The MagicBox Forums  

Go Back   The MagicBox Forums > General Topics > MagicBox Member Reviews

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-20-2007, 05:38 PM   #106
Paper exe
Pwnd
 
Paper exe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,761
Hey, why did you not mention Rare games.....I feel personally offended for some reason!

Last edited by Paper exe; 12-30-2007 at 02:40 PM.
Paper exe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2007, 08:11 AM   #107
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Savior
It is noteworthy that Sony has not yet played their trump card, the Final Fantasy Series, yet. I feel it is premature to judge them until that happens, as more people will be tempted to get a PS3 for Final Fantasy once they can either a) afford it or, b) see the PS3 hit a price drop once Sony finds out how to refine its hardware.
Sure, it has the potential to sell a million or two systems (in Japan anyway; a bit less maddening here) but I don't think one game can fix all of their mistakes plus make third-parties suddenly optimistic for the PS3. It is a risk to develop exclusively for now and that won't change even by FFXIII's release.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2007, 12:34 PM   #108
Drunken Savior
Mahjikbahks is dying.
 
Drunken Savior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 18,338

*Cover above is for the Regular Edition package*
Released 11/13/07 (NA), 11/16/07 (EU), 11/21/07 (AU), 01/31/08 (JP)
Available for XBox 360, PS3, and PC (Early 2008)

Developer: UbiSoft Montreal
Producer: UbiSoft


Graphics: A-
Sound: B+
Story: B-
Gameplay: C

Overall Score:
C+

DS recommends you pay no more than $35 for this game




Assassin's Creed is just one of those games...

Apparently everyone had their hopes up for this one. The screenshots dazzled. The videos confirmed said dazzling. The plot was a mystery. And then it came out and everyone who had preconceived notions had their world turned upside down. So if you were one of those folks, I can see why you would be disappointed. But for those of you who heard little to nothing about this game, this is a game of high quality graphics, amazing animation, and a great story line. But it is not without its flaws.



Alta´r leaps and prepares his hidden blade in his left hand to end this poor fellows life.

Story
On the surface, Assassin's Creed is a story about an assassin in the Holy Land during the Third Crusades, circa 1911 AD. However, underneath the surface, Assassin's Creed is the story of Desmond Miles, a bartender in 2012 AD. He is kidnapped by Abstergo Industries, who plan to use a machine called the Animus to search Desmond's memories. And by memories, I mean the memories of his ancestors that is stored within his DNA. During the Third Crusades, Desmond's ancestor was a man named Alta´r Ibn La-Ahad (Arabic for "The Flying One") who worked for the Hashshashin Sect of Assassins. Alta´r has been given the chore of dispatching 9 men who are perpetrating the Crusades for personal gain, according to the head of the assassin's bureau Al Mualim, who longs for peace in the Holy Land.

Armed with a variety of weapons (hidden blade, long sword, short sword, and throwing knifes), Alta´r travels to Jerusalem, Acre, Damascus, and Masyaf, conducting research and, ultimately assassinating key figures on both sides of the war. Ubisoft Montreal claims that the games locations are historically accurate. In addition, all of those assassinated by Alta´r in 1911 all died or disappeared in that same year in reality. However, their death/disappearance was probably not the cause of an assassination. While not wholly important to the story line, adding historical context to any game is always appreciated and shows a level of dedication to storytelling.

Intercutting the action in the past are scenes in the future, where Desmond tries to wrestle out information from his captors to their desire to search his ancestor's life. Apparently Alta´r has some info he took to the grave with him and Abstergo intends on discovering it.

The game deals with the themes of war, corruption, morality, religion, free will, and duality. While the story does offer buildup, I felt that players will feel a lack of resolution in Desmond's (and to a lesser extent Alta´r's) story line unsatisfying. Games should stand alone, even if they intend to be a trilogy. And as a single story line, Assassin's Creed does not stand alone.

B-


Use the 'gentle push' button to gently move aside peasants while keeping yourself out of the public spotlight.

Graphics
No doubt you have noticed that Assassin's Creed sports some of the nicest graphics to be seen on a home console to date. It also sports some of the most fluid animations ever seen on a video game, period. Alta´r runs, leaps, climbs, falls, and kills with such fluidity, you will find yourself just watching him run around and climbing just to see how UbiSoft Montreal did it. It's no mistake that this game spawns from the same development team that did the Prince of Persia trilogy. However the team upped their game.

Watching Alta´r climb is worth mentioning. When I first heard you could climb anything that looked climbable, I was suspicious. Usually when you hear that, "climbable" becomes a subjective term. While everything looks climbable, there are really only certain walls you can climb, right? Wrong. Everything is climbable. If it looks like Alta´r can grab ahold of a small ledge or a protruding cobblestone in a wall, he reaches up and grabs it. There is an animation loop running in there, but it's all done so well. When you play the game, you'll see, this motherfucker loves to climb. He climbs up towers, leaps and grabs onto ledges before swinging to the next, hangs on boats....

The cities themselves all look amazing too. Marketplaces are bustling with activity. Fat people crowd the rich districts of the city and skinny people crowd the poor. Guards stand post, sometimes blocking your entry (on foot that is!), and beggars and loonatics mingle on the street (though for some reason, they only seem to want to harass you and no one else). When you climb to the top of a tower (one of the many joys of the game) you can see every single little building in the city. You can even still see people walking below, though that only extend to a small radius around you. Soon the building obstruct your view of the city streets. Subtle graphical extras like a shifting brightness to reflect the clouds passing in front of the sun or a shadow on the ground from a bird above help create the atmosphere.

If Assassin's Creed's graphics have a fault, it's that they suffer from "cloned people" syndrome, if you will. All the beggars look literally alike, all the thugs look literally alike, all the guards look literally alike. And I don't just mean their uniforms or wardrobe, I mean all their faces are pretty much identical. If you see one thug, you've seen them all. If we had a 3-4 character variety, it would have REALLY fleshed out the city and given this game graphics that rose the bar to a level that might not be obtained for a few years. As is, Assassin's Creed just sports some of the nicest, most fluid lifelike graphics to be seen to date.

A-


Hopping from post to post is as simple as holding up to two buttons and holding the joystick in the direction you want Alta´r to go.

Sound
You won't hear much of a score in Assassin's Creed. There is a slight soundtrack, but you mostly hear the bustling sound of a marketplace, the cry of a peasant, the screams of the guards, et cetera, et cetera. However once you are spotted by the guards, a high adrenaline background score takes over. So the game is not devoid of any non-diagetic music.

Assassin's Creed really shines on its sound effects. Alta´r's hidden blade extends and retracts in a way that reminds me of Wolverine from X-Men. *SNIKT* indeed. And the sound effect heard when he uses it to kill is truly addicting. The game features a variety of nice combat sound effects from swords clattering to swords piercing flesh to knives slicing the air (or necks of your enemies.)

The voice acting is cromulent, but not exactly outstanding. Not much separates the voice actors from any other decent game, to be frank. Alta´r speaks very calmly, even when embracing his victim during their last gasps of life.

Everything just sounds so crisp and clear, it's hard to find faults in the audio.

B+


Combat is simple, yet complicated enough to warrant practicing.
(Gameplay Photo, the only one I could find to show the HUD.)

Gameplay
Assassin's Creed is a 3rd person stealth platformer, with a hint of sandbox gameplay.

Each Assassination is as follows:
You start in the Assassin's HQ in Masyaf. From there you travel to one of three cities: Jerusalem, Acre, or Damascus. The land between all four is called 'The Kingdom,' though after the third mission, you don't have to travel through it anymore, which is godsend. There you must sneak into the city by blending in with scholars who look like you, going "over the heads" of the guards if you will, or creating a distraction to get the guards to leave their posts. Once inside the city, you have to find the local Assassin's bureau and speak with the keeper. He instructs you to search the city for information regarding your target. To do this, you first climb to one of the high points of the city, which displays close investigations for you to do on the HUD and city map. Those investigations include:

Interrogate. You follow someone into an alleyway and beat them until you get the information you want, and then you kill them.
Informant. A fellow member of the Hashshashin who offers you information for a trade, usually within a time limit. You usually have to collect X flags or kill X targets within a few minutes and then return to the Informant.
Pickpocket. You spy on someone, then sneak up and steal something from them.
Eavesdropping. You, uhh, sit down on the bench and listen to someone. Pretty straight forward.

You do this a minimum of 3 times (out of 6 possible) before the showcase assassination is open. Then you return to the local bureau, who discusses your assassination. Then you go and do the deed.

You don't have a lifebar, per se, in Assassin's Creed. Alta´r's "life" is really Desmond's ability to sync to his ancestor's past while inside the Animus. Each bit of damage to Alta´r weakens the sync, which regains slowly. The sync is also lost for killing/assassinating citizens. There is no penalty for killing guards. You can increase the amount of sync Desmond has to Alta´r by saving citizens or completing missions. Your syncbar also contains your current presence in the area. Guards can be alerted to your presence, in which case you have to blend in with the crowd by impersonating scholars (done by holding a button). Commoners can also be alerted to your strange actions, such as climbing the buildings.

Alta´r has a variety of abilities in combat. You can, at any moment, use the D-Pad to select your firsts, short blade, long sword, or hidden blade in combat. Combat is done by pressing buttons in rhythm with the action. It's not wholly complicated, but it does require some skill. However, near the later stages of the game, you shouldn't find yourself dying often, even when surrounded by 10 guards all taking their turns swinging at you. After each mission, you gain abilities and traits, such as more throwing knives and a new ability (counter grab, counter attack, hard blow, et cetera) that makes combat much easier.

Climbing in Assassin's Creed is fairly simple. You hold down a button to run, then another to free run. Alta´r speeds up and leaps on a wall. Then you just hold one button and direct Alta´r in the direction you want him to climb. You can hold down another button (the free run button) and he'll start jumping from one building/ledge to another. Simple. You'll be doing acrobatics in no time.

The AI in Assassin's Creed really is borderline retarded. Evading guards is done first by breaking their line of sight (shown on your HUD with an audio cue), and then by finding a hiding place such as a rooftop garden, a bale of hay, a group of scholars, or (simply) a bench. It's kind of silly to think that guards, who are pursing you, are suddenly thrown off when you just sit down on a bench. It's a little more realistic to think they lost you in a bale of hay once you broke their line of sight. In addition, you can kill people and simply walk away, only to hear people start saying "Who could have done this!?" It's even more silly when you are in an alley with two other people, you kill one of them, and the other says "Who did this!?" Gee, let's see, there are now two of us here, and you know you didn't do it....could it be...SATAN? Another silly comment was when I got up on a stage with a town rabble-rouser, stabbed him in front of about twenty people who were intensely listening to him and heard "There must be a murderer about!" Maybe I am more so the hand of Darwin than of peace, constantly thinning out the gene pool. Will the retarded AI ruin the game? No. But it certainly does remove you from the immersion significantly enough to warrant mockery.

The AI is one of Assassin's Creed major flaws, not to say the game doesn't have its share of minor flaws as well. Sometimes you'll really roll your eyes at how stupid the AI can be. Though, to be fair, it would be really hard to evade these guards sometime, and I'll take a free pass often to get them off my ass. The other major flaw in Assassin's Creed is the repetitive gameplay. Some people hate repetitive gameplay, some don't. You will literally follow the mission template I provided above. After 5 assassinations, it really does become tedious to carry out these investigations. However the centerpiece assassination is very rewarding, probably because it's not repetitive and opens up more of the plot. Plus it's very rewarding to take down someone who gloats in public.

C


In Game Cut scenes allow you to move Alta´r and select 'alternative' camera views.

Final Thoughts....
Assassin's Creed certainly will divide gamers. It's certainly a beautiful game, but people will definitely cite the "graphics over gameplay" argument, as the gameplay isn't nearly as polished as the graphics and animation are. While the game is, undeniably, fun and intriguing, it's repetitiveness and retarded AI definitely remind you that you are playing a game that feels rushed, even if it was not (it was delayed almost a year). Assassin's Creed sets itself up to be a franchise, so one can only imagine what this game would be like with a polished gameplay. Perhaps the second or third game of this series is what the first should have been? Who can say? But the core of a great new franchise is present in Assassin's Creed.

But the bottom line is that I had a blast playing Assassin's Creed. I enjoyed messing around the town in a GTA style rampage, killing civilians at my whim, all the while avoiding the main plot of the story for hours at a time. I also enjoyed trying to continuously run from point A to point B on a map without stopping, testing my ability to leap from building to building without falling to the streets below. As I said, the gameplay is simplistic, but it's also very addictive. Having just completed the main game, there are many things left to do, but you aren't really rewarded in the game. There are flags to collect, people to save from guards, templars to kill, and high points to climb.
__________________

Steam ID: drunkensavior
TwitchTV: Mr. Orthoclase
Games I'm hyped for
Transistor, The Witcher 3, Watch_Dogs, Star Citizen, Destiny, Alien: Isolation, The Division

Last edited by Drunken Savior; 01-01-2008 at 07:52 AM. Reason: spelling errors
Drunken Savior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2007, 01:02 PM   #109
Alucard
Registered User
 
Alucard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 32,639
I recommend you dont pay more then $1 for that game! All style, no substance.
Alucard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2007, 02:20 PM   #110
progmetal
!
 
progmetal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 4,597
It will never get that low price here ($35 or $1), so it's certainly a no buy.
__________________
Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world". AMEN!



Xbox 360 ID: progmetal (Silver)
PSN ID: Progmetal
progmetal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2007, 04:54 PM   #111
Drunken Savior
Mahjikbahks is dying.
 
Drunken Savior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 18,338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alucard View Post
I recommend you dont pay more then $1 for that game! All style, no substance.
Like I said, the PC version is out in early 2008.
__________________

Steam ID: drunkensavior
TwitchTV: Mr. Orthoclase
Games I'm hyped for
Transistor, The Witcher 3, Watch_Dogs, Star Citizen, Destiny, Alien: Isolation, The Division
Drunken Savior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2007, 05:36 PM   #112
Alucard
Registered User
 
Alucard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 32,639
Which will be promptly ignored by myself. The actual game itself wont get a story or new plot or better missions so its a case of wait for the sequel and see if they actually bother to do something.
Alucard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2007, 06:45 PM   #113
Sinful Sam
gnarf! gnarf!
 
Sinful Sam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Five min away from SavedFromSin
Posts: 8,555
Great review, DS.
__________________
Join The-Magicbox Facebook group page!

STEAM: Sinfulsam
PSN: Sinfulsam
Live Gamertag: Sinful Sam
3DS Code: 1461-6914-4192 (PM me your code if you add me)
Sinful Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2007, 09:51 PM   #114
Icarus4578
Virtuosity of Excellence
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,385
Too bad about this game. They should've used an engine like that for a Zelda-style game. That could've been bad ass! The monotonous gameplay sounds like it resembles GTA in its repetitive structure. As well, the stupid nature of the commoners sounds strangely familiar. How come Ultima games running on a C64/128 had smarter people and guards?
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2007, 04:59 AM   #115
Alucard
Registered User
 
Alucard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 32,639
Cause back then developers cared about the games they made. Now its just money.
Alucard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2007, 10:54 AM   #116
Zachalmighty
Future Demon King
 
Zachalmighty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA, NJ
Posts: 3,754
Im playing final fantasy XII right now!


O ooooo could you reveiw Pulp Fiction?
__________________
An unavoidable war is called JUSTICE. When brutality is the only option left, it is HOLY.
Zachalmighty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2007, 04:42 PM   #117
Havoc2049
64-bit Interactive Multimedia System
 
Havoc2049's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: So. Cal, USA
Posts: 3,210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alucard View Post
Cause back then developers cared about the games they made. Now its just money.
Ya, Jade Raymond in no Sid Meier when it come to open-ended(sandbox=retarded neo-developer gamespeak) dynamic gameplay.

Pirates!>Assassin's Creed

Actually, I don't mind Assassin's Creed and think it's a fun title, but nothing great. Waste of what could have been an awesome game if done right.

Nice review, DS.
__________________
Formerly known as AtariX
Xbox/Windows/Windows Phone: MajorHavoc 2049
Steam: MajorHavoc2049
Havoc2049 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 07:13 AM   #118
eastx
The Fighting Bomber
 
eastx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lake Jackson, TX USA
Posts: 4,569
Nice review, Drunken Savior.
But... cromulent? You're trying a little too hard with the thesaurus there. ;)
eastx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 07:33 AM   #119
Drunken Savior
Mahjikbahks is dying.
 
Drunken Savior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 18,338
'Cromulent' was a word made up by the Simpsons writers. I sneak in their vocabulary whenever I can. Lisa the Ironclast.
__________________

Steam ID: drunkensavior
TwitchTV: Mr. Orthoclase
Games I'm hyped for
Transistor, The Witcher 3, Watch_Dogs, Star Citizen, Destiny, Alien: Isolation, The Division
Drunken Savior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 09:24 AM   #120
eastx
The Fighting Bomber
 
eastx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lake Jackson, TX USA
Posts: 4,569
Ohhhh! That's a good reference then. My bad.
eastx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.