This is partially a review, and partially a wishlist, and partially a critique. Please post your own. For me, I’ll try to keep mine simple and within the realm of what can be realistically developed; rather than elaborate wishlists of game systems far too complex for today’s consoles or a feasible budget.
First, I say I love the Assassin’s Creed’s games, or I would not be here. In all of them, the sandbox that is created is large, inviting and simply fun just to explore. The attention to historical detail adds a level of polish and realism so desperately needed in interactive media and gaming, and with each new game, I find myself desperate to just get in this new environment and play. Further, the Ubisoft AC team has crafted a story with the right mix of history, conspiracy theory and possibilities that the franchise should well equipped to tell many more Assassin Tales for years to come. And last, the gameplay and combat has been enjoyable to me, or else, I wouldn’t even bother. Same with the parkour-free running mechanic, it is fun and does still require some skill and finesse to get to a hiding spot without being seen. So that covers what I like about them all (and I hope, never changes) …. Now to the individuals.
- Assassination felt right.
- Altair’s character design and animation was top-notch.
- I liked the combat, though it improved in later games, I think the timing system for getting execution animations worked (minus the blue/red streak and with a loud clang.)
- The Kingdom map joined the other three cities and the world felt much larger as a result than both of its successors.
- Pickpocketing. I really enjoyed gathering information about my targets (like guard postings) and the art of pickpocketing was much more fun … the hand reaching out slowly, the camera zooming… it felt great.
- Random Templar encounters
- Interrogations and Eavesdropping. Again, gathering info about my primary targets truly gave the game that Assassin feel.
- The begging woman. In very small doses, it would have worked.
- Voice acting. Altair’s character sunk on this.
- The lecture from Al Mualim after EVERY assassination. Give me my three contracts and don’t make me return to Masyaf every time I finish one.
- The too frequent Desmond sessions.
- The Assassin challenges (get the flags or Templars in a timed manner). Felt more like a video game and took me out of the experience.
- Not enough assassinations.
- Much improved mission variety. The best of the three.
- Multiple weapons and no-hand combat. This was a huge improvement on combat. Plus the weapon wheel, yes!
- Air assassinations.
- Assassination contract Side Missions. This really solved the AC1’s assassination shortage problem. These were great fun and a nice distraction.
- The three guilds (Courtesans, Thieves and Mercenaries) for hire. Added a lot of options for approach.
- Assassin Tombs
- An economy, though needs work. But building up the villa was a fantastic bonus.
- Codexes, Glyphs, the Truth and more relevant goodies to find than simply flags.
- Best story and voice-acting
- The SSI system is overcooked.
- Made too much money too fast. Make me work harder for it, so that I’m just getting everything purchased in the last few sequences. If I’m not well equipped, I would pickpocket more citizens, hire more guild help and use stealth more frequently.
- Beat Up, Race and Courier side missions. They just didn’t fit.
- Lack of reconnaissance required.
- Notoriety system. Others have said this, but if I’m wanted, a few conscientious citizens should notice and guards should see me farther out than three feet away. I rarely felt the need to hide like I did after a big kill in AC1.
- Soundtrack was often dull, uninspired and repetitive
- The chain-kill system. Combat went from fun to downright awesome.
- Guards attack more than one at a time and are more aggressive.
- Tying the economy to the environment in terms of Blacksmiths, travel stations, landmarks, etc. Nice to see Rome bloom the way the Villa did.
ACB Worsts: (felt like most everything stepped backwards in Brotherhood)
- The short production run showed. Go to at least 18 months for a bigger game, please. You could easily ruin this series the way COD is destroying itself.
- The buying of faction houses versus sporadic placement.
- Recruiting assassins. It was fun for one game but I don’t want a repeat. It was way too easy with them. Their foreign contract assignments went by too fast to be real.
- Sub-weapons. I like having “subweapons” on my weapon wheel, but I don’t like holding the Attack button for them. Move that to the Assassin call button. I much prefer having my heavy attack like in AC1 or AC2. If you must have Assassin call, at least make them part of the weapon wheel that is selectable.
- Too many pigeon coops. Make me travel a little at least.
- Too many weapons and too big a pouch. We are starting to border on absurd.
I’m hoping Revelations fine-tunes all the experimentation that happened in Brotherhood in the same way that AC2 refined and improved over AC1. On the whole, I really have no desire to see drastic changes – if I did, I’d play another game. But I think a future Assassin’s Creed game needs to go back to a cross blend between AC1 and AC2 and really capture the great stuff that each of them did --- in a brand new environment. That’s all I need in an AC game, and I think most gamers would be happy too.