on 4 September 2009
I can't really expand on what has been said before, essentially this is a combination of Mirror's edge and Tenchu, freerunning combined with stealth. Although repetitive, I found the game very compelling, the storyline is rather detailed, maybe too much so, and not allowing you to skip over dialogue is tedious at times. The game is also very, very, very annoying. The character you control will get stuck on small boxes, react strangely, and jump in odd directions. The AI can be awful, they seem to see through walls sometimes and can be very hard to escape. When trying to use stealth by walking slowly past guards, you'll probably be attacked time and again by a drunk or loony, which for some inexplicable reason causes the guards to attack you; very frustrating.
But there are good points; the game is rewarding, the storyline unfolds and is quite deep, this is probably better for adults, but paradoxically, for adults with a lot of time on their hands. I finished the storyline 100% in a little over two days, but if I had to spread this over several weeks I'd have got bored a lot quicker. The achievements are extremely rewarding and just the right level of difficulty, bear in mind you have to collect around 500 different flags from around the various parts of the kingdom to get 1000G in this game, also don't forget to talk to lucy after every single level for one of the achievements. The levels are constructed to allow you to bounce from beam to wall to roof in fluid motions, although you're always guaranteed to fall off eventually it's a lot of fun escaping guards in this manner.
If you like 'hidden package' type games (although most games are these days), deep storylines, a reasonable challenge and gamerscore then I would recommend this.
It's funny how many people moan about repetition when the majority of gamers these days spend 100's of hours on games like Halo 3, Call of Duty and Gears of War, all of which invlove shooting people over and over on the same maps, with the same weapons, with no storyline whatsoever.
on 18 November 2007
Ubisoft seem to have promoted Assassin's Creed as a stealth game, which would make a lot of sense seeing as the main character is a medieval assassin but let's get this straight, the stealth elements are underwhelming and what you have instead is a beautiful, quirky action/platform game with a compelling story.
The majority of assassin's Creed puts you in control of Altair, moody badass and Hashshashin extraordinaire. Altair fumbles an important job for the guild and is stripped of his rank/ability faster than you can say `Super Metroid' and from there on must prove his worth by assassinating nine of the key figures responsible for prolonging the crusades. Controlling Altair is pretty intuitive and it only takes a few minutes to get to grips with the controls. Expect to have as much fun climbing up buildings as in `Crackdown', running across rooftops is very rewarding and gives an impressive feeling of speed and Fighting plays a lot like a rhythm-action mini game.
Each assassination is made up of a few steps, first you must travel to the city on horseback. These over-world sections feel a little bit under developed and whereas the horse riding mechanics are fun, they don't really add much to the game. It would have been nice to see a few secrets around the map but as they are these sections resemble those in `Shadow of the Colossus' or `Gun' more than they do `The Legend of Zelda'. Once you arrive at the city you will have a few tasks to complete, firstly you need to seek out tall structures, ascend them and survey the land. This will allow you to see more of the map and cause side missions to show up on you HUD. The side missions are undertaken in order to gain information about your mark and in some cases to make the job easier.
These side missions take the form of assassinating guards, eavesdropping, pick pocketing, rescuing citizens from guard brutality and oddly, hopping above the city in timed flag collecting races. They seem to have come under a lot of fire from reviewers but the repetition didn't really bother me a lot. I'll be honest, this isn't `Oblivion', you can expect to hear the same lines over and over again and the challenge or variety never really increases as the game progresses. It would have been nice to see some real depth and variety here but they are what they are and most have some aspect which is fun. My favourite were probably the flag races which reminded me of Ubisoft's other Fall platformer `Naruto: Rise of a Ninja'. There are precious few of these races, largely due to the problems of implementing them into the game narrative. There are only a few times that you can use `Erm... I lost a bunch of flags, can you get them for me before... a generic event happens'.
I found the actual assassinations to be a lot of fun, most only really involve going to point A, watching a cut-scene, running up and putting a blade through the target's face then legging it back to the Assassin's Bureau. This will obviously annoy those anticipating a more cerebral take on killing. I'm sure that it's possible to put more thought into the kills but the game doesn't really encourage or reward it and `Hitman' it aint.
Graphically the game looks amazing; it renders huge densely populated areas without really struggling. Just climb to the top of one of the towers and you'll feel overwhelmed by what the developers have managed to pull off. I noticed a handful of small glitches as I played such as texture pop-in, and screen ripping but nothing that hindered my enjoyment of the game. Similarly I experienced a couple of stutters while loading areas but I can count the number of times on one hand.
The voice work was largely professional, Altair sounds a bit too much like Troy McLure and a few of the NPCs are a tad on the `wacky' side but it's entertaining rather than aggravating. There was music there but I can't really remember it which is usually a good thing in soundtracks. Presumably it supported the action rather than intrude upon it. All in all the sound was adequately done with a couple of stellar moments such as Kirsten Bell's performance as Lucy.
Without spoiling what is an admittedly poorly kept secret there are some small adventure chapters that link the sections of the main game and add a twist to the story. I strongly advise players to make the most of these sections as they provide likeable rounded characters, an interesting mystery and hint at the direction of future installments of the franchise. Depending on how much work you put in these sections will either be slow paced and boring or fascinating and you can't skip them so it's up to you to make the most of them. Explore the rooms, use the computers and rummage through emails, I think that fans of TV shows like `Lost' will be well pleased with the overall direction of the story.
Overall Assassin's Creed is a solid action-platformer with next-gen looks and last-gen gameplay. I personally enjoyed it a lot but it doesn't really bring anything new to the table and reminds me of a number of existing games. It also leans a little bit to the easy side and offers little immediate replay value. There are numerous flags to collect but Ubisoft have taken the cheap option and bagging each set will only unlock an achievement. Gamers expecting a world changing experience will be disappointed but I suggest that anybody interested in the genre, setting or those frustrated by a lack of complexity in Video Game narrative pick this one up.
on 23 September 2008
Im surprised by the amount of people giving this game poor reviews. Although this game does have its weaknesses, I feel that it is way better than the one/two stars awarded by some. If possible I would have given it 3.5stars but I gave it 4 because, after completing it earlier today, it definitely deserves more than 3stars. To give you a summary of the game in my opinion I'll start with the good points:
Firstly the setting for assassins creed is the best ive seen in years, and as many have said the entire game is absolutely stunning - particularly if you have a HDTV. The storyline supporting the gameplay is good, keeping you guessing and providing the inevitable twist at the end, while still leaving you waiting for the next installment. The story is deep enough to keep you engrossed and mixes historical accuracy with fiction and conspiracy - and at the end is just complex enough to have you digging further into it to see what it all meant! Finally the creators have got the fight-engine and movement physics spot on - the way Altair runs, jumps and fights all looks and feels very good, and the numerous ways you kill enemies with his cinematic 'counter-attack' moves just doesnt get old.
So onto the bad points - the glaring one that really takes the five-star rating away from this game is that it does get very repetitive towards the end. The 'viewpoint', 'information' and 'save citizen' missions just become a chore by the end and they could really have done with a bit more variation to the gameplay.
The other big annoyance in the game was that, as an assassin, there wasnt much scope for a really stealthy kill. Nearer the start of the game you can move around cities largely unnoticed and plan/execute a kill on one of the targets fairly stealthily, but towards the end gaurds frequently just chase and attack you on site, and theres literally no physical way to kill your main targets without the need to chase him all over the city and fight about 20 gaurds first! On one I kept reloading the game, and tried approaching from every concievable route with no success - as soon as you enter the vicinity a gaurd yells 'kill the infidel' and youre in the middle of a dozen soldiers with the target fleeing the area! They explain during the game that your noteriety is rising due to your previous successes, which is fair enough, but for the next game it needs to be made possible for people to kill a target and leave the area without ever having to engage bodygaurds, or without even being seen. It just doesnt seem very assassin-like to have to kill 20people before getting anywhere near your intended target.
Overall this game is an entertaining one - it looks stunning, plays well and has an engaging storyline. The developers do need to work on the repetitiveness and the way the game prevents the user from executing a really stealthy kill - which take the game from a 5star to a 3.5. This is not a game for those that get bored quickly or for those wishing to plan and perform truly masterful kills - for that try Hitman: Blood money (very good game).
Close to being a true great, but not quite there yet. I'll be keeping my copy to go back to every now and again and anxiously awaiting the next installment - if the improvements are there and the setting is just as rich, we could be seeing one of the best games ever in its category.
on 31 May 2008
Let me start with a simple statement: Assassin's Creed does not live up to the hype. Promises of dynamic stealth and a multitude of ways to approach each mission are unfounded. Some ideas are downright dumb.
But Assassin's Creed was also the most entertaining game I played all year.
To begin with, the freerunning - a key portion of the game - is brilliant. Breathtaking, exciting and fluid, it is the most natural execution of the concept ever seen in gaming. Leaping around the various cities (which are, sadly, very much alike) is an absolute joy.
Combat is also enjoyable, with a surprising amount of depth coming from using just two buttons; this also leads to the appropriate rise in difficult as more enemies emerge. Two guards can be taken down swiftly. Fifteen? You'll need patience and a good sense of timing. Just as it should be.
The assassinations themselves, despite being satisfying and exciting, also carry with them a sense of disappointment. Although it feels rewarding to take out a key character, if you were hoping to try numerous different approaches to assassinations, sorry but no way. It's nigh on impossible to sneak up on the target with attracting the attention of the guards, and so every assassination compromises of fighting past the guards before killing the target himself.
Furthermore, the prepatory work which has to be done before each hit is, although fun, completely pointless, serving no purpose but to extend the length of the game. Information garnered could perhaps be used to make assassinations easier, but I never once needed to look at what I'd discovered in order to finish a tricky mission.
This review seems to comprise almost entirely of flaws, but it musn't be forgotten that the core of the game - the parkour and fighting - is such a sheer pleasure that most of the time I overlooked the other problems.
And a final word of advice: don't try to blast through the game in a weekend, because that'll only accentuate the feeling of repetition. Play it in short bursts of an hour, with a nice gap in between. You don't have to do it like that, but I honestly believe that it makes the game far more enjoyable (as well as extending it's lifespan!).
Assassin's Creed - flawed, yes absolutely, but also a lot of fun!
on 14 April 2008
I had trouble thinking of how I could word this review as there's not an awful lot I can write. I suppose I could start with the obvious appeal of the game and its basic plot.
You play Altair, an assassin in the Holy Land in the medieval period. Your job (cutting out a lot of cut scene action) is to assassinate a certain number of people, each time reporting back to the assassins bereau. That's about it. Doesn't sound that exciting but what is remarkable about this game is the sheer size of these medieval cities and the AI of the people inside the cities.
The cities are absolutely huge, and accurately depicted accordingly to the game's developers. Unlike the likes of the first Grand Theft Auto where the buildings are rendered quite basically, AC allows you to climb all these buildings (each of which have remarkable detail) to get a bird's eye view of the city. The feeling of power when you climb to the top of one of the look out points and scan the city is something else. The detail, as has been mentioned, is absolutely incredible.
What I found really fun (and this may just be due to my fear of heights) was the Leap of Faith. Climbing these huge structures takes time, but the fall is worth it. Watching Altair leap from these buildings in a flying motion makes my stomach leap. It's so realistic and on a big TV, heart stopping. The Leap of Faith is very nicely illustrated not by some random icon, but by looking for where pigeons are perched on top of buildings. I love escpaing from guards only to see pigeons then launching myself off buildings like an eagle straight into a hiding spot.
Altair's ability to climb and navigate gaps in roof tops is also quite fun to do. Basing his movements around Free Running, there are few buildings that Altair can't tackle but rest assured, 99% of the landscape can be used to make your escape easier. Having said that, it does take quite a bit of getting used to. Altair moves very quickly and for me anyway, sometimes just jumps straight off buildings that have too large a gap before I have the chance to get my bearings.
The animation in this really is second to none. Between Altair's walking and sprinting, to his horse's movements, there's been a lot of time spent making this game as realisitic as possible and this effort should be commended.
On the other side of the coin, this game had some seriously irritating aspects that put me off it for a good long while. It's also the reason why the novelty of the above good points wears off so quickly.
The plot can be quite dull and samey. You go to a city, evesdrop, pickpocket and then commit the assasination, then go back to Mysaf (your base) for the next mission. And it will be identical to the last one. Altair needs to gather information before commiting the assassination but instead of being quite involved in it, all you do to pickpocket is lockon and press a button. You don't see what you've taken. When you visit the Assassin's Bureau to relay your finidings, you'll find that Altair has gathered an awful lot of information about the target and you don't feel like you've actually done anything to get this information. It's a bit boring to be honest.
The "Blend" option drove me insane. I could be (genuinly) innocently strolling past a group of guards, without having commited any offence in a town and they would have a go at me. This was also the case when on my horse in the countryside. Pressing blend stops this for a short period of time, but Altair or the horse will then stroll so slowly that my patience would wear thin (espcially between cities where terrain is huge and there are various small towns and checkpoints to navigate). Sometimes even blend doesn't work and you're attacked for no reason.
The weapon system too takes a bit of time to get used to. Altiar has a small dagged fixed to his hand, several throwing daggers and a sword. Combat can be monotonos, however, it is realistic. You can only take on one guard at a time and frequently that guard's colleagues will stab you in the back while you fight the other. The best way to deal with this though is to take advantage of arena time at the fortress and learn counter moves. If you get them right, the effect is realistic and brutal.
My biggest gripe though is along the lines of many review magazines. Assassins Creed is trying to be too clever. The "modern" part of the game where you are in a lab is completely pointless and boring. Unfortunately you can't skip these cut scenes. Your character can do nothin except walk around at a very slow pace with the doctor chats away to you about his experiments. I found this frustrating, off putting and unnecessary. The medieval aspect of Assassins Creed is done so well, they shoulnd't have bothered with this "modern" feel.
In short there are a lot of very nice touches here which will no doubt find their way into the next Prince of Persia.
I guess in summary my final paragraph would say that I watched the promo vids of this game, read the magazine articles and drooled over the game in store. I got it, ripped it open and was quickly put off by its irritating Blend function. All in all though, its a visually stunning game, and should definately feature in your collection.
Assassin's Creed is an odd one. On the one hand you have this visual feast of a game with a seemingly enormous game world to explore and a riveting storyline pushing you to play on, and on the other you have a limited game that becomes insanely repetitive after the first couple of hours with annoying stealth mechanics, random combat that doesn't seem to factor in skill at all and frustrating AI. It sounds bad, but somehow it managed to be fun in spite of some really ruinous sounding flaws.
Firstly, I hated the 'blending' in the game the most personally. In order to avoid detection in the crowds, you have to move so slow it would take an hour to get from one part of the city to another? That can't be right. It was easier on most occasions to just kill all the guards and run to where I was going, killing guards as they appeared, which seems to render the stupidly stiff and slow stealth part of the gameplay pointless in my eyes. Games don't always need to move at a lightning pace, but give better alternatives than 'walk at a quarter speed to avoid fighting' a bit more often. Blending sucks, and ruins the flow of the game.
Next up, combat. Good lord, is there anything to this? It seemed to be completely random. You basically either attack constantly until your opponent decides not to block anymore, or you counterattack constantly until Altair decides to MAYBE counter with an attack that will kill your attacker(It happens less than you might expect). It feels way too dependent on chance and out of your control and can be very frustrating in scenes where you are ambushed by large groups of enemies(With one scene in particular near the end preceding a boss fight being just terribly frustrating to the point I wondered if it was worth trying to even finish the game).
Lastly, yes, the game is every bit as repetitive as you've heard. You repeat the same handful of tasks constantly throughout the game, to the point you'll often be desperate for the assassination part of the game to actually kick in. The sub quests are so cheap and unrewarding they add nothing to the game either by the way. Collect flags? What do I get out of it?
In spite of this though, it really is quite joyous at times to just run(and free run) around the cities and towns in the game just admiring the gorgeous visuals, and the assassinations in the game are often quite fun, despite the annoying hoops you have to jump through to get to them.
It IS a fun game basically, but only some of the time, the rest it's an exercise in patience and endurance, and no game should feel like that.
Not crap, but a long way from brilliant.
on 17 November 2007
I'm still not sure on assassin's creed...I'm about 3/4s of the way through and things bother me.
Firstly though, graphically this game is amazing, an hour ago i was sat on top of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the brain just stops thinking, its just stunning. Even little things, the horse animation, the sword fighting and Altair's cloak just screams next gen at you. Likewise the control system is innovative and reasonably easy to get to grips with. This leads on to the games best moments. Free Running. Running from your assassinated target you swing through a market stall, run up a wall, swing onto the roof and begin jumping from roof to roof, beam to beam as you outpace your (quite intelligent) pursuers. It can be frantic, it can be graceful, it is always the best bit of the game.
But just like the Spiderman games, where web slinging was the best bit, the missions that aren't big assassinations but involve you on the ground, are the big downer. Save a citizen mission? Means kill the guards around her/him. It gets you useful rewards...but there's about 12 in each section of each city. 12 nearly identical swordfights. Or maybe you want to get more information on your target? How about sitting on a bench and pressing a button? Thats literally the extent of an evesdropping mission, and (excusing the informer missions) thats about the level of many of the other information missions. Contrast that simplicity however, with actually moving through the city at street level. As you progress through the game the streets get nastier and nastier, always under suspicion you end up shuffling through the massive cities to avoid suspicion, unless you take to the roofs which is harder than ever because more vigilent guards start attacking random climbers now...
There are other flaws too, the ridiculous safe spots for losing guards, the complete lack of empathy with your character, the annoying cuts to the futuristic side story and an oddly large number of clipping errors.
Overall? Brilliant free running, incredible graphics, entertaining assassinations...let down by the intervening missions, an alternating difficulty level, and a host of minor niggles.
on 5 September 2010
Ok, the quick low down is this:
1. The game had amazing graphics for it's time which are still good now.
2. The physics are great and were innovative on day of release.
3. The game is repetitive but I found after playing it for 4 hours and waiting till the next day to play it again I would crave more.
4. The story is gripping and the character is cool and you feel like an assassin unlke in the sequel.
5. Great ending to compliment a great story.
6. Completely unique.
7. This game was the basis for a brilliant sequel and despite the fact that the sequel kinda sucks this is something people should take into account.
8. The controls are spot on and very comfortable.
9. The combat is fluid and feels good of which a lot of games fail on.
10. Fair enough there could have been more to do but it was a new IP (new game) in its day and most new IP's aren't packed full of content due to shorter developing time.
All those who rated this 1 star are insane, especially if you consider the fact that nearly all of them worshiped its graphics and physics therefore making no sense to give it a 1 star rating. Just in case these peeps have forgotten what a 1 star rating means, it means that the game basically fails on near all accounts aka graphics,physics,gameplay,plot,characters,diversity,design etc.. so in saying how the graphics and physics can't be faulted you cannot technically rate this game anything lower than a 2/3star rating.
on 6 February 2008
Here we are at last, a game that truly screams next gen. Having owned my 360 for 6 months or so I was beginning to think all i would ever play would be games that were originally conceived for the last generation of consoles but here we are with an absolute beauty.
Essentially think GTA in 12th Century middle east and you are close to getting an idea of whats expected. Missions, cities and a little combat to get the juices flowing. This is much less Splinter Cell than you may be wanting, but as far as I am concerned that can only be a good thing.
Graphics are all you could have asked for. Presented so beautifully that if this game were a woman she would be Angelina Jolie, its that sexy.
The training system is soooo good that it is far less complicated to play that it might look and this helps with selling the package.
Gameplay has yet to wane, but I can see it getting a bit repetitive after a while. The staying power will undoubtedly be the desire to see more of this stunning world.
Its might not be great, but its the first sign for me that the next gen truly pushes what we can expect from games designers and is a great piece of bragging ware. Oh for a crossbow.
on 1 May 2008
Hurray, a new game which actually looks and plays as it should. I write a few reviews on Amazon and I always seem to be saying the same thing....not good enough!!! But refreshingly Assassins Creed breaks the mould. I think its a great game. Firstly it looks as a next generation game should look, the graphics are truly beautiful and I love how they have made the main character move. He runs well, fights well and even walks with a real moody swagger...awesome. The enviroments are truly amazing and all the different cities you visit have a different feel.
There's only one draw back to this game, and that is why didn't the developers just make it set in the time of the crusades? Instead they made it set in the present day using a modern day character linked up to a machine which reads his ancestors memories from the time of the crusades?? Weird!! But this is the only draw back I can find, and no matter how many times you do it, the leap of faith plus walking up to a guard and doing a stealth kill on him never fails to bring a smile to your face which more than makes up for the games faults...a great game.