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Assassin's Creed (Xbox 360)

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Genre: Action & Shooter / Video Game for Xbox 360 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Release Date: 2007-11-16 / Published by Ubisoft

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      29.10.2012 22:11
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      One of the first Xbox 360 Games, yet still one of the best!

      Assassins Creed was realised on November 14th 2007 near the beginning of the 7th generation console launch and I considered it to be the revolutionary game which attracted the attention to these console as before Assassins Creed, there were only mediocre games and PS2 ported games which honestly didn't show off the type of he potential these consoles display today. Until Assassins Creed we have never seen a game of such scale allowing you to have an open world to scale building, free run and manoeuvre assassination, not forgetting Assassin Creed was displaying the best graphics at the time as well.

      ===Story===
      Story starts with a man called Desmond Miles, who has been kidnapped by a very wealthy company called Abstergo Industries, they 'force' him to use a machine called the Animus which reads the 'genetic memory' of Desmond who he is told is a descendent of an Assassin who lived during the Third Crusade in 1191AD called Altair (Altaïr ibn La-Ahad to be exact) who is part of the Assassins Creed who are a skilled set of Assassins working against the Templars.

      At the start of the game you see Altair will fellow Assassins attempt to retrieve a sacred treasure from Solomon's Temple, but is interrupted by the Templar Knights and during this Altair breaks the 3 important rules of the Assassins Creed and on return to his master and leader of the Assassins Creed, Al Mualim, he is demoted from his high rank, but is given the chance to rise up once again by assassinating 9 key figures and by doing so help stop the Holy War and bring peace. During these missions Altair learns that the people he is killing believe strongly in what they are doing and he being to ask questions about these people and changes his attitude which resulted in him being demoted and gains a new outlook on his actions.

      ===Gameplay===

      The game has 2 different characters and therefore a massive variation in gameplay, you initially play as Desmond the descendant of Altair whose part although consistent throughout the game, is short and uneventful only involving him walking to the Animus and hearing the speech from the Doctor and Lucy. There are some achievement involved during Desmond's parts such as talking to Lucy and getting an Access pen from the Doctor (discussed in Achievement section), but essentially, you only play as Desmond to get into the Animus. All the features about gameplay will be about Altair who is the key character and you spend 90% of the time playing.

      ===Character===

      As I've mentioned, you play as an Assassin called Altair, the key and most exciting thing about Altair is that he is not only a trained Assassin but is Free Running expert giving you the ability to climb building, jump from/to building as well as do some impressive assassinations using you variety of weapons and blend in with the crowd. You view Altair from a 3rd person view (from behind) and you never tend to see his face as it is covered by his hood throughout the whole game.

      ==Weapons/Fighting===

      You start off with a Sword and the basic fighting skills at the start of the game your abilities in combat are limited, only able to attack and defend. As you progress and every time you complete a killing and finish a Memory Block, you return to the Al Mualim where he gives you a briefing and debriefing as well as giving you a higher rank, with which comes a new weapon (for the first few ranks) and typically a new move as well as an extra 1 or 2 bars on your Health. Eventually you have 2 full bars of health and 5 different weapons; Sword, Hidden Blade, Knife, Throwing Knife and Fists. The amount of Throwing Knifes you have is also depending on your rank and by the end you can hold up to 15 knifes.

      Altair being the skilled fighter that he is, he typically find himself fighting from around 3 to 20 guards at one time so some choreographed moves come in handy in these situations, like I've said he upgrades his fighting style as you progress but throughout you will learn to Counter Attack, Side Step among a few others. Basically the fighting is pretty intense, however is very repetitive, you essentially perform the same moves and the enemies are highly predictable so after a few mission you end up predicting when the guards attack so the enemy AI (Artificial Intelligence) is pretty weak.

      Free Running

      One of the key features this game offer is an open world environment in which you can free run and scale building basically an 1191's version of Parkour. Altair can scale pretty much any building in the city as long as it has something to grab onto. By holding the High Profile button (Right Trigger) and 'A' you can sprint and climb, essentially simply directing Altair and quickly getting across the town by jumping building from building. This is a unique concept Assassin Creed presents and this is something which makes this game very fun.

      Hiding/Blending In

      Being an Assassin is the art of not being seen; hence Altair has a few tricks up his sleeve (not to mention a hidden blade) to escape guards and stay concealed. When you attract some unwanted guard attention, you have an alert which ranges from White (normal) to Yellow (Alert but can't see you) to Red (Can see you and chasing you), when you get out of sight for a good amount of time it all calms down.
      - One of the favourites in escaping trouble is to jump in some hay and wait for the alert level to go down, oddly enough there seems to be a hay cart or pile on every corner of any city.
      - You can also blend in the crowd by either sitting on a bench for a few second or go in sync with some scholars (since you resemble them) and wait.
      - When you just want to be ignored with no alert for instance when about to pickpocket someone or when walking past a lot of guards with a red eye alert (guards suspicious).
      - But essentially to not attract attention just act natural by simply walking and climbing ladder rather than sprinting down the roads and jumping on buildings.


      Civilians

      The towns in Assassins Creed are full of different people as it is an open world platform which makes this game quite realistic. The civilians vary and there are a good majority of people around all doing their own thing. To make it realistic to the time, there are Beggars/Harassers who go up to you and beg for money basically getting in your way.

      A good realism is that you can pick a fight with someone using your fists and guards don't get involved so when you are stealing from a thief (irony) to replenish your throwing knife supply, they can catch you and you simply fist fight and not get into a massive fight with a bunch of guards in the process.

      Missions

      The whole story of the game is centred around Altair killing the 9 key figures who you take out one by one throughout the game, however if it was solemnly killing those figures I would not have spent a good week's worth of afternoons trying to complete this game. Before you get to your target you first have to complete some investigations around the city which you gain information about where your target is and what the best way to kill them is. You only have to complete 2 investigations out of the 6 to unlock the Memory Block and hence go and kill the target, but to get the most out of the game its best to complete all investigations.

      Eavesdropping

      This has to be the easiest investigation to complete, essentially all you do is find your target and sit on a bench close to them, select the target and eavesdrop on their conversation and that is one investigation complete.

      Pick pocketing

      Basically an expansion on Eavesdropping, you listen to your targets little conversation and when they have finished you pick pocket one of the targets for their information which is usually a letter or a key.

      Interrogation

      You find a person who is preaching to the crowd about your main target doing something or being the best and when they leave the podium you fist fight them until they give you the information you want, then you kill them.

      Helping Fellow Assassins

      In some cities you'll find other assassins who want you to either collect a number of flags in a time limit or kill a specific amount of targeted guards or Templers in a time limit after which they give you some information about your target.

      You have to go through these missions very time you are set to kill a target and it takes a good hour for me to get all the investigations done.

      Open World Missions

      Before actually getting down to the investigations you have the optional but often necessary task of synchronising with the town to map out where all your investigations are. This involves climbing up to a high point like a church tower or a high building and synchronising and this is done a couple of times in each city.

      An optional task in each city is to save civilians being harassed by guards and there are typically 6 civilians per city (each city section) and you basically kill the harassing guards. It is a good idea to do this as it's worth 20 achievement points at the end of the game for each city of civilians you save.

      Flags

      Another optional task is to collect flags, each city has a 100 flags hidden, and you get a good few achievement points if you collect them all. But I find that there is a ridiculous amount of flags and there are about 7 sets of flags you need to find overall, but does good for some additional achievement points if you're bored and fancy looking up a guide.

      ===Graphics===

      This game was realised early on in the Xbox360's and PS3 life cycle so the graphics potential has not been exploited fully yet as it is in today's games. However compared to PS2 and Xbox standards, his game looks quite nice and reasonability vibrant, I saw no problems in the graphics.

      ===Replay Value===

      After spending a good week trying to complete this game and doing so by completing every investigation and saving every civilian, I feel that it is very fun to play, although very repetitive, I couldn't play it again because once you've killed the first few targets, you've reached the games peak and experienced pretty much all that it offers, after completing the story I wouldn't attempt at playing it again. In fact since Assassins Creed 2 has come out, it is time better spent playing the new version.

      ===Achievements (Xbox360)===

      This game is fairly generous with achievement points, after finishing each Memory Block (killing 1 of the 9 targets) you are awarded with 20 to 25 points so basically half of the points come from completing the story. There are goals like killing 50 guards with your hidden blade and kill 50 guards with throwing knifes which are easy to complete, but also things which require consistence through the game such as the 'Go through every dialogue with Lucy' and not forgetting the 7 sets of flags.

      Overall there are 44 achievements and 1000 achievements points to gain from this game.

      ===Overall Thoughts===

      I would like to say I really enjoyed this game from start to finish, however that would render false as I really wanted to stop playing the game when I was on Memory Block 4 and I was essentially going back and forth doing the investigations, killing the targets and doing the same once again, and the most annoying part was that you don't get an achievement for going through every investigation (of what I'm aware) which is a massive nuisance. But once you've gone through the repetitive boring stages of this game and get to the end, this is the point in which the story gets quite exciting and the missions get a little mixed up, although the ending was slighting predictable and tad unrealistic, it is a fairly good ending and I enjoyed playing through it.

      I do recommend getting this game, especially now that you can get it reasonably cheap in most shops and online, and it's a good idea to play before getting into Assassins Creed 2.

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      27.12.2011 04:17
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      If you're lucky the story will keep you interested enough to finish one playthrough.

      Assassin's Creed is a very strange game, that was hyped up to be a massive open-world free-roaming experience from Ubisoft. Well I'm here to tell you it's not. However, it's not an entirely bad game either. In fact, it's about as close to bipolar behavior as you will ever get in a video game. This is to say that it's very hot and cold. It's high points are awesome, exciting, and epic. It's low points will make you wonder what the developers could have been thinking when they made the game.

      Let's begin with the high points of Assassin's Creed. To start, it has a fantastic story; one that is, in my opinion, a "editor's choice" in all of gaming if there ever was one. Being somebody who's very interested in history, I found the time period and setting (Crusades) to be fascinating. In addition, some of the big cities like Jerusalem are modeled very closely to their real-life counterparts of the time. As for gameplay, the actual assassin missions (of which there are nine main ones) are extremely intense. Since these are high value targets, you can't simply use your sword or throwing knives like you would other enemies. Instead, you have to stalk them and take them out quietly with your hidden blade. The feeling of hanging underneath a railing, waiting as your prey comes near, and them leaping up on them and stabbing them with the dagger attached to your wrist underneath your cloak is badass and awesome. If the rest of the game was like this, this would undoubtedly be in possession of a Game of the Year award by now.

      Unfortunately, there's just not enough of that "good stuff" to make Assassin's Creed worthwhile. In order to work your way up to these assassin missions that are so loved, you'll need to suit yourself up for a bunch of boring mundane tasks. These include things like listening to speeches and sitting on benches to eavesdrop on conversations. I like to read other reviews, and one of the ones I read seemed to describe it best. With all of your skills of a professional assassin, it seems that the majority of the game is running around to sit on benches. Oh yeah, that running around thing.. that gets annoying too. While I am in full support of games that want to allow the player to explore and do the main quest at their leisure (like Elder Scrolls for example) this game has none of that "desire to explore" aspect to it. This is because there is simply nothing interesting to see, and no reward for seeing it. What we have is a bland world with the same gray colors that seems to go on forever. And the only thing this bland world is filled with is people whom you can't interact with unless you feel like randomly killing dumb NPCs by button mashing your sword. Honestly it gives me shudders just thinking of the boredom that ensues as you endlessly gallop on your horse, trying to navigate towards a city filled with about as much to do with the shitty open world that surrounds it. And that in itself is what absolutely kills this game. Had the developers simply concentrated less on making a HUGE world with NOTHING to do, and had instead created a smaller world with some side quests that involved something other than sitting on benches, they would have a marvelous product on their hands. Instead, they've created a hyped up product that delivers no entertainment other than the 9 main quest's assassination missions (each of which lasts about 5 minutes).

      Assassin's Creed is the type of game that you pick up at a very generous bargain bin, or for a weekend rental. It's not an entirely bad game, the controls are generally okay, the movement is cool and fluid, and the few assassination moments are as epic as video games can get. However, in the end you feel lonely in this dreary humorless world with nothing to do in it. The great storyline is probably just enough to keep you interested until the end, but after that it is highly unlikely that anybody in their right mind would want to revisit main character Altair's empty world.

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      04.11.2011 12:32
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      Worth the bargain bucket price it goes for these days

      Assassin's Creed is a third person action-stealth game set in and during the crusades.
      You play Altair, an assassin who must thwart the efforts of the Knights Templar as they try to locate powerful biblical artifacts.

      This is all actually a simulation, you are really one of Altair's descendants who is kidnapped by a shadowy corporation and forced to use an 'Animus' to travel back in time (sort of) so they can find out where these artifacts are now. At least I think that's what's going on.

      Essentially you have to assassinate ten Knights Templar, which loosely represent the ten 'levels' in Assassin's Creed.

      The targets will be in one of the three cities in AC: Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus. The idea is you complete tasks and challenges in order to unlock the assassination mission, so you have plenty of time to explore the cities, which all have their own unique style and feeling.

      The cities and surrounding countryside are very well rendered in the game engine, and there are musical swells and crescendos that suit the dramatic feeling of the game.

      You may have to collect flags, or stop a mugging, or reach a certain high point in the city. The annoying thing is you spend most of the game doing this stuff, there isn't actually much assassinating. The cities are a pleasure to explore though, Altair is very agile and a parkour expert and you'll find yourself leaping from rooftop to rooftop instead of pushing through crowds a lot of the time. This is all done just by holding down a button., but is still a lot of fun.

      Combat is similarly simple, being more an exercise in timing your counters than bashing buttons. You can usually prevail in a fight where you're hopelessly outnumbered, and there are a few different weapons that you can try out like punch daggers and rapiers.

      Stealth is more in the 'hide-in-plain-sight' vein rather than hiding in shadows. You can blend into crowds, sit nonchalantly on benches and join a procession of pilgrims to avoid the scrutiny of the guards.
      When it comes to assassination, you have to plot a route to the target, take out or avoid the guards, kill them and then disappear. Sadly this doesn't take up enough of the game which is an oversight considering the title.

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      28.02.2011 22:15
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      A must have for the xbox

      A few weeks ago I was looking for a new xbox game to play. My other half has found a new obsession with the pc so I needed to find something to amuse myself. For ages I have wondered about what assassins creed would be like and with it being the bargain price of ten pounds on amazon I decided to treat myself.

      The story

      The game follows Desmond who has been kidnapped by a corporation who want to use his memories. The memories they want are of course not just any memories but those of his ancestors, who just happen to be assassins. To gain access to his memories they force Desmond to use a machine called the animus. 

      Once in the animus Desmond becomes his ancestor altair. This is who you will spend most of your game playing. You follow how him through several different assassination scenarios as the corporation store what's happening. Will Desmond ever understand what's going on and will you be able to help him escape?

      Controls

      I was actually fairly surprised at how easy the controls for assassins creed were to master. At first the controls seemed a little complicated. For example when switching between high and low profile actions you need to hold in the right trigger and each button does something entirely different. At the beginning of the game you may just want to lightly push someone away and end up punching them and starting a fight. The controls do take some used to. However the game gives you lots of chance to practice and also gives you on screen hints, this includes a small diagram in the top corner which shows you what each button on the controller does and whether your in high or low profile. The large hints I actually felt started to get a little annoying after awhile but other people may find it useful.

      My experience

      I'm not normally the biggest fan of third person games. I find that the camera angels are never quite right and I just get annoyed that I can't see what I want to. However I was quite impressed with assassins creed there was very little to fault when it came to the camera work.

      The gameplay although unique is just too repetitive. The gameplay pretty much boils down to evesdrop/pickpocket, climb a building to find info on an assassination target you have been assigned, report to someone and repeat repeat repeat in just a couple of different cities. However, although the game is repetitive I found that if I left the game alone for a couple of days and came back to it I found it a lot more enjoyable again. There is just something about the game that keeps you coming back for more.

      Unfortunately for me although the game does look good and exploring the cities is fun I found even these to be repetitive. I'm not sure if this is really the case but the cities felt as if they had a really similar layout with just the style of the city being changed.

      It is the look of assassins creed that really makes the game. For example when you climb some buildings you get the chance to do a leap of faith and jump off the high buildings in to hay stacks below. The way its been done and the way the cities look quite real meant that every time I did this jump my stomach would turn. It's really weird that a game can do this to me when probably watching it for real wouldn't have anywhere near the same effect (unless I was the one actually doing it!!)

      Overall

      Assassins creed is by no means the great game it was made out to be and if you are a more serious gamer in to the likes of battlefield and call of duty then this is probably not the game for you. However, all in all it is an enjoyable game to play and the graphics are really good for an older xbox game. Personally I saw the potential in the series and have already started playing assassins creed 2. Definitely one to add to your xbox collection.

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      31.01.2011 02:56

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      Great game to have as part of your collection.

      To start with, assassins creed is a third person's, action with elements of RPG. Suitable for 15 years of age and over. One player game. First of all I want to say this review should inform you whether or not this is your type of game, without giving any of the game's plot away. The game is slow to start with as the main focus at that point is unlocking characters (mission start points) and training up. You have loads of things to entertain you, such as storyline missions, side missions or causing a stir around the towns or the villages in the countryside. For those of you who like to get your moneys worth, will be thrilled that you have items to collect such as flags spread out all over the different maps. They game offers a unusual method of transport, meaning you have to travel on a horse for the long journeys, if you wish to speed up things. Also these horses (luckily) have infinite lives and keep coming back to life, therefore you should never be left stranded in the middle of no where. The main story missions involve having to gather (beat or eavesdrop) on certain individuals then report back. Next you have to assassinate the "main boss" for a lack of better words. This can be done by sneaking about, silently killing the guards, while making your way forward for the unsuspected kill. Or you can take the aggressive approach and run straight in wielding your sword and going in for the kill! The guards do come in various ranks starting with your easy to kill standard guards, right up to the special templars (which do unlock achievements). All in all this is a very worth while game with plenty to do, however the story missions can get a bit repetitive towards the game's end, but the ending is worth your efforts. If you have played such games as "The saboteur", "Just Cause" or "Hitman" then you should really consider giving this a try. The games graphics are stunning. All though when scaling buildings to the viewpoint you may get a glare from the bright sun and It had froze a few times so I had to restart. And I also found a few glitches. The levels are free roam to a certain degree, it is limited when you have just started as when you progress, you unlock new areas of the "Holy Land". The towns sound effects give you a good impression that your in a busy place and gruesome when killing somebody. With stalls and people walking around. You have to be careful and look out for preying eyes when carrying out objectives, as they may alert the guards. The games controls were good but the game does require alot of button bashing when in combat, if you suffer a moment of lack of concentration it could reasult in the death of the assassin. All in all the game is definately one to try, even though the side missions are repetitive, it a unique game and does have its enjoyable moments.

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      28.01.2011 18:50

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      great game for those who like GTA and history

      I have just completed this game and I have to say after initial doubts of how I would get into the storyline. I very quickly started to like it.

      Synopsis: you play Mr Miles, the modern day ancestor of an assasin Alteir. Alteir was part of the brotherhood of assasins who operated in the iddle east during the 3rd crusade around 1191 AD. You start the game as Mr Miles, who is being held captive (and taking this in his stride I have to say) by a group of scientists in order that they can access his genetic memories; apparently locked away subconsciously in our DNA, by using a computerised 'bed' called an Animis (a kind of computer portal) in order that the scientists can gradually access the furthest memories held in Mr miles and discover a long lost secret- that they think will benefit them. You are guided by 'the master' a man who taught you and the order everything about being assasins. He will give you an order to kill one person on each mission for the greater good of course. But as you embark and dsipatch each one, you learn new things about the master and about the order for which you kill for. Eventually you start to question the order and the master, and you realise the truth was not what it seemed.

      After some training on how to pass people without being notcied by guards and how to climb, assasinate guards by stealth, you go into the first level (called memory log , each level goes up. so on your 5th assasination you will be on memory log 5)

      Realism and Gameplay:
      In regard to the Historical accuracy its great (obviously not the distences between the cities) but you get to go to several different cities ranging from coastal Acre to more run down city of Damascus. In each city you are tasked with killing one lucky persons head. Whilst in the meantime you inevitably have to slain many others to get to this person who has been targeted. You will have to carry out a number of investigations to work out when will be the best time to strike. The investigations come in the form of pick pocketing , much easier evesdropping, and harder interrogation mini missions. Eventually you build up a picture of the target and you strike. You are aided in each city by the assasins bureau which is you base of ops, and the perveours there tend to give you some info on where to start looking for investigations.

      After each assasination you get more and more synchronised to the memory and to the world around you, you learn more skills, get new weapons ranging from short swords and throwing knives and become a bit tougher to kill, this is the level up concept.

      Gameplay (cont):
      Its a bit like GTA, except your on working for one person rather then being a mercenary. You get a contract you travel to that place on a horse (which gets tiresome at first but the developers cunningly knew this would happen and built in a brilliant feature after the first two contracts that you can just zip straight to your assasins base without the tedious galloping back and forth)

      OST:
      The Soundtrack is OK but not great, very middle eastern mystery and mirth, then picks up a pace and gets your shoulders tense when you get in a ruckus--- metal gear solid was good at this

      Graphics:
      The graphics are very good for a 2007 game, the rendering must have been painstaking as every detail to a plant pot, to climbing ivy has been created. Assassins creed 2 and AC brotherhood are improved of course, and I expecially love the sound effect of the till opening "ka-ching" when you stealth assisanate an unwitting archer on a roof- you dont get money in this game...it just sounds wicked ! and who doesnt like jumping eagle like off of a high tower into strategically placed hay stacks below, or using medieval par-kor to run away from some guards

      TIP**
      my only bug bear is that there was so much to learn and take in at first that I didnt know that the more civilians you save, the more towers you scale and the more people you eves drop gets you better synchronisation and so more life bars. Basically at first I did the bare basic necessary for the 1st kill and lost out on allot- so make sure you do as much as possible right from the start.

      Here are the following Levels**Spolier alert
      Assasination 1: The Warload Merchant
      Assasination 2: The Slaver
      Assasination 3: The Hospitalier
      Assasination 4: The rich man--- (assasination 4-6 are interchangable)
      Assasination 5: The executioner
      Assasination 6: The crusades commader William of Monterrat
      Assasination 7: The Teutonic Knight
      Assasination 8: The book burner
      Assasination 9: Head Templar: Robert de sable
      Assasination 10: The master

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      28.10.2010 22:52
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      Very good game, id recommend it to anyone.

      The main thing that most people like about Assassins creed, is that its a very unique game. I cant think of another game that is like it, maybe a few like "Getting up" which includes free running like this game, but none with the same type of storyline or graphics capabilities.

      The basic story of assassins creed, is you play as an assassin called Altair, he's very good at what he does, but his arrogance gets the better of him, he makes a simple mistake that costs his friends life and almost his own, his master then strips him of his title and punishes him by stabbing him. (although he survives)

      The main aim of the game is then to get you title back to what it was, but this means doing simpler things that Altair finds embarrassing considering his abilities.
      You start off with the basics that every young assassin has, which is basically one hidden blade, and a sword and the ability to manoeuvre over obstacles with ease.

      As you complete certain tasks you gain new abilities such as countering enemies attacks, being able to grab ledges from a jump, basically later on in the game it gets easier to defeat enemies and move through the cities.

      A lot of people didnt like assassins creed because they said it was tedious and boring, but i strongly disagree with that. It was an amazing game, and sure in some places it got a bit boring like when you have to move from one city to another, it takes about 10 minutes sometimes, but the good things about this game far outweigh the bad things.

      The fighting on assassins creed gets a bit boring at times, they take a long time to finish and at the beginning they're quite difficult, but in general the fights are quite fun.

      An overall great game, with some boring bits in it but not enough to put you off, definitely a good buy for anyone with an xbox 360 or a ps3.

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      13.07.2010 18:17
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      An average game best played outside of the story missions, whose free-running option is sublime.

      In 2007, Ubisoft released one of the first truly groundbreaking titles of the next generation of consoles. This game was called Assassin's Creed, and merged action sequences, a wide semi-open world and, for the first time, free-running in its gameplay. At times breathtaking and at others infuriating, this game offers mixed experiences, and this review will compare gameplay, presentation and story elements to conclude how compelling a title it is.

      *Story*

      As those who have read any of my other reviews will notice, I've never separated the story from the gameplay before. Unfortunately, in a game whose story is so confusing, this is really the only way to go about it.

      You play the role of Desmond, a man who has been kidnapped by a pharmaceutical company called Abstergo and placed into a machine called an Animus, in which he can relive the memories of his ancestors. The company has a vested interest in the actions of one assassin in particular, named Altair, and his actions around 1191 AD as part of the Third Crusade.

      During the opening sequence, a botched attempt at killing Robert de Sablé leaves him demoted and having to increase his reputation from the very bottom. Al Mualim, his leader, orders him to assassinate nine key figures from across the Holy Land (Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus). This leads you on a quest where more is learned of Abstergo, Mualim and Altair himself.

      Now that's confusing for me and I've completed the game, so I don't blame you if you're scratching your head in dismay right now. You may think I'm going to say that it clears itself up as you go through...but it doesn't. In fact, it becomes MORE confusing, and complicates as you go along. This was for me one of the downfalls of the game, as you're so confused at some points that you literally have no idea why you're doing certain tasks. This makes it feel rather monotonous and is very disappointing.

      *Presentation*

      This is where the game excels. While the menus are very, very functional and sterile, there is much to make avid gamers incredibly impressed here. It's very easy to get into a game, with the main menu offering a 'new' or 'continue' function.

      As you enter the game, most of the missions will be initiated within the Animus, the modern contraption which lets you relive past memories. So, the way this device works is by Desmond lying down, and a holographic screen hovering above him in it. To select a function, you navigate his head left and right in first person and choose respective functions. This is very, very confusing to use and is a nightmare in design terms. The missions are in memory segments, themselves within DNA strands, which are then in some kind of timeline with each strand being a different part of each assassination mission. Lost? So was I.

      Once you have cracked the code to enter a mission, you're told the mission details in a small summary then can click on the play button. You're then sprung into a loading screen resembling a misty atmosphere where you control Altair while you wait. You can run, use your sword and generally move about, but this novelty soon wears off as you wait longer and longer through the loading screens. And you will wait a long time to enter the game.

      And here comes bad design choice number two. Cut scenes. Why the developers did not allow you to skip these, I do not know, but it becomes really frustrating really quickly. For a start, they're very lengthy, and with no real reason to be. They don't clear up the story well enough and the voice acting is sometimes laughable, with Altair actually sounding like he is reading his lines from a script. By lengthy I mean whole minutes of rather pointless dialogue. Not so much a problem in the first play-through but it effectively kills off replay value, as you won't want to relive any of these scenes any time soon after completion. On the plus side, they're smartly animated and presented beautifully, with great graphics and the ability to change the viewing angle a bonus.

      Pause menus are simple enough offering the usual fare like options, memory log (objectives), additional memories (side quests), map and exit. They are once again very sterile though, and you'll often avoid using them.

      Luckily, the environments are varied and beautifully designed. Altair's character model is impeccable and his suit moves realistically as he sprints, while his movements are believable. Everything is designed wonderfully, with countless buildings of different sizes, huge towers to scale and the vistas from the viewpoints in the game (a key unique feature) absolutely stunning. Even the interiors of buildings are excellently formed and make for an immersive experience. It seems that the developers really did their research on what these places would have looked like during the Crusades, and they look wonderful. Also, considering the wealth of civilians around, and your role as an assassin, Altair's reactions to movement in crowds is realistic, with him visibly brushing past them. Civilian models are also importantly well-executed, as they look just as good as the main characters, a necessity in such an open world game where secret assassinations are paramount.

      Sound is a mixed bag. As I mentioned, the protagonists' conversations are hilariously bad at times, sound rehearsed and are hardly ever believable. Likewise, the mission cut scenes will grate on you very quickly, as they are repetitive and also poorly executed. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy here, with ambient and atmospheric sounds helping along the gameplay. Footsteps, sprinting, jumps and landing are all recreated well in the audio, and even the climbing so intrinsic to the game has been given thorough thought in sound terms.

      *Gameplay*

      The best thing bar none in the game is the free-flowing free running gameplay of Assassin's Creed, which has not been matched by any game to this day (aside from its sequel). By holding the right trigger and moving the left analog stick in your desired direction you can make Altair run, while sprinting is activated by holding A as well. Sprint near a cliff face, and he'll automatically jump off. Sprint up to a ladder and he'll rush up it. Run up a building and he'll automatically grip on to whatever he can, be it a window, ledge or protruding brick. While on top of a high building you can freely run onto smaller ones which surround you. Anything is possible in terms of movement and this makes the game feel ever-fresh in exploration terms. You can approach the game in your own way, and it feels unique for this reason.

      These believable and free-flowing movements also weave into the main action elements, which concern close-quarters combat and sword-fights. Though these sequences feel repetitive after a while, they are fun and largely intuitive, with Altair springing from enemy to enemy effortlessly and dodging and weaving as the levels progress. Counter attacks are particularly pleasing, with zoomed in sequences offering gory graphic details of the kills. If you go the stealth way, you'll find a hidden knife to use in crowds, which will not attract attention of surrounding guards and will save you extended grief. Great at the time, the fight physics now feel rather dated, more like a precursor to the brilliance of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Still, it's by no means a broken system.

      What are broken, though, are the mission choices. These really are repetitive and will have you seething when you're made to do the same monotonous task for the fiftieth time. You'll either eavesdrop (which has you literally standing a few metres away from someone and listening in - yes, it's that boring), interrogating someone (a few punches then they talk) pickpocketing or completing assassinations for other Assassins. It gets very very boring and it's often a chore to progress in the game.

      Luckily, you can enjoy the game by simply exploring. There are lots of things to collect in the side quests and in my favourite part of the game, lots of viewpoints to scale. These have you scaling large towers then peering over the beautifully rendered surroundings as you perch atop a ledge. Whether it's collecting flags or simply exploiting the free-running system, it's a real joy to simply enjoy yourself without the terrible constraints of the main missions.

      *Summary*

      This game is a mixed bag. Make no illusions, the main story is confusing and never clears itself up, while to say the missions are monotonous is a gross understatement. The cut-scenes and voice acting are very poor indeed, and these things merge to greatly detract from the game. Nevertheless, there are impeccable positives: the environments are varied, the graphics are slick, the action is often fun and, most importantly of all, the free-running is a unique feature which never gets boring.

      This is ultimately how I'd sum up the game. Lacking in a good story with varied missions, this game is best played in a freestyle manner. Exploring is very fun and is well worthwhile in this game, so the game can be incredibly fun. But no amazing game can have a poor story or missions. Therefore, this game is rated as average. If you can snap it up for under £5, by all means do; it will keep you sufficiently entertained. Sadly, though, this isn't the classic I expected it to be.

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        25.05.2010 16:43
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        A well presented and highly enjoyable experience overall.

        Ubisoft did a splendid job at making sure Assassins Creed would be the most talked about games of the latter quarter of 2008. But does it live up to the hype?

        First impressions are important when it comes to playing a game, and Assassins Creed blasts any skepticism right away, with the sort of dazzling first impression that many games fall short of. After a long time waiting for the answer to our questions of "will it be as great as they say?" we had word and confirmation that it was everything a gamer hoped for.

        You take on the role of Altair, a mega-assassin who somehow manages to mess it all up and be stripped of his rank completely. Despite of everything, you're given the chance to earn back the name and rank you lost, by taking on a series of killings across Damascus, Jerusalem and Acre, where you'll be able to run, jump and do the ind of stuff assassins do.

        The graphics are astonishing, thanks probably to the use of shadow and lighting and the highly interpereted free-running. When approaching a building, you can scale the wall using the analogue stick, grabbing ledges and windows, among various hand-holds in a similar style reminiscent of Spiderman. Other techniques include bounding across high rafters and swinging from beams and you'll find yourself really enjoying the dancing flow of movement across the top of buildings.

        Whilst the main mission of the story is the nine assassinations across the board, you'll spend a lot of time gathering information, overhearing conversations and pickpocketing victims, and usually this will involve going and finding informers to interrogate, thus meaning you'll end up climbing tall buildings to get to them. The viewpoint from the top of the buildings is worth the effort put in, even though sometimes it can be tricky to navigate your way there.

        Assassins Creed manages to impress no matter what aspect of the game you're attempting. There's something about this game that draws you in.

        THe controls can seem a little overwhelming, but once you get the hang of them, they work well. Instead of each specific action being linked to a direct button, four buttons are assigned to different body parts, such as head, feet, weapon hand and free hand. Holding down the right trigger will also set Altair in high profile or low profile mode, while left trigger locks on and off targets. What buttons you press indicate what action Altair will take. Holding down the right trigger with A may make him run, but just holding down A will cause him to "blend" with the crowd.

        Another part of the fun is being chased by guards who are alerted by your various actions, especially if you seem overly suspicious. They will chase you and you can either choose to run and hide (and this will be explained shortly) or fight them.

        THe combat mechanics are fascinating and blend well together, and watching the scene before you as you stealthily perform your actions will be worth the ride.

        The missions are quite enjoyable, in some context. Pickpocketing and overhearing conversations isn't quite what it makes out to be, as it'll involve you just simply pressing one button, but interrogating victims is the messy but fun part, as are the stealth assassinations.

        Unfortunately Assassins Creed has it's flaws. The game fails to challenge you, and stealth missions are not all they're cracked out to be. The collectibles are hardly exciting either, and reaching certain viewpoints are sometimes too easy for the most hardcore gamers in us. I'm not so sure the camera-view switching has too much of a point to it either. It's a shame that it starts off so beautifully and falls flat on it's face. It's a sad thing then, that the ending seems mediocre, for lack of a better word, and doesn't hold the wow-factor as much as it should have. It's obvious it's paving the way for a sequel, but it doesn't quite meet the mark.

        Aside from this though, Assassins Creed has the beauty of an action-adventure worth putting the pennies aside for.

        Graphics - 4/5
        Gameplay - 3/5
        Sounds - 5/5
        Total: 4/5

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          12.02.2010 19:56
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          Recommended product, challenging at times and an excellent open world environment.

          Assassins Creed is one of those games you'll pick up and find yourself strangely drawn to it time and time again. The storyline is clever, you are drawn back into time based on the memories of your ancestors. Sounds complicated, but not if you're Steven Hawkins, he would love this game!

          The action flits between around two main time-frames based in different continents. Medieval England and Medieval Asia (/ Persia). You may notice a medieval theme, and you'd be correct!

          Being a fan of complicated in-game weaponry, I thought I would be disappointed with the choices, but how wrong I was! The array of weapons isnt great, but the situations you can use your assassin tools and variety of attacks easily makes up for it.

          The fight scenes are quite scripted, for example, you can block, attack or throw. There are multiple combinations within each move but basically its the same thing. I found the challenge by taking on as many bad medieval people I could at any one time. Throw one here, block an attack, assassinate his mate, and so on. Don't let me put you off, its really quite fun. Plus the added bonus, I found I could also drink at the same time, by simply blocking all attacks, can you do that in tekken?

          Technically, its a very neat game, the dynamics of the character when performing various movements are very detailed and they seem to fit the world they are contained in. For example, to scale a building, you have to choose a good gripping point, edges of buildings do not always provide a good climbing point, but window ledges and other decorations do!

          The scenes can be a bit repetitive, but I think a game is what you make of it. The missions are quite open and as you have a spiderman-like ability, I generally found myself scaling buildings, killing guards and generally being a nuisance on my way to the missions.

          It was a bit disappointing not to have any XBox Live play, as its based in a GTA-style world, so to see other assassins, or even control peasants would have given this game the extra star rating it needed for a full house from me. I didnt let that put me off from purchasing this title, and I would recommend the same, as the single player mode is excellent and gripping. I've already purchased Assassin's Creed 2 based on how much I enjoyed this title.

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          23.01.2010 20:51
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          A good game for people who like up close tactical fights

          Ubisofts Assassins Creed is a breakthrough in sword fighting gameplay. It manages to combine real life movement and techniques with swift on screen motion to create breathtaking fluency when fighting one on one with opponents.

          Assassins creed takes you back in history to a time when the lands were divided, unlock the secrets and find the truth as you progress throughout the amazing story to bring peace to the lands.

          This game has outstanding gameplay and stunning graphics that let you roam and tour throughout different cities and landscapes with ease. The problem for me with this game is the repetitive nature of the play. It seems that you do the same two or three things over and over again. To me more originality needed to be introduced into this game. It is originally fun to play but if you are after achievements it is a nightmare going through the game trying to find all of the flags then climbing every tower and so on.

          A fantastic game but just too repetitive to compete with the top games.

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          12.01.2010 01:43
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          Awesome game with fantastic mechanics.

          As a child I grew up on fantasy, including goblins and assassins, so to see this game in the shop was quite exciting, and I was pleased to play it.

          Assassins Creed has to be one of the most exciting games I have played to date. It creates a good balance between fantasy and factual history, making it feel more "real"
          My favorite part of this game has to be the Free Running aspect, as you escape fron guards and so on, you can climb, swing or hop on or off any of the scenery or props where you find the Assassin Altiar actually looks for and finds crack, ledges, rails and beams to hold on to rather than the generic climbing action you normally see in these games.

          I also found the storyline to be very interesting with a twist at the end which is totally not expected, made me want to play the second one, which I had to wait a while for!

          The fighting mechanicals are also very good as you learn to parry, counter and even grab your enemy using impressive moves, very assassin style.
          Altiar's array of weapons is also fun as you get to use not only a sword but a knife and throwing knives also, plus your ever handy concealed assassins blade with which you get to perfom some spectacular stealth kills.

          The only let down for this game is that the missions for each assassination can get rather repetetive and as an Assassin you seem to have a fear of water as you cant swim.
          All in all a fantastic game with a few flaws that I was more than happy to overlook due to its brilliant visuals and awesome gameplay.

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          23.12.2009 23:48
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          Great game let down by some faults.

          Assassin's Creed is a game with absolutely massive potential. To give you a basic idea of the plot we actually have two protagonists. Firstly we have Desmond (voiced by Nolan North (Uncharted, Prince of Persia leads)) who has been captured a mysterious group of scientists in the present day. They are trying to retrieve memories from his ancestor Altair who is part of a Creed of Assassin's, they do this using a special machine called the Animus. Altair is sent to kill several targets during the crusade of Richard the Lionheart.

          I'll start with the things which I like about the game, of which there is many. Firstly the game looks absolutely stunning, the cities in particular are works of art. It is the draw distances in particular that I was impressed with as you can see the whole of these cities from any of the view points. I am also a big fan of the free running system, which is deceptively simple as you only hold down two buttons and guide Altair. The actual assassinations, of which there are nine, are also well executed and varied.

          However quite a few things let down what is otherwise a great game. Firstly, before you can complete any assassination you have to do a number of annoying side missions. These include pick pocketing, eavesdropping, interrogations and collecting flags. These never change throughout the course of the game and become incredibly repetitive, which really slows down the pace of the game. The combat is also repetitive and very simple after you learn counter kills. The conclusion of the game is also an anti climax which was disappointing.

          In conclusion Assassin's Creed is a top notch title that is let down by a few big problems that they have thankfully rectified in the second title.

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          11.12.2009 22:45
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          All in all THE best game to ever hit my wallet as hard as it did 6/5 Stars

          Assassins creed is a futureistic and medeival game put into one, at the start you are desmond, an ex-assassin captured by a seeming innocent pharmecutical company wanting to do some, human research. Testing a technological breakthrough, The Animus. This is a macheine is designed to re-live and record the memories of your ancestors. When you are subjected to its intense mind scrying you find it very hard to adjust, but soon after some rest you learn how to use it, then it takes you through the very long and repetitive life of Althair one of the most renown and deadly assassins of his time, as you progress you uncover a mass plot by the templars to overthrow the holy land and claim it in their name so that peace can reign, but in the process robbing people of their free will by using the peice of eden. The peice of eden is a silver object that can create illusions and make the unimaginable, real. However you thwart their plans as a fellow assassin steals their peice and you, stripped of your rank for disobeying the creed have to kill the traitors of 3 lands to re-aquire your rank. I have completed this game and gotten all of the acheivements from it, therefore I am well equipped with the knowledge of this game to tell you whats what. The main storyline its self is very boring and repetitive, however along the way you can get into mass fights with guards which can either be very frustrating as they hit and maim you, or it can be very entertaining as you thwart their attacks with stunning counter attacks or combos. Then there are lots of side quests such as saving villagers, finding view points, pickpocketing, eavesdropping, and collecting a gargantuan amount of hidden flags and Templars around the whole map, and the map is HUGE! In this game you can assassinate silently, slaughter broadly on foot or horseback and kill from longrange with throwing knives, even if you wish you can beat people up with your fists. Another great fact about this game is that, if you think you can climb it... You can! Everything and anything is an escape route, a window, a crack in a wall even as far as running up and through market stalls, in this game you can utilise your surroundings for fleeing or attacking, there is so much more aswell, if you can't run from your opponents and there are too many to kill off, then you only have one option, break their line of sight my running a corner or on a rooftop, then simply hide and wait for them not to find you. Slay archers from behind, throw knives at people from above, blade them in two with a sword or stab them in the back with a knife, the possibilities are endless, oh and did I mention horseback? Thats right you can fight and plow through armies of men on your mighty steed! This game is so well thought out and planned you wont believe the amount of sceranio items you can use to your advantage! The graphics you must be thinking have been put to last and are not as good as they can be, well I must hold you there for you are wrong, the graphics are un-rivalled in detail and magnificence, they are by far THE best I have seen in a long long LONG time, and im not joking, ask anyone they will tell you the same even if they hate the game's guts and want to see it burned.

          Overall, this game hits all the spots and ticks all of the boxes for me and many many others, it's almost impossible that this game has not won "Game Of The Year" as it is so under-rated and well plain awe inspiring, if you buy it and I know you will then you can match what I've said here today with what you experience in-game.

          Have FUN!!

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          10.12.2009 21:58
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          A brilliant gem of a game and one that i'd recommend to anyone

          Beginning in 2012 Desmond Miles is captured and imprisoned by a highly powerful pharmaceutical company called Abstergo Industries, for the purpose of using him as a test subject for the Animus, a machine that keys into the persons ancestral past and searches through their memory. After being put under the Animus, Miles awakes as an assassin named Altair ibn La-Ahad during the time of the Third Crusade in the Holy Land.
          Throughout the game you take control of Altair and progress through the storyline in several historical cities including Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus. As you soon find out, EVERYTHING is climbable, and not at speeds that'll make you yawn. As Altair you can run, jump, swing, climb and hang off every surface in the game, making for amazingly unprecedented free roaming gameplay. Couple this with successful free-flowing sword and knife fighting and Assassins Creed becomes a potentially timeless classic. Though you find yourself with basic weaponry and no knowledge of the many moves available, at the beginning of the game it is still unbelievably fun dashing over rooftops, evading guards, or (if you enjoy this kind of thing) performing vicious fast execution style attacks with your trusty blade.
          For the most part of the game you complete small tasks, such as pick pocketing civilians or eavesdropping on important conversations, all in order to get the go ahead to assassinate your main targets. It is these targets that provide the most satisfaction from the game and the stealth and style required to approach those makes for astounding gameplay.
          However, later in the game you will find that the shine of the supposed diamond that is Assassins Creed wears off and leaves a repetitive lump of coal. Though the running and jumping aspect still remains mildly amusing and fun to do, the fighting becomes monotonous and boring, with no variations on style or enemies. As well as this you begin to find that the later major assassinations require little skill as you can just run through the guards and stab the "evil" enemy right through the heart.


          Overview

          Despite the incredibly major flaw of being too monotonous and repetitive, Assassins Creed is still an absolute masterpiece of a game and has set a very high standard that Assassins Creed 2 is hyped to beat. If you make sure not to overplay the game and give yourself breaks of a day or two then you'll find that it remains a full and playable game for a very long time. The only replay value to it though is it you leave it unplayed for a month or so and then go back to it. In all though it is one of the best games available on the Xbox 360 and a definite play for anyone who is even remotely curious about it.

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      • Product Details

        ItÆs easy to see why there was so much fighting amongst the console manufacturers to try and make this game a format exclusive. Where early launch titles may have disappointed this game not only looks like a next generation game but it plays like it too. Taken at face value the story casts you as an Arabic fighter in 1191, out to assassinate the nine Western leaders of the Third Crusade. There is more to the story than that though making it more than simple historical adventure it first seems. Assassin's Creed is set in 1191 AD, when the Third Crusade was tearing the Holy Land apart. Shrouded in secrecy and feared for their ruthlessness, the Assassins intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict. Players, assuming the role of the main character Altair, will have the power to throw their immediate environment into chaos and to shape events during this pivotal moment in history.