Assassin's Creed (X360) - Review by Kim Fidler
When I was younger, I always wanted to be an assassin. For some reason, the thought of sneaking around in shadows and getting the drop on a drug lord always seemed to appeal to me. When I first heard about Assassin’s Creed, I immediately thought that my dreams were going to become a reality. With large sweeping cities to use as my playground, I imagined leaping from high buildings into a packed market while being chased by my pursuers. In a way, my dreams came true, but that doesn’t mean that everything was great from start to finish.
The story in Assassin’s Creed focuses on taking down a group of men that are jointly working towards a much larger goal. With each assassination you learn a little more about the reasoning behind it all, but never is there a time where you think you absolutely have it all figured out. The story is represented to the player in memory blocks which are basically just that. Blocks of a memory being repeated back in order to solve the puzzle. Why are they memories? Well, I’m not going to give that away. Overall the story is presented in a very mature and cinematic way that will satisfy even the most judgemental gamers.
The first thing you will notice about Assassin’s Creed is simply how beautiful it looks. If you’re playing it on an HD television set, you’ll be treated to high-definition in all its glory. Sadly, the game doesn’t really seem to stand up on a standard tube set as it’s going to be cutting off much of the HUD at the sides. Other than that, the graphics hook you from the very first time you climb a building in order to synchronize yourself with your surroundings. The character models and movement are pretty spot on, although you do tend to run into the odd glitches when dispatching adversaries. A great showcase if you have a home theatre you want to show off to all your friends.
In terms of sound quality, voice acting is where Assassin’s Creed truly shines. From Altair’s sarcastic droll to the accents of all the nationalities, the team over a Ubisoft hit it right on. Not once did I cringe from uncomfortable scripting and with so many lines of dialogue I would consider that a huge accomplishment. The soundtrack suit’s the style of title and it never feels forced into areas of gameplay that it doesn’t belong. The only complaint I have about the sound is how annoying they made the homeless people, but that could be attributed to the fact that homeless people in fact are pretty annoying.
Perhaps the biggest flaw in Assassin’s Creed is what I feel is one of the most important factors in any title. The lasting appeal of what you’re given to do in the game just doesn’t really hold anyone’s attention for too long. While the assassination investigations are great fun, you’ll quickly find yourself getting tired of completing all of the extra objectives they throw at you. In a city you have a handful of things to do and when you move onto a new part of a city, you get to do the same things all over again. A little repetitive, but definitely not needed to progress through the game. In other words, if you want to play through the story you can probably do it in a day, where as if you wanted to complete the game to 100% completion, you’ll be spending a lot more time doing the same thing over and over.
Your mileage may vary when it comes to Assassin’s Creed. It’s an extremely polished and fun title for those that simply enjoy running around and completing the assassinations, but a letdown for those that are expecting a middle eastern GTA. If you go into Assassin’s Creed, play an hour or two every couple of days, you’ll have a better experience than those that try squeezing every little bit of the gameplay out of the game in an afternoon. I enjoyed it and even though I can’t recommend it as a buy for everyone, I do recommend that everyone give it a shot.