Sunday, January 10, 2010

Review: "Assassin's Creed"

I figured I'd get this over with before I proceed with "Assassin's Creed 2".

Assassin's Creed was rather hyped up before release, mainly because everyone was awed by, aside from the graphics, the fluid combat and rooftop to rooftop chases shown by the trailers and demos. Unfortunately, that was all there is to it.

I like to associate AC to my impression of FFVII: The starting was estatic and fun, but after the first hour or so, everything just goes downhill. For AC's case however, it's the monotony that kills it.

Altair's favourite hobby: Jumping into hay!

Let us look at the pros of the game first, which is its fluidity. Everything just feels extremely smooth in Assassin's Creed; the way you run and jump around, the way you scale the walls, the way you shove your way through the crowd, the swordfighting; there's only a few occassions where things are a little jerky.

For the whole game, you are required to climb up one of the taller towers in the area to open up 3-5 minigames of around 4 variations. They vary from pickpocketing (sneaking up behind a guy to touch his butt), interrogating (sneaking up behind a guy to beat him up in the shadows)and evesdropping (...just...sitting at a bench).

Once you have completed enough 'minigames', the main area for your assassination will open up, in which they will pit you into various scenarios to deal with to get to one guy and kill him. Like most stealth games, there are more than one way to deal with one objectives. Sadly, these scenarios are the only carrots to look forward to in the entire game.

The city have lots of guards to spare. I really mean lots.

The 'trill' of the game, or so they claim, is running away from guards on the rooftop. Well you can actually lose them on the streets but the crowd makes it rather difficult since running directly into a person will cause you to fall face-first towards the ground. So you run rooftop to rooftop, planning your next move at a whim so that you don't accidentally fall off and find a stack of hay in a shelther on the rooftop...or take a leap of faith down to a (again) stack of hay.

This game is not without sidequests to keep you company, although they come in form of "kill X templars" and "collect X flags". At least it prolongs the game's life span for those perfectionists out there.

This is actually the cheapest way to enter a city, no matter how cool it seems

"Assassin's Creed", in the end, feels like a beta (maybe even alpha) test for its sequel. One can't help but feel that there's a huge hole in the game waiting to be filled. So far, it seems to be just cheap thrills after cheap thrills. There is no sustaining value...nothing for me to look forward to obtain and look out for. Other than the worthless crowd of NPCs loitering about, the cities actually seemed dead content-wise. In fact, it IS dead.

Still, roaming freely and smoothly around a huge city is pretty cool, and the visual effects are very well implemented. Just be warned that such excitement might only last for an hour into the game, unless you are very very excitable.

NeetGeek score: 7.0/10

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