Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines First Look

Altair returns to form in this portable follow-up to the original Assassin's Creed.

In November, Ubisoft will release one of the more highly anticipated games of the year when Assassin's Creed II arrives on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This sequel will push the story forward a few hundred years and introduce a brand-new protagonist, but it won't be the only Assassin's Creed game released this holiday season. Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, a PSP exclusive, will serve as a more direct continuation of the original game as players, once again, assume control of the acrobatic killer Altair.

The story in Bloodlines picks up more or less right after the first game's cliffhanger ending. The primary difference is in the way the story is presented. Rather than showing long, drawn-out scenes of modern day bartender Desmond Miles coping with the memories of his medieval ancestor, Altair, Bloodlines is presented in a format that Ubisoft and developer Griptonite Games expect will be much better suited for the portable experience. Long story short, you'll play purely from the perspective of Altair--no Desmond this time--in a game that features shorter, more easily digestible cinematics while maintaining the same open-world style of gameplay. And because it takes place after the original, Altair has all his weapons and abilities from the outset--no need to earn them all back again.

In Bloodlines, the Templars have occupied the island nation of Cyprus, and it's up to Altair to methodically seek out and assassinate every one of their commanding officers to weaken their presence in Cyprus and eventually drive them out. We saw a demo from early in the game where Altair had to chase down a commander named Moloch the Bull inside a fortified Templar base in an old castle. The demo began with Altair perched atop a castle wall and surveying his surroundings before dropping down to silently kill patrol guards with his hidden blade. From the way Altair fell gracefully into a cart of hay to the burst of blood that cascaded from the unfortunate guard, it was clear from the outset that this portable take on Assassin's Creed is aiming to keep the experience close to the console original rather than the coolly received DS game that was released some months after.

You'll find just as much of an emphasis on climbing and acrobatics.

Taking the series to the PSP--and the time that's passed during this transition--comes with its share of benefits and drawbacks. Adjusting the camera seems like it may trip up some players because the lack of dual analog sticks means you'll have to hold L and press the face buttons if you want to adjust your point of view. But on the positive side, Bloodlines has been given the gift of a few new bells and whistles that Ubisoft has added to Assassin's Creed II. One example Ubisoft was keen to show off was a new move in Altair's deadly repertoire: the ability to grab guards while hanging from a ledge. This move blurs the line between the game's combat and climbing because you can shimmy along a ledge and yank down any guard within reaching distance without having to break stride.

Ubisoft and Griptonite have also taken fan feedback into consideration in a few different ways. After Altair managed to take out Muloch the Bull--a boss fight that required patiently timing his attacks and countering with your own--the dialogue sequence that followed was remarkably short. This is in comparison to the drawn-out conversations you couldn't skip that followed each boss encounter in the original game. According to Ubisoft, part of this change came about because a lot of fans didn't care for those parts of the game. The other part of the change had to do with Ubisoft's goal of crafting a game that's meant to be played in shorter bursts on the PSP.

Not a good looking fella, that Muloch.

Overall, we walked away impressed with the work the development team at Griptonite has done with Bloodlines. While we didn't get to play the game, it looks like this PSP version will incorporate most of what made Assassin's Creed so great. The climbing looks just as slick and effortless while the combat looks just as brutal. The presentation has also clearly benefitted from a solid attention to detail in both graphics and voice work. The big questions left to be answered are how much the story feels like a necessary addition to the series fiction and how well the open-world areas capture the feel of those bustling cities that Assassin's Creed depicted so well. Expect more coverage in the next few months.

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Discussion

106 comments
godofcod111
godofcod111

Heh funny. as i post this comment right now, this game is currrently downloading onto my psp go. ;)

maximan99
maximan99

not good at all, around 5,6 maybe7 hours of gameplay NOT worth it ds version of number 1 is better moore gameplay hours yeeeee! but i sold my ds for a psp recently

tpeeple1
tpeeple1

THAT SCARES ME! I was really looking forward to this game, but I have to say I'm not suprised the psp version ended up as another port, and straight up crappy. ONLY 2 SIDE MISSIONS?!?! I have to play through the story line everytime?!?!

alynnrg
alynnrg

i played the game .... and ...it's not as I expected .... the graphics aren't that good ( relly laggy sometimes ) ... and the AI of the guards is f_u_c_k_e_d up ( if u don't stay in low profile - i mean walking like the monks with youre hands put together- they attack you ).... And the most annoyng thing is that you have just 2 side missions and just 1 view point ...:| ... they maid the game ,,,, just to be maid .... It dosen't have that much connection to the second game ,.. Ooo an another thing the city is little ...is just like playing in a BOX ....( if u wanna go in another part of the citty u have to go trough a gate ,, and wait to load ... is just f_u_c_k_e_d up ... don't get it .. how the rock star company mannaged to make GTA with so big cities and Ubisoft didn't :| ) and the croud is poor ... just 4-5 people here and there sometimes ...:( I AM SOOO DISSAPOINTED ( sorry ,,, if i didn't write everything correct ... and sorry the post is so biG :D ... ) that is just my opinion

Strategygamer22
Strategygamer22

So, am I the only AC1 fan whose favorite parts of the game were the speeches before and after you kill each templar? I thought that they added more thought and weight to the kills and some made you second guess who was the "good guy". Of course, I can't even get this game, seeing as I sold my PSP. Finally regretting that decision after looking at this game. It looks amazing! Can't wait for the second to come out!

tyco_ex
tyco_ex

OMG I NEED TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO DESMOND AAAAHHHH!

Megasus_
Megasus_

The graphics look nice. I think this will be much more promising than the previous portable Assassin Creed "adventure".

Lhachy
Lhachy

aww man i hope one of my relatives see's how important this game is to me ha ha. go christmas! it's where i get most of my games through out the year... :D

anthonettex
anthonettex

wow psp is finally getting some more good games. DS will be collecting dust this holiday season!

megadisc
megadisc

this games is gonna rule the world a must have

FusionRain
FusionRain

looks like ps2 graphics which is good on the eyes

tpeeple1
tpeeple1

WOW, looks amazing! M, but no blood?!

jokerman_28
jokerman_28

im getting this and AC2! yeah! can't wait.

howardorr
howardorr

Looks surprisingly like the full-fledged AC1 engine. Just...no horse travelling, Ubisoft, please :)

IbnLaAhad
IbnLaAhad

This, and Peace Walker! 17 more days!

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

Glad to finally see the Altair experience come to a portable that's a bit better suited for it. No offense to the DS (I do have one as well), but debacle that was suppose to be some 'prequel' was not hot at all. Personally I hope they do a remake with that one day as well--much like Rockstar did w/ Chinatown Wars for the PSP--I'd certainly like to see some proper light put on Altair's background. Add another one to my PSP game holiday buy list. ;)

Artemis575
Artemis575

I have not played Assassin's creed 1. Is it still worth getting Bloodlines?

3LIT3-KiLLeR
3LIT3-KiLLeR

socom ftb3 ,assasins creed, little big planet a another big step to the psp

SuperSlik
SuperSlik

hey darkkend,does is ur psp go better than a 2000??

Darkkend
Darkkend

yeah I'm a get this on my psp go

Unglud
Unglud

I hope this time we do not have much hold on the horse.

KM18
KM18

its exactly like the original assassin's creed... on PSP!

babyyao11
babyyao11

I am so f****n' glad that this isn't a side scroller..I am so badly buying this!!

Megasus_
Megasus_

well, I was hoping for a decent rated T assassins creed game, but that seems impossible, considering Altair's horrendous DS "chronicles"

freeofkings
freeofkings

looks good, we'll see bum bum buuuummmm... hope its good.

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

wow i wonder how the framerate will handle on this, i've had my shares of problems with GTA =_=

TheAcejoel99
TheAcejoel99

looks very good, just hope it dosent have slow-down issues. Huge open city with lots of people on a handheld usually=slowdown. But Ill stay optimistic.

theplagued
theplagued

Despite the shifty graphics, promising.

EXN-28
EXN-28

this game looks very great, the graphics are good, i can wait buy this game

Coolyfett
Coolyfett

Looks pretty good. I have not played an AC game before. This game is on my wishlist.

th3d3m0n666
th3d3m0n666

looks amazing, a definite buy, just hope for no frame rate issues on such a graphically impressive game

3LIT3-KiLLeR
3LIT3-KiLLeR

wait nvm looks awasum didnt see the gameplay part!five starz already! :D

3LIT3-KiLLeR
3LIT3-KiLLeR

cool and ok i guess the ds was crap and to be honest assasin credd to me is nt a good handheld game thing

OB-47
OB-47

Look at the GRAPHICS! ON PSP

Jackson97
Jackson97

I never really liked the first one because of the controls and that it was repetitive and this looks just like that one so I will wait for AC 2

Malhound
Malhound

Rumors that AC:Bloodlines will be also on the PS2!

utopian_devil
utopian_devil

it looks like it will either be really good...or really bad

aggelos6
aggelos6

No way , i 'm not gonna buy this. I don't really mind about the cutscenes. They require space , right ? So , they should just use that space to make the area bigger and ,most importantly, more detailed and realistic...