Assassin's Creed (PS3)
Posted by Guest Writer on Mon, 03 Dec 2007.
You are Altair, an assassin born and bred in the mountain city of Damascus far away from any other clans and heavily fortified against the attacks of enemies. You have been taught the ways of the sword and have been taught control and caution in your infamous deeds. The game is set during the crusades of the Holy Land and it is your job to protect the sacred land from anyone who has set out to corrupt it. There is a plot on top of this plot, but I don’t like it - maybe it’ll make more sense in sequels, it seems pointless else. There are 9 main targets that must be dealt with, plus excessive side missions that will aid you in assassinating your targets.
Your first mission is to retrieve an ancient powerful artefact that the British crusaders want to get. You begin the game facing the leader of British soldiers, ignoring the Creed you rush into battle and lunge in for the kill. You are batted aside swiftly and then trapped in the tomb where the artefact rests. Using amazing acrobatic skills you make your way out of the tomb and get to Damascus, the home of your clan of assassins. You are blamed for the failure of the mission and are demoted to the lowest rank, fun fun.
You start with three ways to pick up information: Pickpocket, Interrogate and Eavesdrop. These are all pretty good concepts and can be done rather well with not too much effort. Eavesdrop is the easiest, you simply sit on a bench lock onto your target and then.. listen. Pickpocket is similar, but after listening to a conversation you must then sneak up behind them and remove a map of guard locations or a convenient list of all your targets’ favourite hiding places. Interrogate involves yet more listening then stalking then pummelling until they reveal all they know to you, quickly followed by a hearty stabbing. These are all very fun to do until you have to do it 7 or 8 times per target at which point it becomes too tedious and you just don’t bother doing them at all, as it makes no difference how much information you pick up on your target - it all happens the same (this has been tried and tested.) Later you get a fourth task which is aiding a comrade. It seems that one of your fellow assassins has managed to get mugged or their bag split and all their papers fell out. Oh, and also they sprained an ankle and can’t retrieve their stuff so you must do it. But that’s not enough, noooo - they also want you to do it in three minutes because they have places to go. Or these assassins have been asked to take out some people, but they can’t be bothered.
“Oh did you sprain your ankle again?”
“No I have a migraine and need to lay down.”
You protect the public constantly from guards who yell “NOW YOU’RE GONNA GET IT” but you can sit there for a good half hour watching and still they’re yelling threats. The bonuses of vigilante mobs or moving hiding places are also of little use as they are in completely the wrong places.
The graphics however are stunning. It is very real and the size of the maps is massive. You can stand on the tallest point in the city and the graphics will be equally good as to when you stand right next to an object. The crowd is always different as the CPU creation system gives a random assortment of features, like clicking random on character creation screen then inputting them into the game so no two characters are exactly the same. The sounds are very good as you first walk into the city - it is a very realistic sound, until you take about 200 or so paces then the quality of sound diminishes. The speech is not varied unfortunately so you end up hearing the same phrases over and over again in many different accents. This is the same with side missions - you end up hearing them repeating the same problems and gratitude towards you over and over again.
The game play is rapid, quick moving and very easy to get the hang of. It uses a simple controller set out and is very ergonomical. It gives you brief tutorials on how to navigate through busy streets and scale buildings, and that’s all you really need to be able to play the game well. It is possible to scale almost every building apart from the outer walls, which seem to be more jagged and easier to climb than most buildings, but I won’t go into that. The fighting system is intuitive and simple to use, it is also very showy and makes you look very cool with very little effort, like bounty hunter minus the jetpacks. It uses one of two systems: first you can constantly hack at enemies until their guard breaks and you can get to them, which is pointless against multiple enemies as they will all attack you all at once. The second is a counter system where you wait for them to lunge at you at, then you counter in a graphic display of gore and dismembering. This is far more enjoyable and effective at dealing with large numbers of enemies. The enemies will circle you if they can, and if there are very large amounts they will form an outer ring also. Someone from the inner ring will attack which you can counter with ease to which an outer ring member will take his place. If you take out leaders and generals before the lackeys, the lackeys become scared and will scarper before they get too taste the cold steel that is your blade. It’s rather fun to chase down the cowards as they push their way through the crowds, though you can run and hide in some hay or a roof garden (don’t ask.)
Despite what I have said I enjoyed this game thoroughly, and the repetitiveness only showed itself to me on the last couple of levels. I also treated it as more of an action game rather than stealth and confronted guards at whatever possibility I could taking 50 on at once and winning (good times) which may prove the ease of the fighting system. The game itself is enjoyable to play and I still carry on playing even after its completion just so I can free run and so I can test out how many guards it takes to beat me. A good buy for any console (I used a PS3) if you don’t mind a little bit of repetitiveness but like the idea of hanging off a building to drop on unsuspecting victims and remove them from the world before anyone notices =P.
- Review by Scrunchie