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Assassin's Creed

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
13 November 2007
Assassin's Creed - cover art
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2.70 / 5.0
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1,470 Ratings / 11 Reviews
#3,056 All-time
#120 for 2007
A man enters a machine called the Animus that lets him relive the memories of his ancestor, a 12th century assassin named Altair.
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Title
Looks absolutely beautiful. Plays like shit.

Okay, that's a little on the unfair side; the controls are fluid and fairly intuitive, unlike a few other early PlayStation 3 games that really do play like shit. But Assassin's Creed felt utterly pointless and soulless to me - sure, it's great that you can scale a building and have a look around at the city (if you're going to play this, make sure you play it in HD just for that), and you can run past and kill a few innocents for shits and giggles, but why? Why play as a character when I don't really know who he is and haven't been given a reason to care less either way? Why go after the enemies when they have the exact same problem? Why get emotionally involved in a storyline when it feels like a toddler trying to get to grasps with the conspiracy theories in Deus Ex? Why even move forward at all in the game, doing the same things over and over again like a drone, when it's actually more fun to run around doing nothing, and that's not particularly fun either?

I have been promised by quite a few people that the sequels are vast improvements (for what seems to be a pretty popular game, it's surprising that nobody has ever really argued with me when I've told them I think this game is very poor). In truth, I probably will play them at some point, because you can see glimmers within Assassin's Creed of a good game hiding in there somewhere, waiting to break out; it's really not hard to imagine a sequel being very good, because while the flaws here are numerous, they're also very obvious and, in theory, very easy to fix. As for this, though....well, all I'll say is that I ended up playing this at a time when I'd basically stopped playing console games for a few years (due to money as much as anything), and it made me think it probably wasn't worth ever getting back into it. A ridiculous opinion, of course, but Assassin's Creed briefly made me believe it.
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Iai 2016-04-11T16:13:36Z
2016-04-11T16:13:36Z
1.4
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Revolutionary... for its time
We already know how tedious is to play this nowadays, so its not a topic worth mentioning. Still, I was pretty impressed by how well it has aged in some cases, sometimes even better than its succesors:

— Atmosphere: While it doesn't try as much to be a "virtual museum" like the other AC games, any other detail we could ask about making the setting feel like the Holy Land during the Crusades its already here. Every city its made with so much detail and all of them have a particular architecture or colour palette; I will never forget entering to Acre for the first time, with its more european oriented architecture and muted colors, and feel a sentiment of desolation that hasn't repeated in any other AC game.

— Story and characters: I really like to see Altair going from a pedant warrior to somebody who really knows the true meaning of the phrase "nothing is true; everything is permitted". And the rest of characters help to make feel this journey more organic: the rest of the assassins teaching Altair how a true member of his order should go after an objective; Al Mualim being the moral teacher, while always having an aura of secrecy; villains that, while one-dimensional, always make us questioning the brotherhood creed and see things from a different moral perspective.

— Graphics: I've played Assassin's Creed II and, not only this one makes a better work with its cities, but its smarter about how to hide the fact that some of its animations weren't the best, at least in cinematics. Even when you can start walking dumbly while somebody else is speaking, it never feels really unnatural and the game tries to give it a little cinemacy, even if the camera is still.

— Aesthetic: Can we just talk about how good the Order of Assassins meshes with the Crusades? I really cannot think how anyone would wants to pass unnoticed in the Renaissance or Golden Age of Piracy by using the same clothes as Altair, but in this game it feels very well connected to the Crusades. And it was so iconic they had to reutilize it even when it didn't had much sense apart from its context.

I like this game and I appreciate what it wanted to achieve by its time, but even with all of the great points I mentioned, every part of the gameplay feels frustrant and repetitive. Not the best starter for anyone who tries to get in this saga if you want a fun experience.
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GOLD3N_Y3ARZ 2021-05-09T01:57:00Z
2021-05-09T01:57:00Z
3.0
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Assassin's Creed feels like a tech demo, cynically stretched into a full-length game through shameless, grinding repetition.

It's reasonably nice to look at by 2007 standards, and the traversal and crowds had a gee-whiz factor which wore off pretty quickly even when it was new. The cities are busy and dense but kind of anonymous and soulless. There's just very little to this game, and in padding its length, Ubisoft introduced some of the hideous open-world design "innovations" that are still with us, blighting game maps with a vomit splatter of collectible garbage, which gives this game particularly unpleasant aftertaste. There's a story here, but the writing and characters didn't make me very invested in it.

There's just no good reason to spend ~20 hours playing this anymore beside historical curiosity. AC2 built upon the tech and made a proper game of it, and did everything AC1 does, but much, much better.
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Aged a bit like milk
As many people said, this is in need of a remake, because as it is, it's pretty shit imo.

Gameplay wise that is at least, sure for it's time it was groundbreaking, but it's not 2007 anymore and this game doesn't play very well anymore.

The parkour is way too slow imo and the amount of times Altair just decided to jump off a building when I didn't want him too is stupid. The beggars and the people who just randomly push you are also really annoying and I'd rather not fail a mission because some dipshit just came up to me and pushed me in front of a guard, knocking the guard over and having me have to escape/fight, then wait...then redo the mission and hope that asshole isn't there anymore.

The combat soon turned into just counter attacking because that's the best method even if I found it sorta inconsistent, also if you knock an enemy down it'll be luck whether your character will hit him next or the dude next to him.

It's also very repetitive with every chapter being basically identical, go to the place, climb a few towers, do 3 small missions for intel, go to bureau, talk with him for 2 minutes, then go to where the assassination takes place, wait for 1-3 minutes for the bad guy to do something evil before the game lets you go after em, then try your best to kill them and avoid the rest as much as possible, then run away and report back to bureau, dialogue, then more dialogue with your leader. Repeat 9 times before the admittedly great final mission.

The first time it was fine, 2nd time it was getting sorta stale, by the 9th time it got really boring.

But the story is great, the plot twist is done really well, the last hour of the game is great and Altair is a good character with a good arc and the modern day storyline sets up things nicely for the next few games even if Desmond is the definition of bland.

So it's not all bad which is why my score isn't much lower.

It set a good foundation for the rest of the series but as a game today, it's not fun and hasn't aged very well imo.
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Docky14 2021-06-29T14:43:20Z
2021-06-29T14:43:20Z
2.0
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Desmond Miles is abducted by Abstergo Industries, a research facility who explain that everyone carries genetic memories hidden inside them which are passed on from generation to generation. They are looking for a specific piece of information from an assassin from the year 1191, and Desmond happens to carry this memory.

Using a machine called the Animus, the memories of assassin Altaïr are explored. He is a maverick and is stripped of his rank for disobeying the tenants of the Creed. To restore his honour, he is tasked with the assassination of nine Templar targets.

In some ways, the buttons are mapped to limbs and are modified with the Right-Trigger. The A button controls the feet. By holding A, Altaïr attempts to blend in by adopting a 'scholar' pose and walking slowly. The right-trigger modification allows him to run. X controls the weapon hand, which attacks with the hidden blade, throwing knives or sword. B performs a gentle push which is used to navigate through crowds of people, and the right-trigger modification performs a grab and throw. Y lets you enter vision, or if you've maxed out the synchronisation bar, activates Eagle Vision to highlight friends or foes. The synchronisation bar is Altaïr's health but is also depleted in other ways such as killing innocents.

The environment is an open world, although is fairly linear outside the cities. Inside the cities, you can follow the streets, or climb Prince of Persia-style over the roofs.

Rooftops often serve a better path around town. Any jumps, hops or falls will be done automatically as long as you are pressing right-trigger and A. Just like Prince of Persia, this means this element is more of a spectacle rather than having challenging platforming. There are guards on the rooftops, especially archers. These are often easy to pick off with your throwing daggers, or sneak behind them for an assassination with your hidden blade.

The city floor is filled with hostile guards and several types of civilians, each with varying behaviours. Some civilians carry objects like pots or boxes which you must be careful not to knock from them, otherwise you rouse suspicion. Beggars run in front of you and plead for change who are very annoying. Insane people will attack if you get too close.

Moving quick, causing a lot of noise, or moving too close to the guards will increase your chances of detection (you do look like an Assassin after-all, but are mistaken for a scholar when moving slow). You do have an indicator to warn you if you are being eyed-up. When you are detected, you must run out of sight of the guards, but to return the indicator to normal, you must hide in the designated hiding spots.

The game is visually appealing, with great draw distances when you scale tall buildings, giving you a picturesque view of the city landscapes. The colour palette is quite bright and limited, trying to recreate the aesthetic and feel of the Middle East. The game engine renders large crowds, cities and environments very well. The animation is brilliant, particularly Altaïr's climbing animation as he reaches for every nook and cranny as he scales vertical walls.

The main game involves a repetitive structure which involves travel, research, then assassinate your target. The first thing to do is leave your assassin headquarters in Masyaf, then run all the way out of town which is very tedious. Once you have done that, you jump on a horse and trek for ages till you reach the city of choice. To get into the city, you hide among a crowd of scholars to sneak in. On subsequent returns to the city, a quick travel option does become available.

In each city, you must research some information which you do by completing a couple of quests which come in a few variants. Once you have your information, you can then track your assassination target. This structure is repeated constantly throughout the game.

Initially, your knowledge of the city is limited. By locating vista points and climbing them, you are given a panoramic view of the area nearby, which adds the surrounding area to your map as well as nearby quest locations. Then you can take a dramatic 'leap of faith' into a pile of hay below. There's a bug here which may mean Altaïr just falls to his death rather than the hay, cushioning his fall.

There are different types of quest. In 'Interrogation', you follow your target into a secluded area and punch him till he parts with the information. In 'Pick-pocket', you simply walk behind your target and press a button. In 'Eavesdropping', you sit on a nearby bench and listen to your target talk. There's also some 'Informant challenges' where you have to assassinate targets or collect flags within a set time. Apart from the Informant Challenges, the quests are very basic and it's harder to fail them.

There's also 'Save Citizen' where you need to defeat the surrounding guards. This either gives you Scholars that allow you to sneak into well-guarded areas (this is how you get in the city initially), or Vigilantes, which will grab the guards and prevent them from reaching you. Most of these are entirely optional.

The combat is very straight forward. You have a normal attack, strong attack, throw and block and can counter-attack if you time your attack whilst blocking. Most enemies don't seem to know how to 'block break', so you can constantly block and rely on your counter-attack to defeat them. Since the enemies are passive aggressive, even if you are surrounded by multiple guards, they are easily dispatched since they take turns in attacking. Even if your foes vary aesthetically, there's not much scope of strategy changes. The Templars seemed to block your grabs, forcing you to use counter attacks to defeat them whereas you can grab the basic guards and throw off buildings for an easy kill. Either way, counter-attacking can always be used.

The stealth elements work differently in Assassin's Creed. Instead of hiding in shadows and stealthily executing targets, its more about trying to fit into the busy crowds. You can activate your 'hidden blade' and knife people in the back in a busy street. Getting away with it is about staying clear of guards that have arrived on the crime-scene and will be on the alert for an assassin. You just casually walk away, maybe a brief jog then leap up a building to hide/flee the scene. If guards do see you and give chase, they can also climb buildings or pelt you with rocks to make you fall.

For those that like to collect things, there's a huge amount of flags scattered around each city and some outside too, which gives you a small incentive to explore and climb everything you see.

The “cut-scenes” are lazily done. They are rendered in game, so the characters just stand around and reel off their lines. You have limited control of Altaïr so can slowly move in a restricted area. I think this style loses the impact of the dialogue. In a similar fashion, when you take control of Desmond, he has extremely slow movement speed but you are only really required to move towards a couple of characters or points of interest. Why couldn't these sections just be cut-scenes when there's literally no game-play or freedom of choice?

The problem with Assassin's Creed is that there's not much substance to the game-play. There's a few simple ideas with a large city to explore, but you are doing the same tasks throughout the entire game, and it's not exactly a short game either. Within a couple of hours, you have seen everything the game has to offer, yet have to force yourself to play the rest of the game.
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Growing Pains
Assassin's Creed is an expansive franchise dating over ten years old. Like many AAA franchises, it garners a lot of criticism for being too safe, too simple, or any number of other criticisms. Many of these criticisms are fair, while some may feel a little over-dramatic. The first entry, Assassin's Creed, is certainly a rough start. Just enough groundwork is laid down to make for some interesting concepts and fun moments, but the other half of the game feels very forced and rigid.

As the name would imply, you play an assassin, Altair. Immediately, it's obvious that the main focus of this game is assassinating targets in an increasingly high stakes storyline. As the game takes place during the Crusades in the middle-east, this is done with fairly primitive technology. Throwing knives are about as fancy as it gets. The main innovation in this title, and maybe the most engaging thing about the franchise as a whole, is the parkour/free running mechanic. You can climb just about anything so long as it has a viable handhold. For the most part, free running and climbing is satisfying and enjoyable. You will unfortunately run into several occurrences where Altair does just about the exact opposite of what you wanted him to do, and you wind up blowing your cover or plummeting to your death.

Combat is extremely simple. Generally, all of your time fighting will be spent countering enemy attacks, as most enemies in the latter portion of the game will guard against standard swings. Typical encounters involve a group of enemies forming a circle around Altair, and attacking one at a time, allowing for countering and getting some hits of your own in. It's not exactly immersive, but it carves its own identity. There aren't a lot of extra combat options aside from grabbing enemies, so things can get repetitive rather quickly. Along with this, the heavily pushed stealth mechanics frequently feel like they're pointless, as being caught is generally unpunished outside of an easy combat encounter.

What is here for stealth is pretty innovative, though. Assassin's Creed introduces the concept of 'social stealth'. This is expanded on to greater effect in later entries, but it starts off here with basic concepts like sitting on full benches to blend in, or hiding in hay bales to throw off pursuing foes. Basic social behavior markers around enemies tell you when you're suspicious, so you know when to vanish or start acting socially acceptable. Perhaps the biggest blunder is the incredibly abused 'blend' action, where Altair lowers his head in prayer and walks slowly like a scholar. This does not have to be used while in a group of scholars, and can bring you from suspicious to completely hidden with the tap of a button.

Compounding the rest of the game, is the general gameplay loop, which I refer to affectionately us 'The Ubisoft Approach'. Find a viewpoint, reveal part of the map, finish side missions, then finish the main portion of the game. Along with several entirely optional collectibles scattered around the map. On one hand, this style of gameplay design is easy to digest and admittedly quite addicting. On the other hand, if you're looking for a challenge or something to test your creativity, it doesn't provide much of either. Your enjoyment of Assassin's Creed and the entire franchise as a whole will depend almost entirely on how you feel about The Ubisoft Approach. In later games, it becomes less of an issue, but in this first installment, there's so little to do. As such, the side missions become incredibly repetitive and more like a chore than actual content that you're happy to do.

The assassinations themselves follow suit. They're more like predetermined action sequences than dynamic assassinations. Some of them force you into elongated combat sequences, while others force you to start in a very poor position. There's not a lot of freedom of choice in the matter. Despite these many gameplay pitfalls, Assassin's Creed remains a remarkably good looking game. It was one of the first titles to feel truly 'next gen' at the time, and holds up well. The cities are crafted with a decent amount of care, and are fun to traverse. But the rest of the game definitely feels dated. With not a lot to do, and repetitive nature, it comes out being decidedly average. An intriguing story saves it from being an automatic skip, however, as it sets up the much-improved sequels with style.
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Teglement 2018-12-21T22:08:21Z
2018-12-21T22:08:21Z
2.5
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bocik55 Assassin's Creed 2022-12-04T20:10:01Z
2022-12-04T20:10:01Z
2.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
knoise Assassin's Creed 2022-12-04T11:33:17Z
2022-12-04T11:33:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Steam
renehawt Assassin's Creed 2022-12-03T22:50:30Z
2022-12-03T22:50:30Z
3.5
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lunejix Assassin's Creed 2022-12-03T11:35:29Z
Xbox 360 • US
2022-12-03T11:35:29Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TuloWodash Assassin's Creed 2022-12-02T10:45:55Z
2022-12-02T10:45:55Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Aarseth Assassin's Creed 2022-11-30T21:36:59Z
2022-11-30T21:36:59Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dannotations Assassin's Creed 2022-11-29T20:51:03Z
2022-11-29T20:51:03Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
krangkabun Assassin's Creed 2022-11-28T18:38:38Z
Windows
2022-11-28T18:38:38Z
3.0
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Rafizans Assassin's Creed 2022-11-28T08:04:23Z
2022-11-28T08:04:23Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Aidan_Gammon Assassin's Creed 2022-11-27T01:45:15Z
2022-11-27T01:45:15Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
monke_rules Assassin's Creed 2022-11-25T14:52:36Z
2022-11-25T14:52:36Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Flammeus Assassin's Creed 2022-11-24T14:21:39Z
2022-11-24T14:21:39Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: M
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x DVD
Franchises

Comments

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  • Previous comments (11) Loading...
  • alliterativeAlpinist 2022-01-26 13:24:49.235739+00
    I played AC1 around release and I genuinely liked it, despite fumbling with M+K controls since it was definitely designed around gamepads and the PC port not being amazing in general.

    Even though it's very repetitive and railroad-y on a macro scale, it does put you in the shoes of an assassin in a very low tech setting, with all that entails. Everything that came after in this series is very different, for better and worse. Definitely on my revisit bucket list.
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  • aminstrel 2022-01-29 09:58:13.780621+00
    ubisoft has still failed to move on from this game
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  • ResetRPG 2022-06-09 16:59:08.903137+00
    Ungodly Boring. What is it with AC games and just not letting their players have fun lol
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  • TheHonorableMinisterBBG 2022-08-11 04:45:10.800463+00
    mfs couldnt stop talkin about this shit when it dropped lol surprised this isnt rated a 3.8 or smthn here
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  • TheHonorableMinisterBBG 2022-08-11 04:45:28.910084+00
    i always thought this was overrated tho
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  • kitten199X 2022-08-14 02:04:50.699637+00
    really shocking to see the low rating for this game. maybe i've got rose-tinted glasses. i had a lot to say here but decided i ought to revisit the game if i'm gonna really throw down here.

    it's a bit of a struggle between rating a game within the context of its release and rating it after it has aged. seems most folks here are doing the latter.
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  • feargm 2022-11-14 03:14:26.333208+00
    happy 15th to this mid ass start
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