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Assasin's Creed: Review
Price: 10 - 30 euros
This game is a game that has attempted something different from the others. Made by our friends at Ubisoft who came out with Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell, Assassin's Creed uses many ideas and inspiration from these two games. As it is coming from Ubisoft you would expect something good and we have something new on our hands, if not groundbreaking or revolutionary. But fair play to these guys for trying something new in the world of video gaming, which like forums, is full of unoriginal games and ideas. Here is my review of the game, broken up into a few sections, please do read on. This is a review of the Xbox 360 version of the game so I may be referring to achievements which are not available in the PS3 version.
Lets start of with a brief explanation of the story. It's a little complicated but you will come around and understand it. You see the story from two sides. You are a man living in modern times but have been taken by scientists in order to find out about a past relative who was an Assassin. You play as the Assassin, also known as Altair. The game is set in the 1100's and is Altairs story about how he lost respect from his master after failing a mission and is forced to assassinate people in order to get it back. That's what the scientists are trying to find out, just don't even ask me why as it remains a mystery.
The gameplay in the game is similar to Prince of Persia and is a little to default for the hardcore gamer as the controls are very simplistic and many actions you do feel like the computer is controlling the game, not you. Of course this makes it more of a game for the casual gamer who is looking for a bit of challenge. The A button and RT is your friend in this game. It helps you to jump, climb and do whatever other actions are necessary in the particular location. Outside combat there are a number of various actions you can pull off including assassinations of the guards, blending in with the crowd or grabbing people and throwing them. You can also pickpocket certain individuals, all which is a bit easy. The leap of faith is also a really great piece of gameplay, you get to jump from a huge height into a bale of a hay. 50 of these for an achievement.
Combat on the other hand is quite challenging and will take a while to get used to. Especially some of those combat moves that can be practised before putting them into use. This is a bit more strategic than your common hack 'n slash game and the combat system works really well. You can combo, counter and block all at the touch of a button. My personal highlight was taking on 3 guards and hopping around before killing all of them. Wonderful, you have of course the ability to assassinate guards outside of battle. Just equip your hidden blade, up your sleeve and attack from behind. Doing this against guards on rooftops is great fun and also some good practise for the later missions. The enemy AI is alright I guess, their moves are pretty standard and predictable but vary over time as you progress in the game. Enough to keep you intrigued.
Sounds/Graphics (10/10): The graphics are definitely one of the games high points. Jerusalem in 1191 AD has never looked so wonderful. The towns or streets are so detailed, every building is brilliant looking and all of this helps you to soak up the atmosphere. Interesting fact, the game is so detailed that the characters you must assassinate were actually real people. That is not to say there were bad people but they existed at this time. However, the assassinations on them is just a myth, it didn't happen but that still impresses you as to show the detail gone into this game. Also, Altairs costume looks beautiful along with the outfits of many other characters in the game. Every last detail can also be seen on his face and from what I can see, there is little to no problems with frame rate or popup. All you expect from a next generation game as this is only available on PS3 and of course, the 360. A lesser console would not be able to produce such graphical ability and it is only now we are seeing these consoles potential. Expect more graphical genius in games such as Metal Gear Solid 4 and Gears of War 2. Games are becoming more detailed and this graphics engine that Ubisoft are running is just spectacular. I can't imagine a game with better graphics.
The sounds and voiceovers in the game are perfect for it's style. You will hear many little conversations in the village and the amount of voiceovers in this game is pretty amazing. The sights and sounds help add to the experience of playing the game along with that cool, light atmosphere.
Yeah, did I mention that the game didn't support Xbox Live or PS3 Network? Bit of a kick in the teeth really. Wouldn't it be cool to create your own Assassin and take him online? Maybe for a sequel but at the moment there is no add on downloadable content or gameplay so I am afraid all you have is the single player campaign. Once this is done there are a variety of things that can be completed and the achievements will keep you going for a couple of hours extra.
You can do missions in all of the three towns for citizens which will unlock a few achievements, however it is believed that some of these achievements are a bit glitchy to unlock. There is also a search for flags, very similar to GTA's hidden packages I guess. You can find flags, guards and other items in order to unlock many achievements. In total there are 44 achievements, I think with any effort you could easily get 35+ and then go for the more difficult ones. The largest achievement is for completing the story mode (100 G's) so this game is popular for scorewhores around the community.
What could have been a classic turns out to be something just very, very good. That's how you can sum it up. Let down by it's automatic gameplay, this is one for the casual gamer but it becomes more challenging as the game progresses and the battle system impressed me as well. The graphics are stunning. The best out there to date, the lifespan and no Live play lets it down in this department. Perhaps they will make a sequel with Live play? Yep, that would do nicely I think. The ability to take your assassin online intrigues me. Also, it could work kinda like an RPG as you rise up levels etc. But that's just my thoughts, I'll shut up now and go play gears as this game finds it hard to keep my interest.
Good = Stunning Visuals
Clever Combat System
Bad = Automatic Controls
Slightly Dodgy Camera
No Live Play