Many will say Assassin's Creed really hit its stride with the second offering, which was widely acclaimed and perceived by many to be an elite offering.
And while the original title still raked in high scores, many didn't like the repetition and lack of variety in the missions. However, one of the game's creators says too many gamers missed too much, and he maintains that the first Assassin's Creed is his favorite because its "the purest."
This is what former Ubisoft designer Patrice Désilets told Edge , and added that the first AC game featured a degree of freedom that subsequent efforts moved away from. Said Désilets:
"I like the first Assassin's Creed because it's the purest one. There's a bunch of stories that you can have, but it's all in your head. You have to create your own adventures. Whereas in Assassin's Creed II, we created the adventures for you and you're following them.
For me, the first one is an amazing toy. The second one is the real game with rules and missions and it's really precise. But personally I like the poetry of the first one. It's pure."
He also pointed out that the original title let players travel freely from one city to the next, a feature missing from new entries (various areas needed to be unlocked). And with that much space available, Désilets maintains that too many gamers simply missed out on various possibilities. So that wouldn't happen in ACII, the developers simply made missions for those possibilities so they couldn't be missed.
"Out in the kingdom, with your horse, there are so many places with little setups with Crusaders where you can tell a story," he says. "When you get close to Damascus, there's a guy on a stage and he has 35 soldiers in front of him. If you kill him, they all chase you. I played that and it became my little story.
With Assassin's Creed, our problem was we never actually asked anyone to do it. Most of the players just pass by those setups. But in Assassin's Creed II, we had a mission for all of them."
I've always defended the first AC from any flak throwing, so this guy's preaching to the choir. That being said, it's also true that newer games in the franchise featured much-appreciated refined gameplay mechanics, and plenty of extra depth as well. That really shouldn't be forgotten.