Pros: Interesting fiction of Templar’s. Each city is a scaled down version of the real one and they usually have some famous landmark within them, I liked seeing them and climbing them. The combat is fun after getting the counter ability – it’s the easiest of all the AC games. Gaming the AI when tracking someone. Dropping from the steeple of the big temple in Acre. A crude form of Kristen Bell is in the game.
Cons: Repetitive procedures upon arriving to each new city. Info gathering isn’t as bad as some make it, but it’s a little repetitive. The present day sequences are somewhat bland and tedious towards the beginning. Altair dies upon falling into any body of water. The AI is relentless in this game – it never forgets that you killed a guy across the map – every guard knows regardless of distance. The AI punishes you alot if you gallop too fast in the overworld, causing the soldiers to instantly be alert to your presence. Fast precision movement within Assassin’s Creed games has never been a strength – it’s at its worst during pursuits and tight maneuvering is required. A crude form of Kristen Bell is in the game.
Overall: This game sets the stage for all the games after it. I’ve played each game in the series (AC II, Brotherhood, Revelations), and this particular one still holds a special place for me because of the locations where the events take place. Yes the game has its repetitive nature, and yes Altair is a bit of a bastard, but overall the game still holds up. I liked having all of Altair’s abilities stripped away at the beginning which reminded me of Super Metroid in a way. The humbling redemption of character throughout the game, and his abilities was interesting enough to want to make me eager to play more. For a completionist, this game is a nightmare because of all the dumb flags, but for anyone looking to get into the series, I don’t think it’s a bad game. Playing this game makes the impact of AC II and thereafter that much more. If you like the series, but haven’t played the first, give it a shot. Also that smoke in the assassin’s bureau isn’t incense.
Do I need to play the previous game?: No, it’s the first. But I would still recommend playing it before AC II just as a basis for the rest of the series. AC: Revelations refers to Altair frequently and it’s nice to have familiarization with him. It is repetitive, and it does have some flaws though. I’d recommend breezing through the story just to see the main beats in the story. Side missions and secondary objectives are not important in this game unless you just enjoy the game a lot. If you are a completionist like myself, I feel sorry for you already.
Worth Playing?: Yes, with reservations though.
Does it hold up in 2012?: Sort of. Assassin’s Creed has become a big franchise and this game is the one that started it all. I’d recommend playing it, or just watching a Youtube playthrough or cutscene only version if you just want to get to the real meat and potatoes of the storyline (AC II and Brotherhood).
Played through on Xbox 360. I got every achievement in this game…even the flag ones. Not worth it, but I thoroughly enjoyed this game so I didn’t mind. A surprisingly fun game for the $8.00 I paid for it, which made me want to pay $80 for the sequel that came out thereafter. Having not known anything about what Templar’s were, it helped expose me to how some portrayed them – not that AC is by any means a source of factual information. I initially this game was just going to be a bloodfest with no real content to it. I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the story as much as the combat and sneaking around.