Review by Buck_Swaggler
The year is 1191 A.D. The place is the Holy Land. The Third Crusade is devastating your home. You are Altair, an assassin, cloaked in secrecy and feared for your ruthlessness, and you intend to stop the fighting by making sure that neither side gets an advantage.
Graphics - 8.5
Impressive. Assassin's Creed definitely has one of the nicest looking worlds in game history. The structures, the streets, the clothes, the textures are all very amazing. The architecture is exquisite, and there are always multitudes of things happening all around you. It definitely feels like a flash back to real life hundreds of years ago. Altair looks awesome. He animates very fluidly and watching him climb is purely wondrous. From the way he hops across platforms and gaps to the way he perches like Spiderman when you stop, he looks very cool. The kill cutscenes during fights all look impressive, however some of his regular fighting animations are a little clunky. As well, some character movements and gestures look a little awkward. There are also collision issues and its not uncommon for objects to cross through eachother.
Sound - 7
This is a mixed bad. On one hand the sound is exactly what I want it to be. Lots of ambient noise, conversation happening, speeches in the background, dings and twangs of objects impacting different materials, and cool espionage, James Bond style, background sound effects. On the other hand it is exactly what I wish it was not. Constantly reused conversation, annoyingly repetitive speeches (worth killing an NPC over), loud-buzzer-alarm-clock level of irritation social indicators, and relentless in-your-face NPC outbursts that damn near ruin the entire game. "Can you spare some MONEY!?!" The voice acting is good for the most part, but some characters were not, like the main one. Not to mention that a short 2 months later I can't think of a single good or bad thing to say about the music. There was music right? Nonetheless it was not memorable.
Gameplay - 7
When you first play this game it is the coolest thing ever. The level exploration is unrivaled, the way Altair climbs and hops from spot to spot so effortlessly is unheard of. No game to date has made it more fun to "walk around." And nothing felt better than getting that perfect assassination. The 1 or 2 times it actually happened. Your interaction with the world seems very intricate and in-depth at first but after a few hours it becomes somewhat stale. And I, often times, found myself struggling to be swift and acrobatic only at the worst of times. I don't know why it happened but when 8 guards were chasing me across a courtyard it seemed like Altair just forgot how to climb and jump. Thus, I spent MUCH of the time fighting. I was really, really good at the combat system in this game. I was taking down tens of guys at a time, constantly. And I must say with the exception of the cutscene kills, the engine was rather clunky. Altair's movements seemed kind of stuff, and attacking fallen opponents was just awkward. The praying mechanics were all but ludicrous. It should have been called invisibility. And the missions all felt like they were thrown in at the last minute. You do the EXACT same things over and over until you beat the game. On top of that, I can't even begin to tell you how much of the game was ruined by the crazy drunkards. It was fun, but it really needed to be more fleshed out.
Story - 7.5
I liked the story line. I thought the cliff hanger ending was a good way to go. I found it interesting enough and I definitely liked the way it progressed. I didn't delve too much though, as I basically beat the game as fast as possible to keep it from getting too boring. The setting was perfect. The world was wondrous, and it all panned out like a big chess game. Overall, I really did like it, I just wished that it was a little more developed.
Final Recommendation - 7.5 - Worth a try.
This game had so much potential. The proof is in the pudding. Everyone says that it was the coolest thing ever for about an hour. So, much was done right with the game, but there just wasn't enough. The game was entirely too repetitive and at times very boring or frustrating. The difficulty was also an issue for me as well. The game never really got hard, only irritating. With regular guys doing top-tier assassin platforming, and sometimes just making you feel like a chump in combat. There were too many times when sheer nonsense occurred. Those who've played the game all remember those few very undeserved times you heard "He's an assassin!" Still, the game offered a great deal of innovation. Assassin's Creed screams with potential. But, unfortunately it doesn't take it all the way. I will however, be keeping my eye out for the sequel.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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