Review by Yvl9921
Innovative, but not refreshing.
As any of you who have seen a preview could tell, this game is filled with innovations, unique features, and a storyline that has not been beaten to death. However, that's all there really is to the game. I feel as though they spent too much time working on innovations they forgot about the basics, and while they did break away from the standard stealth action game, they also broke away from a lot of its better features.
First, the playing field, and everything on it. It is just as expansive and free as I had imagined, as it looks like many games this generation will be. However, because it was outdoors, there is a major lack of hidden passages, ventilation shafts, or any other charms of the stealth genre.
The landmark innovation of this game is how detailed the interaction with the environment is. You can climb towers if they have loose rocks or windows, destroy scaffoldings to make the ceiling collapse on your enemies, or throw enemies into a peddler's mart on the street, for example, and cause it to crash down on them.
Of course, no action game would be even decent without secrets and bonuses. Thus far, there have been 3 "collection" quests to do - 100 flags in each zone, 60 Knights Templar in the world, and various scout towers to climb to the top of.
The first two are pretty straightforward, and are comparable to any GTA game's hidden packages and rampages.
The scout towers, though, actually serve a purpose for the game. When you climb to the top of these towers, details show up near you on the map. There is one flaw with these though... for each area, they're all identical. Really, I had thought that game design had come past that. It would have helped the game TREMENDOUSLY to have unique towers with different guard patrols and intricate textures to climb up... but instead, it's usually a very dull tower, maybe with a few guards at its base, and climbing these towers becomes more of a chore than anything.
Now the combat system.
Combat system, combat system, combat system. *sigh*
You're an assassin. Assassins are supposed to do things stealthily, no?
Granted, I may not have enough skill in the game yet to fully take use of the system... but I believe they made it far too difficult to stealth kill with far too few resources. You get a knife and you plunge it into your unsuspecting enemy's heart. That's about it. And that's if he doesn't see you first, which happens far too often.
When you do inevitably enter combat (something that I believe should be mostly optional for any stealth game) it's a bit too basic. You either do things defensively or offensively. On defense, you can parry, counter, or dodge. On offense, you can attack, power attack, or throw. If your attack is blocked, you have a chance to press the attack, again and again by pushing the square button at the right time until you get lucky and the enemy drops his guard.
Honestly, I'm getting sick of these repetitive controls in so many games. If I wanted to push the same button again and again, I would stick exclusively to RPGs. I like to play action games from time to time to break that routine, and this game hasn't delivered.
Cosmetics I don't care much for, but the graphics are worthy of a next gen title, but the music is lacking both in quality and presence.
The story I won't get into much, but I honestly can't understand why they chose to turn a game with such potential into a farfetched sci-fi frametale. For books and movies it's fine, but in a game which is meant to be a method of conveying stories though a second-person viewpoint, it breaks character immensely.
For all it's flaws, the game is indeed very innovative. you can tell the physics of the game were well-thought out, and they were heading in the right direction in so many ways, but in the end they failed to deliver the refreshing game they probably hoped they were creating.
It really is a pretty good game and was worth the money, just don't get your hopes up too high.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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