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Jun 2008 14

Assassins Creed

Games Review

Another console to PC port that's been out since April, Assassins Creed is a third person sneaker created by Ubisoft in which the player repeatedly delves into his genetic memory in order to assume the role of a 12th century assassin trying to kill various historical figures during the crusades in the holy land.

Simply put, this is a very impressive game -- Not perfect, but worth the purchase.  To be honest I'm not sure why I waited as long as I did.  The game itself is quite beautiful and has a very nice story line.  It's the first game in a while that I would classify as "smart" and clever at every stage -- taking quite a step away from your usual brute force or shoot'em up games.  Stealth in this game is everything.

The player must use all manner of stealthy game mechanics like eavesdropping,  pickpocketing, and assassination in order to complete the missions.  Running in swinging your sword to just kill everything simply wont work, and while you're not nurfed like you were in Thief, you still can't take the overwhelming odds that you'll encounter if you try to hack your way through.

The game mechanics are excellent as anything you walk at, run at or into, jump at/on/over will cause your character to behave exactly as you'd expect him to.  The "oh wow" moment for me was early on when I jumped and landed on a short platform and went a little too far.  The character hit the edge and flailed trying to regain his balance.  It looked very convincing.  The climbing mechanic is extremely well done, and you'll use it pretty much constantly.

Your character is extremely athletic, probably unreasonably so heh.  I wish I could hang by my finger tips for an hour while my player went to the store for a coke..  And while jumping off the tower into the cart looks keen and all,  that'd kill the hell out of you!

I did find some issues with the game;

Jumping into water .. KILLS YOU!  heh, harsh.  But then I guess this is a desert memory and he can't swim.

I'm not sure how slowing down and ducking your head makes you less conspicuous.. but.. it does.  This really is the only mechanic I don't understand, but then how else would you provide a button that allows you to "fly casual".

Controls are extremely unintuitive and border on confusing.  Especially for a PC gamer who doesn't play console games.  You can really tell that this is a console game that was ported to PC where the controls are concerned.. The main issue is there is a LOT of things you can do and they try to do all of them with some combination of 4 buttons.

While the controls for the game are unintuitive and confusing, they give you quite a lot of options both in and out of combat.  And I don't care who you are, sneaking up to an archer on the top of a building and pushing him off to watch him fall to his death is good wholesome fun.  You will eventually realize that you can be extremely "loose" with controlling your character and he'll usually behave the way you wanted.

This is something that most PC players will have a hard time with simply because they are used to micro-managing their characters, as opposed to console games which will partly play themselves.

The graphics engine seems a tad unoptimized as I get a solid 60fps (with vsync) but there is video lag and jumpiness.. Also the game is beautiful, yet it has no ingame option for anti-aliasing.  This is a common trend of game makers lately and it boggles the mind.  Games with AA look so much better than without, but most of them don't use AA.  It saddens me.  Forcing AA through the control panel has odd and unplayable results.

That's really it.    Most of my complaints are pretty minor.  The game is a lot of fun and most likely will be one that I finish.  (For me that's a sign of a good game.)

Oh and Chad, my computer gets a solid 60fps in most places though in a couple of the way up high views were you see everything, it dips into the 50s.  =)   Max graphics baby!   sniff I love my computer..

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