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Airman Kai
15th November 07, 10:06 AM
SPOILER ALERT: I'm sure by now you have heard about the "twist" on he story, but seeing as the game fully explains it in the first 5 minutes, I'm going to discuss it. If you haven't actually figured out beforehand what the twist is, and you STILL don't want to know, then stop reading.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
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http://www.gamershoard.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/assassins-creed.jpg

To state the concept simply, you a web-less, middle eastern spider man. Who kills mercilessly. Except you're not... you're actually some guy from our day and age, kidnapped by a pharmaceutical company who wants your genetic memory. Your ancestor was a super-sweet ninja, it seems, and Dr. Wants-to-help-the-world-by-using-extreme-measures is gonna use the Animus (basically the chair from the Matrix) to get his memories from you. Also, Kristin Bell is there to look at and act all concerned for you.<o:p></o:p>
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Yah, that pretty much explains it.<o:p></o:p>
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As Altair (AL-TYE-EER), an assassin during the Crusades, you are the most accomplished assassin of your sacred order, but through employment of the oft-used, "I am disgraced and must now recover my honor/rank," device, you once again become a novice assassin, thereby rationalizing all the gopher-quests you'll undertake.<o:p></o:p>
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You'll be tasked in standard "Do Small Missions to Open Up Large Mission" fashion, and at first, the things you'll be doing are quite fun and engaging. For example, in the second chapter of the game, which is the first chapter to get into the actual format of the game, you'll be eavesdropping, pick pocketing, and even interrogating people... violently. You only need to do 2/6 tasks to move on to your target (whom you've been gathering intel on by using all the previously mentioned tactics), so there's no need to do everything, unless you're an achievement whore, which I most certainly am.<o:p></o:p>
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One thing that struck me very early on, though, was how inconsequential these investigations were. Even having gathered info from all 6 sources, I still just cut my target down in the middle of the street, then Parkour'd my way to safety. The escape from that big chase was a little harder, but my pursuers were given the slip too easily for what is essentially a boss encounter.<o:p></o:p>
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Speaking of escaping, though, is a positive. The Free Running system is very smoothly implemented. Everything is contextual, with running and jumping very similar to a modern Zelda game. The game explains how to do everything very clearly, but I'll explain it here, too.<o:p></o:p>
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While moving about without any button input, you're in low-profile mode. You walk at a moderate pace, and you will rarely, if ever, be harassed. While in low-profile mode, you can hold (A) to do a kind of prayer-walk, which will make you even less noticeable. Now, if you hold down (RT), you are in high-profile mode. You will run, and actively climb over objects, but you also draw the attention of both commoners and guards. If you hold down (A) while in high-profile mode, you are in Free Run, which is what makes this game awesome.<o:p></o:p>
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While Free Running, you will sprint, climb, leap, and grab your way towards any place you can imagine. You see a place in a city, you can go there, and I am in no way embellishing this. YOU CAN CLIMB ANYWHERE. Altair displays absolutely incredible animation, the likes of which have NEVER been displayed at this level of quality. Gone are the days of the stiff, ladder climbing character. Altair will run, jump, and climb with near 100% synchronization with his environment. If he jumps, he hits his mark. If he climbs, he grabs climbing points with perfection, and he uses footholds immaculately. You will feel powerful and agile every single time you move across the city's rooftops, and it will never get old.<o:p></o:p>
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The same cannot be said of the rest, though. As I said before, you will enjoy the varied missions in the beginning, but towards the second half of the game, you will tire of hearing the same goddamn peasant's voice thanking you for rescue, and the same goddamn guard's voice telling you to stop running.<o:p></o:p>
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Not to say that this ruin's the game, but you will be glad it's over when it does indeed end. It's actually a little longer than your standard 3rd-person action game, weighing in at about 15 hours if you don't rush it. It's time well spent, don't worry.<o:p></o:p>
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If anything, this game shifts the paradigm for all games to come. When I play GTA4, I'm dreading having to move around in the old style.




KAI GIVES IT:
*****
4 out of 5

Neildo
15th November 07, 10:20 AM
This is out already? damn i need to get a 360.

mrblackmagic
16th November 07, 08:18 AM
Brother got it. Said collecting flags was kind of stupid, but on the flip side you have an entire city to search.

Airman Kai
16th November 07, 08:21 AM
Brother got it. Said collecting flags was kind of stupid, but on the flip side you have an entire city to search.
It IS most asuredly one of the more useless tasks, but it's not really required, so I just didn't care about it.

Arhetton
7th January 08, 05:23 AM
I give the horrible GUI a low score, the heavyness of the tutorials feels suffocating.

Running through the city rooftops is fun but the combat is actually kind of annoying.

This game could have been better.

I am enjoying it, but I was kind of dissappointed by all the hype :(

Shawarma
7th January 08, 09:12 AM
How does the interrogation work? Is it as much fun as it was in The Punisher?

Arhetton
7th January 08, 10:05 AM
you hit them until a cut scene starts.

no wait, first you 'lock on' (with the L trigger), then you hit them until the cut scene starts.

Das Moose
8th January 08, 06:11 PM
It should be pointed out how terribly unsatisfying the ending is - I loved the penultimate level and the final boss battle was decent, but the ending is awful.

MSphinx
8th January 08, 06:20 PM
When I saw the eagle vision in the ending, I thought I was going to use the skills used by Alta´r to bust out of there. What happened instead was so disappointing.

Das Moose
9th January 08, 09:18 AM
Yeah, me too. I figured with all the hints about the assasins coming to rescue you, there was going to be some sort of rescue or something. On the one hand I enjoyed the game so I'm glad it was set up for a sequel but I'm sure as hell they could have set it up without disappointing me so much.

EvilSteve
9th January 08, 01:45 PM
Just got this game last night along with COD4 (which rocks, for those of you living under one). I was aware of its mixed reviews and so didn't buy into the hype, which I think has helped my enjoyment.

Agree with the review of the movement system- it's superb. Still getting the hang of fighting. Unlike some of the reviews I've read, I can't take down a crowd of guards without getting killed.

I can see it getting repetitive, though, and the game seems to rely on stunning visuals to get the player through some of the more menial tasks (I mean really, how many times to I have to climb a copy of the same building?)

Still, a good game. Kind of like Prince of Persia on steroids. I did find it amusing that the Assassins' motto is "Nothing is true and everything is permitted." Which is Peter Carroll's motto for Chaos Magick. Also, as I recall, Hassan-i-Sabbah was the leader of the Assassins, not Al-Mualim, but I guess it's not supposed to be historically accurate anyway.

Zendetta
9th January 08, 07:21 PM
Asia said there was pressure to move away from a historically "accurate" depiction.

PS - isn't that a William Boroughs quote?

EvilSteve
10th January 08, 10:19 AM
PS - isn't that a William Boroughs quote?

Burroughs said it, and before him Nietsche wrote it in Thus Spake Zarathustra and according to wikipedia, it was originally attributed to Hassan i Sabbah, so perhaps that part is historically accurate after all.

MaverickZ
13th January 08, 04:29 PM
Burroughs said it, and before him Nietsche wrote it in Thus Spake Zarathustra and according to wikipedia, it was originally attributed to Hassan i Sabbah, so perhaps that part is historically accurate after all.
So wrong that it's right?