Review by Acer1
"Not a bad game at all & I don't understand some of the hate."
I want to start this review off by letting you know that I have not played any other Assassins Creed on the PS3 or wherever else they might be available. This was actually my first experience with Assassins Creed and I feel that is important for you to know. I will not be comparing it to other versions as I simply haven't played them. I believe this is beneficial as it's wrong to solely compare a portable to it's console counter-part, in my opinion. This is where people start taking points off, so to speak, because one has something the other doesn't have... when really, they should be viewed as their own game. Moving on...
Story - No spoilers
Quick and simply put - you play as Altair, an assassin looking for a strange ancient artifact that has the ability of some kind of mind control while taking down evil Templar commanders. Throughout the storyline, Altair moves from one area to another and from one victim to the next. Each connects in their own manner and puts together a pretty interesting story. Not to say it's the best story on the PSP but it definitely is not a weak point in this reincarnation of Assassins Creed. Overall. . . 8
This is one of the first games I've played on a hand held where you get so much freedom as to where you can go and how you do what you do within a defined area (though Grand Theft Auto tops it, for me). You can climb whichever house or building you choose. You can go through whichever entrance or exit to whatever town you choose to visit. There's three main weapons to use, the smaller, concealed, blade in Altair's sleeve, the larger sword, and finally your set of daggers, which can also be used as a small sword in close combat. And this is not including your very own fists should you choose to play fair ball with your enemy, heh. What I'm trying to get at is that there's quite a bit of different ways to accomplish a goal and the game isn't necessarily repetitive. There are several combos for each weapon and different ways to finish off a target depending on the weapon of choice and the manner in which you attack. You can also upgrade Altair's weapon strength with coins you gather from kills or simply found hidden around the towns. You can upgrade the amount of daggers Altair carries, Altair's speed, Altair's total health, and quite a few other aspects of gameplay. Overall . . . 9
The controls in this game are unique. There are some things done that I haven't personally seen before. For example, you hold down the "R trigger" to enter "high profile mode." When this is done, Altair runs faster than his normal stroll when moving the analog nub, alone, in a given direction. Furthermore, you can press "X" while in 'high profile mode' (holding down R) to sprint even faster. Lastly... if you release the 'R trigger' to exit 'high profile mode' and hold down "X" then, Altair walks at a very slow pace with his hands together as if praying. This is to avoid suspicion and almost blend in with the townspeople. If you're getting where I'm going here, there are four different speeds that Altair can move at. I find this very unique and is a sign of how intuitive the controls are. I don't want to map out each button for you, as there's FAQs for that but the buttons are laid out and used ergonomically. The one thing I can complain about is jumping from building to building, or ledge to ledge, for example. When you control Altair and are running along a ledge or building to get to the next, you are in "high profile mode" thus holding down the "R trigger." In order to jump you double tap the "X" button which works nicely since you sprint with it as well. However, the issue is that when you get to the edge of the building or ledge, and double tap that "X" button it's not uncommon for Altair to stop and show an animation of him tip-toeing and almost loosing his balance on the very edge (and it usually happens more than once in a row). Other times he drops off, altogether, and hangs from that ledge.... instead of making the jump to something across from it. It could get annoying but I suppose it's all about getting the timing down as there were times when it wouldn't happen to me for quite a bit. Of course, there were other times it would happen when I'm chasing someone across roof tops -_-.... so it's something to be aware of. Overall . . . 7.5 [would be much higher without the issue mentioned and other very minor grievances]
Graphics & Sound -
The graphics in Assassins Creed are great. The only thing I can think of that I'd consider a bad point would be when you're standing close to a wall or corner and you turn the camera (using the "L trigger" and face buttons X,O, [ ], /_\ ) you could sometimes see right through an adjacent wall/ object. I feel this is nothing new as I see it in good and bad games from time to time. It's not something that got in the way of enjoying the game but I felt I should mention it. Otherwise, the graphics are superb. I sometimes forget I'm playing such a game on a small hand held. Things have come such a long way and a game like this could only be dreamed of on a home console just a few years ago. The graphics really are on point and only add to the experience of assassinating Templar baddies. Daggers sticking enemies while a sword is going through the head of another one, blood gushing everywhere, all the while the environment never looses it's lifelike quality.
The sound in this game is also nothing to hate. One thing I can gripe about is somewhat minute. Sometimes, when you kill an enemy, he'll still be making a dying moan after he has hit the floor and you'd think he was dead already. I don't know if it's supposed to be that way, as I suppose if some really did die in that manner they could easily still make noises sometime after hitting the floor.... but either way, it doesn't happen very often and is something I thought be brought to light. However the game's sound, in general, is rich and fulfilling. It only adds to the visual in creating an environment that almost feels real. I especially like the great big battles you can find yourself in with Templar low lives and how some music is faded in to keep the scene going. Swords hitting swords, shields and body armor... daggers and the concealed blade going through flesh all have their own ring to it. The sound, added with impressive visuals, paints a pretty vivid and gruesome picture and was simply done correctly. Overall . . . 9
Overall - 8/10
Assassins Creed: Bloodlines on the PSP was a pleasure to play. It doesn't hurt that I got it for free with the purchase of my PSP Go. Simply put, after completing this game I am wanting to play the console counterparts on the PS3. As a last note, though, I feel it isn't worth a full $40. That's honestly a high price point for any hand held game, in my opinion, and is only acceptable for a very few select title on the PSP system. I feel somewhere between $20-$30 is reasonable for this PSP title, if you care to own it indefinitely. However, renting it wouldn't be a bad decision either as you would probably complete it in just a few days and move on to the next title on your list. Either way, it is indeed an above average game on the PSP and I can't imagine what are all the mixed reviews and opinions about for this particular title. I suppose people are comparing and contrasting it too much to the PS3 versions but that's really two different playing fields. If you need to assassinate some helpless Templar soldiers on the go, this will most definitely give you your fix.
Take care & happy gaming.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/07/10
Game Release: Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines (US, 11/17/09)
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