Review by Spiffymarlin
"Assassin's Creed suffers from being over hyped with not much to back it up."
Assassin's Creed was in development for two years by Ubisoft, who brought us great games like the Splinter Cell series and Rainbow Six series. Assassin's Creed was supposed to be an excellent game that really showcases what a next-gen game was supposed to be. It was hyped up so much by the publishers, developers, and fans that it really had no choice but to fail because it's very, very hard for a game to live up to that level of hype. When it released, everyone was awed...for about the first hour or two after first playing it.
The graphics department is where AC really shines. Excellent shaders, very good draw distance, highly detailed character models, great ambient environments, and the overall beauty of the world come together to give this game a very polished surface. There are sparks flying when your blade collides with a guard's, blood sprays when you land a killing blow, and even Altair looks great. He is the epitome of what an assassin should look like: a dark, shady man that gives off the impression that if his bosses wanted you dead, you would be, and no amount of protection would help you. But this is really all this game has going for it. The graphics are one thing that would need little improvement in a sequel.
The gameplay in AC is great for the first time you run through a string of assassination missions. AC, like the Grand Theft Auto series, is a "sandbox" game, which means you do not have to follow a set path from A to B to get the job completed. There are other things to do, such as saving citizens who are being harassed by guards (and in return they bring in "vigilantes" who block the path of the guards chasing you while you make good your escape). In order to accept the actual assassination mission from the organization called "The Bureau", you must first complete several objectives. You must gather information through eavesdropping, interrogating enemy officials, and pickpocketing men who have documents relating to your target. This all sounds very fun and exciting..the first time you do it. After nine repetitions of doing the exact same thing in the same manner, just in a different environment, gets very tiring and boring. There is only one other side mission to do aside from saving citizens, which are collecting flags in the different areas of the world. Collecting all of these flags only gives you an achievement for your gamer profile and nothing else. This is something Ubisoft definitely needs to fix in a sequel.
The sound in this game is amazing for something so linear. As you walk the city streets you can hear snatches of various conversations being held around you, merchants hawking their wares, and guards who make snide comments about your appearance if you are doing anything deemed by society to be unacceptable. The weapons make nice sound effects when they clang off each other in combat, and after you kill some guards you can hear them interrogating nearby citizens as to who committed the crimes. It's very in depth, but again, after a short period of time you get used to it and it becomes just another flaw in a game that has too many of them.
This game gives you absolutely no reason to pick it up and play it again, if you managed to beat it the first time. There are no alternate story lines, no hidden endings, no rewards to unlock. There is no multiplayer, but like all other Xbox 360 games, it is Xbox Live Aware so you can know when your friends are playing and you can go join them. A major factor in reducing this problem would be the addition of multiplayer. Ubisoft needs to note the repetition in this and fix it in the sequel, and add some multiplayer game modes similar to Gears of War. VIP gametypes where on person on each team is the VIP and must be killed in order to win would make an excellent addition to this game, given the nature of running across rooftops and dropping down for a stealthy kill.
In closing, this game would best serve someone who is waiting for another game to come out and needs something to play as filler. It can be completed in less than a week, and I doubt that it will even take that long before the gamer takes it back and exchanges it for a better title. Do not believe that the trailer for this game is how the game will actually be. Game of the Year? Hardly. It suffered from being over hyped and is now reaping the rewards of being a shallow and repetitive game.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 12/12/07
Game Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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