This isn’t an overview of the entire game. In fact, it’s more of a short story of my personnel experience near the end of the game, focusing on the last few assassinations. Warning: Contains frustration and spoilers.
I almost never finished the game. Trouble started as soon as I sat down and decided, “I AM GOING TO FINISH THY!” The game would lag after every kill. Movements where stilted and awkward. How could a game, that I had played perfectly a few months before be so broken? Turns out it was Ubisoft’s notorious DRM. It was trying to connect to the internet after each kill, lagging the game. Switching off my internet, and making some progress within the game fixed this.
According to my last briefing I had to kill two more people. Two more people and the Templar menace would be destroyed. Or so I thought.
The First Kill
Before I left the Assassin’s stronghold I learned two new fighting techniques or rather rediscovered them. Combo kill allows you to kill an enemy in a quick combo if you are able to time three perfect sword strikes. Defense Break allows you to catch tougher enemies off guard and kill them.
It was when I finally got back to the city that things started getting hard. Guards where more suspicious and there were archers on many rooftops. It was going to be hard to assassinate the next target.
The next victim was burning the books of the city, to cause a drought of knowledge within the populace. I was to track down and kill his men all through out the city. Coupled with lag, clunky controls and a horde of guards I failed this mission many times. After a week I had come up with a solution.
First before starting the mission I was going to learn the lay of the land. Escape routes, choke points and hiding places. I saved citizens in the area to get the local populace in my side; they would aid me in later fights by tying up guards. I did missions for fellow assassin’s in the order to acquire more intelligence on my enemy. I felt like a real assassin, stalking my prey and waiting for my moment to strike.
The first 3 went down easily. Coupled with eagle vision (an ability I often neglected), I scanned the roof top near the targets, searching for enemy archers. I would then dispatch the ones closet to the target with throwing knifes, toss a knife casually into my targets back from a roof top and disappear into a hiding spot nearby. I felt like the stealthiest mofo on earth.
But as the third knife entered my victim, the alarm sounded. The city rang its bell and the guards swarmed. The last three survivors ran for their lives in the streets, as I tackled then down one by one stabbing them fatally in the neck with my hidden blades.
The Second Kill
My last kill was to be in Acre. The city was in a state of pathetic fallacy, reflecting the mood of my intentions. Dark, grey and hidden. After this it would be all over.
My last query was hiding on a boat. A nuisance to get to, considering Altair cannot swim and has a tendency to jump off the boat and into the water causing him to do and the mission to restart.
The later worked to my advantage though, seeing as the enemy soldiers could not swim as well. I was accidentally detected trying to climb aboard the boat via lifeboat. The all came jumping down and I simply pushed them all into the water, 1 by 1. It was almost pathetically easy. I didn’t even have to draw my sword!
I killed him easily and made good my escape. The game was going to be over soon! Or was it…
The Final Chapter
I returned to the Assassin Stronghold and talked to my leader. He congratulated me on my work. He then casually mentioned that there was one more to kill. WHAT? IT WASN’T OVER? I might have enjoyed the game, but I think it out stayed its welcome a bit. It was starting to get stale! Well, if it’s only one more…this really pissed me off though. I was playing extremely hard that day to finish it before the end of October. Guess things never go as planned.
At least I got some new toys to play with, or rather some new upgrades. I got a maximum level sword, more throwing knifes and a full health bar. I guess my strategy was more about killing now and less about stealth.
If it WAS the last guy, I suppose I was supposed to enjoy it. I went back to Jerusalem for the final target. I toke my time exploring the city, syncing from view points and saving citizens. The new sword killed like a beast too, able to fall lower guards with one heavy attack.
Finally I was ready for the final kill. My heartbeat quickened as the music changed to fit the mood. Dark, rumbly music accompanied by the funeral choir set the tone. The stage was set.
IT WAS A TRAP! The knew I was coming. I was immediately pinned by guards on all sides. Special Templar emerged to face me, along with a contingent of the cities finest. I almost died, but I stood my ground, slowly taking them out one by one. Soon only my target remained, the leader of the Knight Templar. It would all be OVER! As Altair came to make the killing blow, he stopped. It was a woman! He knew I was coming and switched someone in his place! Now I needed to ride to King Richard, where he conspired to turn both the Crusaders and Saladin against the Assassins!
The horse ride there was a good change of pace, but it was nothing but relaxing getting there. The roads where full of guards, and when I finally arrived to the area, the game wouldn’t allow me to go in! I wanted to give up, call it a day, but eventually I managed to get it on foot.
I had entered a war zone! Saladin and Richard where battling it out and I was caught in the middle, looking for one man. I had to fight entire squads from each side to get to Richard. Guess the time for stealth was over. When I finally reached Richard I was relieved to hear that he would listen to me speak. After deeming himself unable to decide the outcome, he said to let God decide and set us up to a battle of the death.
It wasn’t completely fair, I had to contend with the last target’s personal body-guard before being able to fight him. Eventually he fell. Victory was mine! The leader of the Templar was dead! But with his dying words he whispered to me. There is another…and it was my master. The leader of the Assassin Brotherhood. My own mentor.
When I returned to the fortress all seemed normal at first. Then I saw the people. They walked around mindless, bambling about the word of the master. I was then attacked by a group of fellow assassin’s under the mind control of traitor.
With the help of some loyalist I was able to get to him to confront him. He tried to sway me, talking of peace through power and a new world order. He used an artifact that granted him great power. First he made images of all those I had killed to attack me. Then he made copies of himself to kill me.
After a long, dragged out battle I was finally able to slow him. Shortly after I am yanked from the animus. The game was over, but not the story. I was left with the biggest cliff hanger in recent memory.