Assassin’s Creed™
Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Assassin’s Creed is a great game that is hampered by a few small flaws that drag it down from greatness. Don’t let this stop you from experiencing a truly epic and unique storyline that will have you gripped right until the end. 

Gameplay: A little rough around the edges at times, but with plenty of cool ideas.

Graphics: Some epic scenes.

Sound: Quite immersive

Summary 7.7 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Assassin’s Creed™

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Publisher: Ubisoft | Release Date: 2008 | Genre: 3rd Person / Action / Adventure | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

When Desmond Miles is kidnapped by Abstergo Industries, a powerful corporation with some very sinister plans his life takes a turn for the worse. One day he’s just a bartender trying to keep a low profile and the next he’s strapped to a weird machine called the “Animus” that can read the ancestral memories buried in the DNA of its subject. It seems that Abstergo is very interested in information about one of Desmond’s ancestors called Altair. Altair was an 11th century assassin in the holy land during the third crusade who got demoted after he botched the recovery of an artifact called the “piece of Eden” from Solomon’s Temple. Some Templars (the sworn enemies of assassins) were also interested in the artifact and in his eagerness to keep it out of their hands Altair broke all three the codes of his order’s creed. Nearly paying for this mistake with his life he is stripped of his rank in the order and instructed to redeem himself by killing nine key figures which would help facilitate peace between Crusaders and Muslims. His quest takes him to the cities of Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus and the truths he uncovers has some far reaching consequences for mankind.

Assassins Creed was a big hit on the consoles and for once computer owners gets a nice conversion with a few extras. Graphically Assassins Creed looks amazing and thanks to the higher resolutions available on computer never ceases to wow. Each city is rendered in exquisite detail and teeming with citizens going about their business. All this graphical splendor comes at the cost of fairly high system requirements if you wish to experience the full effect but trust me it’s well worth it. The animation’s alone is worth the price of admission. Watching Altair climb up a building and realistically reaching for foot and handholds is an awe inspiring sight and must have been quite a technical achievement to pull off considering the enormous scale of the environments. The Prince of Persia might have set the standard for acrobatics in games, but Altair takes the concept to new heights.

As a highly skilled assassin there is virtually no area that is inaccessible to Altair with his ninja-like abilities, providing he can stay one step ahead of the city guards. Assassins are obviously not very well liked and if Altair does anything suspicious they will be all over him like white on rice. Altair is no slouch in the combat department but it’s obviously better not to have 20 guards baying for your blood while you are trying to secretly gather information about your target. You’ll definitely want to partake in at least a few battles just to see the spectacular moves Altair can pull off. While combat never becomes gruesome like in some other games that contain severed limbs and heads Assassins Creed isn’t squeamish with blood spraying around and thanks to the fluid animation you’ll wince in sympathy each time some poor guy ends up on the wrong end of Altair’s sharp weapons.

What is most amazing about Assassins Creed is how simple it is to play. Obviously there is an initial learning curve as you have to get to grips with the unique control scheme, but once mastered you’ll be scaling tall buildings with ease and leaping from roof to roof without even thinking about it. I’d advise the use of a gamepad however, as playing with the mouse and keyboard combination works but results in some finger bending combinations. While the relatively simple controls provide some very impressive acrobatics the same cannot be said for the gameplay. Once the initial wow factor wears off you’ll soon realize that the missions on offer are pretty repetitive and becomes tedious after a while. Computer owners are lucky because they get four extra mission types, but this still doesn’t make up for the lack of things to do in the vast cities. Sure you can climb up, over and around almost everything but when your only incentive to do so is to collect “hidden” flags that serve absolutely no purpose to the plot whatsoever it’s hard not to become a bit bored. Don’t get me wrong the first few hours of the game you’ll be way too busy exploring and causing havoc to notice this, but towards the end of the game it becomes very apparent that Assassins Creed has a lot of wasted potential.

Being an assassin Altair obviously has to keep a low profile while information gathering and missions, so a large part of the game is taken up by evading guards and staying out of sight. Since all missions take place in broad daylight you don’t have the option to slink around in the shadows so instead you have to “hide in plain sight”. If you are being chased by guards you’ll have to break their line of sight and then blend in by sitting on a bench between two other people for example. Or you could dive into a haystack or roof garden until the danger blows over. A convenient alertness level meter will indicate how aware or suspicious guards are of your activities, but later in the game you can hardly walk past a guard without hordes of them trying to kill you. In fact it’s one of the game’s biggest failings that towards the end things fall apart and degenerate into a repetitive series of fights where the odds are stacked way against you. The game also has a spectacularly unsatisfying ending, but since it’s apparently only the first in a trilogy of games I guess it makes sense.

While all of this might make it sound like this is a game you might as well pass up nothing could be further from the truth. True, this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but Assassins Creed definitely brings some very cool innovations to the genre. While a lot of the stuff you do in the game like the horse riding and assassinations has been done before the overall package and presentation has never been this polished. From the bustling cities filled with people that can help or hinder you to the epic musical score and atmospheric sound effects it’s clear to see that a lot of care and hard work has gone into this game. It’s not often that I just sit back and admire the views and locations in a game, but with Assassins Creed I found myself doing this quite a lot.

Assassins Creed has one of the most interesting and intriguing story lines I’ve seen in a while and while some of the cut-scenes can become a bit long winded the story had me gripped right to the end. The mix of modern conspiracy theories and near future science coupled with the historic setting for the assassination missions makes for an interesting contrast. If you are expecting this to just be a fancier version of Prince Of Persia think again, Assassins Creed might not live up to all the hype it has generated, but it’s a very good game in it’s own right and hopefully the series will only go from strength to strength. Hopefully the next games will pick up some tips from the Grand Theft Auto series on how to create compelling and varied missions within a free roaming and open ended city environment.

*Review originally published in 2008.

System Requirements

  • Supported OS:Windows® XP/Windows Vista® (only)
  • Processor:Dual core processor 2.6 GHz Intel® Pentium® D or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 3800+ (Intel Core® 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or better recommended)
  • System Memory:Windows XP: 1 GB RAM / Windows Vista: 2 GB RAM
  • Video Card:256 MB DirectX® 10.0-compliant video card or DirectX 9.0-compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (*see supported list)
  • Sound Card:DirectX 9.0 or 10.0-compliant sound card (5.1 sound card recommended)
  • DirectX Version:Direct X 9.0 (Windows XP) or 10.0 (Windows Vista) libraries
  • Hard Disk:8 GB available hard disk space
  • Supported Peripherals:Keyboard, mouse, optional controller (Xbox 360® Controller for Windows recommended)
  • *Supported video cards at time of release: ATI® RADEON® X1600** /1650**- 1950/ HD 2000/3000 series, NVIDIA GeForce® 6800**/7/8/9 series. **PCI Express only supported. Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT supported. These chipsets are the only ones that will run this game. For the most up-to-date requirements, please visit the FAQ for this game at: http://support.ubi.com.

Related posts

Bee Simulator

Bee Simulator

Bee Simulator is clearly a title that is aimed at younger gamers, which means it’s not very challenging and can quickly become repetitive. Despite the open-world setting, which does look rather nice, there isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to the story or even the side missions. The robotic nature of the human characters also spoils the immersion, but players who love bees and just want to fly around exploring the vibrant gameworld will still have fun. Just don’t expect it to be a realistic simulator as the title suggests. Gameplay: Flying around as a bee is a lot of fun, but the missions can quickly become repetitive. Graphics: The game looks nice from a distance, but if you get too close you’ll notice how lifeless the human characters really are. Sound: The soundtrack is decent, but the voice acting is not great.

Rocking Pilot

Rocking Pilot

Rocking Pilot enables players to live out their Airwolf fantasies by taking control of a helicopter and laying waste to enemy armies. The game takes the form of a 2D, top down shooter with colorful visuals and arcade style gameplay. Plenty of mission variety and addictive online leaderboards make up for the relatively short campaign mode and the game is addictive enough that you’ll keep coming back until you’ve earned every collectible. Add to this the low price of the game and you have a title that is essential for fans of the genre. Gameplay: Fast, frantic and very, very addictive. Graphics: Bright and colorful, albeit a little cramped. Sound: Features a suitable rocking soundtrack.

Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

The Ultima series provided the world with some truly groundbreaking games over the years and it is great to see the humble roots of such an excellent series. This EGA version has been given a new visual coat of paint compared to the monochromatic original, but still looks archaic compared to modern titles. However, the gameplay, although simplistic, can still entertain if you are able to look past the limitations. Whether you want to play it for nostalgic reasons or simply see what all the fuss was about, Ultima 1 should definitely be owned by all retro fans and RPG aficionados. Gameplay: Truly great for its time, but obviously it is very simplistic by modern standards. Graphics: Once again good for its time, but time hasn’t been too kind. Sound: Nothing more than noise.

The Purring Quest

The Purring Quest

The Purring Quest has a few flaws, including a rather limited amount of levels, but it is hard not to be charmed by the delightful protagonist and moving story. The hand drawn visuals and animations definitely stand out, but the game is genuinely fun as well. It might not feature a lot of innovations in terms of gameplay or puzzles, but there is no doubt that it was a labor of love for the creators and something all cat fans will enjoy. Gameplay: The controls are a little stiff, but this doesn’t detract too much from the fun. Graphics: Beautiful hand drawn visuals and some stellar animations. Sound: The orchestral soundtrack is quite epic.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is one of those games that start off great but the longer you play it the more the faults become apparent. There are plenty of challenges and races but in the end you are just repeating the same things over and over. The online aspect is nice and overall the game is good but it is certainly not going to appeal to everyone. Gameplay: A huge gameworld with plenty to see and do but very repetitive. Graphics: Lots of rough edges but the scale is admirable. Sound: Terrible radio stations and annoying voice overs.

9-nine-:Episode 3

9-nine-:Episode 3

9-Nine: Episode 3 continues to build on the events of the previous two games and once again features a combination of action, drama, comedy, and romance. Haruka Kosaka is the love interest for this episode and her story is every bit as intriguing as the previous heroines. Episode 3 also features some of the most dramatic and startling revelations so far in the series and should keep fans hooked right to the end. Gameplay: Episode 3 is very much a kinetic novel, but still interesting. Graphics: The art style and animations are still top-notch. Sound: Features a great soundtrack and great voice acting.

Leave a comment

13 − six =