Assassin's Creed Review
Assassin's Creed is a beautiful and exciting experience that you'll remember for years to come.
There are also some optional tasks, such as rescuing innocent townspeople from the clutches of guards. The reward for doing so is a group of vigilantes who will hang out in the area afterward and hinder any foes chasing you. It's also a good way to try out Assassin's Creed's combat, which is surprisingly satisfying, considering the game's focus on sneaking around. You can pounce on enemies using your hidden blade (an incredibly rewarding one-stab kill), or use throwing daggers to take enemies down from a distance. However, your sword is your melee mainstay, and though the hack-and-slash combat may seem simple at first, it gets more challenging once you unlock the various countermoves. Often, you'll have a dozen or more attackers to fend off at once, but though these fights can be a little tricky, you'll never feel as if you're in over your head. In fact, the few circumstances in which you are forced into combat--such as a late-game boss fight against a seemingly endless crowd of attackers and their leering leader--are challenging and require some pitch-perfect timing to counter every strike and lunge.
Nevertheless, brute force is rarely the best way to handle a situation. You want to slink unnoticed through the crowds, but you can draw attention to yourself in a number of ways--whether it be galloping past a guard station on a horse, knocking pottery off of someone's head, or getting so frustrated by the various beggars that you fling them away from you. (And trust us--these are the most aggressive panhandlers you'll ever meet.) If you antagonize the guards, they'll give chase. Yes, you can stick around and fight, and though it's never the easiest option, breaking stealth does not damn you to death like it does in other sneaking games. But why not lure them to a rooftop? Once up there, you can grab them and fling them to the street below. Or if there are too many of them, you can jump across the rooftops gracefully until you find a hiding place, such as a nice bale of hay or a curtained garden. Once you're hidden, they'll break chase and you'll be free to roam about.
You can also seek refuge in small groups of scholars who serve as mobile hiding places. It's a bit contrived to walk into a stationary cluster of scholars and have them suddenly start moving simply because you're there, but it gets the job done. Actually, if there's any drawback to the usually excellent gameplay, it's how synthetic certain elements feel. Vigilantes are always in the same spot, missions reset if you don't get them right the first time, and those same guards will be harrassing that citizen, an hour after you pass by. It's easy to forgive these quirks though, given the easygoing flow of the world surrounding these pockets of gameplay.
Climbing up buildings and jumping around the rooftops is fun and breezy, thanks to effortless controls that strike a great balance between ease of use and player input. You can leap across alleys and scale walls with the pull of a trigger and the press of a button, and though it's possible to launch yourself from a wall or hurtle through a vendor's booth by accident, these moments aren't very common. You'd think that a city specifically designed to let you climb structures and caper about the roofs would look overly artificial, yet there's never a moment when you will think to yourself, "Wow, that looks like a place where I'm supposed to jump." The architecture looks completely natural, which makes Altaļr's abilities all the more exciting to pull off. The environments don't look as if they were created for him to climb around on; he just uses the hand he's been dealt, as any good assassin should.
In Assassin's Creed, the greatest joy comes from the smallest details, and for every nerve-racking battle, there's a quiet moment that cuts to the game's heart and soul. Climbing towers to uncover portions of the map is a simple mechanic but forever satisfying, thanks to the beautiful vistas and soft musical themes that accompany the view. Even the drunks that pester you are amusing and fun, though their constant shoving is more than annoying, especially if you are trying to pickpocket a pedestrian or eliminate a target without a fuss. It all makes your missions that much more compelling, and you'll be inclined to explore every nook and cranny and take on every optional task, just for the fun of it. There's a ton of stuff to do, and even when you've exhausted your official tasks, you can search for the collectible flags and crosses strewn around the cities and countryside. You could probably plow through the main quest in 20 hours if you're lucky, but completists might spend close to 50 hours finishing every quest and gathering every collectible.
There are few differences between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. PS3 owners are blessed with a slightly more solid frame rate, although the 360 version features a little more contrast in the lighting, so it's pretty much a wash. But regardless of which platform you go with, you'll have an amazing and unforgettable game. Assassin's Creed is the kind of game you tell your friends about, and one that should be in your collection.
- Downloadable Game
- Player Reviews: 1,998
- Game Universe:
- Assassin's Creed (PC, MOBILE, PS3, X360, DS, IP, BB, WINM),
- Assassin's Creed II (PS3, PC, X360, PSP, IP, DS, BB),
- Assassin's Creed II: Battle of Forli (PS3, X360),
- Assassin's Creed II: Bonfire of the Vanities (X360, PS3),
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (PS3, X360, PC, MAC),
- Assassin's Creed III (PS3, X360, WIIU, PC),
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Disappearance (PS3, X360),
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Edition (PS3, X360),
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations (PS3, X360, PC),
- Assassin's Creed: Ultimate Collection (PC)
- Number of Players: