|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Gameloft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 7, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Another area where I found myself quite disappointed was in the realm of graphics. I can't say that I expected this title to look anything like its PS3 or Xbox 360 console cousin, but I did expect above average graphics. But as I stated before, this game seems to resign itself to average in most respects, and the graphics were no exceptions.
Environments looked pretty good and featured some nice texturing, but the people in this game just looked atrocious. Altair looked like a big pixilated mess most of the time, and facial expressions did not seem to exist for most of the characters. The camera was a big problem too because it would focus on background objects like pillars and leave the action completely. There were times when my character could not be seen on screen at all, and because there were no camera controls, it was a little more than agitating. The game also had a few minor framerate issues as well, and although it was largely unnoticeable 90% of the time, characters would seem a little jumpy from time to time.
The sound quality for this game was also quite underwhelming. There is a fair amount of dialogue in the game between characters, but it is all delivered via scrolling text, which is a real let down. Sound effects were also a little disappointing and seemed like just recycled ambient noise sampled from the original. Music is this title is okay, but not really anything stands out about it. Although I can't really knock it too hard for its simplistic sound scheme, I get the feeling that (like many other aspects of the game) it could have used just a little more polish.
Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles essentially represents an average handheld experience. It has about eight hours of gameplay that is very conducive to the pick-up-and-play experience. Most mobile gamers looking for a portable experience will probably enjoy the fun hack n' slash gameplay along with the fun mini-games. But as a fan of the original console version, I just feel that this game lacked a little of the prowess of its predecessor. If a little bit more time was spend polishing some of the aesthetic aspects of this game, as well as maybe the inclusion of a more in-depth story, this game could have been a triple A companion to its console big brother. But as it stands, this title is just a good handheld spin-off that follows in the footsteps of a great console game.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer