Review by presidentrich1
A highly original concept with few but frustrating flaws
Ubisoft Montreal continues to prove itself as one of the most creative developers. Assassin's Creed is a very unique and fun game but suffers from some obvious and frustrating flaws - thought it is still highly enjoyable.
AC is a technical marvel. From the breathtaking cities to the fluid animations and slick HUD, the game is beautiful. There are object pop in issues in some sections of the game, and I experienced some moments of frame rate hiccup, although it stays stable through the majority of the game.
The freerunning platforming gameplay engine is among the best I've played. The combat system is excellent as well, although it can be easily exploited to make fighting enemies too easy. The sword fighting and kill animations are perhaps the best I've seen in a game, and I never get tired of seeing my blade slice into the neck of an enemy.
The social system of stealth is a breath of fresh air from shadows and lines of sight. Blending in with crowds is a great concept that I would like to see more of.
The story is decent and told through some neat cinematic, semi-interactive cutscenes. I liked the concept of the Animus and the interactions between the characters in the modern setting. The script is corny and confusing at times, and some voice acting is poor, especially of the protagonist.
The most obvious flaw however is the repetitive nature of level progression. Players will be tasked to complete about 5 different "investigation" objectives over and over again, two to three times each level. Finding each objective isn't very user-friendly either.
The enemy AI can be frustrating. At times you will be attacked and pursued without seemingly doing anything suspicious. And it is mostly during these chase sequences when you will notice some problems with the freerunning mechanic. Sometimes you will jump in the wrong direction or have difficulty making precise movements. The complex control scheme, which takes a while to figure out, doesn't help in this manner.
The actual assassinations themselves are disappointing. Compared to Hitman: Blood Money, the assassinations in AC offer no variety at all. While there are multiple ways to approach a target, you are limited to either a quick up close assassination or a kill in combat.
Overall Assassin's Creed is a game I strongly recommend for its uniqueness, innovations and technical soundness. This is one of those games whose sequel I strongly wish to see address the flaws and be crafted into a much better product.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Assassin's Creed (US, 11/13/07)
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