Busy Gamer Review - Assassin's Creed

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Busy Gamer Review

Too busy to devote 12+ hours a day to your gaming habit? Here's a review that's sensitive to your needs: Short and focused on just the things that a busy gamer like you really needs to know.


Busy Gamer Review-
Assassin's Creed


Reviewed On: Xbox 360. Also available for PlayStation 3 and eventually PC. There's a cell phone game too, but it's not even remotely similar.

Assassin's Creed In a Nutshell: Run around the medieval Holy Land killing people. That's basically it, though there are several interesting (though surreal) story dimensions. You will spend a lot of the game in a vast sandbox, wandering around and picking fights and missions as you see fit. At first glance, it may appear to be the offspring from a bizarre mating of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell games - though the stealth elements are not as dominant, and that's a good thing. It is somewhat repetitive, though that's not always a bad thing and in this case makes the game a good choice for mindless stress relief after a particularly rough day at work.

Learning Curve: Pretty easy to pick up, though it may take some time to master advanced moves such as pickpocketing and double-strike kills. The game introduces new skills gradually and provides a practice arena for mastering new fighting maneuvers. You also get unlimited redos, and messing up a mission and then getting yourself to the restart point is sometimes more fun than completing it right the first time! Even novice gamers will get far and probably even complete the main story without too much frustration.

The Save Game: The game autosaves pretty frequently. No real progress will be lost by quitting anywhere, but there are a few gotchas to beware:
  1. Always quit to the Animus screen (you'll know what this means after you play for about 15 minutes). Otherwise, you'll risk corrupting your save file if you accidentally shut the console off during an unexpected autosave.
  2. You won't start exactly where you left off, so you generally need to travel a bit to pick up your game - so quitting and coming back does have a small penalty.
  3. If you want to collect Xbox 360 achievements, be sure to trigger a save after any significant activities such as street fights, leaps of faith, beggar tosses, etc. The quickest way to do this is simply collect a flag in the city you're in, so you might find and save some just for this purpose.
Note to Ubisoft: What's wrong with triggering an auto-save every time you exit the game? Overall, this game is easy to get in and out of, but it's not as slick as a save anywhere solution.

Family Factor: As you'd expect, keep this game away from small children. The fighting is violent and intense. You also can't really explore the city with small children present since, even though collecting flags and climbing tall towers is pretty harmless, make one wrong move and you'll have a bloody battle on your hands. You could run and hide, but what kind of message does that send?

Buy, Rent or Skip? Most decent gamers can beat this game in a 5-day rental if they can commit at least 4-5 hours a night (20-25 hours total). If you're a completist who wants to investigate every nook and cranny of the game's expansive kingdom plus nine large city segments, find all of the hidden flags and unlock 1000 achievement points, just buy it.

On a Personal Note: I bought this game on a whim, half expecting to be underwhelmed (due to several lukewarm launch reviews) and I actually enjoyed parts of it more than BioShock. (It's my favorite busy gamer title of 2007!)The story is solid and the ending, though a bit short and unfulfilling, isn't as horrible as it's been made out to be. (MINOR SPOILER: I did expect a battle royale to break out in a different era with me in control, and - well, sigh - that didn't happen. Perhaps in the sequel.) Still, I love exploring the game's world and never get tired of dashing and leaping across rooftops, climbing tall buildings and spiking guards from behind or knocking them into the crowds below courtesy of a throwing knife to the abdomen. Battles, though somewhat repetitive, do ramp up in difficulty as you progress, and they're a great way to relieve tension after a stressful day.

I also love a good sandbox game, and that's exactly what this is. Not nearly as rich and varied as a Grand Theft Auto but not as frustrating and stingy on save points as a Dead Rising. Even after you beat the game, you can continue exploring for flags and bad guys to pick fights with.

It's worth noting that GrrlGotGame lost about six hours of progress to a corrupted save file, so do be careful to quit from the active game before turning off your console.

2 Comments

1.

Sounds like you were a little more forgiving than I was. I just saw so much more potential with this. The most obvious miss step to me was that we can ride a horse, and even this was an action assassination game we never chased anyone on horseback. We can attack on a horse, but I never used it. I agree that ending left me wanting just a little more, but I assume they could not have done what we wanted and have the sequel develop the way they desired. At least I am giving them the benefit of the doubt on that. I am trusting you Ubisoft don't let me down.

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This page contains a single entry by Gamewatcher published on December 17, 2007 2:40 PM.

News Flash - Wii: It's what's for Christmas, sort of was the previous entry in this blog.

News Flash - New PS3 and PSP updates add PS1 remote play is the next entry in this blog.

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  • Gamewatcher: It probably helped that my expectations were on the low read more
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