The Eagle and The Apple – 1191

I’ve spent most of the last two weeks laying on the couch being ill, but even so, there’s only so much daytime TV that anyone can tolerate.. Console time!

Assassin’s Creed was glaring at me from the pile of unfinished games, so I swapped TV remote for 360 controller..  Looking at the achievements, I started playing this game before they were storing the date when you earned them.  The earliest dated achieve is from the 5th December 2007.. quite some time back.. and about time to finish it then 😉

When I originally started on the game, I absolutely loved the free-running, climbing around on buildings, then up to the highest point and leaping off again.  Picking off enemy guards one by one very quickly replaced this as my favourite thing to do, especially when I was able to pounce with the hidden blade and feel oh so powerful! 🙂

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard against the game is about the repetitiveness of the missions.  This was something I hadn’t really minded until this week, when I returned to the cities for new targets, and found myself faced with pretty much all the same missions types to do again..

I never got bored of the quick assassinations with the hidden blade.. and the joy of running and jumping across rooftops only lessened a little with time.. but I did get fed up of the rescue civilian, sword fight, blend and walk away routine.. or more specifically, the annoying sword fights where I really didn’t do well.  Block?  Counter?  Maybe if you’re facing the right attacker, and time it just so..  No.  I preferred picking people off with the throwing knives, or y’know.. assassinating them all sneaky-like with the hidden blade.

The beggars and drunks in the various cities, which I found a different challenge earlier, quickly began to annoy me.. the beggars for their whiny voices coupled with the fact they kept on getting in my way, and the drunks for randomly punching me, one time sending me flying into a guard and getting me killed.  Following this, I barged the drunks over where I could, and either threw beggars into walls or punched them to make them leave me alone.  I stopped short of killing them, annoying as they were, because killing ‘innocents’ leads to a loss of synchronisation and therefore a bar of health.  Strange values this game teaches.. 😉

Now.. I mentioned that I didn’t do so well in the sword fights.. this meant that I avoided them where I could.  So what do we have for our final bosses?  Sword fights, with nowhere to run and get some height or even just a breather, nobody to pickpocket for extra throwing knives..

I found myself raging at the game while I got killed over and over and over by Robert de Sable’s grunts, especially when multiple attackers would be able to make me stumble between strikes, taking half my health in one flurry, and when counters just threw the guy uselessly to the ground without causing any damage.  I realised later that I could have gotten rid of the floored guys right then by switching to the hidden blade, but being tired, ill and then angry on top of that, does not make for thinking..  I’d got to this point of the game by 3am, and guessing that I was nearly done I decided to finish off.  Of course, once angry, I wasn’t going to leave it as I wouldn’t want to come back.. and I’m stubborn!  Instead I found myself hoping to be grabbed and thrown, as this would let me regenerate a bar of health, and then deliberately avoiding the last two grunts while my health regenerated enough to face the boss afterwards.

When it came to Al Mualim, the game-breaker was this time running round and round the yard while my health regenerated, though during an angry flail at the buttons I switched to the hidden blade and got shut of one guy.  Realising this trick made the whole thing easier.. now, if only I’d had to actually learn that earlier in the game I would have had it down for the grunt fight.. but I thought a game about assassination should be about sneaking and picking targets off rather than running at guards yelling “I’m here!” and taking on as many as possible.  Ah well..

Game completed, anyhow.. it’s only taken three years! 😉