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Assassin’s Creed (2007) is a glorified proof of concept.

Content of the article: "Assassin’s Creed (2007) is a glorified proof of concept."

I don't like skipping games. I have never understood how people can just jump into the third game in a series with an overarching story without having played the previous installments. I like giving every game in the series a chance, even the ones fans recommend skipping. This is why I never played the Assassin's Creed series until now; I wanted to play them in sequential order, but I knew the first one wasn't going to be a great experience.

Well I finally played and finished the original Assassin's Creed, and it was just like people say, repetitve as hell. I can see why the game was so impressive at the time, the game still looks surprisingly well for a 13 year old game. This is the kind of game that if I had played as a kid, I'd have spent hours just running around, doing parkour and killing random guards. Now though, it's just a frustrating experience.

First, the controls haven't aged all that well. They were a bit difficult to get used to, but eventually I did. Even then, they weren't as precise as I'd have liked them to. Countless times I tried to jump to a ledge above me just to have Altair wall jump to his death. Couple this with the fact that guards will want to kill you for simply looking at them the wrong way and it makes traversing the city not fun at all. Combat was boring, you could literally beat every single fight with counter and it made every encounter tedious.

The game could have greatly benefited from having all the fluff removed. The game is at its best when you're doing what the title implies, assassinating people. And don't get me wrong, I understand that preparation is important in an assassination. Hitman is one of my absolute favorite series ever and half the fun is gathering info and coming up with a plan to kill your target. It's just that the way the game goes about it is so repetitive. Sit on a bench, listen to a converstaion; punch a guy until he speaks; pickpocket some guy; and you do it over and over and over again in a slightly different location. It slows down eveything to a crawl and it doesn't help that the map feels so empty. There's three cities in this game but they all feel very samey with a different filter. They're all so dead too, all there is to do is collect random flags that serve no purpose and save civillians 12 fucking times for each district. This is the definition of busy work, it's all just fluff and no substance at all.

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I often found myself just rushing through everything to get to the next assassination because they actually moved the story somewhat. Thank goodness you could skip most of the travel between cities or I'd have lost it. It was cheesy how every person you kill gives you a philosophical speech about they motivation, and seem extremely chill about you killing them, but at least that was entertaining. Speaking of, the story and setting were the best part about the game. The story itself wasn't anything great, but everything that surrounds it is really interesting. The time period for once, is not one many triple A games seem to explore. I wanted to know more about the templars and the assassins, how they influence history and their goals. The way it rewrites biblical history, the crusades, the supernatural elements, and the creed were fascinating. The modern day story was not necessary but I really like the whole conspiracy feel it gives to the story and it got me excited about what's to come.

The characters were alright. Altair itself is a character we've seen a done to death; arrogant and reckless guy who learns to be humble and kind and all that jazz. Al Mualim was a predictable villain. The rest of characters were just there, with the exceptiong of Lucy, Vidic and Desmond who I thought were alright but nothing special. My favorite character ended up being Malik just because of his little, if somewhat sudden, arc; I liked him since I entered the bureau and he wasn't inmediately praising Altair.

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By the way, shout out to Jasper Kyd who as always did a great job with the soundtrack.

In the end, Assassin's Creed 1, like many first games in a series, seemed to be just Ubisoft testing the waters before going all in. In a way it needed to exist in order to launch the entire series, and it's where a lot of what made the series so succesful started, but it's definitely not a great experience nowadays.

Of course I'm planning on playing the rest of the series and as a matter of fact I'm currently halfway through Assassin's Creed 2. I've actually seen that a lot of people in this sub seem to think it's overhyped and not that good, but so far I've been enjoying it a lot more. Maybe it's just because I'm playing it right after 1, but it's an improvement in pretty much every way. More on that when I'm done.


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