Review by Nazomi__
"A honest review from a UK gamer ..."
Well this is my first review should it actually be posted. I was a little disappointed with the recent reviews for this game so I thought I would write one myself. Now to start I would never rate any game 10/10 that in turn suggests perfection and well nothings really perfect, Halo 3 for me was a good 9/10 for the multiplayer alone so if you agree with me on that you should appreciate this review. This review will be slightly detailed and long so prepare to read :o
Ok so a quick over view. You are Altair, a feared assassin in Jerusalem 1191 AD. Times are brutal and the crusades are in mid flow. You are needed to bring peace to the cities and its citizens by taking out those that are working against them. The game looks beautiful, as simple as that. The way Altair movies is probably the most life like in game actions I have seen to date, the controls flow well with the game and it is easy to pick up. The violence is clearly there but no over the top blood splatter, which would have been nice, but makes it more appealing to a wider audience I guess. This review may contain slight spoilers on basic information, nothing major so just a warning. Anyways on to the review:
This is the second place the game shines. The game play is amazing. You have complete access to the entire kingdom. There are 3 major cities each of which contain various sub sections so there are roughly 11 playable areas I believe. There are few places that allow you access inside a building so it is mostly rooftops and street floors. The cities feel real and are well populated. Each city has its own feel, own style of citizen and each has its own guards.
The gameplay is split in to a few sections. Firstly you need to acquire 'Viewpoints' so you can survey the city. There are usually 9-12 in an area of the city. Once you scan from above you see what needs to be done. This breaks down to saving citizens from the guards, pickpocketing information, Aggressively obtaining information and finding informants. After acquiring enough information on your target you can head to the 'Assassins bureau' for information on your target and being granted permission to make an assassination. Up until you decide to go for the main assassination the game can be very repetitive. You basically repeat the same process of view point, citizen save, pick pocket back to view point etc etc. But what game is without a repeated process? Very Few.
Through doing all the 'side missions' you gain what can be seen as experience points within the game. You level up in terms of abilities etc. This generally makes you a better fighter. Now to the fighting!! This just looks amazing. It takes a while to get used to it but once you have it you can really be seen as unstoppable. As you progress however the guards become stronger and more keen to fighting you back, there are also 'Templar Knights' who know how to kick ass. The fighting looks awesome, it is so fluid and brutal. You can find yourself surrounding by up to 10 enemies circling you and you have options of counter attacking, strong attacking, weak combo attacks, your sword, throwing knives, small blade attacks, grabbing and kicking. The small blade and your sword are your main weapons, each having their own unique 'finish moves' when used as counters.
The general gameplay is great aswell. You have the option of walking slowly, decent speed, jogging or sprinting. Each effects how the guards observe you and how easy it is to get through the city. The citizens can be an aid or when sprinting a nightmare. You can pretty much scale anything and once you get used to the lay out of the city you can quickly cross it whilst making it looking incredible.
Hmm what can I say? This game is a piece of art. The environment looks amazing! The cities, based on actual plans of the original cities, just look incredible. The sky, the water they are all great. The shadows can look a little boxy at times and the cutscenes use the in game engine so nothing special apart from the games intro. This for me is the first wow factor of the game, that is until you start playing it.
The sound is good. Its not quite an orchestral heaven like Oblivions soundtrack but it is great for the game. The sound is good for the era the game is set and when your presence has been altered it perks up to make things interesting. Nothing amazing but not poor either. Slightly annoying as with many games is the fact that the characters sound so Americanized. This does get slightly explained within the story but maybe a Jerusalem accent would have been nice!?
The controls are great and make you feel part of the game. Each button corresponds to part of the body. Y = head = vision. A = feet = spring. That sort of thing. They are very easy to get used to and make the game feel slightly different.
Story: 8 *Minor Spoilers*
This for me is probably the part where the game doesnt quite fall but takes abit of a stumble. Now the creators boasted about a sci-fi twist, now lets just say that generally people expect the twist to come at the end, well here it comes right at the start. This annoyed me a lot. They could have easily used the same twist but integrated it throughout the game finally revealing it at the end or maybe even half way through. They could have made you just question what the hell was happening with the tiny loading times or maybe the way in which you jumped between cities then BOOM its because of this!! But nope, no surprises!! I am only on the 4th mission but the story is ok, it moves well and makes sense so far. The sci-fi twist is also slightly playable which also gives its own story on top of the actual game.
The game for me has no warranted replay value as of yet. There are various flags that can be collected, 100 in the kingdom, 100 in each of the cities. Now I personally hate that crap. I would rather just find 10 well hidden flags than 100, I just cant be bothered. There is also the templars achievement where you can find and take out 60 templar knights. Again nope I dont care. I would rather have had maybe 10 knights hiding out in a cave as a side mission and they are hard as hell and you have to go in and take them down. Or maybe just 10 well hidden knights that are hard as hell and you cant take them on til you are at full power? I dunno. Then the side quests of citizen saving etc, this can be done before the main assassinations and doesnt take much time. If you play like me you WILL finish them whilst in the city so therefore they wont be available to do later. Apart from that I cant see you playing this game again afterwards unless just to show your friends how good it looks.
It terms of completion time id give it a good 20 hours probably. I bought the game at 10am and came off it at 6pm and only just got into the 4th mission. I did however complete everything within the cities and the kingdom bar the flags. There are 9 assassinations in total so there is some good gameplay time available.
Definate room for improvement but game creators do that on purpose for the improved sequel. The game is great however and I recommend a buy as it is something you can run about and waste time on and if you wanna show off the xbox 360's power to friends this game is the way forward.
Hope this helps.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/19/07
Game Release: Assassin's Creed (EU, 11/16/07)
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