t want the experience to end.
Now, with ‘Assassin’s Creed’, there are so many things wrong with it that I don’t know where to begin. *sigh* Oh well, I’ll just start from the beginning.
- TOO MANY THINGS GOING ON; NOT ENOUGH EXPLANATION -
At the beginning of the game, there’s a tutorial
of sorts, but (at least to me) it didn’t really catch you up to speed with the universe the game is in. There’s A LOT of stuff the game is trying to do, and the system by which the game works is so complex that I would have liked a little village or town to play in before I was dropped into the huge, expansive world that is Assassin’s Creed.
For example, there are ‘Templars’ in the game that are trained ‘Assassin Killers’ that attack you on sight.
(Normal guards leave you alone unless you bump into them or aggravate them.) There are VERY difficult and every time I’ve run into one, I’ve died. The only way to kill them is not in a head-on fight, but a stealth assassination. However, these Templars are not marked in the game (or discussed at the beginning at all). If I could check my map for them and plan a way to take them out one by one before they see me, I’d be all for that. However, the only way to see where they are in the game is to stumble across them, by which time they’ve spotted me and I’m running for my life. This gets old after a while and I got in the habit of slowly peeking around every corner before I explored a new part of the game. Which takes me to my second point…
- DOES NOT REWARD EXPLORATION; IN FACT DISCOURAGES IT -
One of the things that I love about a game like
Donkey Kong Country (or Spyro; Ohh! I love that game too. ^_^) is the fact that you are rewarded for exploration. Instead of going in a straight line to a destination, you could say, “Hmm. I’ll go down this path and see what’s over here… Oh, wow! A box of treasure! (or extra health or something to that effect). It was literally FUN to just explore the world and see what you would find (that was “off the map”). In this game, however, all that awaits you “off the map” is death. Like the Templars for example. After a while I DIDN’T WANT to explore the game less I run into a Templar that kills me on sight. Why should the developers make such a big and pretty world (and it’s freakin’ HUGE; going from town to town felt like I was pl
aying an MMORPG) if they didn’t want me to explore it? If I start running in a city, the guards might become suspicious and attack. So, although I have the ability to run, I have to walk ON PURPOSE. It’s like they’re trying everything in their power to make the game NOT fun.
-DOES NOT REWARD PLANNING AHEAD-
So, having lost interest in the actual goals of
the game because they’re pointless and not fun, I started my own missions. One of these missions was “Take out all the guards”. This is the most fun I had in the game… and it’s not even an objective. While the city streets were filled with people, the rooftops were empty except for guards scattered in certain spots throughout it. It was great fun to systematically go after the guards, looking for a blind spot, hiding in the darkness and then jumping out and killing them one after the other. THIS is what the majority of the game should have been. There are also throwing knives that you can take guards out with (in case you can’t get too close enough for a stealth assassination). “Oh!” I said. “I’ll take out all the guards in this area, so when I come back I’ll have a clear path on the roof. Yes!” So, I did just that. I took like an hour to “clear a path” on the rooftops for myself. I even blew my cover a few times and had to fight them off man-to-man. I didn’t care. It was fun and I felt I was making great progress. Imagine my horror when I left that part of the city, saved, and came back… only to see all of the guards that I had taken out back at their positions. This. Is. Not. Cool. I had actually FOUND a fun thing to do in this mess of a game… and it took that away from me.
What’s the point of killing guards if they come right back? W
hat’s the point of saving citizens that are yelling “Save me!” if I have to blow my cover and afterwards have to fight for my life EVERY SINGLE TIME. After a while, I just stopped caring.
-TAKES ITSELF TOO SERIOUSLY-
Good grief…I’m an assassin. I know. You don’t have to remind me by making it so (seemingly) everyone in the game hates me. In actuality, this is probably very close to what it was like being an assassin. If that’s so… being an assassin SUCKS. I mean, a game centered on the fact that you kill people for an organization that believes in the “the greater good” is heavy enough. I need some humor/wit to keep me interested. ‘Metal Gear Solid’ for example, had very intense and serious moments. It also has blatant fan service (boobies!) and silly stuff like hiding in a cardboard box. The levity balances out the violence to make an experience that’s actually enjoyable. Quentin Tarantino does this quite well in his movies. Brutal violence alone is horrible, and no one is going to sit through it just to be “entertained” (at least I’m not). There’s’ virtually no wit in this game, and that’s just inexcusable.
-COLLECTIBLES ARE NOT FUN TO GET-
In a game like Fable (which I loved) I went out of my way to get everything that I could get in that game. It was a joy to hunt down things and add them to a collection. J All there is to collect in this game is flags. Just…flags. You can’t even do anything with the flags (like sell them or trade them for better weapons). This is stupid. There’s no reason for me to hunt these things down, especially in a world that I don’t like exploring.
-THE MAIN KILLS OF THE GAME ARE NOT FUN-
After you work through several smaller missions,
you unlock the “main assassination” for that particular city. These are generally huge events (and if I could plan ahead and do things like take out guards to make my mission easier, I’d be all for that). However, what the game does is drop you in a place FILLED TO THE BRIM with guards, so a stealth kill (an unnoticed kill) is virtually impossible. So, for the last few assassinations, I’ve had to kill the guy and then run for my life. Running for your life SUCKS. First of all, the controls seem to get like ten times worse in a high stress situation. I’m pressing up (for him to climb up a wall) but instead he jumps backwards into the crowd of angry guards. Huh? Also, trying to find a hiding spot is barely possible. The guards spot you all the time. Since this situation is VERY STRESSFUL and UNFUN, there should be an option if the assassination did not go as planned. If you didn’t perform a stealth kill, the game SHOULD give you two options like “Try again” (in which you’d go back to you last checkpoint and restart the mission) or “Try to escape” (if you want to feel the adrenaline rush of running for your life and hiding, which can sometimes take as long as 20 minutes to find “safe spot”. (Very stressful and not fun at all to me). As it is, I HAVE to run for my life after a kill… which makes me dread a kill, not look forward to it. Where’s the fun in that?
I really wanted to like this game. I kept on playing after the initial badness just to see what else the game had. I also wanted to add it to the list of games that I had beaten. In the end though, it’s thorough lack of fun and seemingly endless, uninteresting story got the better of me. I do not plan to finish this game. In fact, I do not plan to play it ever again.
Final Verdict: D- (unfinished)
Well, what do YOU think? Have you played it? Let me know! ^_^
That’s all for now. Much love! *hug*