Assassinating the competition, Assassin’s Creed

With the second game in this series, I felt it was time for a long deserved review of Assassin’s Creed. As the game proceeds, you play as Desmond Miles, the descendant of Altair Ibn La-Ahad. It seems your ancestor has information that certain people find to be of extreme value. You are given two choices: either cooperate with these people or be put into a coma and left to die. The choice seems rather obvious. To unlock this information they have attached you to the Animus System. Its purpose is to read the genetic memories built into the human body and extract the information that is needed. There is only one issue, it seems the memory they are trying to access is to unstable too be accessed directly. So instead the Animus System must start at an earlier memory and work its way forward.

Game Play

Assassin’s Creed is based on free flowing movement, allowing players to scale just about any surface in the game. The combat system is pretty straight forward, the X button does it all, it slices, it dices and it throws knives. You change what weapon you have selected by using the D-pad. Altair has a rather interesting ability known as Hawk vision. It allows him to interrupt the intentions of others. This makes it easier to seperate enemies from allies and so on. Health in Assassin’s Creed is sort of an interesting concept. Instead of the typical health bar you are stuck with a synchronization bar. This represents how close you are to your ancestor’s actions. If you lose this completely, the Animus System will restart you from the last save point and you will have to work from there once more. You can resynchronize with Altari by following the Assassin’s Creed. Here is the interesting part: if you stray too far away from the creed, you begin to lose synchronization with Altrai, so taking damage is no longer the only way to die. The way in which you can kill your enemies varies greatly. You have two choices when confronting a target, low or high profile attack methods. Low profile attacks draw less attention allowing for easier escapes. While high profile attacks tend to be more visually appealing. Low profile attacks take advantage of the social stealth concept built into the game, you are not hidden when you are in the shadows but you are when you blend in among the crowd using it to inch ever closer to your enemies.

The Good

Combat is just awesome with the free flowing system that the game developer decided to put in the game. Even two years after its initial release the graphics are still up to date if not superior to many of the games released more recently. The social stealth system is unique and fun to play as it allows you to more or less walk right up to your target and kill them without being noticed. The two choices that are provided of profile and low profile kills is a fun concept. It gives players a chance to try different ways of handling a situation with the freedom of replaying a certain stage over and over again if you want.

The Bad

It is really difficult to come up with anything that is particularly bad about Assassin’s Creed. It was a solid game and remains such. That being said there are a few minor things that bothered me. Occasionally there would be the odd visual glitch in the game. There were also parts where the Animus system would jump you forward in the memory. I am sure it was meant to speed up game play but it would often jump forwards where the player would just be out side of the building they were just in. The jumps really don’t make much sense.

Whim rating 4.5/5

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