for Xbox 360 Game Review
Angel Navedo for
In all my years playing video games, I donít think Iíve
ever gone back and forth deciding whether or not I like a
game as much as I did until I played UbiSoftís Assassinís
Creed. I went from staring at the game in awe on the first
day, ready to anoint it as game of the year.
Eventually, all sorts of profanities were thrown at my
television. And once a complete grasp on what needs to be
done was attained, the things that once amazed me became
What the player has before them with Assassinís Creed is a
product that will shock them, amuse them, and aggravate them
at nearly every turn.
The stunning visuals are every bit as beautiful as the hype
surrounding the game has suggested since it was announced. The
lighting in the game is done masterfully, and the recreations
of cities weíve only ever read about and seen ruins of are
truly beautiful. Scaling to the top of a tower to synchronize
your view with a soaring eagle shows just how in depth the
team at UbiSoft planned to travel. To keep it short, the
cities feel alive. Riding throughout the Kingdom on horseback
from Masyaf to Damascus, to Acre, or to Jerusalem is as epic
as it sounds. The one flaw that can be credited to this
massive effort presented to us is how often youíll get lost if
you donít make proper use of your map.
The control scheme isnít as complex or difficult as reports
about the game made it seem when it was being previewed. The
explanation was much more complex than the actual
presentation. Walking and looking controls are done as most
games are these days with the Left analog stick being used to
walk, and the right analog stick controlling the third person
camera behind our hero, Altair. Apparently, the people at
UbiSoft were convinced itíd be too complex for some gamers to
pick up, so they made an extensive training level that quickly
feels tedious when youíre ready to start assassinating. Once
you learn to use your weapons, you'll have a wonderful time
walking around and silently killing the city guards. If you
like to watch crowds gather, assassinate a guard with your
hidden blade, sit on a nearby bench and watch as people gather
around the body and wonder who could've done such a thing.
But UbiSoft didn't want to give us too much of a good thing.
Nope. The question you need to ask yourself as a buyer is if
the strength of the gameís positives are enough to make you
continue playing long after certain aspects of the game become
tedious. The aforementioned control scheme is so easy that
fighting eventually becomes a case of simple button mashing.
Thatís okay, though. Not every game needs to have complex
button combinations for different moves, and the cut scenes on
particular kill maneuvers keep things fresh. Try not to get
too annoyed pressing the same button in fights with multiple
guards, though. You will hate saving citizens after the 5th
time hearing the same voice clips thanking you for a job well
done. The little cut scene UbiSoft does every time you save a
citizen during the auto-save is absolutely unnecessary. Each
city has well around 20 citizens to save, and each time you
hear one of what seems like three different ďThank youĒ
speeches, while it then cuts to the ďvigilantesĒ that will now
patrol the area are unnecessary.
Also, the "crazy" citizens that push you into guards causing
fights to break out and missions to fail at the most
inopportune times will cause the most hateful words to fly.
For example, on one of my assassination target missions I'm
combing the area looking for the best point of attack when I
get pushed into a group of patrolling guards, commencing an
elaborate fight against the best guards the city has to offer.
A game bearing the title Assassin's Creed doesnít give you
many opportunities to complete your missions like a true
assassin in stealth and secrecy. But there are rarely
opportunities for true stealth assassinations. No matter how
careful you are, each main kill is loud and involves a long
and tiresome getaway over rooftops and through the streets.
For the main nine assassination missions given to Altair maybe
two, three if youíre lucky, can actually be accomplished
through stealth. But you wonít be walking away casually. The
getaway is always complex.
A plot heavy game like Assassin's Creed also needs better
voice acting. Ten years ago when cut scenes and plots were
being utilized in video games more often poor voice acting may
have been acceptable. But today we have video games that are
so well presented and acted that movie adaptations are useless
because the game is done so well. But the man who voices our
main character, Altair, sounds bored; as if heís reading
directly off the script sheet. It takes away from the gaming
experience when you canít connect with the main character.
Since this game is obviously going to spawn sequels, we can
only hope that the development team at UbiSoft improves those
areas. This is the same company that brought us the Splinter
Cell franchise, with brilliant stories and top notch acting.
And with more studios hiring established voice actors to bring
life to characters they hope to turn into franchises, the
brain trust behind Assassinís Creed can ill afford to neglect
that aspect of a successful game.
With that said, this game must be played. If you make it a
purchase or an extended rental is inconsequential. What is
certain is that this game canít be one that you allow yourself
to pass up in favor of another first person shooter involving
aliens or the undead. It may seem like I was a bit harsh, but
the things this game does well are astonishing. Despite the
shortcomings mentioned, the game takes a bold leap forward to
redefine the way we play games, and as gamers that's exactly
what we should look for and support.
on a past review below to read more