The Assassins Creed series of video games is one of the most critically acclaimed series of this generation. The series combines stealth gameplay with exploration and free-running elements and boasts an innovative combat system. Upon release, the first game was incredibly well received and praised for its unique combat and interesting approach to gameplay, rewarding patience and stealth over the more common run-and-gun tactics of other games. The story, which alternates between modern times and the days of the Third Crusade, was also praised.
Walk Softly and Without a Big Gun
Assassin’s Creed II greatly improved on the ideas and controls of the original game and today the first game feels dated, especially if you are familiar with the more recent titles. The first two games place a lot of emphasis on, well, being an assassin. You have to move around cities and remain undetected, either by sneaking around on rooftops, or walking slowly and attempting to blend into crowds. If you get seen by city guards, you have two choices, run, or fight. If you fight, there is a good chance you will draw attention to yourself and end up in a long, drawn out battle that will escalate to the historical equivalent of “Call in the chopper!” in Grand Theft Auto. In Assassin’s Creed II, these fights can be a lot of fun, but the controls in the first game mean that the fights start to feel repetitive fairly quickly, so it pays to get good at remaining undetected.
Assassins Creed is a fairly long game, at least by modern action game standards. You can get through the main story in about 15 hours, but if you want to collect all of the flags, which requires a lot of exploration and some skill at platform-style games, kill all the guards and do all the side quests, you can expect the game to take up 35 hours or more of your time. That’s close to RPG territory in terms of content and definitely good value for money when you consider how inexpensive the title can be when it’s on special offer. If you haven’t played any of the games in the series, now is a great time to dive in. The first couple of Assassins Creed titles are available at heavily discounted prices and you should have time to complete them before the new Assassins Creed PC game comes out. Even if you played the early games on consoles, it’s worth checking them out on the PC. Assassins Creed looks absolutely gorgeous when downsampled and if you’re lucky enough to have NVidia 3D vision, the helix mod turns it into an amazing experience, especially during the sections in the Animus.
John Nicholls is a games journalist and web designer from Edinburgh. He is an avid MMO gamer and expects that his guild will not be impressed when he vanishes to play the new Assassins Creed PC game. When he is not gaming, he enjoys Karate and Taekwondo.