VG Review: Assassin's Creed
Ubisoft, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, rated M for Mature (blood, strong language, violence), $59.99 (PS3 and 360) and $49.99 (PC).
It's obvious that the developers of "Assassin's Creed" spent a lot of time and money creating the expansive, impressively detailed cities the game is set in.
I say this because you are forced to spend an awful lot of time roaming the various streets and rooftops on menial tasks, often to the detriment of the game. Apparently the makers were fearful that all their effort would go ignored and unappreciated.
In "Creed," you play Altair, an assassin skulking about the Middle East during the Third Crusade.
Well, actually, that's not quite right. According to the game, you're really a bartender from the near future who's been kidnapped by a shadowy organization, strapped to a table and forced to relive the memories of your medieval ancestor.
Still with me?
It sounds confusing, but the game actually does a good job of setting up the sci-fi concept. The idea also helps explain some of the video game's inconsistencies, such as the fact that Altair speaks with an American accent or that Damascus, Jerusalem and other cities all seem within a few hours' horseback ride of one another.
After losing face for being too much of a showoff, Altair must earn back his good name within the assassin community by eliminating nine allegedly evil people for his master.
It's at this point that the game starts to show problems. Each mission begins with you climbing down an immense mountainside, hopping on a horse and riding for an interminable amount of time to your city of choice.
Once there, you have to perform tasks such as rescuing citizens, beating information out of people, pickpocketing and eavesdropping.
These mini-missions are all right initially, but become repetitive and dull quickly. The lack of variety, combined with the length of getting from A to B, is frustrating, especially considering the potential for interaction and exploration each city offers.
On the other hand, the assassination missions are fun. I enjoyed clambering around the rooftops, offing the occasional nosy guard and plotting my victim's demise.
Speaking of guards, I should mention how your movements affect the other "people" in the game. Slap the incredibly annoying beggar woman and hosts of soldiers will come down heavy on you, swords drawn.
This can get rather ridiculous, however, as things like riding your horse at a reasonable trot will alert every Templar Knight from here to Timbuktu, but holding down the A button and going just a wee bit slower will somehow render you undetectable.Despite all these negative comments, I liked enough of "Assassin's Creed" to recommend it. It's well-detailed, filled with historical accuracies and makes enough of a stab at originality to be noteworthy. Despite its repetitive nature and occasional dull spots, it's more fun than your average cookie-cutter game that most companies spew these days.
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Labels: video games