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  • Title: Assassin's Creed
  • Platform: Playstation 3
  • ESRB: M
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Players: 1
  • Distributor: Ubisoft
  • Suggested Retail: $59.99
  • Graphics: A-
  • Gameplay: B
  • Sound: B+
  • Replay: B


Tim's thoughts on the best-selling videogame.

By Tim Janson     March 26, 2008

Assassin's Creed for the Playstation 3
© Ubisoft

Ever since I saw the first commercials for Assassins Creed I knew this was a game I had to play. As a history buff, the chance to play a game set in the Holy land during the time of the Crusades was simply irresistible. Now as you may have heard there is a bit of a unique twist about Assassin’s Creed that essentially makes it a story within a story but I won’t spoil the discovery, even if you do discover it fairly quickly into the game. 

You play as Altair, a member of an assassin’s organization and you are charged with killing a number of different targets. Now these targets are or were actual, real life people who lived and disappeared during the period so a lot of care has been taken to achieve historical accuracy. While there is a lot of action in the game you cannot forget that you are an assassin. You have to rely on stealth and information gathering in order to learn about your target and find the best way to “get” to him. You’ll skulk around in shadows, eavesdropping in on conversations and pick-pocketing targets to steal important documents. Sometimes you just have to use the time-honored tradition of beating the information out of a hapless person. The planning stages of an assassination attempt are often as fun as the act itself because there are numerous ways you can approach each mission. The missions become more and more difficult as guards and the general populace starts to be more on the watch for you. While you can get by early on with your skill with the sword, the need for stealth becomes increasingly more necessary. The game play is not just limited to the assassination missions. There are side tasks such as rescuing townspeople from harm and the like. These mini missions can give you a nice opportunity to practice your swordplay.

The story is set within three historical cities: Jerusalem, Damascus, and Acre. The city design is where the game really shines. It is perhaps the best example of a living, breathing, interactive city ever seen in a video game. Each city is meticulously designed. You can, and I did, spend lots of time just wandering the streets, passing through the markets, watching the citizens go about their daily business whatever it may be. You can completely immerse yourself and almost forget what you are there for. One of the coolest things to do early on is to climb one of the many great towers and simply look around at the vast surroundings. What you see isn’t just mere window dressing. Everything you see, every building, tower, even the Holy Dome of the Rock can be visited. The lighting, shading, and colors are nearly perfect. The landscape visuals are simply breathtaking. 

But it’s more than just pretty scenery. The sounds are equally impressive. Merchants hawk their wares, beggars plead for a handout, birds sing and dogs bark in the background. The voice acting is very good and integral to the game. There’s a lot of talking and a lot of listening that is necessary and the developers have done a wonderful job in making the characters unique and not repetitive. Oddly, only Altair’s voice falls in the category of the average.

The animation and controls flow exceedingly smooth although they do take a bit of getting used to. The buttons control different parts of your body (arms, head, legs) which is quite unique but once you get the hang of them it brings a definite realism as you scale walls, and jump from rooftop to rooftop and battle it out on the streets with your sword. 

Assassin’s Creed is not a perfect game. The parallel story would have been best left out as it really adds nothing to the main Crusade-era story. The game play can be a bit repetitive after a while but on the whole, there is so much to do and see that you will certainly come back for more.


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audioslave69 3/25/2008 11:15:21 PM
i little late for a review no? just like 4 months
sportwarrior 3/26/2008 12:18:39 AM
No kidding. You'd think this was a Gamespot review of a PS3 game or something.
majorouch 3/26/2008 4:47:03 AM
Let my start by saying this was a game I really liked...a must play title. I could not put my controller down till I finished the game... What I did not like about it, in addition to the items in the review (I played the 360 version): *) Unskippable dialogs...the dialogs are *long* and you can not just skip over them...that makes for a game that is unbearable to replay...I could deal with the dialogs the first time, when replaying I do not want to spend that much time waiting for them. Replay value: D *) The ending. Not spoiling it for people, I just think I deserved a better ending than the one the game presents. *) Lame achievements. Collecting hundreds of flags spread throughout the cities ? Give me a break...they're not even as addictive as Crackdown orbs...those at least gave you a power up... But, like I said before, the game was definitely worth playing (once)...animations are *amazing* and the excitement of the assassin's chase is far out...I also liked the side story...and hey, this has to be the best game explaining why your "world" is constrained and does not allow you to go out the map... Definitely a late review though...;-)
tjanson 3/26/2008 5:28:22 AM
Gentleman...I realize the game didn't just street but were not talking about a weekly comic book here. I only received the game from the good people at UBIsoft a couple of weeks ago, which was very nice of them, and rather than tell them to take their game and go jump in the lake, I thought I'd do an honest, thoughtful review. That ok?
hanso 3/26/2008 8:00:25 AM
Why don't you tell the good people at UBISOFT to not give you the game so late so you aren't 4 months late on the review? You should've asked for the DS version and reviewed that instead, that's more recent than the one you talked about.
tjanson 3/26/2008 8:15:24 AM
Why don't you tell the good people at UBISOFT to not give you the game so late so you aren't 4 months late on the review? Unbelievable....
hanso 3/26/2008 8:20:41 AM
Why is that unbelievable? Wouldn't the fact that they supply you with the game earlier lead to an earlier review? I mean they supply the game to many people way earlier than a couple of weeks ago than you say they did to you. You should ask for the same treatment others get no?
tjanson 3/26/2008 9:29:23 AM
Merin...thanks for coming to my defense :-) As to your question, that's a tough one. You're right, no matter how you spin it assassins are not good guys. On top of that, some of your targets are not necessarily bad guys. I would not say it's as bad as Splinter Cell in terms of the stealth requirements. As mentioned, you can just sort of burst in and try and kill your target although that does make it tougher. Still, I think the look and feel of the game is so incredible. The ability to move around the vast cities and interract with almost everything is a big selling point. Hey if you're not sure then give it a weekend rent or, like you said, wait a bit longer for the price drop.
hanso 3/26/2008 9:36:54 AM
Merin, there is a difference between touching the game and reading a review for it. I fail to see how waiting to buy the game when it's price drops has to do with someone writing a review for it or someone reading a review. I see your point about Assasin's Creed being a game and not everyone buys every game out there, but Assasin's Creed was/is a big title. I can see that take on Ubisoft's Lost, that isn't as important in the gaming world as Assasin's Creed, but Assasin's was a big deal and was hyped back in November. My question to you is this, why can't Ubisoft get this guy the games on a timely fashion or why won't he ask for them earlier?
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