Review by red090482

"Grand Theft Auto + God of War + Hitman = Fun!"

This game started off as one of the most highly anticipated of the year. The hype was everywhere, and when the game finally arrived it was greeted by throngs of reviewers with.....7's. Although from the look of the boards here at GAMEFAQS, it seems as if this game earned higher marks. So what is this game, and what is it about?

The question should seem obvious to you from the cover and box art, but alas it is not! You are indeed not a medieval assassin. You are a bartender in modern times. How exciting. In actuality, one of your ancestors was an assassin and a presumably evil corporation has kidnapped you and plugged you into some kind of glowing spinal machine called the atumus. Using this machine, they can access your ANCESTORS memories, for whatever evil purpose they desire. You do spend the majority of the game playing as your ancestor, the Middle Eastern assassin. These sequences are broken up by "downtime" in which you rest and relax after a hard day of killing people by talking to a pretty girl or hacking a computer system, or bantering with a scientist. I thought this approach to the game was excellent and a surprise to me. I commend the publisher for keeping this a secret throughout development.

As for gameplay, you play the part of the assassin, who is kind of a combination of Kratos and Spiderman. You climb walls and tend to move around cities on rooftops, jumping and crawling. When you do fight, it is very much so a "hit x" type of affair. Although this sounds boring, it is indeed quite addictive, and killing random guards is quite pleasurable. The game is free roaming, to a point. You can access anywhere in the kingdom or any city you want to, and do whatever you want. The main game consists of finding and scaling high points in the cities to gain the location of Intel on your target. You then access this Intel in a variety of ways, either by listening in (the easiest way), pick pocketing information, or beating the information out of someone. Sometimes you are tapped by a fellow assassin to help take out targets, and other times you need to run around the city and collect flags for an NPC within a time limit, ala the HUMMER in GTA 3. Although this seems like a lot of variation, in actuality it is not, and you usually end up picking your three favorite types of Intel, getting them, and moving on with the missions. Once all the data has been collected, the target can be taken out.

This is by far the best aspect of the game. While much of the Intel gathering is repetitive to the extreme, this is where the game shines. You move into your targets area and watch a short cutscene, usually one that highlights the targets evil deeds. Then you simply.....accomplish your mission. You do this however you want to, although I recommend the stealth approach, as that is what the game is designed to do. If this is not your bag, you can always just rush in, sword swinging and kill. How you get to the target is not limited to a single route, nor does it always involve timing actions perfectly. This is a welcome change from the hitman series, in which things usually HAD to be done a certain way. In this game, it is your choice.

That is pretty much the whole game. You have 9 targets to assassinate. The story is of epic proportions, and engrossing. I have some complaints about the game, however. The first is, although it is addictive and fun, the game is very repetitive. Find a high point, rescue a citizen, rinse, flush, repeat. This could be touched up a bit in the next game. My only other complaint was that the ending was barely more than a "to be continued in the next game" screen. I dislike it when developers do this; I feel I should get something more after hours of play. Those two are pretty much it. The game is very repayable, as the first time through; you are still learning how to sneak around. There are also many secondary objectives, such as flags (see also GTA packages) to collect and citizens to rescue for achievements. I am currently playing the game through, guide in hand, to get all of the flags.

You will notice I do not mention graphics in my review. This is because as long as the game looks passable, I don't personally care about graphics. For those of you that care about that sort of thing, however, the graphics are incredible. This is one of the first games I played on my High Def TV and it looked good, almost realistic at times.

So in conclusion, this game is defiantly a buy it now, must have, holiday purchase. I cannot wait for the next game to come out.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/12/07

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

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