Review by bruno_fmenedes

"A fun Historic Action Adventure game with an intriguing plot and an amazingly absorbing audio-visual design."

OVERALL SCORE: ((( 8.5 )))

GAMEPLAY = = = = = = = = ( 8 )
GRAPHICS = = = = = = = = = ( 9 )
SOUND = = = = = = = = = = ( 10 )
VALUE = = = = = = = = ( 8 )

The gameplay is a great and elegant combination of platforming, stealth and combat.

The stealth is probably the least exciting of the three. When being watched by the guards you just have to walk slowly to not draw attention until you break the line of sight. At the beginning it can be fun to pass near the guards without alarming them, but soon becomes boring and ends up hurting the pace of the game. Climbing buildings and jumping from one place to another is consistently fun and intuitive. Every surface or structure you think Altair should be able to climb or jump to, he really can. This makes city exploration fluid and captivating, even though there aren't many rewarding things to do. The combat system is shallow at the beginning and although that issue is gradually corrected as the story progresses, with the addition of some useful abilities, only around half through the game does it becomes truly satisfying. By then, many players will probably be tired of engaging in repetitive sword fights to be able to appreciate its depth and to see that fighting can become enjoyable if you learn how to coordinate your moves in an effective combat strategy.

Because the mission types are small in number and the fighting, at least in the first half of the game, can be a somewhat tedious task, if you play the game for many hours everyday it will surely be a repetitive experience. But if you play it only one hour-per-day in average, the game never stops being fun, because there are various approaches you can take to complete the assassination missions, result of a so well designed control scheme plus the organic interaction Altair has with each building and each person.

The plot isn't particularly interesting but is intriguing enough to keep you moderately curious about what's going to happen next and has some original elements that separate it from other action-adventure stories. On the other hand, it has an abrupt and confusing cliffhanger ending, making the whole story considerably less memorable than what it could've been.

The game has a good amount of content, with nearly 20 hours of play-time, in case you just do the minimum required to finish the story. If you're like me and don't like to rush through a game with extremely detailed and historic cities to explore, each one with more than a dozen of citizens to save and many more hidden flags to collect, then it can provide you 30-35 hours of entertainment before the credits role. Probably though, you'll seldom revisit the game in the future.

Some minor visual glitches and a sometimes inconsistent frame-rate hurt the experience a bit. However, apart from those two flaws, the graphics are just fantastic and on par with the best the PS3 has produced. The sound is even better than the graphics, with mind-blowing and helpful sound effects, an appropriate music for each situation and competent voice-work for almost all the characters. Overall, the audio-visual design of the cities is so absorbing, alive and full of details that it almost feels like you really are there.

Ultimately, Assassin's Creed is a fun and immersive Historic Action Adventure game. Every time you enter in the animus machine, it actually feels like you enter a time machine and travel trough time and space, arriving in such historic cities as Jerusalem, Damascus, and Acre in the 12th century. Even though the mission-based structure can be repetitive and the combat isn't exciting at the beginning, if you moderate your gaming sessions it can be an entertaining and intriguing experience. It's not a sandbox game like Grand Theft Auto (otherwise I wouldn't have bought it), where the main joy comes from causing mayhem by doing crazy things or destroying stuff. But also never tries to be, focusing instead on providing a believable representation of the famous cities as they were nearly 1000 years ago and on successfully combining platforming, stealth and action.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/18/10, Updated 03/24/10

Game Release: Assassin's Creed (Platinum) (EU, 09/05/08)

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