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Assassin’s Creed: Two Years Later

October 6, 2009

With the imminent arrival of Assassin’s Creed 2 in November, I figured I would try out playing the original Assassin’s Creed released in November 2007. Five hours in, I am really enjoying the game.

I had originally avoided purchasing the game because many people found it its mission far too repetitious. Although that may prove to be a problem, it hasn’t yet for me and it it does, I’ll just stop playing and catch up with the rest of the story via YouTube. Given that the game now costs $15 (like-new shipped on Half.com), I have already gotten my money’s worth.

Nevertheless, I expect to get many more hours out of the game because its gameplay mechanics are pretty satisfying and fun:

  • It’s fun to be able to jump effortlessly over rooftops and obstacles.
  • It’s fund to be a badass fighter and assassin in combat. The animations are excellent, the mehanics are not too complicated. The difficulty ramps up nicely. It reminds me of the combat in Fable 2.
  • The open world nature of the game is appropriate. You feel like you have a fair amount of freedom.

The premise of the game world (reliving memories of a furtive assassin) is well adapted to the limitations of the game, which makes the game itself more enjoyable. For example, the inability to interact with any people on the street isn’t really bothersome because the nature of the game dictates that you try to keep a low profile. The last thing you feel like doing is drawing attention to yourself by talking to strangers in strange cities, so your inability to do so doesn’t draw attention to that limitation of the game model in the same way it does in an RPG where you collect information by talking to everyone. In addition, when playing the game, you are supposed to be reliving memories of one of your ancestors, which makes a nice organic explanation for why you can pick up from the last autosave after dying.

I don’t know if I would feel the same way about the game if I had paid $60 for it, but I value my time more than $60 and I don’t regret at all the time I’ve invested so far.

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