Nicholas Vasbinder

Jan 12, 2021

6 min read

Assassin’s Creed: 100% Synchronization Review

The humble beginnings of the Assassin’s Creed series place their roots with the creation of Assassin’s Creed (2007), the first in the ongoing series by Ubisoft. The year is 1191 AD in the height of the Third Crusade; Altaïr Ibn-LaʼAhad is a prodigy Assassin that has lost his way and has turned his back on the Creed. Al Mualim, the current leader of the Assassins of the Holy Land, strips Altaïr of his weaponry and gear in order to make him appreciate the Creed once more.

Altaïr is given the task to hunt members of the group known as the Knights Templar, a group with a hunger for control and enemy of the Assassin’s. The search for the Piece of Eden is a brutal one, but not too difficult for Altaïr.

NOTICE: The following is an assessment and review of in-game, 100% completion; achievements, story elements and other extras may not be covered.

The road to 100% synchronization is easier said than done. The process of full completion can be summarized by four main factors: Primary Memories, Secondary Memories, Collected Flags, and Templars killed.

Primary Memories:

Assassin’s Creed (2007) begins with Altaïr and two other Assassins searching for an artifact known as the Piece of Eden. However, the forces of Templar Grandmaster Robert de Sablé have similar intentions. Altaïr becomes reckless and confronts the Templars, leading to the death of one of the trio, and later a siege on Masyaf, the Assassin headquarters. This then leads to Altaïr’s removal of equipment and rank, leading him on the quest previously described.

The story progresses with Altaïr tracking and hunting Templars of interest, but the gameplay is not quite as exhilarating.

Main objectives consisted of goals such as eavesdropping, pickpocketing, interrogating, and locating informers. This will continue as you progress further throughout the game and move from city to city. These objectives are simple and necessary for forwarding the narrative of the game. Completing every single one of these objectives will bring you further and further toward full synchronization.

Secondary Memories:

What is considered a secondary memory is the blue DNA strands in each memory block. Fortunately, these are hardly much of a bother. These blue strands are going to be resembling two types of objectives: synchronizing at high points, and assisting citizens.

Synchronizing will clear the map fog and allow you to see objectives in other parts of the DNA block, as well as the second type of secondary memory. All of these points will be somewhat difficult to climb to due to the games’ very new free-running mechanics and climbing physics, but the view is spectacular. As you reach the top, you will synchronize, and then proceed to complete a leap of faith into a haystack below.

Assisting citizens in the cities will give Altaïr more options for hiding spots to stay clear of the guards’ view. You will approach the objective to find a citizen being harassed by some guards, to which you interfere, kill the guards, and save the citizen. They will thank you and allow the player to blend in with specific crowds displayed on the map.

Additional Memories:

You will stumble upon a memory block labeled “Additional Memories”, which houses the two objectives that track how many flags you’ve collected around the cities, and how many Templars you have killed. Collecting flags and killing Templars is exactly what it sounds like, collecting styled flags around the city maps and killing Templars around the playable world. This seems simple, but to a completionist, it is a living nightmare. If you ask a completionist, Assassin’s Creed (2007) is the bogeyman of all games to 100% complete (not really, but you get the point).

First off, is the flags. In total, there are 400 flags in the entire game that need to be collected. However, what causes this to be more tiresome than other collectibles, is that they do not show up on your map. All 400 of these flags must be found by yourself, or with the help of a guide. The number of flags in each location are as follows:

Masyaf: 20

Kingdom: 100

Damascus Poor District: 33

Damascus Middle District: 34

Damascus Rich District: 33

Acre Poor District: 33

Acre Middle District: 33

Acre Rich District: 34

Jerusalem Poor District: 34

Jerusalem Middle District: 33

Jerusalem Rich District: 33

There is really no other way to explain the process other than to find, then collect all of the flags. A useful guide that is widely used can be found in the following link on Steam:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=121899872

While hunting templars, it is similar to collecting flags in the sense that they are not shown on your map, and they must be found by yourself or with the help of a guide. The same guide in the link above also assists with the location of the Templars. The number of Templars in each location is as follows:

Acre: 10

Damascus: 10

Jerusalem: 10

Kingdom: 30

The Additional Memories block is easily the most time consuming portion of the entire game, by a long shot.

Overview:

Assassin’s Creed became the Trojan horse for another eleven primary installments to the series, many more secondary installments, and counting. However, age does not synonymously pair with high quality, and Assassin’s Creed (2007) is no exception.

Pros:

This first installment in the series was the most raw, original Assassin’s Creed that there is. The story is simple: an assassin in need of redemption learns his lesson through hunting his foes and learning to adapt to the changes. The story is very bare bones in the best possible fashion. Each Templar gave an aura of their own, while also staying connected with one another.

Moving through the world felt strangely fresh as you move from city to city, and the lack of fast-travel gives a sense of adventure and exploration that many of the other titles sometimes lacked. Riding by horseback from city to city through the Kingdom gave a sense of olden travel and allowed for a charm that may not have been intentional.

Cons:

As stated, with age does not automatically translate to quality. The free-running was very clunky, as it is to be expected, and the objectives were extremely repetitive. Every city had the same exact challenges with no real variety which led to a very upsetting type of boredom.

The combat also left much to be desired, much like the free-running, it was clunky and uncomfortable. As you would traverse from rooftop to rooftop, you were constantly at risk to fall victim to an onslaught of guards at any random time, with no real consistency. Rooftop guards would spot you from oddly large distances away, and would give no large amount of time to hide if seen.

It goes without saying, but the flag collecting and Templar hunting is the most upsetting and grueling part of the game. Single factors alone for the flags such as the mere number of them, or the fact that they are unable to be seen on the map are bad enough, but that both are present and more make the progression and hope of 100% synchronization unnecessarily difficult. This is the same for the Templars, but somewhat different. Templars were the most difficult enemies and were also not able to be seen on the map, making all 60 of them extremely difficult to find.

It is not incorrect or wrong to realize that a dated game is going to be much lower quality than newer games, but this does not immediately declare a game to be terrible; Assassin’s Creed (2007) is far from a bad game, in fact it is quite a fantastic game both in narrative and in gameplay. However, completionists will find that this game is very hard to get by, and for very good reason.

6/10

Happy belated birthday, Altaïr.

Nothing is true, Everything is permitted.