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Assassin's Creed
(hx) 01:19 AM CEST - May,12 2008

Assassin's Creed is a third-person stealth action game which takes place during the Great Crusades, in the year 1191 A.D. It chronicles the activities of an assassin named Altair by playing back the genetic memories of his modern day descendent, Desmond. Desmond is placed into a machine called the Animus, which taps into and plays back Altair's memories, which are apparently encoded into Desmond's genetic material.

Regardless of plot-twisting details, the basic premise and gameplay is simple. As Desmond is coerced into exploring his genetic ancestry to locate a specific piece of information for the doctors, you will switch back and forth between time periods. On one hand you'll be Desmond as he tries to find out what the hell is going on and how he can escape. The rest of the time you'll be the disgraced Altair, trying to work your way back up through the ranks of your guild after a mission gone-awry and unknowingly bringing Desmond closer to the information he needs.

As Desmond-Altair you have to assassinate several key figures in the Knights Templar organization. The assassinations take place in 3 ancient cities: Damascus, Jerusalem, and Acre. During the game's time-frame Damascus is under the control of Salah ad-Din (or Saladin), Jerusalem is as yet independent but has been infiltrated by both forces, and Acre is controlled by King Richard of England. The three main cities are huge, split into three distinct districts and full of citizens, guards, speakers, thugs, merchant stands, buildings, and just about everything you'd expect to see in a city from that era. The streets are full of people, and by full I mean packed. The first time you see Maysaf your jaw will hit the floor due to the game's beauty, but it's not until you walk the streets of one of the three main cities that you'll see what the game engine is really capable of. Of course, the cities are well guarded by stationary and patrolling guards. You can tell the general alertness of the city by a white, yellow, or red alert on your heads up display and by the individual guards who either stand with their arms crossed (low), with hand on sword hilt (medium), or finally with sword drawn (high) ready to kill you. Sure, you can hold your own against a number of guards, but the objective here is not to kill them all as they are not your target. You have to assassinate! Once the assassination is achieved, you must return to your headquarters. Of course, you don't want the guards to discover the location, so you'll have to ditch them first. You have many ways of hiding in the environment, including blending in with a crowd, hiding in a bail of hay, or seeking refuge in a rooftop hiding spot.

Once you complete the assigned assassinations you will gain either new weapons or new combat skills including counter-attacks and attack dodges. Besides your fists, Your weapons include an assassin's sword for standard combat, a short blade, and throwing knives which are used in conjunction with the short blade. You also start the main storyline with the use of a hidden retractable blade on his left arm that can be used for killing targets at very close quarters without creating any immediate alerts. This is the most noticeable difference between low and high profile. Low Profile actions are discreet or socially acceptable. High Profile actions are more likely to draw attention. A low profile assassination can be performed within as little as a few feet of other guards or soldiers without attracting attention, whereas a high profile assassination attack will be noticed by everyone within eyesight. Being an assassin, your best bet is to catch your targets unaware, but combat with groups of guards is inevitable. They watch Altair at all times, and with the help of a color-changing indicator, you will have to tread carefully to avoid their ire.  The control methodology is unfortunately not as seamless with mouse and keyboard as it was with a controller, however it is possible to use an Xbox 360 controller or gamepad so you can get the best of both worlds.

All in all, If you do nothing more than is absolutely required to accomplish the mission the gameplay can get repetitive. Now I'm talking about the investigation missions that require pick-pocketing, eavesdropping, etc. On positive side, there is more to the game than that. There are always multiple ways to approach a given assassination in the game, so it's ultimately up to you to decide how to proceed. In addition, the PC version also has some new tasks such as timed sprints and escorting a specific person to a particular location, I like the fact the developers went the extra mile to add something new to the PC version, however I would be lying if I said they were my favourite parts of the game :-)

I should also mention that the PC version has some beautifully rendered cityscapes with touches of bloom and HDR aiding the appearance of real world weather conditions. All animations are first class too. So, if you have a high end PC this game is utterly breathtaking to watch and puts the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions to shame, from texture quality to environmental detail. The downside however is, you need a very high specification to get the most from it at high resolution.

My verdict? Personally I found the game to be a lot of fun to play, but it did get a bit boring to the end of it. I suggest renting before buying.

related links: tweak guide, trainer +4

System requirements:
Minimum: Dual core 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlont 64 X2 3800+, 1GB RAM (2GB with Vista),  256 MB DirectXR 10.0-compliant video card or DirectX 9.0-compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher*, DirectX 9.0 or 10.0-compliant sound card , DVD-ROM: DVD-ROM dual-layer drive, 8GB free HDD space

Recommended: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or better, 2GB RAM ,  256 MB DirectXR 10.0-compliant video card or DirectX 9.0-compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher*, DirectX 9.0 or 10.0-compliant 5.1 sound card , DVD-ROM: DVD-ROM dual-layer drive, 8GB free HDD space, Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

OS:  WinXP SP2, Vista  /This product does not support Windows 98/ME/2000/NT/XP x64/Vista x64/

Supported Video Cards at Time of Release: ATIR RADEONR X1600*/1650*-1950/HD 2000/3000 series || NVIDIA GeForceR 6800*/7/8/9 series
*PCI Express only supported

snd: 5/5 - everything sounds rich and detailed, top-notch voice-overs
gfx: 5/5 - absolutely awesome graphics and animation; impressive lighting, shading, shadows, and weather effects
playability: 5/5 - combines innovative gameplay types, lots of missions to complete, repetitive missions; no real reward for exploration; boring story, weak replayability
genre: third-person stealth-action
platform: PC (also available on Xbox 360, PS3)
release: April 2008
developer: Ubisoft Montreal
publisher: Ubisoft
Overall: 85%

last 10 comments:

Ozieo(02:29 AM CEST - May,12 2008 )
playability: 5/5 - combines innovative gameplay types, lots of missions to complete, repetitive missions; no real reward for exploration; boring story, weak replayability

Do you, by accident, get paid by Ubisoft ?

It seems to be the trend for the bloated, buggy, boring games by Ubisoft to get perfect scores, even if it is clear that they are completely spiritless....

Smiley_ie(03:22 AM CEST - May,12 2008 )
85 - 90 i think its worth, Problem is you play the hole game in the first 30 mins. Still playing it & still enjoying it.

(09:09 AM CEST - May,12 2008 )
Ozieo> playability: 5/5 - combines innovative gameplay types, lots of missions to complete, repetitive missions; no real reward for exploration; boring story, weak replayability

Despite the shorcomings I mentioned, I've enjoyed the game :wink:

Do you, by accident, get paid by Ubisoft ?

Good one :lol: Well, Ubisoft..heh I don't care about publishers :-) I bought the game.

PoliticalMaestro(12:31 AM CEST - May,13 2008 )
I've not played this game however like many great ideas it's execution determines a success or failure. The story is part of the execution process along with playability, control characteristics and other aspects. Poor script, inflexible environment, mismanagement, cutting corners, rushing to meet deadlines in order to appease shareholders is a recipe for failure.

Hint look at the developers share price "good indicator" on how things are in house.

lmer(05:35 PM CEST - Oct,17 2008 )
What a waste. I'm boring myself to death playing this and I need to finish it at least once to justify the money spent. The graphics are OK. Nothing new, but lots of detail. The gameplay is so boring and completely unimaginative that it's not even funny. Go there, kill that, hold uparrow with 2 more buttons to watch some animations, repeat. I can not believe this game got such good reviews. For what?

The effort is apparent. The technical side is flawless, except for the camera. I found no other bugs or glitches. I'm assuming the crap gameplay is a direct consequence of Ubisoft trying to appeal to a widest audience possible and securing their investment. I mean, how simple can you make it?

It's sad to see a world of this size with so few interesting things to find in it. Basically all you get is procedural crowds, a few hidden flags and some (hidden) enemies to kill with no real rewards. I'm not there yet but I'm assuming the replay value is -1.

Tech 5/5
Graphics 4/5
Sound 5/5
Gameplay 1/5

Overall 3/5

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