Assassin’s Creed has been out for a while now, most recently being released for PC, so now is the perfect time to properly review this game with the hype having died down somewhat.
Check out the official website:
Link to the site
The game plunges you into an odd, laboratory style environment, with no real indication towards the reason. The plot, instead, is drip fed to you as you progress through the game, the general idea, without giving away too much in the way of spoilers, being that you are a young man who has an ancestry of assassins; and due to this you have been abducted because apparently there is a way to extract memories of ancestors from DNA, and they want to find out about a particular person in your bloodline, “Altair”, a disgraced member of the Hashshashin. From here on the gameplay flicks between the present and the past, mainly focusing on the assassinations in the past. The plot twists and turns, but ultimately is fairly farfetched, although entertaining. Unfortunately, the drip feeding of the plot is let down by poor voice acting throughout.
Being an action game, Assassin’s Creed’s name really gives away the style of this game; think Hitman, but set in the Middle-Ages amongst conflict, with more use of knives and swords. This is the essential concept of this game, but the historical accuracy, at least of the parts where you play as Altair, are unparalleled, as I will talk about a little more later.
It is a typical 3rd person affair, controls are fairly intuitive however I actually prefer the PC’s control system for this particular game, as I find that you can find yourself running away from a guard, stuck in a corner with a bad camera angle, and you cannot adjust it easily due to having to hold down the X button to sprint along with the R1 button, and this means that moving the right analog stick (camera angle movement) is impossible.
The gameplay itself is the usual fair that you would expect, as a member of the Hashshashin, you can expect plenty of infiltration, stealthy elements, and, ultimately, assigned assassinations. There is no health bar as such, merely a “synchronisation bar” which, if it is lowered to zero, the memory of Altair is lost and you are kicked back into the present, where you can either walk around, or restart the memory. Synchronisation is lost if you attack civilians, are attacked or just generally damage yourself, such as falling. However, there doesn’t appear to be a real incentive not to attack civilians; you are told that it is not the assassin’s way to do such a thing, but you only lose a small amount of synchronisation which quickly regenerates, and, if the guards decide to attack you, which is actually rarer then you’d expect considering they are employed to be guards, it is often just a case of “hold down R1 (defensive stance), and press the (counter attack) button”.
Unfortunately, although the game is a fantastic idea, it does seem to get tedious quickly, with repetitive game-play, and over used sound clips. It seems like great, innovative fun at first, with free roam of the excellently realized cities, but you can’t help but think that they originally made this game a lot shorter, realized it would be too quick to complete and added extra, almost identical missions. It seems that the whole process is the same for each city or section of the city; sneak past the guards at the entrance by blending in with a crowd, explore the city, climb, parkour style up buildings, jumping across rooftops and eventually finding tall points to climb up to and tap the “synchronize” button to have an updated map view, save civilians who are being harassed by guards to gain followers who will aid you if attacked, get information on your target by interrogating and later killing people of interest and then ultimately find the local assassin’s bureau, get your mission approved and find and kill the man who you have been told to kill, no questions asked.
This formula is repeated over and over, and although fun for the first 3 or 4 assassinations, did seem rather dreary later on. However, I am not saying that Assassin’s Creed is a boring game. Far from it; I think it’s definitely an enjoyable play. But it could have been a lot more, with some variation. Sure, there is a very free-roaming element in that you can go about your assassinations either in an intense, Rambo-from-the-middle-ages style, or get out your trademark weapon, the hidden blade, and sneak up behind your subject. But the game still feels very linear, and as such the attempt to spice up the game is short lived.
In terms of graphics, the pictures speak for themselves. This game is very pretty, with some nice bloom effects, some excellently realized cities, great animations particularly in fight sequences, and in case you get too engaged in the past setting, an occasional, deliberate digital fluctuation in the scenery cleverly reminds you that, in fact, this is just a scene from a memory. But, I must add, that the price for these graphics are fairly long load times.
The game falls down a little here, unfortunately. The soundtrack, created by Jesper Kyd, is fantastic and fits the mood well, but the voice acting is similar to what you would expect from a group of B-Movie rejects. Also, many lines in the side plots are identical, even when said by different voice actors, and this is a real shame, as it reminds you that you are playing a game, removing the immersion factor.Movieclip:
Check out a small clip from the game. CLICK HERE
I like Assassin’s Creed. It’s a good game, but it could have been brilliant. It’s a shame; it had a lot of potential, but is just too repetitive. I would recommend it for any action gamer, but it isn’t an essential purchase. It feels just a little rushed, and I believe that was the final problem with it. I am eagerly awaiting a sequel, as I believe that, if they take these points into account, it would be a gem of a game.
+ Relatively accurate historically
+ Beautifully realized scenery and graphics.
- A little shallow
- Unbelievable plot
- Feels rushed.
- Long load time