Review by SlurptasticJive
Safety and peace, my brother.
Assassin's Creed is a great game, and despite the mixed reviews, deserves consideration as the best game of 2007. A very interesting story, beautiful environments, and above average gameplay make the game a great experience for anyone. With that all said, here we go.
You are Desmond Miles. A stubborn man, you are kidnapped by a company named Abstergo. A Dr. Warren Vidic wants you to enter the Animus to synchronize with your ancestor, an assassin named Altair, to retrieve information from genetic memory stores. As late-night Sci-Fi channel material as the plot sounds, it plays out to become very interesting. The characters of Desmond and Altair develop very well, although not much is said about the link between the two, nor is much found. As well, one of the Abstergo workers, Lucy Stillman, goes through development as well, as long as you talk to her outside the Animus. As well, one might be compelled to research into characters of the game as well, as many of the people you assassinate are historical figures, a lot of which mysteriously disappeared around 1191. Nearly a perfect story.
One of the first things you'll find out is how beautiful this game is. Character models are great, lighting is stellar, and the environment and ambiance of the cities are just jaw-dropping. Synchronizing at a viewpoint, seeing the whole city from one of the highest points you can reach is just a graphical sight that is unparalleled in gaming today. The city streets are very accurately modeled to what their counterparts would look like in the time of the Crusades. Movements are fluid, which is important for a game of it's type. It doesn't get much better than this.
The backing music is very good in this game. The only problem is that it's very sparse in normal situations. When you're just exploring the city, not often will you hear the background music. It's there, but you'll rarely hear it. You'll get a faster music when you're fighting, which fits. In exchange, you get to hear the people of the city streets. In itself, it's fine, but can get annoying after a while hearing "Can you spare a few coins?", "Crusade? Crusade for what!", "For today only, I will reduce my prices!" about 30+ times. Voice acting is done well. The main characters don't sound out of place, and a few big names do voices as well (Kristen Bell, Nolan North). The people have good voice acting, it's quite varied. You'll hear them talk not only in English, but in Arabic and French as well, which is good as well. Overall, it works, and works well.
The gameplay is simplistic, but fun. Scaling and jumping around buildings is quite fun, and might replace running through the streets as your way of getting around. Nor is it hard to do either. Fighting is also simple, and for me, a bit too simple. There's not much you can do with the combat system. The thing that saves this is a small variety of weapons. You have your short blade, your sword, your retractable dagger, throwing knives, and your bare hands. Each of these has their own uses. Assassinations are fun, but getting to the assassinations themselves are tedious; the research phase isn't the greatest. As well, you have optional citizen saving missions, which may look small at first, but can break out into you against 10-15 guards. Viewpoints are my personal favorite optional missions, because of the graphical reward I mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, improvements could be made, but it's still solid.
The weakest part of the game. The main storyline itself doesn't take much longer than 8 hours, and the optional missions, not more than 5 hours, so you won't get much. Free running around the city may be fun, but won't have you entertained that often. Killing civilians can only get you so far, unfortunately.
Rent or buy?
I personally feel that it's a buy. I loved this game, and I'll probably play it over again a few times for fun. You may not feel the same. If you have more time than I did during my play through, then rent it. But I still recommend it.
Safety and peace, my brother.
Overall Score: 8.3/10
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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