on 21 November 2009
Bloodlines continues the story of Altair as he finishes his business with the Templars, following on from the events of the original Assassin's Creed. You need to be up to speed with the original story to appreciate this game, but if you are then there's a lot to like.
Visually, this game is remarkable for a handheld and is a good representation of the world conjoured by the series' debut. Altair moves fluidly, and the free-running translates surprisingly well to the PSP, with solid climbing mechanics for good measure. Scaling high points in the city districts still rewards you with an impressive vista of the surrounding area. Textures are good, but the environments are sparsely populated - the PSP only has so much to offer in this department, and no-one has yet managed to convincingly create a bustling world. It draws you in regardless, and you will occasionally find yourself doing little double-takes that you are playing this game on such a tiny machine.
The sound effects and music are high quality but a little repetitive. Nice to hear that Altair's voice carries a regional accent this time round, rather than being mystifyingly American.
The combat mechanics are a bit disappointing, feeling clunkier than in previous adventures. The satisfying counter-kills return, but executing them feels less precise and rhythmic than before. There is the usual array of weaponry, but the business of combat itself is found wanting. The stealth elements remain solid, and there is palpable tension as you try to sneak past a street of armoured Knights Templar to reach your quarry, or deliver an important item.
Altair is now upgradeable with coins earned for completing side-missions. For those who found the fetch-quests, mini-assassinations etc an irksome distraction, then you'll be glad to hear they are now largely non-essential. They do make a pleasing distraction and completing them rewards you with points that can be exchanged for extra health, throwing knives, higher critical hit ratios and so forth. There is also PS3 connectivity for those with AC2 and the appropriate hardware.
Technically, this game is an achievement - it is beautiful to look at, and sneaking your way through the holy land is still a blast. Sadly, the combat mechanics and repetitive sound design fail to live up to the same standard. Definitely worth playing, but you can't shake the feeling that it could have been something more.
I wasn't expecting much from this game to be honest, but I found myself pleasantly surprised by how good it actually was. There are some major issues here, but overall, this is as solid a handheld Assassin's Creed title as I could ever imagine there being.
Story wise, you're once again Altair, playing as him after the end of the first game's events and cutting out all the 'present day' bits(With the exception of the menu designs for some reason), the game follows Altair's exploits in Cyprus as he continues to fight against the Templars while also trying to unravel the mysteries of the 'Apple of Eden' he acquired at the close of Assassin's Creed 1. The plot is pretty thin on the ground to be honest, but it serves it's purpose well enough. Sadly, Nolan North does not voice Altair in this game, but at least, as the other review has said, this game's voice actor gives him the correct regional accent at last.
The game plays much like the original, but with some of the enhancements from Assassin's Creed 2 added in(Such as money being used to buy upgrades, some minor moves and skills). It still has the irritatingly slow 'blend' stealth walking around nonsense in there, but it isn't as intrusive as in the original I found. Combat has been simplified for the PSP version as well, with the enemies being MUCH easier to kill(Most die after three hits, even if they block, so long, drawn out sword fights are a thing of the past), but the counter timing is a little harder to master this time out. The free running and climbing all work the same as the first game, HOWEVER... this game has one major flaw in the shape of it's camera. You'll be in familiar territory here if you've played 3D platformers on PSP before, but this game has the added annoyance of making you hold the L button and THEN use the face buttons to use the camera. It doesn't really work too well, and often gets in the way of the game being enjoyable, so I mostly just kept tapping L to centre the camera rather than try to adjust it constantly. Seemed to work for the most part.
The game looks fantastic, plays okay, and provides a pretty good 6-7 hours worth of fun that does tie in to the far better Assassin's Creed 2 in a fairly meaningful way. I'd recommend it, so long as you prepare yourself for a wrestling match with the camera.
on 4 March 2010
Assassins Creed Bloodlines is a nice addition to the series, and is nicely representative of what an assassins creed game would have been like if it had arrived a console generation earlier. The games visuals aren't quite as aesthetic as its PSP peers such as Prince of Persia Revelations or Rival Swords, but its good to see that the climbing mechanics and animations still work perfectly. At times gameplay feels smoother than the original, though the world is less open, this has the advantage of stream lining the experience, but has the disadvantage of making levels quick and easy for skilled assassins. An interesting feature of the game is that the main hit contracts are more like end of level boss fights, and require some tactical fighting using Altairs techniques, these can often prove to be be the most differcult and frustrating parts of the game, and will likely be a very affecting factor for fans to consider when purchasing. Assassins Creed Bloodlines mission structure leans more towards that of Assassins Creed 2, with less focus on investigation that the first game had, and its story ties very nicely into the series for those who want a little added depth. The main gripe about the gameplay is camera, which can be a little tricky to master, but shouldn't be that much of problem if you're an avid PSP gamer. I nice bonus of the game is it's connectivity with Assassins Creed 2 (PS3), giving you i nice set of perks for both games when used in connection.
on 25 February 2012
I ordered the game hoping it would be more like assassins creed 2 but on the PSP. It isn't. It is by no means a bad game however. The free running mechanic is flawed and the story is short but over all i had a good time with this game.
The story followes Altier after the events of the first game(having not played the first game i'm sure how it fits in). I found it to be dissapointingly short as i finnished the game in under six hours and never realt felt i cared for any of the characters. There are multiple side quests to do but there are only few and are very short so dont realy extend play time. There are also templar coins hidden in each area to find to add to replay value but i found most of them in a single play through.
The free running and more so the free romeing has been changed from the console. The world is split up into several small sections which you can cross between at will for the most part. The sections are small however and you will see everything the game has to see quickly as all the sections look the same with only afew exeptions. Thre free running is more like that in the console games however due to the psp's control nub it can be hard to control exactly where Altier is going. The freerunning animations are fluid and look nice much like those in the console games.
Combat I think is the games strongest point. It works in much the same way as in the console games with combos ans counter attaks. There are also boss fights which I found fun and engaing but possibly to easy. The combat animations like the freerunning ones are great.
Ultimately i had fun with this game. It isn't anything special and is unlikely to entertain you for a long time but it is well worth playing esspecialy if you like the console games. It isn't assassins creed 2 on psp but it still is by no means a bad game.
on 10 June 2011
I have only played the PSP version of this Game, so I can't comment on the story hooks or its relationship to bigger console versions. I also bought a cheaper used version so my sense of good value might differ.
I'm not a game geek so sorry if this description offends; but I found Assassins Creed Bloodlines to play as a free(ish) running third person platformer with relatively light rough-housing throw in - there isn't the combat complexity of Dragon Warriors (not saying much) or Dante's Inferno.
Most of the game involves assassinating people(duh)and solving other minor puzzles (going places, getting things). The challenge normally lies in the success conditions - e.g. time limits, not being seen etc. I'm halfway through and this hasn't got repetitive yet, but I can see that it might.
The feel/atmosphere is ok, a bit like Prince of Persia but maybe a bit sunnier and lighter. I concur with comments about the streets being bare - Compared with GTA its a Ghost Town. Night/Day would have been good, as would have more colour and bustle - especially background noises.
The controls for running and jumping were reasonable and seemed to do what I wanted. Fighting might have hidden depths that I haven't found yet - but its a bit simple. The focus is on tactical decisions about how to do people in as opposed to skilful use of combos etc. The much maligned Camera Angle problem that plagues many games like this is really not that bad for Bloodlines. I've found worse on MHFU and Resistance retribution.
If you can get this game for Half the RRP, I'd say go for it. Its a decent PSP game.
on 28 May 2010
First off I would say if you don't like the first game I wouldn't try playing this as it's more of the same but if you did enjoy the first game your in for a treat.
Plot: You play as Altair who is the same character as the first game. This game follows the events straight after the first one with you having to track down the last of the Templars who fled the Holy Land and retreated to the island of Cyprus.
There is one major change with this handheld version compared to the console one and that is there's no Desmond. You stick with playing through the past and not once is the future brought into the mix. Although I didn't hate the futuristic feel of the Desmond parts of the console version compared to other, I still think it's a welcome change to what was a tedious aspect of the game.
Graphics: The graphics are fairly decent although not the best I have seen the PSP produce. It does make you realise how Assassins Creed would have looked if it has come out on the PS2 though.
Game play: The mission structure is like the original with assassinations, investigations and free running but just on a smaller scale. True it doesn't give you quite the same feel of running around a gigantic city; it still does well in its own right. You're constantly on the go doing one thing or another which although wouldn't suit the PS3, suits the PSP well.
Controls: I found these quite awkward. The layout was spread over the many buttons which would have been ok if you hadn't of had to keep moving from one to another. I felt these could have been better implemented to stop your hands getting tied up.
The camera was pretty dreadful too especially when fighting. At times, I was busy taking on a mob of soldiers only to find a wooden plank or something of the sort go slap bang into the middle of my screen resulting in an obstructed view of the soldiers and some unavoidable hits off of them.
Lifespan: Very short. Bloodlines took me around the 5 hour mark which quite frankly is ridiculously short to warrant paying full price for the game. If you can find it cheap to be able to justify the price with the length of game I would say it's well worth buying.
Although you can connect your PSP and PS3 together to unlock special extras shared between the two, I wouldn't call this replayability and wouldn't say there was anything else to do either once the game is done.
Overall: It's a pretty good game. Not worth 5 stars due to the problems I've mentioned but none the less it's a good solid game for the PSP that's well worth a play but only if you can find it cheap enough.
on 2 March 2011
I think this game is underrated because people have the console versions in mind and forget that they are referring to the PSP, not PlayStation or Xbox.
Controls - I have had no problems with controls whatsoever. You just need to be a regular PSP gamer to be able to figure that out. If you're buying this game just for the sake of trying it out on the PSP, you're not going to like it.
Camera Angle - a little annoying, but nothing that hinders in game performance or enjoyability.
Story - great for the PSP! I like my PSP games short, sweet, and to the point. Prolonged games are best left for huge and heavy consoles, not a console you carry with you on the subway or in the car.
Game Play - excellent. I loved following the story while playing the game and enjoyed every minute of it. It sucked me in and made me want to finish small missions and tasks. Portable Assassin? Yes, please!
Graphics - great for the PSP. I don't know how people can complain that full PSP potential isn't utilized. I think it is. It's some of the best graphics you can find on the PSP. Again - don't compare it to PS3 or Xbox or you'll simply never be happy. 5 stars from me!
on 1 January 2012
Assassins Creed Bloodlines is a very loyal sequal to the original AC on consoles. as other reviews will tell you the setting and story ill skip ahead to the technical details.
The Graphics are pretty good for the time it was released, the enguine works just like the console versions minus a few shortcomings, civilians are on the low side, but they exist. the numbers vary from area, some have next to none, others can be considered quity busy. the Free Running has retained lots from the original game as has the combat.
For those with the PS3 copy of ACII, id highly recommend linking these two games together. on the PS3 you unlock weapons from each boss you defeat on the PSP, and early on in the game those can come in very handy, alongside all the money you gain from templar coins you discover. and on the PSP, you gain health and can unlock the hidden blade gun, which shoots throwing knives and, when used well, can kill most guards in one shot just like on consoles.
All in all its a great game that im yet to complete, and makes a fine addition to your collection.
on 23 March 2011
I was in two minds as to whether to buy this game or not, after reading several reviews that claimed it is "average" and only scoring around 5 out of 10. The first thing I will say is ignore those reviews completely! This is a good game!
The second thing I will say is that I have never played any other Assassins Creed game (not owning a PS3 or 360 or a gaming PC). So if this game is dissapointing compared to the others then I'm simply not aware of it.
That having been said, on to the review...
I'm sure everyone knows the premise of Assassins Creed, but for those that don't you play the part of Altair, a member of an order of Assassins. The game takes place in Cryprus as you attempt to eliminate the last of the tyrannical Templars who have taken over the island. The game is slightly different to other advanture games in that stealth is the order of the day. Attacking soldiers left,right and centre will alert other guards and before you know it you're being treated to broadsword acupunture by 20 guards who saw you do it. The objective is to kill silently and without alerting anyone nearby.
And this aspect of the game is great fun. Maybe its slightly sadistic of me, but you do get a rush when you silently stalk someone from behind and slit their throats with one swift movement. However when you are forced to confront others who have detected you, the combat system is not exactly polished. There's hit, block and not much else. It can make taking on multiple enemies very difficult, as they tend to attack you while you're focused on another opponent. Changing targets mid-battle is not easy.
But for me, this is balanced by the extremely cool counter-attacks that you can launch by clicking block and hit when someone attacks you. This causes you to reverse the attack coming your way and perform a stylish counter-move which 9 times out of 10 results in a kill. Not only do your kills look incredibly impressive, but the camera zooms in close so that you can see your uber-cool slaying in the most aesthetically pleasing way. Even several levels into the game, this never gets tiring for me. There is always the feeling of "Mwahahaha, fear my skills for I am the greatest killer in history!!" (which I may have said out loud when playing this)
As part of the stealth requirement, you will need to roam around the city unobserved. This is done usually in two ways. First there is a "blend" button. If you hold this button down, Altair will act as a scholar and his appearance will deceive most guards into believing he is an innocent citizen. the flaw with this is that you can only move in a sombre, very slow, walk in order to keep in character. This can make traversing the city a long and labourious process.
By far the more fun route is on the tops of the houses. Altair has the ability (and the agility) to leap and grasp ledges and pull himself up onto the the rooftops. From here, leaping with great agility up walls, across ledges and running over oak beams is a breeze. Again, this has been panned in other reviews because it felt "staged". With access to the rooftop only being allowed at certain points. I didn't see any of this, and most times I could find a nearby ledge, window, trellice or other object to jump onto to gain access to the roof.
This brings us on to the graphics, which have been both praised and ridiculed in other reviews. And I can see why. The game for the most part has awesome graphics. The graphics are clean and detailed and really give the full atmosphere of the PS3 and 360 versions. Having said that, there are some minor niggles; sometimes scenery dissapears and occasionally there is some texture flicker on objects in the distance. However these occurances are rare and do not detract from the game at all. All in all graphically it is very very good.
Soundwise it gives atmosphere-enriching orchestral and cathedral choir background music, as well as voice clips of passing citizens and suspicious guards.
The missions can be repetitive in nature, but the goals are diverse enough to hide this.
Its true that I haven't played Assassins Creed on the 360 or PS3, so I can't compare this version to the big console experience. But to be honest, with the PSP being a technically inferior console I've found that this is never a fair practice. Maybe the big console game is far more open with far more freedom and a much wider experience, but I think to slate the PSP version based on this is very unfair. As far as I'm concerned, this game is an atmospherically rich with a good storyline and is incredibly good fun to play. I would recommend this to any PSP owner, and defy any "big box" console owner to ridicule it!
on 4 July 2010
Assassins creed : Bloodlines (AcB) is a game for the psp, designed to bridge the gap between the console releases 1 and 2. In the game you are Altair and are running around roughly a month after the events of AC1.
Altair has travelled to cyprus from the Holy land areas, as the last of the templars are meeting there to find the apple of eden. The historical relic which allows the beholder to control the minds of the people. It's Altair's task to track down the 5 templars on the island and assassinate them, before they find the apple and cause widespread damage to the world.
The story is very smooth and you are forever gaining information in similar ways to the console, interregation, stealing, eavesdropping are all ways of preparing yourself for the final challenge.
The game is set mainly in Cyprus , although you start in Acre castle learning the basics there and in the Animus. The assassinations take place in two of Cypruses cities, Krenia and Limasol.
These make for intresting level designs due to the big marketplaces , castles and docks situated inside of them. However they dont have the diversity of the consoles levels and so both feel pretty similar, not only that but the amount of loading screens which plague the city make it feel a lot less open and more like they are individual sub-levels, especially when every loading screen takes around 9 seconds.
The games area's do feel as though the developer is hitting copy and paste at some points, nearly all buildings are connected by wooden planks and have a hiding place. All the windows are set in the same way and every other building also has a ladder traversing between the different housing storeys. When climbing castles the stonework juts out and looks as though it has been glued on, not like it is a piece of the same stone structure.
Although , the palm trees , market stalls and people are designed well , albeit in a rather clunky style they dont have the variety they should. Apparently every 3rd person in Cyprus is an identical twin according to this game.
Just because it's on the PSP doesn't mean it has to have a second rate feel to the levels.
The gameplay is also a mix bag because of this, one of the most exciting things in the AC series is investigating all the areas of the map, the parkour side of the game is actually very fluid which surprised me. Ubisoft have passed over Altair's cat like balance and movement very well, it's just a shame the area he is running around in doesn't have a little more care.
The fighting mechanics of AC1 also appear in this game, unfortunatly thats not a great thing. The Knight's templar were meant to be the cream of the crop, the best fighters in the land.But like it's console counterpart they resemble an average man who has had the sword forced on them and pointed in Altairs direction , flailing with his weapon like a child. Big groups are easily despatched with swift , quick attacks and any attempts at blocking dont last long as they soon drop their guard.
Graphically the game is OK , Altairs robes flutter around his legs as he runs and small sparks fly off colliding metal. The best way to describe the sorroundings would be that when you are far away they look really good, but as you get closer you can see it lacks that final polish that it unobtained in many titles. It leaves it with that typically portable, blocky and smudged design. It doesn't really ruin the game but it is noticable.
The sounds in the game all sound good but are repeated often, the sound of clashing swords and shouting soon become very similar and a little annoying.
Voice acting in the game is average for a title like this, it feels a bit clouded at some point and the voice of Altair is very different , this doesn't help continuity at all as it's a game to bridge the gap, it seems to miss out the part where Altair's spent his holidays in a place near india and picked up the accent.
The soundtrack in the game doesn't add much but slightly raises the atmosphere , again its quite repetitive but their is the option to turn it off.
Around 10 hours of gameplay, it also has connection with AC2 on the ps3, allowing you to get exclusive weapons.
To be honest the game is pretty generic, whilst it shows what can be done visually , it lacks that extra detail in almost all areas. The team obviously didn't pass on the feedback from AC1 and let the PSP versions make the same mistakes.