Assassin’s Creed boasts a lot of cool things. It has amazing graphics, a fun concept, a unique setting, and a great parkour-like method of moving about. However, it also boasts a lot of bullshit. While it manages to do a lot of stuff right, it also manages to do a lot of other stuff wrong.
1. “Please sir, have any money?” – I am seriously sick of these fucking beggars telling me how they are “poor and sick and hungry.” In real life bums just sprawl across the sidewalk and groan out for some spare change. They don’t chase you down like they do in Assassin’s Creed. Seriously, what the fuck? Have the game designers ever interacted with a beggar in their entire lives? Apparently not. It goes to ridiculous levels when they start blocking your path. Once, after assassinating one of the main targets, I was on the run from about a million guards, and simultaneously I was being chased by two beggars, flanking my right and left sides. Those beggars have some serious cajones to be chasing after you for money when a cadre of bloodthirsty guards are out for your blood.
2. Save the Citizens again… and again… – Assassin’s Creed must have been developed by a bunch of autistic people, because never before have I come across a game so repetitive and tedious. How many times can you save the citizens of each district before it gets old? I think when I returned to Damascus for the first time, I was getting really sick of this crap. And it just goes on and on and on. It was interesting the first few times, but it quickly became idiotic. If you are an elite assassin, you aren’t going to go around picking fights with the city’s guards in broad daylight. It would draw way too much attention to yourself, and make it impossible to assassinate anybody. (By the way, wasn’t “Be Discreet” the second part of the Assassin’s Creed?) This repetition does nothing more than pad the length of the game, which is just lazy on the part of the game designers. Everything seems to be repeated ad nauseam from climbing lookout towers to collecting flags for information. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Collecting Shit – What I thought was a huge problem in Ass Effect, is taken to a whole new level of absurdity in this piece of shit game. This falls under the typical bullshit of, “Before I can give you this item that will save all life in the universe, first you have to do me a favor.” In order to gather information about your main targets, you need to do favors for your fellow assassins. Apparently they are too inept to do anything on their own. So before they can help you out you need to… wait for it… collect flags… under a time limit. What. The. Fuck? The worst part is if you don’t get all of the flags within the time restriction, they all reset. Who the fuck put all the flags back? Why do these assassins collect flags in the first place? I thought menial tasks like this went out of favor after the Super Nintendo era. Even more frustrating are the timed assassination missions where you have to kill anywhere from 3-5 guys in three minutes and never be seen. If you are noticed, everyone comes back to life and you have to do it all over again. Sure, that makes sense. Plus, who gives a fuck if you are seen doing it? Throughout the rest of the game you are constantly fighting in broad daylight and drawing attention to yourself after assassinating your targets, and it’s ok. But here it isn’t. It’s bullshit. Inconsistency pisses me off.
4. Can You Stop Talking and Just Die Already? – After you stab your main targets in the neck with a sword, they lay down and talk to you for a good five minutes or so. How fortunate that each one is able to stay alive just long enough to give you important information like a James Bond villain. This is the best way the game designers thought to advance the storyline. And how exactly are you supposed to talk for five minutes with a dying man with a gazillion guards swarming around you? This takes you right out of the action, lets you snooze for a few minutes while the lame story gets told to you, and then eventually you get to play again. It is really annoying. Worse still are the scenes in the present day where, as Desmond, you have to talk to this asshole scientist for seemingly hours on end about cryptic bullshit. Realistically, the present day scenes are probably five minutes in length, but they are so boring they feel like an eternity. There must have been a more exciting way to advance the story. At the very least they could have had something other than two people standing, motionless, talking at one another. Almost immediately I found myself rapidly switching camera angles, and twirling around the control stick to make the character do an epileptic dance.
5. Word Travels Fast – If you are riding on your horse through the countryside, you are always under suspicion from guards. Suddenly, someone yells out, “Assassin!” and the chase is on. They chase you from town to town, with the alert meter constantly flashing. Word really travels fast. How do the guards in one tiny outpost know that some guards on the other side of the kingdom saw an assassin? Did they fucking blog or tweet it? Seriously. It’s annoying shit. The same holds true for when you assassinate someone in the cities. Every single guards knows instantly who you are and what you did, like they sent out a telepathic A.P.B. Thankfully, these omniscient motherfuckers can be foiled when you find a bench to sit down on and seemlessly (actually, you stick out like a sore thumb, but they don’t notice you) blend into the crowd.
6. No Stealth – In a game where you play as an assassin, you would expect a certain amount of stealth to be involved in your killings. Well, it is there when you want to take out low level bad guys. However, when it comes time to eliminate your main targets, you are almost always forced into a straight up fight. After that you spend the next ten minutes or so trying to run away from 50 billion guards. There have been some great stealth games in the past like the Hitman series, Splinter Cell series, Thief, and Metal Gear Solid 3. The reason those games were great was that they allowed you to take down targets in a stealthy manner and escape undetected. In Assassin’s Creed, however, you make your presence well known to everyone when you publicly kill everyone in sight. It seems like the game designers completely missed the point of how assassins are supposed to operate. I seriously doubt any assassin would try to try to force a one on one duel in a public place with his adversary. Which brings me to my last point…
7. What is This, Warrior’s Creed? – I would think that an assassin would try to be as non-confrontational as possible. They would slip in, kill their target in the easiest (and least noticeable way) possible, and then slip out. But oh no, not in Assassin’s Creed! Instead, you typically take on five, ten, fifteen guards simultaneously with your broadsword. You seriously put Conan the Barbarian to shame with the number of guys you slaughter with sheer brute strength. In the penultimate mission you walk right into King Richard’s camp, mow down 25 of his men, then kill 9 Templars, and finally his right-hand man. All in a day’s work for a warrior, err, I mean assassin. Again, the game designers seem to have no concept of how an assassin would logically operate in the real world. Either that, or they are just too lazy and stupid to think of ways to make the gameplay more varied.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed was a diversion that took up a lot of my time. It wasn’t particularly great, but it wasn’t particularly terrible either. It was good enough to hold my attention to the end. Yet it had a lot of annoying shit that constantly pissed me off. As far as the stealth genre goes, this game should fall somewhere near the bottom. There are a lot of other games that do the same thing it does, only much better.