Monday, November 26, 2007

Save game error...

Assassin's Creed has failed me. Again.

I thought I had exited the game in a state where I could resume without having to redo a whole bunch of movie watching. Unskippable movie watching I might add.


The save game system is somewhat puzzling because there are multiple levels from which to exit and save out of (while in the "matrix" and while in the "real world").

Any way you slice it, the game should have realized that I didn't need to watch the really bad cutscenes again. Unskippable? Unforgivable.

After consulting the manual (yes, I know the game already has several strikes against it) I decided to press on in hopes that the game would get more exciting -- and that I would begin to feel as cool as the character seemed in all the marketing movies. And, finally, I got a taste of it. I learned a bit more about combat through a tutorial which made completing some of the "save the poor" quests more interesting.

And then -- by accident -- I actually got to assassinate a couple of unsuspecting tower guards in very cool ways. There is a glimmer of hope after all.

It's a shame that the game is so interface driven. While I commend the designers for taking this weakness (removes some of the immersion) and trying to turn it into a strength (by writing it into the fiction of the game) it means that I'm more often than not trying to play the interface (mainly the HUD, but also the Map) instead of interact with the world.

This is most noticeable when contrasted with the platforming elements (essential to this kind of game, and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, its predecessor). These are no longer skill based -- my character can basically do whatever I want by holding the trigger and A button and only fails when there is a camera/control glitch.

At this point I don't know that the way these levers have been positioned will satisfy me. I do like a nice cerebral thriller. However, I don't want to have to learn what the 20+ icons on the minimap mean by consulting the legend each time.

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