Is Assassins Creed 1 the Best Game of the Series?


I know numerous people who have played Assassins Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations, but have missed out the best game of the series, Assassins Creed I. A predecessor to the Ezio trilogy, the game has you as Desmond Miles, a young man in the 21st century that uses the “Animus machine” to relive the memories of one of his ancestor, Altair.

There are several factors that make AC1 the best.

In most games, the main character can come from half a health bar to a full health bar in minutes, which shouldn’t be possible when controlling normal humans, such as GTAV characters or the Dovakiin(Skyrim). But in AC1, there is a completely different concept. The health bar is called a “synchronization bar” i.e how accurately you relive Altair’s memories. If you fall off a rooftop, or get into an injurious scuffle with guards, you lose synchronization. However, as soon as this is over, and you start reliving Altairs memories like they actually were, you get full synchronization. Unlike in other games, where regaining health at absurd games is a game mechanic, in AC1 it makes sense; do something wrong, and you lose synchronization, fix your mistakes and do things right again, and you get back your synchronization.

Generally, over the course of games, the characters’ health bar increases, multiplying up to 5 times the size in the process, a mere game mechanic. In AC1, your total synchronization bar increases. The more memories of Altair you have relived accurately, the more “synchronized” you are with him. The more in sync, the lesser each “mistake” will reduce your synchronization, thus justifying an increasing synchronization bar, rather than being a mere game mechanic.

In games such as GTAV and Skyrim, dying and reloading to the previous save point is merely a game mechanic. But in AC1, dying basically means you relived the memories so differently (so badly) that you lost touch with Altair, and therefore “died”, and the Animus now has to restore you into an earlier memory, which again makes sense.

There are even more factors strengthening my case. In AC1, you feel more like an assassin. Your allies could only point you in the right direction, after which you would have to conduct investigations to locate your target. Fighting guards and enemies was much tougher than the latter installments in the series, which encouraged a stealthy assassin-like approach.

I have to admit that there are many improvements in the latter games. The storyline and missions are less rigid, there are some amazing new concepts such as glyphs, there are a variety of weapons you can use, and puzzles in the form of assassin’s tombs to get endgame armor etc. expanding on an excellent game.

But to conclude, while there are improvements in the latter games, the core concept of AC1 trumps them all. The creators (Ubisoft) had a novel idea, and converted it into a unique, original game with a solid and effective core concept for us to marvel at. Go play AC1 and the rest of the series, if you haven’t already.