Review by Lord_Yggdrassil
Assassin's Creed is a fantastic Achievement that delivers a unique and exciting experience that should not be missed.
When Assassins Creed was shown to the public in E3 2006 people were just amazed on how appealing the style of game was. It caught a lot of attention that week and ever since then it was a highly anticipated game by everyone. And now it's finally here...does it live up to its expectations? Yes. Does it deliver one of the greatest gaming experiences ever? Not quite. But it should never have to. No game is perfect, some games have come very close but even with its flaws Assassins Creed is a fantastic achievement that delivers a unique and exciting experience.
Without spoiling too much, the story revolves around the past and present. The transition is done well and even though it's confusing and out of place during the beginning it all comes together and gradually gains momentum as you progress. There are a few twists here and there and are very enjoyable to see unfold. The ending is left with a surprising cliff-hanger and is not concluded in the most satisfying way but this game is a part of a Trilogy so to speak. All in all the entire Story is well written and told through fantastically directed "in-game" cut scenes, it will keep you enticed throughout the game.
Next generation games not only need to look great but also sound great, and for the most part Assassin's Creed does a great job, unfortunately a few VA quirks and variety bring it down. Luckily it doesn't affect the experience too much to matter, however a more varied musical score and better voice work would have been nice. VA is top notch apart from many of the civilians who will say the same thing over and over, and while at first it's tolerable by the end it can be annoying. Not only that but the quality of the voice isn't that great to begin with.
The music in this game is great, and suits the atmosphere the game provides. It could however be a little bit more ambitious in trying to use more symphonic scores to immerse the player more. Overall the sound quality is great but not perfect. Same applies to the music.
Just too quickly note, you are not doing this game justice by playing it on an SD screen. This is one of those games that look amazing on any screen but significantly better on a HD screen. Reasons for this is because the draw distance in this game is superb and when you are viewing in HD those details are of the highest quality and it just looks spectacular. Anyway as I've breezily mentioned this game does look unbelievably good. Not just artistically but technically as well. To call it the best looking console game wouldn't be exaggerating, even though there are other contenders. The character models look solid and so do the animations, but it's the detail on the surroundings that make this stand out, every building you climb, rooftop you explore the detail is incredible and will make you feel like you're actually there.
This brings to my next point about atmosphere. The games graphics and expansive detail bring the world to life and you can just run around for long periods of time just climbing and jumping around. It doesn't get boring and can be very fun, especially with the interactive crowd.
What is a game with amazing graphics without Gameplay? Not that good and this subject has been the talking point among many of the professional reviews given to this game. While I'm not allowed to discuss others opinions in my review I will state that the interpretation of repetitive gameplay isn't always seen as a negative thing, especially if other elements work well. And in Assassins Creed they do.
First of all the game is based on a number of main missions, in each mission you are told to assassinate one person. The side missions leading up to this require you to gain information on your assassination target. These small tasks consist of finding benches and eavesdropping; pick pocketing people and stealth killing guards for "Informers". There are others like interrogating people and collecting Flags for again..."Informers". Throughout the game each assassination requires you to gain info on your target and each time you visit a new city you will be doing the things I've mentioned above. There isn't much else to it than that, and it can be repetitive towards the end but not in a way where you will stop playing that's for sure, the atmosphere of the game helps you look past these even though they are there and can be tedious.
The assassinations themselves vary quite a bit. For instance one of them require you to chase your target through roofs and streets while another you are climbing around huge buildings and getting to a specific room. One instance you are taking on several targets and you have to find them. Each target scenario is different so it helps null out some of the repetition in the game.
Now let's talk about the combat. It's either a love hate type of combat. Love in terms of it has its depth and can be mastered later on in the game and hate as in it's uninteresting in terms of how you are mashing the buttons. The counter kills in this game look great and is probably the easiest move to pull off. This however is what people may do all the time...in that case combat can feel repetitive but it does have other properties; For example there are 3 types of attacks, combo, counter (already mentioned) and the Defence Break. When you learn all these 3 extensively and use them in a varied way against your foes the combat feels more exciting.
Altair has 3 weapons, short blade Long sword and Hidden blade. The hidden blade is only used for Stealth kills, basically walking up people and using "X" command kills them instantly. This works for your Main targets too. The Knives (short- Blade) can be used in close combat as a fast paced weapon or as a projectile weapon in long range. You will need to pickpocket these "knives" from thieves in the cities. The Long sword is used in close combat only.
The other aspect of gameplay is the plat-forming, which AC almost perfects. Climbing around and jumping from building to building is simply amazing and superbly designed. The jumping has its flaws in that its automatic and you are restricted in your movement. However the climbing in this game IS perfect. Everything you see that you think you can climb...You can. Buildings were superbly designed for scaling and Altair can grab onto anything that can be realistically grabbed onto. This is good because during this game you will be doing a lot of climbing due to the inclusion of these "view points" tall buildings which open up parts of the map. In a sense Gameplay is probably the weakest link in Assassins Creed but it's still a lot of fun to play which is the main thing.
The World in Assassins Creed is Gigantic and it would be pretty silly if there wasn't' anything to do, luckily there are but it depends on you willing to go and do it. Each of the three "big" cities has side missions such as Saving Citizens from Guards and climbing view points. Others include collecting Flags and Killing Templers. These are all "search and execute" tasks and are not required to complete the main game. Finding all the viewpoints in this game can be fun and some are required to finding new investigation targets during the main missions. Collecting flags however have no purpose other than Achievement points (on 360 only) and can be very tedious. If you are dedicated and wish to achieve these then you will spend well over 40 hours in doing it. Main Game takes around 12-15 hours depending on how many extra missions you do.
Assassins Creed is simply put an "awesome" game. It's the kind of game (referring to GS review) that you will want to tell your friends about, it has a great story combined with slick gameplay and a phenomenal world that's ingeniously designed for you to explore and free roam in. If you are hesitant on buying this game then rent it for a couple of days and try and complete it. But make sure to play it because it is one of the most unique and imaginative experiences this year and is bound to thoughrely entertain a large number of people.
Score 9/10(Originally written for Gamespot)
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (EU, 11/16/07)
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