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Assassin's Creed is a free-roaming action/adventure/sorta-platformer that has attracted sharply divided opinions due to its excellent presentation and lacking gameplay. I recently borrowed this off one of my brother's friends and decided to see how it was for myself.
In this game you play as Desmond, a sarcastic young man who is hooked up to a machine that reads his genetic memory and allows him to enter the role of ancestor Altair. Altair is a man in a white robe who lives in a parallel-universe Middle East in which all problems can be solved by a man in a white robe stabbing someone until they die.
Yes, like that.
You traipse through the religious city of Jerusalem, the desert thoroughfare of Damascus and the plague-ridden and inexplicably Cockney hellhole Acre in a quest to kill nine men for your long-winded and -bearded master. Along the way you stab hundreds and hundreds of people who seem to share only three or four lines apiece, while gaining information on your targets occasionally pickpocketing or interrogating (and shanking) random malcontents. You may also enjoy doing timed flag races for your asshole assassin friends, traveling between these objectives in a stunning display of parkour across the cities' upper layer.
I'm up to the final assassination, and while the complaints of repetition and bloated dialogue are unquestionably true, I've still been attracted enough by the style and presentation to enjoy playing. The nine targets themselves are a lot of fun, although it does get harder to administer an adequately discreet shank. I've done my best nevertheless, with the exception of the Regent, who offended me to the point that I killed him, anyone standing near him, and anyone who tried to get away afterwards. I'd say that's a point in the game design's favor.
The timed assassination missions can kiss my dick, though.