Review by EnnTea

"A decent game overall with great potential and huge hype, but numerous hitches."

For months now we've all been hearing about how great Assassin's creed was going to be, and for good reason. All of the pre-release information on this game looked intriguing. Now, at long last, it has been released. Does it live up to all that hype? The answer is yes and no.

The first thing I want to get out of the way is this: For every "big release" that comes along, among all the great reviews, you always have one guy/girl who submits a 6 or lower review just for kicks and giggles, or because he/she is a big fan of a rival or similar game and would rather people buy it. I'm not one of those people. I was anxiously awaiting this release from the day I heard about it. My score may seem negative, but I don't view it as that. I view this score as "average," and that's just what Assassin's creed is.

I gave it a score of 6, but I think 6.5 would have been more appropriate, I really wish they would let you grade in .5 increments. Assassin's Creed is a mix of the very, very good and the very, very bad, and it all levels out to a playing experience which is...average. It's certainly not a bad game, but it's also certainly not a great game.

The Good:
Assassin's Creed features very nice looking graphics, especially when you consider the scale that it's on. It takes place across three gigantic cities, all of them look amazing. As I'm sure you know, almost every single surface allows you to climb on it, which is really cool. At times I would completely stop the mission progression, just so that I could climb up buildings and get a view of the city I was in. All of the character's animations are done very well, and the voice acting is very good. The main character is definitely the weak spot on the voice acting. His voice seems dull and out of place, but overall the voice acting is definitely a plus.

The missions are set up kind of like a Grand Theft Auto title. You have 9 people you need to assassinate. Before you can assassinate them, you need to investigate them. The investigations take place as little side missions that you can choose to do at any time. Overall, it's a pretty cool idea, and one that hasn't really been done before.

Assassin's Creed has an enjoyable storyline, filled with greed, corruption, plot twists, and everything else you'd expect from a game of this type. It's all pulled off quite well, especially since there are essentially two stories unfolding at once. I won't get in to why that is, but trust me, it's awesome. Probably my favorite part of the game was the storyline.

Another thing done very well is the battle system. The sword fighting in this game is one of the best swordfighting systems seen in a videogame. You can block, counter, dodge, etc. and it's all very easy and it's all animated quite nicely. The control system is different, and takes some time to get used to. But after a little while of gameplay, the controls feel very natural and easy to use.

The bad:
So with all that working for Assassin's Creed, obviously the fact that I've given it a 6/10 (actually a 6.5, but whatever) means that there are some very significant flaws. There are. Time to get into those.

The first major flaw, if you're playing on the PS3, is freezing. This doesn't mean that this only happens on the PS3, just that I don't know if it happens on the 360 version or not. All in all, by the time I had completed the game, it had frozen 6 times in about 10 hours of gameplay. That is a lot. The good news here is that the game creators are aware of it, and I believe they are currently working on a patch. With any luck, this will be fixed soon.

Next, something that you've all probably heard about Assassin's Creed. It's repetitive. Very, very repetitive. As I mentioned earlier, there are 9 people you need to kill, and you need to investigate each one before hand. There are four ways to investigate: pickpocket, interrogate, informer, eavesdrop. For each assassination, you are forced to do either two or three investigation missions before going for the kill. As I said, it's a cool idea. Definitely innovative. The problem here is that the investigations are mind numbingly easy. If you're pickpocketing, you hold circle and walk up behind him. If you're interrogating, you beat him up until he surrenders. If you're eavesdropping, you sit on a bench and press L1 + Triangle, and listen. They are the same. Every. Single. Time. The only one that offers a bit of variety are the informer missions. An informer tells you that he has some useful information and that if you do a task for him, he'll give it to you. Those are pretty cool, though even they get old as most of them are just "go and kill these 2/3/5 people" At the end of the game, it got really boring because of the repetitiveness. A lot of people have said that this issue is overblown. I don't believe that it is. The game legitimately is boring at the end, because you've already done it way too many times. This game is also pretty short, which some list as a complaint. I would actually say it's a pretty good thing it's short due to the repetitiveness.

This is kind of a mini-complaint, something that didn't bug me too much but is still worth noting. I died a total of two times playing through on the default difficulty. One of those times I messed up a jump while I was screwing around. I would suggest playing through on a higher difficulty, it will make the game more interesting and, hopefully, more challenging.

This game does feature some very noticeable framerate issues at times. However, considering you are in a gigantic, beautifully rendered city with countless civilians and at times dozens of enemies attacking you at one time, all with manageable loading times, I think this is forgivable. But, if you're somebody who demands your games to run smoothly 100% of the time, this might be a big issue for you.

There seem to be a million different opinions on this game. Some people love it, some people hate it. The truth is somewhere in between. By no means is this a bad video game. The flaws however, make it well short of being great. Take it for what it is, a beautiful game with cool gameplay ideas that just falls short of being great. This is, supposedly, game one of a trilogy, and this game shows enough promise to believe that Assassin's Creed 2 will be great. I would definitely recommend renting this game over buying it. You can beat the main story in 10 hours easily. The game does have many flags that you can unlock for extras that add some replay value, but if you're anything like me, you probably won't be too interested in playing it again.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 11/26/07

Game Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)

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