Assassin’s Creed Review – Ubisoft does something right this generation.

Assassin’s Creed. People have been raving about it ever since it was first announced. The first trailer implied that you would be able to kill anybody, and disappear into a random crowd as one of them. Showcasing some top notch AI, and amazing crowd gameplay mechanics, Assassin’s Creed was prone to become one of gaming’s best. Although, that’s not particularly true, Assassin’s Creed is still a refreshing, crisp, beautiful next gen experience, and is one of the best action games of 2007.

You play as Altair, a 12th century assassin. The holy land is being ravaged by war during the third crusade, and is being torn apart by corruption. As Altair, you are given a list of nine men, who really are a bad influence on the world, and you need to pick them all off one by one. That may sound totally shallow, but actually the story is very deep, as each man you kill just furthers your curiosity on just who to trust. Is your leader really the man who should be leading? Or are the scum of the earth lying to you? The story in Assassin’s Creed is really well told, at a pretty good pace.

Ubisoft Montreal decided to unload a big twist in the first five minutes of the game, but for those of you who don’t know yet, we won’t spoil anything for you. -SPOLIERS AHEAD- Just kidding.

The game kicks off with Altair not following the rules of the assassin’s creed, so he is punished, and is stripped of all his rankings and equipment, and basically has to start of as a noob all over again. The assassin town of Masyaf, is attacked by Robert de Sable and his army. Afterwards, there are rumours of a traitor within the city, and without anything, Altair has to go and scope this guy out, and bring him to Al Mualim, the assassin leader. This is a tutorial mission, and shows you the basics of everything.

The controls in Creed are really inventive, as each face button is used to control Altair tediously. One button is used for looking around, and the two side face buttons are used to control Altair’s hands. One controls his armed hand, and one controls his unarmed hand, which is used for gently pushing civilians out of the way. The bottom face button is used to control the speed of Altair’s walking. When not holding down the right trigger, Altair is in low profile mode. This means that he’ll walk at a normal pace, and not bump into anybody, and this is good for when you are trying to remain anonymous. When the right trigger is held down, Altair will start running, bump into people, but he will be the dangerous badass he’s supposed to be. This is great when you are running from pursuers, attacking, or chasing down a target. There is a pretty good learning curve, but you should figure out how to kill pretty early in the game.

Each city in AC is huge, and full of life. Damascus, Acre, and Jerusalem are where you’ll be doing all of your assassination missions. Each mission starts off with you speaking to the assassin bureau leader of that city about your target, and he’ll tell you everything he knows about your target. He’ll tell you stuff on where you can find witnesses, and where he thinks the target should be. He’ll then give you leave to go, and find out when and where to strike. Climbing all the tallest areas is the best way to start, as it points out where witnesses will be. The mini missions are necessary in completing the mission, and these include pickpocketing, eavesdropping, and intimidating witnesses so they’ll spill some juicy info. Pickpocketing has you following a guy for a little while, and pickpocketing at the right moment when he isn’t looking. Eavesdropping has you sitting on a bench and listening to some guys talk it out, while intimidating has you best the living hell out of a guy. None of the three are particularly game sellers, but they get the job done by setting the mood and realism of the situations.

assassinscreed.jpgLook out all you evildoers, because you’ve just been targeted.

After doing two or three of those tasks, you may return to the bureau and let the dude know you know when and where and who to strike. Among arrival at the target, you’ll witness some events that highlight just how twisted they are, and let you know that they need to die. After the cutscene, there’ll be a few ways to kill your target, and the fun is picking which one to take. Either running through the crowd, or going around the side, or leaping on him from above, the choice is yours.

After you do your biz, you’ll need to run from anybody who opposes you. The best way is booking it to the roofs, and then hiding in a roof garden. However, if you choose to take the streets, and get caught, Altair can really hold his own. The combat system is by far the best part of Assassin’s Creed. When you have all your abilities, you’ll be able to dodge attacks, break grabs, and counter moves defensively. The animations are super slick during the fighting, and Altair looks like he’s been trained by the choreographer for the Matrix. Instead of explaining, just take a look:

creedc.jpg

creedc1.jpg

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And after about 10000 of those, you’ll have beaten the 12 hour experience.

Graphically, Assassin’s Creed is really, really, really hot. The cities look absolutely phenomenal, the water is good, the character models are great, and the animations in climbing, fighting, and just plain moving are some of the best ever. Unfortunately, the frame rate in Creed is really sub par. When running from rooftop to rooftop, sometimes it will drop into the single digits. This is a little frustrating, since you are trying to be quick and smooth, and here, your character on screen is warping across the city. This only lasts a few seconds, and luckily, the framerate is silky smooth during the fight sequences, which is the best part of the game. Climbing is also unplagued by this issue. It’s a real shame, though, that such a pretty game is f**ked up by a stuttering framerate.

Assassin’s Creed sounds just as great as it looks, with some great voice acting from the smallest parts. Each line is hit perfectly, and people will talk about their daily lives to each other, and will say things like “What the hell is he doing?” as you bump into people, and climb up walls. The instrumental score is mostly original, and has a unique tone to it. It’s orchestral, as well as digital.

There’s really nothing else to say about Assassin’s Creed, other than it’s a great game with a few nagging flaws keeping it from perfection. After beating the 12 hour game, you’ll stay away from it for awhile, and then come back when you’re in the mood for killing. It’s ideas are fresh, and are pulled off pretty well. There is really nothing else like Creed, so really give it a buy. You won’t regret it.

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~ by smithbubbajones on February 10, 2008.

One Response to “Assassin’s Creed Review – Ubisoft does something right this generation.”

  1. excellent writing .

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