Review by RidleysShadow
Killing is as easy as breathing, and apparently pressing down a button too.
If you're a gamer, you've probably killed a lot of people by now. By a lot, I mean probably an entire country's worth. There's been a lot of games about killing, but there's never really been a game about the "art" of killing. That's where Assassin's Creed comes in.
There's really two plots to this game. One is in the future, where a man has been kidnapped to find out about one of his ancestors, who was an assassin. You really don't find out a whole lot about this, and it's all around pretty weird. But the guy is put on a table to relive memories of his ancestor, and he actually becomes him while it happens.
You're Altair, Ace Assassin, and it's your mission to kill a bunch of people because you kinda-sorta messed up and got someone killed. No big deal, right? The master disagrees, removes you of your rank, and now you need to reclaim your honor as an assassin. You've got 9 guys to kill, are you a bad enough dude to kill people involved in The Third Crusade?
At heart this game is a sand-box game. You go around different cities finding information about your targets, save citizens, and just plain do whatever you want. As an assassin, you have quite a few tricks up your sleeve, such as the ability to be as athletic as a monkey. The jumping is probably one of the best parts of this game. You can climb different buildings, jump around various and clever platforms, and it really does feel amazing. You also have a sword, for when you "accidentally" anger the guards, some throwing knives for some long distance kills, and an assassination blade, for when you need to take down a target stealthily. To be honest, while the combat can be fun, it usually becomes a fairly basic and repetitive routine. Sure you'll learn a few moves here and there, but it doesn't really change anything.
Now the main bulk of the game is assassinating your main targets. To do this, you go around to different cities, and meeting with the people who live in the secret assassination bureaus. After they usually insult you for messing up, they send you off to collect some info about your target. While they usually give you some hints where to go, you probably will have no idea where anything is. But never fear (unless you're afraid of heights), if you climb certain buildings, you can scope out the entire area, and see where missions are going on in your map.
The actual assassination is where the cool stuff begins. Each scenario is different, and it's up to you to figure how you can kill him without him knowing. Of course, if that doesn't work, then you can always have some kind of sword fight with and his tons of guards. After you are escaping, you'll want to make sure people don't keep following you until the end of time, so you'll probably need to scamper. There's quite a few places for you to hide, whether in be casually sitting on a bench, a convenient haystack, or a traveling group of scholars who happen to look just like you.
Essentially, that's Assassin's Creed. Rinse and repeat nine times. If you only focus on the story, then you're bound to get bored at one point, but there's plenty of stuff for you to do. You have the always present achievements in the 360 version, which will make you do some pretty ridiculous stuff, then there's the other typical sand-box stuff. You know, side missions like saving citizens, killing jerks called Templars, or collecting the cleverly placed collectibles collectively concealed from your sight. Assassin's Creed is definitely not the longest game, but it is a really fun one.
The music is pretty good, when you get to hear it. A lot of times, there's no background music other than listening to the people around. Speaking of, there's a lot of voice acting put into this game. You'll hear people casually talking, commenting about how crazy you look climbing a building, or just listening to the cut-scenes. Aside from the citizens getting annoying after saying the same thing for about the 100th time, the voice acting is very well done. I have no complaints there.
The graphics are beautiful. Seeing you jumping around, killing guys, and just doing whatever looks great. It feels like it's in the past, but they add in tiny cracks to make it seem like it's a program at the same time. I don't know what more I can say about that.
Overall, Assassin's Creed is a bit on the short side, has a somewhat confusing plot, but it still manages to pull of being a good game. The game play is brilliant, but repetitive if you don't break up the monotony every once in a while. Even once you're done, you have plenty of meaningless tasks to fulfill.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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