Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines ISO is an action-adventure, stealth game set in an open world environment. Contains similar, almost the same, gameplay to Assassin’s Creed in terms of control style, although there are minor modifications to the control scheme, due to the lack of specific keys and buttons. A minor addition was featured in the combat aspect of the game, allowing players to instantly assassinate a target when they are downed in combat.
Bloodlines has little to no civilians, explained in-game that the civilians were in a constant state of insecurity due to the new system of governance. Still, civilians will react to Altaïr’s improper behavior, such as scaling buildings, and running around the streets.
Taking the place of flags, a new collectible featured in the game are Templar Coins that can be used to upgrade health bars, and the amount of damage a weapon can inflict. Three types of coins are present in game: Bronze, Silver and Gold, with Gold holding the highest value. Similar to the previous game, Side-missions are available to players, such as saving civilians from Templar soldiers and performing specific tasks for allies of the resistance. The variety of tasks has been expanded, such as delivering letters, and intercepting couriers. In return, Altaïr will receive coins as a reward, instead of assistance from previous groups, such as scholars and vigilantes.
The setting of this game was based on two areas: Limassol and Kyrenia. The look of the area is very similar to some of the cities in the first game, going as far as having the same atmosphere. Due to the small setting, Horseback riding was removed in Bloodlines. Like in the previous game, Altaïr can synchronize from high vantage points around the city in order to map out the city. Although the map itself is already drawn out, synchronizing will provide the locations of various side-missions.
New assassination techniques are featured in Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines. Weapons from the previous game return in Bloodlines, such as Altaïr’s sword, his hidden blade, throwing knives, and his fists. His usage of each of the weapons is very similar to the first Assassin’s Creed. Assassinations are also similar to the first game, although the animation has been toned down to better fit the system. A new, yet very minor assassination technique has been added to the game, allowing Altaïr to pull opponents off of ledges, similar to Assassin’s Creed II.
In Bloodlines, cut-scenes are played through preset dialogue, with the character models acting in preset motions and gestures. Unique gestures were only present in confrontations between boss characters, such as Moloch and the Dark Oracle. Subtitles were also added to the game. This enabled easier understanding of the game plot
Story missions and assassinations were simplified and straightforward. As a replacement for eaves-dropping and pick-pocketing, missions were played in the same structure as Assassin’s Creed II, with Altaïr handling one task after another and slowly gathering vital information from both his allies and enemies as each mission was cleared.
Beginning shortly after the end of the first game, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad learns of a plan of the remaining Templars to escape to Cyprus, and so infiltrates one of their strongholds in Acre to stop them from doing so. Although he does not succeed in this regard, he does defeat and capture Maria Thorpe, who attempted to avenge her former master, Robert de Sablé, who died at Altaïr’s hands. Managing to charter a ship, Altaïr also heads to Cyprus in pursuit of the apple, with Maria in tow.
Once there, he learns of the presence of Armand Bouchart, who has succeeded Robert de Sablé, as Grand Master of the Templar Order. Altaïr also learns, and gains the assistance, of a resistance movement in the city opposed to the presence of the Templars, who, after purchasing the island from King Richard, have formed a repressive government to control the land and its people. He also learns of a Templar “archive”, a trove of Templar knowledge and artifacts, hidden somewhere on the island.
True to the way of the Assassins, Altaïr makes to both locate the archive and free Cyprus from Bouchart’s grip, firstly by slaying his underlings: Frederick “the Red”; Moloch “the Bull”; Shalim and Shahar “the Twins”, and the Dark Oracle “the Witch,” eventually confronting and defeating Bouchart at the archive, whose contents have been evacuated and relocated by Templar soldiers. Following Bouchart’s death, the archive begins to collapse, but Altaïr manages to escape.
The game also details the relationship between Altaïr and Maria. At first, Maria is hostile and sarcastic towards Altaïr (in her own words, “the man who spared my neck but ruined my life”), but as the story develops, she gradually warms to the assassin who, despite her repeated escape attempts, repeatedly rescues her from harm and does not punish her.
Eventually, she decides to assist Altaïr by killing a Templar mole in the resistance when he attempts to kill Altaïr and confronting Bouchart alongside him in the final battle, at this point having fallen in love with the assassin. After their escape from the Templar archive, the two of them decide to head east towards India.