Review by Escaperer
Assassins Creed, You'll either love it or hate it
Finally, the game that has had so much hype is finally in my hands. I can finally see if my expectations were realized. After completing the game I can say that I was eager to get my hands on Assassins Creed 2, but I can also see many many ways it can be improved. I will try not to spoil any story, BUT there is a major spoiler you shall figure out in the first 5 minutes of the game, which pretty much crushes a great plot twist right there in the game.
Graphics - 9/10
No real surprise here. The graphics are basically flawless. The models, the buildings, everything looks amazing. People look realistic, textures look realistic, water looks realistic. Basically the graphics are probably the best I've seen in a long long time. The fighting isn't perfect, and the blood isn't the greatest looking, but these small details don't matter much.
The highlight of the graphics are the view points. These are basically high points in the game, usually towers, that you can climb to and view around the city. It's breathtaking to see the city from high up, and the best part is you can jump off of a view point into a hay stack and walk away. The fall is spectacular. It really feels like you yourself are falling. I have gotten a strange sensation in my stomach more than once.
There are a few minor glitches in the game, however I really don't blame them for the graphic engine, but more for the creators not paying attention. The good side is these glitches are usually more funny than irritating though, and you may get away with only 1 or 2 during the whole game.
Sound - 8/10
I think a lot of people will disagree with me here, but I love the sound. Sure, there isn't much of it and there are a lot of repetitive lines said by bystanders. I cant imagine how many times I've heard "He's going to fall, and when he does I am not going to help him". Altair doesn't need help, he can basically fall from a four story building and be fine, but that's not the point. The voice for the characters is basically great. Altair doesn't have the greatest voiceover, but I think his voice grows on you over time.
The sound effects themselves are great. Walking over different surfaces sounds different. There are just a lot of small sounds that some people might not even notice, but it just makes the game more realistic.
The music is fairly lacking. There really isn't much of it, really the only time you will notice it is when you are being chased by guards. The music is fast paced and fits very well with the chase, but it ends fast and isn't really noticeable past the chase scenes.
Story - 5/10
The story is where the game fails. For a game that is very story driven, the story could have been a lot better. This is where the spoilers come in. Altar is just a memory of a guy in the modern world. The whole game in 1191 is a memory, and you can easily tell it is a memory during the game. The flags you get to collect in the cities are surrounded by flashing DNA and molecules. It looks fairly weird. The greatest thing is this story twist is introduced in the first 5 minutes of the game.
The present day story is boring. That pretty much sums it up right there. The story in 1191 is not that interesting either. It is basically the same thing over and over again. Go assassinate this guy, go assassinate that guy, and that is pretty much the whole game. There are a few plot twists but they aren't shocking or groundbreaking.
Basically the story is what drives this game down, otherwise it would be great.
Game Play - 9/10
Combat - I personally liked the combat. The game basically consists of four weapons. Fists, which you will only use for interrogations, are fairly useless. The Hidden Blade, which you will use for stealth/leaping assassinations, is fun to use. Using the Hidden Blade is a lot of fun. It's great for sneaking up behind guards and to take them out without being seen. You can also do this in crowds without getting noticed. The hidden blade is what you use for "low profile" kills. These kills are basically used to not draw attention to yourself. Good for assassinating guards without alerting other guards to your presence. The other move you can pull off with the hidden blade is a leaping assassination. This is basically when you run towards a guard, leap in the year, bring him down to the ground, and assassinate him. It is just like in the trailers, and it's pretty fun to do, but it is a "high profile" kill. Basically if you do this out in the open, guards will be alerted to your presence and try to kill you.
The other weapon is the short blade/knife throwing. These 2 are my favorite in the game. While some people may think the short blade is worse than the long blade, I find it better as it is quicker and fairly good against more than one person. The throwing knives are very fun to use. You simply keep your distance and throw a knife at a guard. One knife will kill a guard, but you're limited to how many knives you can carry. At first you can carry 5, but later you can carry 15. You get more knives by pickpocketing thugs.
The long blade I won't even talk about, as I find it inferior to the short blade and simply don't use it.
The combat system itself is simple. Your main move will be countering. Simply press the right trigger to guard, and when you see an enemy preparing to swing at you, you hit the X button to counter his attack. After a while, countering may turn boring, but as I try to do as many hidden blade assassinations as I can it didn't turn boring for me.
Information Gathering/View Points/Citizen Saving/Searching for Flags - This part of the game turns repetitive. For every assassination you need to get some information on the person you need to assassinate. You do this through a lot of meaningless tasks, like pickpocketing, eavesdropping and interrogating. You figure out where you need to do these tasks by climbing view points. These let you see more stuff in the map, like where you can save citizens or where informants are. Saving citizens is another meaningless task. It's basically guards harassing citizens. You have to kill the guards, and you'll get to do this at least 100 times, so it gets repetitive.
And finally, come the flags. The flags are scattered all around the cities, usually hidden. You get achievements for getting flags, and that is basically it, so there really is no other reason to get them, as it is in no way fun to search for them.
Some people may look at this and say why did it get 9/10. Well, I find that the Combat is cool, and the stuff above is fairly minor, + you get to assassinate guards in the progress so it's all good.
Replay Ability - 5/10
The replay ability for this game isn't great. I did go back and get most of the flags, but that's about it. I may get into doing it again as it was a lot of fun playing the game the first time, but I think I need a break before I do, this isn't Mass Effect that much is for sure.
Final Score - 7/10
There are a few flaws with the game, but I think that they will be fixed in Assassins Creed 2. I found the game to be a lot of fun to play, but it did get a tad boring to the end of it. Once again, the game is still fun to play, but there will be people who don't like it, so I suggest renting before buying.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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