|System: PS3, X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The visuals are emphasized in this game. The lighting, shadows, textures, and attention to detail are absolutely amazing. This is one of the very best examples of the power of next-gen consoles and modern gaming PCs. You'll truly get lost in the gorgeous settings and busy city scenes. The frame rate is fantastic and the only glitches you'll experience are those placed in the game on purpose, in order to maintain the specter of futuristic gloom. The camera angles are well placed, and the ability to change those angles during cutscenes heightens the cinematic experience. I absolutely love this feature and expect to be implemented in other games of this ilk.
In-game sounds, voice acting, and music are very good. The sound effects closely mimic the clang of swords in battle, the muffled landing of a dexterous rogue, and the vibe of the city streets. The voice acting is very good for the most part, save for that of the main character, which doesn't really blend in with the other 12th century characters. I assume this is because these are replayed memories of Altair through Desmond's mind. However, the accent is just too different and too modern for the antiquated language that's spoken. The music is not very noticeable when you're submerged in the gameplay, but it's very appropriate and has an Arabic feel to it that gives the game authenticity.
There's no online gameplay in Assassin's Creed. It's just a single-player experience, pleasurable enough to stand alone. You can collect flags throughout the cities and kingdom. This is by no means essential to finishing the story; however, it can be treated as a side-quest that extends gameplay. I find it to be a bit monotonous and not particularly enticing. You're better off following the riveting story and moving on to the next title rather than reliving old glories.
I thought this would be interesting to note: Immediately preceding the title screen Ubisoft Montreal placed a disclaimer explaining that the game is inspired by historical events and characters. They also say "This work of fiction was designed, developed, and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs." Due to the current political climate they felt it was necessary to highlight this fact. I was not affected by the story in that regard, but some sensitive gamers may find themselves offended by the themes brought out by the storytelling.
Assassin's Creed is certainly a must-buy title for gamers interested in following an excellent story. The wonderful visuals play a major role in the experience and easy controls and open level design will suck you right in. This is not a game for everyone and misses a perfect rating due to pacing issues. However, the majority of mature gamers will thoroughly enjoy this title and will once more applaud the creativity, ingenuity, and boldness of the game designers at Ubisoft Montreal. This game will be remembered for implementing a number of innovative elements that will be used in future titles.
CCC Freelance Writer