Review by Def Freak7
"Fails to meet its monumental expectations."
From the minute this game had a trailer shown at E3, people have been waiting for this one. Even as previews started to wind down to this game's release, people have been eagerly waiting for this game to come out. Everything about this game looked so dang cool that no one would be the wiser as to how this game would really turn out. All this game does is show off some pretty graphics and show some gameplay elements that need some serious fleshing out.
The graphics in this game are beautiful. Probably the best I've ever seen in a 360 game, and that's saying something. The three cities you explore in this game are full, lavish, and extremely detailed. The makers of this game found tons of references as to what these ancient cities looked back then. And this game makes me believe that that's what ancient Jerusalem looked like. Not only are the locales great, the characters look great. All of them have this look to them that they are incredibly realistic. Also, the animations of these characters are incredibly lifelike. The citizens move as though they were in a "real" city. They react to your presence and move accordingly. It's great. Not only are the regular walking animations of citizens great, but the fighting animations of Altair, the main character, and the guards are also incredibly lifelike. It's like watching the Icecapades with swords. Yes, I just made my first Icecapades reference. Go me. Anywho, this game has the best graphics, hands down, of any 360 game I've ever played.
Ya know, this is a somewhat interesting story. You play as Altair, one of the Hashrashhanahanahablahblahdeblahs (that's not the real name, duh, but something long and confusing like that), which is a group of assassins. Obviously, they plan on killing high profile villains, like city officials, politicians, and even evil priests! Not only do they stick with this, but they do in-depth research and find people who actually died or went missing about this time and using them as actual "victims". Now, the real bad part about this story is that the big twist (M. Night Shymalan style) is given to you in the first 10 minutes! NO! YOU DON'T DO THAT! That'd be like giving the ending to a movie like Signs away in the first act. If it weren't for that fact, this story would be great. But unfortunately, that really ruins it.
I'll give these guys credit for thinking up new ideas. The way the controls are set, each one of the main 4 buttons (X, Y, A, B) corresponds to a part of the body (head, legs, right arm, left arm). You obviously use the head button to look for things, or people. You'd use one of your arms to attack people, and the other to do other actions, like grabbing or pickpocketing. This is a pretty cool system. It makes you legitimately think about how to do what you're doing. Speaking of what you're doing, the name of the game is the assassinations. And pulling them off is great. You have about 10 or so assassinations in the game, and every one of them is fun. You can go about it two ways: flashy or stealthy. There are drawbacks to both obviously. It's tough to plan out the stealth, but it's harder to pull off the flashy. It's pretty cool to try doing new things with assassinations. Also, the alerts and trying to shake off guards is pretty cool after you do the assassinations. You can fight your way through, which was fun, or you can take to the roofs, which is also fun.
Now for all the things wrong with this. The missions in-between assassinations are incredibly tedious and boring. These are usually pickpocketing and eavesdropping, which is done by sitting on a bench and listening to a conversation. That's not what video games are for. Also, the AI is dumb. And we're talking British comedy dumb. When you try to take to the streets, it's really easy to just fight the guards. Speaking of fighting, the fighting system is frustrating at times. You can't mash, you have to time your button presses rhythmically. That's hard to figure out at first, and then it's easy to just do second hand nature. Now, when you take to the roofs, it's INCREDIBLY easy to shake the guys. Just hang off of a ledge, and when they're turned around, knife 'em. That's it. Also, the load times between cities are incredibly long. I mean, time to take a bathroom break long. About 5 MINUTES! That's way too long. Also, after you perform an assassination, you have to sit through a tedious cinematic saying the same story twist they reveal in the first 5 minutes. It gets really repetitive.
The presentation is excellent. The gameplay can be revolutionary. But, they leave way too many things to be desired here. Although, if they make a sequel, they have plenty of areas to make a truly excellent one.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 11/14/07
Game Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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