You walk through the chaotic crowd, gently pushing the panicked civilians aside as you plan your assassination. You hide in the dark corners and evade the guards. Climbing the complex structure of the palace, you make your way above the lowly merchant king. With a flick of your wrist, a hidden blade pierces the air. Jumping from the balcony, you draw back your arm and strike.
Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, “Assassin’s Creed” was released in 2007 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Then, in 2008, a version for Microsoft Windows was made. The first of a series of nine games, “Assassin’s Creed” is a historical fiction and stealth game with only single-player mode. For both story and gameplay it has won numerous awards, including Best Action Game, PS3 Game of the Show, and Best PS3 Action Game.
Set in the Third Crusade in the Holy Land of 1911, you play as a member of the Secret Order of Assassins, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. However, there’s a creative twist. Behind this identity, you are Desmond Miles, a modern-day bartender who has been kidnapped by a group called Abstergo to relive your ancestor’s genetic memories through a futuristic machine called the Animus. You must gather information about an ancient artifact known as a Piece of Eden. Those you assassinate are Knights Templars, who are after this treasure as well.
Before you carry out these executions, however, you must complete side quests in the well-portrayed historical towns of Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus. These stimulating investigations include eavesdropping, pickpocketing, interrogation, and saving citizens from the ruthless soldiers who patrol the towns.
Through cut scenes with realistic voices and animation, you gain information about your enemies and are assigned the assassinations. Completing the quest, you return to your mentor and leader of the assassins, Al Mualim, at the Brotherhood’s location, Masyaf. After speaking with him and gaining new skills, you travel to another town and the cycle repeats until nine Knights Templars have been assassinated.
Though this cycle of investigating, reporting back to the local leader, assassinating, and traveling to another region is interesting and engaging, it becomes redundant as you perfect your skills and get used to the gameplay. The basic controls of blending into the townspeople and evading the guards are introduced in the very beginning. As you gain strength and acquire new equipment, the combat becomes more than simply mashing a button with techniques like countering and dodging. Although it is satisfying to defeat a mob of enemies, it is tedious as you repeat these same tasks to progress in the story.
Overall, “Assassin’s Creed” has flaws but is still enjoyable. Those who like interesting plots with twists and turns, on-the-edge-of-your-seat action, and a bit of sci-fi will find this game incredible. So what are you waiting for? As Doctor Warren Vidic would say, “Get in the Animus!” It’s time for another day’s work assassinating.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.