i did the unbelievable this weekend. i beat not one, but two games. Halo 3 Campaign (see the post below) i had been working on beating for a couple of months now, and Assassin's Creed i played in November and December (until Christmas break), then didn't touch it until yesterday, at which time i played for 2-3 more hours and beat it. i guess i was close to the end. you can read what i thought about Halo 3 in the post below. here's what i thought of Assassin's Creed.
Assassin's Creed. i had been waiting to play the game ever since it was first announced that it was being worked on by the same team that did Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (an all-time favorite game of mine). then it came out, and reviews were mixed. i would have bought my own copy after a fashion, but ended up receiving it for my birthday. even though i had tons of other games to play that i bought before it, and even though the mixed reviews were getting to me, i couldn't wait to play it.
in the game you play as a man abducted by a big corporation because you have an ancestor that knew the whereabouts of an ancient treasure. how do they get the information out of you? well they have something called the Animus that they strap you into and you "relive" the life of your ancestor in a digital world. so there's story on 2 fronts - what's happening in the past to your ancestor, and what's happening to you in the future.
it's a pretty well fleshed out story (in the past moreso than in the present), albeit a bit confusing at times because of all the names and places being thrown around. what i didn't like is that it ends on a big-ol' cliffhanger in the present. the story in the past has one too, but it had more of a conclusion than the story in the present. i mean, of course there's going to be a sequel (like you can expect with almost every game nowadays), but couldn't there have been a little more closure?
the gameplay is a MUCH more simplified version of Prince of Persia - in fact, i'd go so far as to say that the controls are TOO simple. they're fluid, intuitive, but simple. it's hard to describe here, but one thing that bugged me is that there's no jump button - you simply run to the edge of a building and the jump happens automatically (think of 3D Zelda games). this means you're almost guaranteed to make the jump unless it's far too long. now, i don't mind the mechanic in some games, but in a game where jumping is KEY... to make it so EASY... i don't know.
the structure of the game was the other thing that bugged me. it got too repetitive too quickly. here's how it breaks down: you get your target, go to the assassin's guild to verify, go around town and find out about your target, return to the guild to say you're ready to strike, go assassinate the guy, then escape back to the guild. rinse and repeat. 9 times total. it got to where i couldn't play the game for more than an hour or two because i'd get bored. i think the total length of the game was around 12-15 hours.
for all my complaints, i did like how beautiful the game was. sure there were graphical hiccups (it could have stood to have another 3 months of QA done on it to polish it even more) but it was gorgeous walking around ancient Jerusalem, Acre, etc. oh, and the animation in the game was so... fluid. it was amazing. absolutely beautiful. i also liked how detailed the game was in its history. a lot of work was put into making history come alive.
so while the game disappointed in some ways, it delivered in others. overall i liked the game a lot, but didn't love it. if it's any measure, i'm sure i'll be getting the sequel.
8.75 out of 10