Welcome to a new series where I rank all of the Assassin's Creed console games. I have ranked game franchises before, but this time I am taking a different structure to the ranking. Before, I would play all of the games and rank them at the end on a single blog. This time, I am going to write a blog for each game I play, and rank them on a list over time. Their are a lot of games to tackle in this franchise, so this list is going to take a good amount of time to complete. The list where you will find the ranking can be found here. Also, each game in the list will have a link to the blog, so if you want to read any of the others they can all be found there. Finally, I will be playing all of the games on PC. Now, let's get into the game.
My experience with the AC game before I started this was very limited. Still, I had a general idea of what the game was. That expectation was broken with this first game. My guess is that I thought the games took up a Far Cry style of world, but this game preceded that mold. I also found this game to be surprisingly bold considering this is the first in the series. But let me back up a bit.
The first AC game sets the stage for all of the other games and what they are generally about. You play as Desmond Miles, an average Joe kind of guy who has been abducted by a strange corporation known as Abstergo and is forced to use a machine known as the Animus, which allows the control of an ancestor in the past through their genetic history. From there, the game turns into a third-person action stealth game. This game has Desmond playing as his ancestor Altair during the Third Crusade. Instead of being a part of the main rival factions of the Third Crusade, he is instead part of a fictional society known as the Assassins who have been fighting against a fictional society known as the Templars on how the World should achieve peace. They are fighting over an item called the 'piece of eden,' which allows the user to control the minds of others.
The only AC game I have played is 3, so I used that game as a reference to everything: controls, gameplay, world, etc. Needless to say, I was shocked to see how different the game was. The open world and activities you do in it are different, the plot felt different, the combat and the controls felt different: everything felt different. And overall, I actually liked the differences.
I don't know how complex and convoluted the plot gets over time, but as it stands I like the simplicity of the story. I have always known the Assassins to be a small society that was secretive, so to see that at this time, the Asssassins was a large group with their own town and castle was also cool to see. The plot takes twists that I was not half expecting, and I overall enjoyed the plot played at both the past and future times. The one big complaint I have with the game is how dumb the ending is. Spoilers ahead if you care, but ending with you looking at funny symbols with no clue on what they mean is a bad way to leave on a cliffhanger. Overall, I enjoyed the story more than I thought I would, and it actually helped clear up everything about the story a little bit for me.
To stay on the positive before I get to the negative, I was surprised to see how big the game was. I was just expecting one small-ish map, so to see that the game has a bunch of maps was different. Also, smaller things like interactions with others surprised me because I totally thought that level of detail wouldn't be in this game.I remember the first time I helped someone in need. That person allowed me to walk with the scholars who allowed me to enter the area without fighting the guards. Interactions like that was neat to see. But not all of the interaction was good, which I will get to in a bit. I was impressed with its scope considering it's the first game in the franchise. But not everything in the game was positive for me.
My first few hours with the game was surprisingly positive. The world had a lot to do, the level of detail was surprising me, and the structure of the story was nice. But as my time grew longer into the game, issues started to pop up more and more. Let's start with the big one: controls. I was going to start with combat, but I think that movement overall was bad. The controls felt clunky and mechanical in a way that made combat and parkour difficult. How the controls work is that their are two main sets of action: calm and action. You are automatically in calm mode, and you hold right mouse to be in action.Each set has four different body parts controlled by a button. For example, the legs are controlled by space bar, and in calm mode you blend in while in action mode you hold it down to free run. This control scheme felt really clunky and I hope they don't continue with this. But these clunky controls also made other aspects of the game bad. Parkour felt pretty bad in this game, but was manageable. But its the combat that takes a big hit. To sum up combat: it mostly involved me wacking my sword at enemy until he drops his guard and I kill him, or I do a move that instantly kill an enemy if I press a button at the right time while he is swinging at me. The controls feel clunky for combat as well, but that didn't stop it from being too easy for the most part. And if it got too difficult, I could just run laps around enemies and let my health regenerate. Overall, the controls sucked and it affected everything around it.
I was surprised to see human interaction in the game, but looking back I think a lot of it was bad. The big one that sucked was enemies detecting you. At random times, you will become a threat, and that would usually follow with the guards chasing you. This constantly happened, and it got really annoying. And this would be okay if it wasn't for the fact that running away was also difficult because guards are everywhere. So, it mostly ended with me killing guys until I can walk away. Their are hiding points throughout the map, but since their are so many guards around, I can't usually use them. But other interaction issues also came up as well. You actually have to hold a button to walk through crowds without disturbing them, crazy people litter the street with the sole intention of shoving you, beggars roam everywhere following you around, and all of this and more made me eventually just stick to the rooftops.
A lot of people have been complaining about climbing towers in Ubisoft games, but their has been no game like this for climbing towers. I have seen more towers in this game than all Far Cry games combined, and then some. But its not the towers I have an issue with, but the overall lack of variety in gameplay. Their is a lot to do no doubt: each map has a lot of flag collectibles to pick up, towers to climb, citizens to save, templars to kill, and missions to do; but all of it feels like groundhog's day. Every new assassination unlocks a new part of the map where you do it all over and over again. Fortunately, each person I assassinate are interesting and worth going through the hurdles to learn more about, but the loop is hard to live with the further you get into the game.
I wrote a lot of negativity on the game, but I had a good time with the game overall. I am being overly-critical on the game because I want to see these flaws fixed in the future games. I can't wait to jump into the second game and continue Desmond's story and see how the game has improved. I am going to predict this game is going to be lower on my list, but we'll see. Thank you for reading, and tune in for part two whenever it happens.