Review by Nicky Dubz
An Engrossing Game that Delivers From Start to Finish
Well, well, well...what can I say, I have been following this game since it was announced for the Playstation 3 and up until its release date a few days ago and its about as good as I hoped it would be. Now for the review....
Assassin's Creed dives into a period not normally explored by games, the Middle East almost one thousand years ago. However, the period is quite interesting, plus it adds a historical aspect to the game, from the creation of the cities and castles, to the very people you are trying to assassinate. They all have one thing in common, they are all real. The cities: Acre, Damascus, and Jerusalem where all cities present in that time, as were the nine assassination targets you have. For me, it adds a wonderful aspect to the game.
Stunning. Expect for very few glitches, the visuals are some of the best I've ever seen. When you first witness the cities from a zoomed out view, it is simply breathtaking. I found myself being sucked into the very world itself and not wanting to leave. All the weapons, look realistic as do the thousands of character models the game has. Also stunning. The developers did a wonderful job of recreating the 12th century Middle East.
Quite an interesting topic, with some interesting twists thrown in right at the beginning. Basically, your Altair, an assassin who is stripped of his rank for failing his leader on a mission. Through the majority of the game, your goal is to assinate nine men who are keeping the Crusades from ending. After you kill one of them, you gain a rank and usually a nice new weapon to play around with, though I still found the longsword to be the most useful. The plot is very in depth with some twists and turns along the way, but I don't want to spoil anything so I'll leave it at that.
The voice acting is astounding, expect oddly for the main character, Altair. The Templar leaders, the Assassin leader, and the various sultans and arms dealers all create a magnificent supporting cast that is truly something to remember. However, the actor who voices Altair fails to deliver a performance on par with the others. The well placed soundtrack also adds well to some of the games, more important scenes.
The only reason that keeps this from getting a nine is due to the repetitiveness the game can create. I myself found it not to be a swaying factor of the game, but others might think differently so I felt I had to mention it. Before each assassination you end up having to eavesdrop, pickpocket, and scale a few tall buildings every time. This can get tedious, but if you mix it up and save a few needy citizens on the way or just start a brawl in the streets, the problem quickly dissipates. This brings me to my next point, the fighting system. Some good old fashioned button mashing early on, and then some interesting counters and even tackles. Some call the fighting boring, but I found it entertaining, the system allows you to go six on one, without instantly being killed or cornered. You have five different weapons to choose from, a long sword, a short sword, throwing knives, a hidden wrist blade(the key assassination tool), and of course your trusty fists. Your main opponent in the game wil be guards, being that there is a penalty for killing citizens. But don't worry, you can still beat people up or throw them to the ground without to much trouble. It's especially fun when you start a brawl with a drunk and fifty others soon join the fight, as the streets are realistic, and filled with hundreds of people in one area. Don't worry about the repetitiveness, there are plenty of others things to do and explore.
Nice tight, smooth controls for fighting, running, and building hopping. Simply hold down the right trigger and the A button and press forward and you can jump as many building as you want without stopping. The game has two sets of controls in the A, B, X, and Y buttons, high and low profile. Low profile is for walking and blending in, maybe throwing a couple punches or pushing people aside. High profile is for flashy assassinations and throwing people around or sprinting away from the guards, who are plentiful in the game. The controls are quite easy, to use and take little time getting used to.
The game's worst flaw perhaps. The soldiers can be quite idiotic. For example, instead of surrounding you, they might all stand in front of you, allowing you the easily pick them off, one by one. Also, instead of all striking at the same time(which would basically be impossible to block), they strike one after another, allowing you to easily counter them. However, the citizens move well throughout the city and will even stop and point or scream when you climb up a building or jump down into a waiting bale of hay(which are conveniently placed at the bottom of each tall building).
Being that there are numerous ways to carry out your tasks and various areas to explore, the game has a high replay value. It also boasts some good achievements, some of which are quite difficult and will have you play through the game most definitely more than once.
While the average of these scores is about 8 and two-thirds I give the game a 9/10 just because it creates an unknown atmosphere that few games delve into, and this game does it extremely well. It creates an experience that you will remember for quite some time, due to all the various aspects coming together. It might be what the historical aspect adds to the game(if that was rated it would be a 10/10) or might be just the feel you get from playing as a feared and unbelievably skilled assassin. If you own an Xbox 360 please do yourself a favor and buy this or at least rent it. It is worth $60.
OVERALL SCORE: 9.0/10.0
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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