Game Review: Assassins Creed

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     Game Review:  Assassins Creed (2007)
     Publisher:  Ubisoft
     Systems:  PS3, Xbox360
     Plot:  In 2012, a bartender named Desmond Miles is kidnapped by a multi-billion dollar company named Abstergo and put into a machine called The Animus – a machine specifically designed to pull memory from DNA.  And even more specifically, ancestrial memory.  The ancestor of Desmond that Abstergo is interested in is that of Altair, an assassin during the Third Crusade who reported killed off the last of the Knights Templar.  Something to do with this secret historial assassin has piqued the interest of this futuristic corporation – and Desmond is the key to unlocking its secret!

Throughout the game you juggle between your assassination missions as Altair – which makes up the bulk of the gameplay – and your investigation missions as Desmond – which takes place between the different memory blocks that you are trying to unlock.  As Desmond digs deeper into Abstergo and their ultimate motivations, he stumbles upon a conspiracy reaching back to the 1100s and the Third Crusade – a blood fued that has lasted for centuries between the Templars and the Assassins, and a mystical artifact that could hold the key to the future of our world.

The gameplay in the game is refreshing and fun.  The game requires you to master free running – running over rooftops and over structures – to evade and naviagte giant cities filled with tons of people.  Climbing buildings is fun, and seeing the draw distance from the top of tall structures can be rather breathtaking.  The Leap of Faith – doing a nose dive from the top of a building into a straw pile – is certainly an appeal of the game.  I could do that for hours and not get bored with it. 

The graphics are rather impressive, and the lack of lag in a sprawling street mixed with all of the textures and details in the game make for an emersive experience.  The combat is fun too – instead of a button masher like most games, this game requires you to finesse your moves by timing them appropriately to pull of combos.  The combat can get rather difficult at times, especially for what should be a stealth game.  Especially at the end, where all of your moves are required to pull off your final mission.

The game does suffer from a number of glitches (at least on the PS3), such as randomly freezing your system – or restarting itself for no reason what-so-ever.  There are also some glitches with the gameplay, as not all of your moves will work every time.  These flaws would normally be something that would keep a game from coming out at the levels that I’ve personally experienced them, as they happen almost every time I play the game.  It’s a little frustrating, and takes you out of the experience rather quickly.  It’s unfortunate, because this game would otherwise be stellar.

Produced by the very lovely Jade Raymond (host of G4s Electronic Playground and one of the leading women in video games), Assassin’s Creed was aparently created to be a series of 3-4 games in total.  And while I haven’t beaten the game yet (damn last battle keeps kicking my ass), the fact that Jade Raymond is attached to the rest of them does insure that I’ll be back for more – especially if you can get them at a decent price point (I bought mine when GTA4 came out, and they cut the price in half). 

Plus, Jade Raymond is freakin’ gorgeous!  Anything that keeps a smile on that woman’s face is a good thing in my book!

In summary, if you enjoy a good stealth game that adds elements previously unseen in video games (free running and a rythmical combat system), be sure to check this game out.  It’s totally worth it!

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