Product Type: Ubisoft PC games
Newest Review: ... it isn't necessary to plan your hits in the way it suggests on the back of the box. The skill which Assassins' creed tests (or intends to ... more
No time for petty sword fights, theres talking to be done!
Assassin's Creed (PC)
Member Name: stokx
Assassin's Creed (PC)
As a medieval assassin you travel from city to city investigating a complex plot by eavesdropping on conversations and pick pocketing documents before ultimately finding your local target and dispatching them.
There are two main elements to game play: free running and fighting.
Free running is the art of getting from A to B via the most direct route; over roof tops. The environment makes this more engaging as cities have a complex and realistic design but there isn't a great deal of skill involved, if you just hold down all the action buttons and point forward you generally get though.
Fighting is done with any one of four weapons including your assassins' blade and your limited supply of throwing knives. Again fighting is quite easy, from early on you can take on more than five armoured guards at a time and still be confident of success and this takes away from the strategy because it isn't necessary to plan your hits in the way it suggests on the back of the box.
The skill which Assassins' creed tests (or intends to test) is coordination, fighting especially is all about pressing multiple buttons at the opportune time.
There are lots of good things about the game; there is a huge amount of freedom in where you go and what fights you pick and everything is very realistic from the sprawling cities with diverse populations of interactive characters to the choreography of the sword fighting.
Unfortunately the game has one significant draw back which manifests itself in every element of the experience.
Assassins' creed is unrelentingly slow, not just in its performance (I am playing on a brand new PC and it still struggles sometimes) but also there is a purposeful, in built slowness in everything you do.
There is a ridiculous amount of dialogue which you can't skip over, you might spend literally twenty minutes listening to some old man putting your task in a context which frankly I don't care about, your reward for this patients is to be allowed to fulfil some arbitrary task like walking over to a bed and pressing any key to lie down and then there is another ten minutes of chit chat. Adding a skip button would automatically add another star from me.
I frequently go away to make a drink and come back to it still in video mode telling me something which will be summed up in two lines of text on the objectives screen anyway.
What is really annoying is when you load the game up again only to find yourself stuck behind a wall of speeches that you've already slept though once.
The plot is horribly convoluted with a crisis crossing story about some bloke in a lab who talks to a doctor and then goes into a machine and then talks some more to a king. The amount of memory this unnecessary double life takes up must be jaw dropping and all you get for it is hours of boredom.
The menu system is also needlessly slow and complicated, ending or reloading a game involves clicking though about five different screens. A prime example of this stupid system is the in game fighting tutorials where you are told simply to press escape to leave but really you have to press escape, select exit tutorial, select that you are sure you want to exit the tutorial and then wait for it to load again.
Probably the worst impact of this cult of slow is the journeying from one city to another. Moving about inside a city is fun because there is beautiful, scalable archetecture and plenty of guards to molest, but riding from one city to another is a hopelessly inane task. There is a long, empty road which has occasional bends to stop you from just taping down the forward button.
In conclusion there is some fun sword fighting and some great environments but this cannot justify the sheer, unrelenting tedium of the intermediate stages.
Summary: They could have made it twice as fun by spending half as much time and effort.