It could have been such a legend...
For some unknown reason,there are not many games featuring the Holy Land in the time of the crusades.Maybe religious reasons,maybe not,but the certain thing is that Ubisoft announced back in 2006 that they were working on a stealth action game placed in the Holy Land,& also showed us an awesome trailer.I was happy too about it,but when I saw that the producer was Jade Raymond...a girl,I started being...you know,sceptical about the game.The concept would mix elements from the Hitman ,Splinter Cell,Thief & Tomb Raider series with a lot of unique elements added.Now,the 360 & PS3 versions of the game were released in Q4 2007,& despite the public succes the title enjoyed,the proffessional reviewers did't quite appreciate the game,& it got a couple of pretty poor reviews.I said hey,let's wait for the PC version,so that I can analyze it accordingly. Well,let's see the result.
Graphics:9/10 A good first impression,the graphics in Assassin's Creed are fantastic.Very good high-res textures for almost everything (people could have been a bit richer in details),& what really impressed me was the lack of special effects.Producers nowdays use them to mask graphical glitches,but Ubisoft showed a sign of decency & didn't do that.Of course,the game has its share of bugs,but nothing too serious.The most impressing aspect of the graphics are the cities.You'll be able to walk everywhere you want in Acre,Jerusalem & Damascus.Ubisoft said that the cities were built after real plans of them.Could be,but even if they aren't,they still look awesome.The respect for architecture is certain:each city with its own building style,as it is with the three religious beliefs.The animations are great & look really real,no complaint about that.So why not 10?The bugs I mentioned earlier can be annoying (dead bodies bounce,have extreamly long hands/legs...The water looks awful,& that's a pity.But the crowds are greatly done & it's a wonder that the game works fine while thoulsands of people walk the city's streets.To draw a conclusion,the graphics are not better than in Crysis,GRID,Lost or FarCry 2.But they're still awesome,& that's what really counts.
Sound:7/10 Let's take the music first,composed by the famous Jesper Kyd (same who did it wonderfully for the Hitman games).Now,the music is really really good.Too bad it doesn't fit well in the game.I mean,the music's purpose is to get you deeper into the game's atmosphere.This music doesn't.It has no specific influences for that time.Try to listen it when not playing the game & you'll see that it won't lead you to the Holy Land in the Crusades time.The voice acting is not bad,but it ain't good either.Some people sound convincing,some don't (too bad that Altair,the main character,speaks as at rehearsal,with almost no intonation).Those who sound really convincing are the preachers...the ones who speak to the crowd.But because Ubisoft had to screw it up,they repeat the same 2-3 sentances continuosly,so you'll get really pissed off & you'll get the sudden desire to make them shut up...kill them.Oh,well...The sound effects,like sword clashes..things like that,are good enough,but here I'll tell you another thing that whic was forgotten by miss Jade.To point out the religion of each of the three sities,you can't do it only with arhitecture & croud speakers.Why not some prayers,some calls to the mosques for the muslims?All she game us is a randomly generated bell toll in Acre,the Christian city..Or to point out by this mean that God,Allah or Yahveh are praised in the city would have been great.
Storyline:9/10 The story takes place in two different plans.One in the Crusade Period,in the Holy Land,where assassin Altair needs to eliminate 8 targets,and the other plan in the present day,where Miles needs to recreate the actions of his antcenstor Altair,with the use of the Animus,controlled by two doctors.The story looks at first pretty straightforward,but it's very interesting if you look deeply into it.After each & every assassination there is a scene in the middle of nowhere, where Altair talks to the dying men he had just stricken.What bothers him is that everyone of these men told him that it was no point in killing them,that they served a higher goal,peace & prosperity trough every means necesarry,that they feared that after death there is nothing,& that he,Altair,didn't know what he was doing.So Altair doesn't know what to think,his mind raises many questions without answer.They all have an answer at the end of the game.The end is absolutely amazing.I mean both of them,Altair's one & Miles' one.Quite strange,but nebertheless great.
Gameplay:4/10 As I said before,you'll have to assassinate 8 (or 9,I don't know exactly) persons,so 3 for each city (actually,one of them is in the outskirts,but whatever).Besides the cities,you'll have the outskirts that lead to them & the Assassin's Fortress (geez,such uninspired).Now I don't think you can go all the way from Damascus to Jerusalem or from Damascus to ACre in 2 minutes,but that's how it is in Assassin's Creed,& it's quite stupid.Duh,a motivation to use the horses,which,despite the good control,are absolutely pointless.Oh,I almost forgot,there is also a speed limit there,in the middle of nowhere,& if you exceed it the guard will be all over you.This is more that just stupid... Well,oonce you get in the city,you'll have to visit the Assassin's Bureau (another "bright" idea),which directs you to several leads.You need to follow at least three of them in order to receive the contract.Okay,now information-gathering is done by a number of different "minigame" quests,so you can choose your favorite ones each time.These quests need to be found in the city,so you'll have to scout by climbing up the tallest buildings,towers or observation posts scattered troughout the city in order to get another part of the map.Now,some of these quests are given trough informers,& if you are succesful,they'll give you what information you want to know.Now there are stealth assassination quests,where you need to kill three targets without being seen (hard),archer assassination challenges,where you need to kill archers on the rooftops without being seen (not too hard),rooftop race challenges, escort challenges (easy),etc. But the ones I recommand to do are pickpocket (it's easy,you just have to walk behind the guy who has info & press Shift to get the info out),interrogation (you need to beat up a crowd-speaker to make him tell you what he knows-easy,guard don't interfeer in fist fights),& the easiest of 'em all,eavesdrop(just sit on a bench,press F & then E to overhear a convesation).This one is absolutely supid.Instead of stealthy following them to a secure place,where you would try to stay hiddent when they speak, you need to sit on a bench in the middle of the damn city & hear their "secret" plans.It's as if two guys would be talking out loud in the middle of New York on how to kill Bush.Oh well,when you're done with all these,you'll get a contract & go to the place the target is.Now here's where the hardest part comes in:trying not to fall asleep while an extreamly boring "interactive" cutscene takes place.After that you just have to kill the target,escape the guards,& return to the bureau.Thing is,many times in those cutscenes,the targets are very exposed,but you can't kill them now,no,you need to do it when they're surrounded by guards!That being so,almost all the assassinations will end as bloodbaths,& that sure isn't the definition of an assassin.An assassin should wait for the best moment to strike,not for the worst one.So the game shouldn't be called Assassin's Creed,it should be called Mass Murderer's Creed.Okay,so this is the way EVERY assassination contract works out,so you'll get extreamly bord of the stupid & unspectacular repetivity.If you manage somehow to finish the game,you deserve a medal for your patience.I sure do! Okay,now that you know how the game's scenery works,let's talk about the control,fighting system,& the climbing system. The control is quite weird,but it is very very precise,& after a while you'll like it.For example,to run,you need to keep the right mouse button pressed while pressing space.To move in the crowd without bothering the people you'll genly push them by pressing Shift,& pressing Shift while holding the right mouse button will make you throw aside anyone in your way.Now,to climb a building you'll have to press RMB while near the wall,& keep the directional key pressed.As Jade Raymond said,you'll be able to climb each & every building you wish,but so could you do in Transformers or Hulk,so just this doesn't make it a great game.In comparison with those two though,Assassin Creed's climbing system is more credible:you don't just climb ascend the plain wall,you'll use pillars,windows,smaller rooftops,ladders...things like that.I said that it has a very precise control scheme.The jumps are very precise,you'll never fall off or miss a pillar & when jumping in the grain wagons from the rooftops you will just press RMB+Space & that's it,you'll fall directly there,without controlling your jump.And I'm not saying this as a bad thing,cause it reduces the frustration level a lot.I just remembered:you can't swim,& the smallest contact with water means instant death.Sheesh... Now,let's talk about combat mode.You'll have four weapons:fists,sword, throwing knifes & hidden blade.You imagine how fists work...the hidden blade can be used when enamies are unaware that you want to attack them.Just run towards one & hit LMB & there you go!The throwing knivfes are good as a ranged weapon.You target the enemy with F (he has to be a bit far away),press LMB & you throw a knife at him,killing him instantly.The knife can also be used as a close comat weapon,as the sword.Now,sword combat.The most stupid combat scheme with swords I've ever seen in my life.You can press LMB for a fast attack that misses everytime,& hold it for a slof,powerful attack that migh hit from time to time.But let's say you're surrounded by 10 enemies.You have to keep RMB pressed,& when one of them starts an attack,you press LMB for a counter attack that kills or stuns.Don't worry about the other enemies,cause they'll just stay & watch you kill their friends,one by one.Absolutely stupid.They're such idiots they won't strike you when your back is vulnerable,& they attack in turns,like they're playing some TBS game or so.One more strange thing:when I'm killing them,some talk & point at me while watching me swing the blade to them.What more can I say?Thing is,that's the ONLY way I used when killing enemies,& I could as well faced 100 guards gathered around me...the same result.Plus that it's boring & the moves repeat themselves again & again & again.You can also grab the enemies & throe them is some structures which collapse,wather,or off a rooftop.Speaking about rooftops,if you throw a soldier down from there,people & other guards will imediatly notice,but won't look up,they look around.Why is that,I cannot possibly understand.Okay,enough,let's talk about the final aspect,running away from guards.You can run away in the crowds,which won't work.You can climb up rooftops & hide in some small chambers with drapes around.The whole army can climb up there,but they won't try to look for you in there.Nope.Same goes for grain wagons or grain piles.Also,while running,if you sit on a bench,the guards will lose you.Why?I can't get it.Some people you save might sometimes slow down the guards in pursuit,or at least that's what the tutorial said.I never tried to see what happens.The thing is that Miles "syncs" to Altair's memory,& if he kills innocents he loses sync.Another very stupid thing.I once jumped from the highest building in Jerusalem & guess what happened?I lost 3 sync bars from the 16 I had.Now,if that ain't extreamly stupid,I don't know what it is.Now the most stupid thing of 'em all is blending.You can get pass every guard to reach your target if you blend.They see your weapons,but hell,it doesn't matter,you're blending!I've got nothing at all against Bush,but I'll use him as an example once again.A guy with three assault rifles & two rocket launcers on his back who wants to kill Bush gets unbothered near him,because he's BLENDING.Exactly like that is the business in Assassin's Creed.Stupid,huh?
Overall Impression:5/10 All in all,Assassin's Creed had a great potential.An unexploided period of time & place of action & an excellent idea behind it.I don't know how it happened,but they screwed up bigtime.Assassin's Creed is like a demo,like a beta version.It has a couple of ideas put along together,but they still need to correct & blend them perfectly,& to add substance to the game,to make it feel like a game.I waited untill the end for "that" moment to come.It indeed came by the end,which means the rest of the game could have been fixed too.Hell,this could have been such a masterpiece...such a pity.It's strange that the game is both very easy & very hard.Easy because you won't have any difficulties in advancing,hard because not everybody has the patience to finish such a game.At the beggining,I said okay,pretty good game,maybe an 8 in the review.At half time,no wonder: 4 in the review,no arguments!Finally it was 7.To conclude,while playing Assassin's Creed I didn't feel at all as an assassin.I felt like myself pushing buttons on my keyboard,trying not to fall asleep or get to annoyed & banging my head on the desk from time to time.Not that it's a bad game,but when you imagine what it could have been,what a legend...