Assassin's Creed review
A month of tweaking would have made it almost perfect

The good:

- Great graphics
- Relatively simple controls
- Good story
- Stealth assasinations are awesome!
- Free roam
- Amazing animations
- Historically accurate (Except for the magic parts)

The bad:

- Cliffhanger ending
- A bit glitchy
- Controls aren't perfect
- Gets repetitive
- Beggars and Mentally challenged people get in the way (Explanation follows)
- Load times before you play
- Camera (At times)
- Not so much replay value
- Altair can't swim!


Assassins Creed is a (Almost historically accurate) game that was designed to put you in the place of a medieval assassin, but beneath that lies a second story, that of Desmond Miles in the year 2012. The plot can get very confusing at times, but here's a brief summary of how this all fits in.

A company called Abstergo has discovered that humans have all their ancestor's memories stored in their DNA. The thing the game uses to explain this is how birds all know exactly where to go during winter, and how fish always go to the breeding ground their mothers went to. Basically, they created a machine called the Animus to read people's genetic memories. Abstergo kidnapped Desmond Miles (The game doesn't mention how) but his ancestor was named Altair (You play as Altair in the medieval portion of the game) and they're reading Desmond's genetic memory to reveal Altair's memory. I'm not gonna elaborate more because it would involve huge spoilers.

The way you control Desmond is very simple. You don't play too much as him (Half an hour at the most throughout the game). It basically consists of using the left analog stick to move, and pressing any other button to interact when prompted to. You can also use the right analog stick to move the camera around.

Controlling Altair gets a bit more tricky. The left analog stick is used to move while the right one controls the camera. The D-pad is used to select your weapon.
UP selects the hidden blade
DOWN selects standard hand to hand combat
LEFT selects short blades (As well as throwing knives)
RIGHT selects your main weapon, the Assassin's sword

L2 is used for the chase camera (Useless when you aren't being chased)
L1 locks onto people
R2 doesn't do anything that I recall
R1 is held down to switch to high profile mode

This game features a low profile mode and a high profile mode. The low profile mode is more for sneaking around, while high profile is for running, sprinting, jumping, and fighting.

Low profile controls:
X - Blend (Altair blends in)
O - Gentle push (Slowly pushes people in a crowd out of the way)
Triangle - Eagle vision (Identifies friends, enemies, etc)
Square - Attack

High profile controls:
X - Sprint, tap to jump
O - Tackle/Grab (Depends if you're running or not)
Square - Attack or assasinate (If your hidden blade is out)

Holding down R1 activates high profile mode, releasing it deactivates it. While holding down R1, Altair will run instead of walking. The controls aren't so simple, but they're easy to get used to, and make more sense when you're actually playing the game.

The controls lead to one of the game's issues. If you accidentally run into a guard or templar, they will automatically assume you want to fight them! Fun fun! As soon as you start fighting them, other guards join in. These fights can easily last up to 5 minutes just because more guards keep stumbling upon the fight. The fighting system in this game started to bore me pretty quickly. There really aren't any special things to the fighting system. Holding down R1 when your weapon is out let Altair guard (But he can still get hit from a side he isn't guarding).

There aren't many special moves. Every once in a while, Altair will do a cool looking kill (Example: He knocks someone to the ground and swings downwards with his sword, shearing straight down through his shoulder into his heart, then ripping his now-bloody sword out while the guard is falling). Unfortunately, this sometimes brings up a camera issue. This game's camera can get VERY stupid at times. There are times when the camera will randomly move right behind a bush and not move until after you kill someone.

The animations in this game are very refined though. When climbing, Altair will always grab actual bricks, not midair like characters in games used to do. On ladders, Altair always grabs a rung on the ladder. It's a minor thing, but very impressive. It's even more impressive considering there are almost zero framerate issues in this game.

The game is also free roam, and there's quite a bit to do. To access new parts to a city, you simply scale a view point (Usually a very tall guard tower, church steeple, etc) and press the triangle button when up top. This leads to an impressive view of the entire city. You can do what the game calls a "Leap of Faith" when you're up top. You simply get onto what is basically a plank of wood that's on top of every one of the view points, and press jump. Altair jumps hundreds of feet into a wagon full of hay.

Speaking of wagons, when guards are chasing you, if you can break their sight of you, you can simply jump into one of these wagons and they'll completely lose you. You can also sit on a bench to blend in. It's a pretty cool system.

It's annoying how easy it is to get in trouble by the guards though. If you simply run into them, you get in trouble. As I said in the "Bad" section, Beggars and mentally challenged folks get in the way. Beggars stand directly in front of you so you can't move them out of the way unless you run straight through them. Mentally challenged people are even worse though. If you get near them, they run up to you and SHOVE you, usually knocking you down. If they just so happen to knock you into a guard, guess who gets in trouble?! YOU DO! >_> Whoever had the bright idea of putting them in should be smacked.

Another qualm I have with the game is that Altair, master assassin, CANT FRIGGIN SWIM! WHAT THE HELL?! If you accidentally fall into water, you die. This gets particularly annoying during one of the main assassinations you have to perform on someone that's on board a ship.

Though this game got repetitive (due to almost no diversity in the battle system), I would still definitely recommend it. There's almost no replay value (There's no reward at ALL for 100% completion) but it's still an overall great game and shouldn't be missed out on.

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