Review by Axel7174

"Assassin's Creed Makes a Killing For Ubisoft"

Ubisoft Montreal has developed a slew of games, including many in the Tom Clancy series as well as the well received Prince of Persia series. Now with Assassin's Creed, the team creates a must have for your next-gen console.

Concept: Set in the time of the Crusades, you play as Altair, the outcast of a brotherhood of Assassins. To regain your lost honor, you must execute 9 men. The game makes use of fun platforming and a well executed combat system.

Graphics: Superb. Everything is rendered beautifully and the vast cities are displayed fully with no falter in the frame rate. The colors are rich and the textures are rarely bland. Cloth is realistic in color and its free flowing movement. For example, Altair's costume is white, but it is never purely clean; you can see the spots of dirt which make it darker. The environments are extremely detailed and they reflect at least with a decent degree of accuracy, the semblance of the locations from history. All in all, the game does not falter here.

Sound: The sounds and music accompany a game set in the time of the Crusades well. Many sounds will be overlooked, but they all share a deep and ambient quality. Sounds are rich and recognizable, from the rustling of hay to the familiar clash of steel. All the music in the game suits the historical background of the game, but also serves the gameplay. When combat arises, the tempo picks up and the beat gets faster. The voices in the game are very good and there are rarely any hiccups in line delivery. With the gameplay, it's easy to overlook the rich detail that is provided by the score.

Gameplay: This is undoubtedly where the game shines. The game is engrossing and fun. Its only flaw is the repetitive cycle it takes and the small variety of mission types. The basic layout of the game is simple. As Altair, you get the name and location of your targets from Al Mualim, Altair's master and leader of the Brotherhood. Then you go to the appointed city, find the Assassin's Bureau and get more information. After that, you're off on your own. You can explore the city, climbing structures to get a better view. Once you have your bearings, you can undertake various missions to collect information on your target. These include eavesdropping, pickpocketing, interrogations, and doing favors for informants. You can also save citizens being harassed by the city soldiers. All of these missions will reward you with extra health, but they get awfully repetitive after a while. By the time you've saved your 25th citizen, you'll desire a change of pace, some new missions. Unfortunately the game will not make it reality. The missions are fun but the game would have benefited by a few more mission types.

To take care of your missions, you'll have to climb a lot of buildings. It's actually a lot of fun. Being king of the rooftops gives you an unbridled sense of freedom. The platforming is definitely a highpoint of the game. The combat is another strong feature. It's somewhat similar to the combat in Prince of Persia but is much more polished and rewarding. You get to choose from your main sword or shorter dagger and can attack, block, and counterattack. The game switches from normal movement to combat fluidly and in combat mode, you're able to fend off numerous enemies at once. As you progress through the gain, you'll regain lost skills and the enemies will become more challenging. Finally the actual assassinations are fun and require some strategy. Some targets are easy to take down, while others are not as accessible and require some quick thinking. It is extremely rewarding once you send them to their final resting place.

Story: Assassin Creed's story is interesting but not extraordinary by any means. The plot, with its roots in history remains fresh and interesting. It even has a nice twist near the end. It's pretty straightforward however and there isn't much development. As Altair, you must regain your lost honor by defeating several key figures of the Crusaders. All the while you will uncover a conspiracy that has taken effect even in the current era. The plot is nice because it holds your interest without revealing what seems to be a big secret. We hope that with the sequel, the game's big unanswered questions will be resolved.

Replay Value: Moderate. The game is fun to play, but there is little incentive to play through it again immediately after you beat it the first time. You receive virtually no bonuses for beating it, outside of two small gameplay rewards that are more or less frivolous. You get to pick parts of the game to jump into and redo, but you can't even jump to the best parts - the assassinations! Instead you're forced to go through all of the missions beforehand. Assassin's Creed is still a great game and you will most likely want to play through it more and more as time goes by.

The Good
-Innovative gameplay style
-Platforming is fun and gives a sense of freedom
-Combat is fluid and rewarding
-Assassinations are nothing but pure fun and badassery
-Extreme detail in the graphics, textures, colors
-Well done score and rich sounds

The Bad
-Very repetitive mission types
-Few rewards for beating the game
-Game leaves room for a sequel which doesn't seem to be coming soon

The Final Verdict

Assassin's Creed is a fun game with great detail and an addictive combat system. Definitely worth a purchase.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/05/08

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

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