Review by Xys` Tel Unaki

"Altair's foray into the world of gaming is superb and beautiful"

SStory 9/10
The story of this game is wonderful and gives an amazing view of what happened during the Crusades. Despite what others may want you to think, there is no plot twist at the beginning of the game. The developers chose to use memories as a new and innovative way to tell a story. The story itself is very deep. You play as the descendant of a popular Assassin named Altair and you need to find this memory that Altair had because it has something to do with the modern age but the machine, the Animus, can't lock onto it so you have to start at a point long before that memory comes into play.

Sound 8/10
The sound in this game is nice and very well-placed. The people are very interactive with the “Ancestor” as well. Climb a building without ladder and hop around on ledges, people will ask what the point of your actions is. Along with them, you can listen to the ramblings of a religious recruiter trying to convince people to join either King Richard's army of Christians or Saladin's army of Muslims. The guards even speak in a different tongue like Arabic if they are angry or annoyed with another person or the ancestor and then you have the paranoid people who speak gibberish and shove you around.

It does, however, get very repetitive real quick and you kind of stop noticing it.

Graphics 10/10
Beautiful. Remember the teaser videos? Those graphics are extremely close to what the graphics in the game are like. Every fold and crease in Altair's robes is visible and blood coats his blade after every kill. The four towns, Jerusalem, Acre, Damascus, and Masyaf are all unique and nicely done.

Each town has its own buildings and areas unique to the location. Acre's poor district has ruined buildings, raggedy robed citizens and flies buzzing around along with the docks where you can hop across boats in the harbor. Each city is rather large and is fully explorable on the outside. None of the buildings can be entered, besides the fortress in Masyaf, but one can only imagine what you could do to escape guards by going in buildings.

Playtime/Replayability 9/10
It takes about 9 hours to beat the story if you just rush through it. However, if you do not rush, it should take around 15 hours, which is the same for most games nowadays. You also have flags in each town which could add a couple more hours of searching to it. The replayability is moderate if you just like to play games once then forget.

Gameplay 9/10
The gameplay is innovative and intriguing. As said before, you play as Altair as a memory. You get to “view” his memories to see what happened that the doctors are trying to figure out if they can change the future with them. As Altair, you have a variety of weapons at your disposal. You have a sword, which is your basic fighting weapon, throwing knives, a normal knife used for melee and a hidden blade used for assassinations. The knife and the sword both have their own fighting styles and “combo-kills.” The combo kills are amazing and graphically pleasing to the person who likes to see blood come out of the opponent's limbs. Each weapon only has about 6 or 7 special kills, however.

As I said before, the buildings can be climbed, as long as there is a sequence of ledges or jutting out stones. Once on top of the building, you can get an eagle-eye view, if it is high enough, of the city you're in. Other than the view, you can find various hiding spots for when you are being chased by guards and hop around the rooftops for a quicker and somewhat safer way of getting around.

Now, after you get used to all the jumping around and dodging guards, you do investigations, saving citizens and climbing high points to find the investigations and save the citizens. “Save the Citizen” is where you just walk up to the guards pushing the person around and attack them. Sometimes, other guards will jump in and make it tougher on you. Once the guards are dead, the citizen will thank you and either scholars, which is a unique way of blending along with sitting on a bench, or vigilantes will appear. If you are being chased, run through the vigilantes and the guards will be halted by these men allowing you to escape.

The Investigations range from eavesdropping on two guys chatting to grabbing flags in a time trial. The full list is eavesdropping, pick pocketing, gathering flags and assassinating minor targets. The reward for each is a sliver of information about your big target. These do, however, get very tedious and very repetitive quickly.

Overall 9/10
Awesome game! I recommend this as an addition to your game collection as it is a truly amazing take on “stealthy” hack-n-slash games.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/19/07

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

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