This will probably be blasphemy to a lot of people, but I didn't care for AC 1. I was excited when it first came out, and, in fact, it was going to be the reason I eventually got a Playstation 3. Soon after the game came out, my best friend had just gotten an Xbox 360 from his girlfriend and he eagerly came down to my house, hooked it up, then we went to rent AC 1. We sat down and within 30 minutes, realized that, though you are a master assassin and can jump off of buildings, you cannot swim. This just made us laugh at the game because it made no sense. Our expectations were essentially that it would be Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (which is one of our all-time favorite games) on steroids. It obviously wasn't at all. Later on, I ended up getting a PS3 and bought the game to fully give it a try. To me, it was just the same stuff over and over again and it was boring. I spent more time running around and just sword fighting people.
Over the years, I've had reasons not to play the series, mainly due to my first experience which was also helped by the annoyance of a certain fanboy in college that talked constantly about it. When AC3 first came out and I saw the previews on television, however, I was intrigued and I thought to myself that it could be the game that gets me into the series. I'm a history nerd anyways and having early American history brought into it was something that I got almost giddy about. One big fantasy came to me as I watched the tv spot for the third time that I could recreate the scene in The Patriot where Mel Gibson butchers everyone with a tomahawk in the woods. I could only hope. I was still skeptical about buying the game, but figured that if it got down to $20, I'd give it a shot.
So imagine my curious eagerness when the E3 sale began on PS3 and Assassin's Creed was available to me for $19 and change. I browsed around the net, looking for what it was like and questioning people and, for the most part, got negative responses. That's perfect, because I really don't have the same taste in games as the majority, and if i do, it's because I like the games for different reasons. I ended up getting it and installed it. From the start, I was hooked. Haytham Kenway was a badass and seemed to be an interesting character to play as. Connor has even interested me as a main character. I started to question, however, why so many people seemed to hate this game with such passion. So I've compiled a list of reasons most people seemed to have in common for hating this game or considering it one of the worst in the series.
1. Connor's Personality
Compared to Haytham Kenway, Connor seems to be a bit more stoic. Most people can't seem to get behind that type of personality for the role of a game's hero. I think the difference is important to the story, however, due to what Connor has dealt with. Not only is he exposed to a world that is completely different from the world that surrounded his village, but he's also learning things that men might take years upon years to learn, in a relatively short amount of time. Caution would be needed in his situation, not just from a Templar/Brotherhood standpoint, but also from a minority standpoint at that specific time in history especially. I think as gamers, we get so used to the quick-witted charismatic main character, that we forget, and in some cases, resent the fact that characters could be and should be different in leading roles. I have read where some have looked at Connor as being smug or arrogant, but I think if you look at his actions through the side-missions and throughout the main story, he's far from it. He's just different.
2. The Setting
I think this is just a matter of opinion and, honestly to most gamers I've met, the era that the game center's itself around isn't of interest in any way. It's unfortunate really, because there was so much that went on in that time that changed the world. Again, it's just a matter of opinion. I did watch a video of a kid's top five reasons he didn't like the game at all and one was because he said he didn't care about American history because he was from the UK but he could get behind the history in the other games. This made me chuckle because American history at this time is Native/British/French history.
I can only speak for the Playstation version. I don't know what it is like on Xbox or PC. I don't think the controls were confusing at all. I liked the fighting system and thought it was easy enough to get used to. I didn't feel like much changed as far as getting around goes. Jumping and running seemed to be the same as the other game I played. People seemed to have a problem out of the lock-picking but i thought that was fairly easy to get used to. Again, I'm not sure if Xbox and PC were worse. I have wondered how the Naval Battles would work on PC as far as controls. I had heard a lot about glitches with the gameplay and I hadn't really ran into any. If I had, they were probably minor as I didn't notice. I'm also use to glitches so my brain probably doesn't process much after I've played Saint's Row: The Third.
Again, I think honestly this is opinion. A lot of people said that the story lacked. I felt the same way about the first game, whereas others seemed to hold that one pretty high up on their lists. I did find this to be a common issue people had about the game, but it's one of those things where I'm not sure if it's because I didn't get into the series or because it's just the varying of interests, but people seemed to talk about story a lot. Their opinions would range from saying it just didn't interest them to calling people names for even saying they enjoyed it. I personally enjoy it.
Overall, despite some things I did raise an eyebrow at, I enjoyed the game and thought it was fun and had a good mix of action, stealth, and rpg. I'm actually thinking about getting Black Flag when it comes out