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Assassin's Creed- Xbox 360

01 Feb 2008

What is the Animus? Much like the question on everyone’s mind when the Matrix released in 1999, right? Have I lost you already? Ok, well if you’re seriously thinking about buying this game, you’ll soon know the answer to that question. Yes, that’s probably teasing (just a little), but that’s ok. If there’s one thing I can definitely confirm about Assassin’s Creed it’s that this game deserves the ranting and raving it has received for the game concept alone. And the game is called ‘Assassin’s Creed’ because the creed of assassin’s is what governs every action of every member of the sect. Well, all except one assassin in particular who seems to have mixed feelings about what the creed represents.

If I was to tell you the entire plot of Assassin’s Creed, I’d spoil it for you. The premise for the game really is something you’ll need to discover on your own. That aside, the gameplay, physics, graphics and characters are incredible and Ubisoft have done one hell of a job on this game. Of course, it doesn’t go astray that they managed to use hot up and coming acting talent like Kristen Bell (Heroes, Veronica Mars) to give the game some ‘oomph’. And the ‘oomph’ factor doesn’t stop there. What I will tell you is that as we explained in our preview last month, you play as an Assassin named Altair. You are part of an elite group of assassin’s much like a secret society in the time during the Holy Wars (part of the Crusades) where the Knights Templar are causing problems for you. That’s where the missions come into play.

Keep in mind that this game is very much a role-playing game with fighting, assassinations and intense action sequences in-between. It is not your basic run-of-the-mill fighter and the background story plays a very important part. You’ll be a little puzzled by the tutorial at the beginning but all is revealed fairly early on. The missions can also become a little generic after a while but they’re still fun to play.

The imagery used in Assassin’s Creed is sublime. Graphically, the game looks great and a whole lot less buggy than the preview code we looked at a month ago. You’ll probably spend the most time working with Altair’s movement in the game because as an assassin, knowing how to escape from all sorts of tough situations is what being an assassin is all about. The controls on the Xbox 360 are quite straight forward although if you’re not used to running, jumping, climbing and somersaulting in games, it might take a while to get used to this aspect of the gameplay. It’s a real blast though once you master how to climb walls, fight and assassinate your victims.

Your interaction with other NPC’s (Non-Player Characters) is also an important aspect of the game and is essentially what ties everything else together; what you do next, how you react and what your next objective may be. One of the coolest features in the game is the ability to swap your perspective so that you are looking at every conversation from a different view point. Altair is an exceptional character to play. It’s great when you get to play a character that’s worth the time in a game.

Assassin’s Creed is not the kind of game that you can play and play again. As it is a single player experience, you probably won’t get a lot of replay value from it the same way you would say Gears of War. It’s just not that type of game. What Assassin’s Creed does have is an exceptional storyline, beautifully designed levels, interesting and intriguing characters and above all, a level of escapism you just don’t see being produced in a lot of RPG’s these days. The lure of Altair and the world he is part of is a little hard to ignore if you’re any kind of role playing or action fan.

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