Assassin's Creed ReviewRush Montgomery III
If Assassin's Creed were a woman, I would marry her and treat her like a princess every day of our lives together, pampering her with gifts and showering her with love and affection. Unfortunately it's only one of the best and most innovative games to be released on any platform in quite a while. To say that I am fully in love with Assassin's Creed would be an insulting understatement. It's got huge, fully detailed cities to explore, impressive animation and crowd interaction, a deep storyline, and a pleasing mix of action and stealth. This is a game that is starting to skate the edge of full interactive immersion. Assassin's Creed is an amazing game - definitely in the top releases of 2007.
Assassin's Creed takes place in 1191 AD and focuses on the Third Crusade and its effects on the Holy Land. The player takes control of Altair, a member of a secretive assassin's guild known as the Hashshashin which hopes to decrease the conflict by wiping out those who would help perpetuate suffering. Altair is sent to search the cities of Acre, Damascus and Jerusalem in order to assassinate nine men. These nine men are based on historically accurate information of people kidnapped or murdered between the 11th and 13th Centuries, which actually helps in immersing the player into the story.
Assassin's Creed handles like a dream. The player has the options to sneak around through the cities, hiding in and moving with small crowds for cover, or dashing through the cities and making their presence more known. The main objective is to reveal more of the story through informants and expanding the story through quests. The story unfolds through large interactive cut-scenes that leave control fully in the hands of players, rather than relying on pre-rendered cut-scenes. The player can fade into the crowd and listen to key moments of the story arc unfold, moving from place to place for a better vantage point.
A lot of the gameplay is focused on stealth and escape. There are moments of action / adventure, with the player engaging one or more enemies, but a major portion of the game involves blending in, moving in the shadows, going where no one else can go and ducking into various forms of cover. The key is to remain unwanted by authorities, however if this becomes impossible to do the player can scale walls, take to the rooftops, leap from building to building and dive off into a wagon load of fresh hay to break the line of sight between Altair and his pursuers. If this sounds like a lot of fun, trust me - it is. The animation of Altiar and his assassin's cloak are completely fluid and is much more convincing that most every other motion-captured game out there.
There are some weird glitches in Assassin's Creed, and it is kind of a bummer for such a beautiful masterpiece to have blemishes in it, but it does. In the course of playing Assassin's Creed, I've seen various graphic glitches such as guards "humping" walls, but it's not often and these various glitches are in no way as bad and the good stuff is good.
Assassin's Creed is amazing on so many levels. With fluid animation, a compelling and historically accurate storyline, superb voice acting, and beautiful score, this game has really elevated the craft of game presentation to an art form. There are rare moments when you don't feel totally immersed in the game, but those are few and far between. Assassin's Creed is definitely a must-have game for the Xbox 360.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.