The GoodAssassins Creed when announced and showcased back in 2007-2008 had quite a negative buzz mainly because Ubisoft seemed to be focusing or using producer Jade Raymond a lot to promote it. They thought her girl next door looks would convince the basement dwelling gamers to come out of their home and buy it.
Honestly throw all that away as this game is the mastermind of Patrice Désilets and a team ranging more than a hundred. The game bares very little resemblance to Prince of Persia; mixing platforming, action adventure and stealth within an open ended world. The world is very well detailed and the best part is you could climb almost any structure. The storyline is rather interesting at first with a rather well thought off concept. You play a local bartender name Desmond who is abducted by a facility (can't remember the name). They require you to place yourself in a machine known as the Animus. This machine can read memories of your ancestors which are stored in your DNA. Desmond is obvious to the fact that he is a decedent of a long range of Assassins. The game is centered around this facility but most of it within the Animus where you're playing a memory of an ancestor named “Altair”. Altair is an assassin belonging to a creed, it's set in the middle east during the 3rd Crusade. The storyline involve a whole war between the Templars and the Assassins. The musical score is perfect and voice acting ranges from average to good.
The game is visually stunning in most aspects. The world is very well detailed. But it's other visual elements that make this game a strong runner. Altair's animations are godlike, from his walk cycle, jumping, landing, fighting to the gentle swaying of his robe. Camera cuts during a counter attack in a fight scene is a welcome feature.
The platforming part of this game is the strongest aspect. It's really well done no real bugs found in it. You can flawlessly scale a wall to it's highest point and Altair actually looks for and grabs the next climbable object. It just feels and looks realistic. Speaking of feel, your presence is felt in the game. As you walk towards people Altair sways and gently pushes them away giving him that Assassin attitude that was needed. If you're running you can loose control if you collide with a pedestrian. You attract peoples attention if your climbing a wall or even sprinting.
One may feel the game can be unrealistic at times. For example you're being chased by guards and you can sit between 2 people or hide in roof hut to get them of your back. In the real world a city guard would certainly snoop in the most obvious places, here they just start walking away. But honestly, this makes the game less frustrating and more enjoyable. Don't think you can escape guards by climbing a wall because they can do the same, they even jump from rooftop to rooftop.
The fighting system is also quite reasonable and to an extent enjoyable; this is debatable as some may find it too simple, I just felt that it works. No need to remember any combos or anything, simple clicking and right clicking. The enemy also attacks you one at a time, making it less frustrating when you're really outnumbered.
There are some jaw dropping moments too like the first time i climbed a view point and performed a leap of faith. It's something you have to see!
The BadSadly while the gameplay is near perfection, the games actual execution is the downfall. Even the developers realized this and tried to fix it in the PC version. Assassin's Creed is like a musical album with the same song repeated 10 times.
Excluding the start and the ending part of the game, the entire thing is one basic formula. You get a briefing from the Leader of the Creed you take a horse and ride for like 10 freaking minutes till you reach the city you're supposed to be in. You go talk to the Assassin Bureau leader in the city, he tells you to investigate. You go investigate by completing 2/6 and later 3/6 small missions which are either pickpocketing, interrogating or eavesdropping on someone. The PC version has a new mission type known as Informers challenge which consists of 4 different challenges all of them really shallow and only adds little diversity. After your investigation is done you return to the Bureau Leader and he gives you the green light to assassinate your target. After that you need to ride all the way back to the Main base which takes like 10 minutes. Luckily after the first memory block (chapter) the PC version allows you to fast forward to your destination. I hear this isn't in the console versions and I can share their reason to be frustrated, I couldn't imaging doing the whole traveling thing again and again. You've also got Save citizen where you need to take out the guards harassing a citizen in return you'll be rewarded with a group of vigilante can block guards while they're pursuing you or a group of Scholars, which you can blend in with to get into restricted areas.
The ending parts of the game can really be disappointing. Especially the whole Bit's of Eden or whatever it was called. Not to mention the terrible fighting that has to be done in the end. You feel like a one man warrior instead of an Assassin by then. After you get past all of it, the game has a very strange ending..if you can call it that. The game's story-telling is another problem. You can move Altair while a cut-scene is going on, then a glitch flashes on screen which on mouse click will show it in a more cinematic form. This is indeed very distracting and annoying. Speaking of glitches the the hud is very distracting especially when an enemy spots you and your screen flashes and blinds you instead of notifying you. It happens even when you pick up those useless flags, which is like hidden briefcases in Rainbow 6 console version.
The Bottom LineAssassin's Creed really innovates in many ways and perfects in some but overall it falls short of perfecting an entire game experience. And it's sad because this game could have been Legendary. Nevertheless worth playing at least once.