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    jp's Assassins Creed (PS3)

    [December 29, 2014 06:56:56 PM]
    I've hit that point where I see what's coming and, well, it's not that exciting anymore. So, I've decided to get out while it's still good, fresh, and enjoyable in my mind. I also read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia so I know how the story "ends".

    This game is SO interesting to talk about from an ethical perspective. What I mean is that there are so many things worth talking about in the game...

    a. All of the assassinations are presented in a very "grey" perspective. There's always a doubt (in my mind) whether or not the kill was justified/good or not. Altair seems to doubt the kills as well so it's obvious that they're not just setting up the ending, but generally calling to question the rationale for the whole enterprise. I get that it's assassins vs templars - but the relationship (that I don't know much about, to be fair) is less about good vs evil. I'm not actually sure what the conflict is about (free will and self-determination?), and I get the sense that it might even be fair to flat-out say that both groups are in the wrong even as they approach their goals in different ways.

    b. After the 3rd assassination (the end of "memory 3") I noticed that the cities now have beggars/pleaders - generally women, who come up to you and really get in the way as you try to walk down a street. I was surprised by how annoying the are, the plead and beg and won't leave you alone. I found myself getting angry - but also realized that Altair couldn't do anything about them other than avoid them. I really wish I could give alms or something - the only other option seemed to be to kill them which is rather extreme.

    c. Damascus and Acre were really different as cities and the feeling you get from wandering around and taking in the sights. Acre felt like a dirty, smelly, and generally unhealthy place to be. Not sure why that's associated to the Knights Hospitalier - maybe that's the point? Damascus on the other hand felt like a healthy lively city. If I recall Damascus is held by Saladin.

    d. I liked how doing bad things (e.g. killing civilians) causes a "break" (glitch) with your ancestors memories. While it doesn't largely matter what you do gameplay-wise, I though it was an interesting acknowledgement of how your actions were morally inconsistent with what you should be doing.

    e. I generally didn't find Altair to be a likable character. His interactions with the bureau leaders in each of the cities generally portrayed him as something of an arrogant ass - which made his conversations with the master kind of awkward. I'm curious to know (though I won't be playing it), if Altair grows/evolves at all as a character. I'm also curious why he never showed up in any of the other games (except for a DS prequel I believe)

    Anyways, lots of things to think about!

    I do have some gameplay questions and things I'm not so sure about. While I think I understand the games' progression (each assassination gets you more life, an ability/move, a piece of equipment, also you're unlocking each city as you go along), I'm not entirely sure what role the investigations play in the assassinations. I understand how there's minimum needed before you get permission to carry out the hit (gatekeeping), but I don't understand what the extra missions do for you. Are they only a source of additional information (to be used/ignored by the player?), or do they change the setup of the mission (fewer guards, guards less alert, more guards, etc.), or do they create new options (now there's a door where there wasn't one before)? The first time around I did all the sidemissions and then I did the minimum. The experience seemed similar, but I can't really tell without trying to do the same mission. I guess it doesn't help that I pretty much botched all the missions and had to chase down the target and fight them to death. Even the guy I threw knives at (he needed more than one knife to kill).

    In all, I'm looking forward to the other games in the series now, at least to see if they keep the joy and moving around in the city while improving on some of the other areas. Also, are the moral issues still as salient?
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    [December 26, 2014 06:05:06 PM]
    This game has literally been sitting on my shelf for a few years now. I've also got AC 2 and 3...oh, and the one for PSVita. So, not having played an Assassin's Creed game so far has been more of an issue of procrastination than anything else.

    And so far, so wow. I've really been impressed by how much bigger and deeper this game is than what I had imagined. I remember it getting lukewarm reviews because, at some point, it all gets old and repetitive. I guess I haven't hit that part so far because...

    a. I had no idea the game has an "overworld" that you travel upon - on horseback no less! I've been avoiding all the collectibles like the plague, so mostly I've been climbing the towers before booking it to the city I'm headed for.

    b. The cities (Damascus and Jerusalem so far, I know there's Accra, and perhaps more to come?) are also pretty big and I'm always amazed by how easy it is to navigate them.

    c. It is really inspiring to see the climbing done so well. Specifically I'm referring to the fact that climbable things/surfaces aren't highlighted or shiny or anything special. Chances are if you think you can climb up it, you can - and, in some cases there's bits I didn't think I could climb and you can. It really is a joy to bound around the rooftops and climb towers and dive down and all that.

    d. I'm amazed at how cohesive everything is - the story makes sense (for scifi), it explains in-game glitches, restarts, etc. The game's interface is also explained (via the animus). It's really cool and a great example of polish and attention to detail. I think it's a really old game (for PS3) at this point, and it's surprising how this doesn't look like a 1st gen PS3 game. Sure, it's not perfect (lip synch seems a bit off and the crow AI is kind of strange at times), but it's still very impressive.

    I'm also surprised by the fact that the Assassins have a creed that is introduced in the game. I can't recall any of my game ethics students bringing it up in the past. What an ovesight!

    Anyways, the creed is:

    Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent
    Hide in Plain Sight
    Never compromise the Brotherhood

    More details here:
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    jp's Assassins Creed (PS3)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Thursday 18 December, 2014

    GameLog closed on: Monday 29 December, 2014

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Wow, it looks great even though it's old. Really enjoyed it, but I quit while it was good.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See jp's page

    See info on Assassins Creed

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