So, I've been meaning to do this for a while, since I like to write my game impressions before I finish the game (to ensure that I don't accidentally post spoilers for those that haven't played ).
So, currently i'm about... 70% done with Assassin's Creed and let me say... it has been unbelievable so far. Graphics = Amazing, Gameplay = Amazing, Plot = Amazing. A few minor things so far but here's the scoop...
Firstly, I'm only going to cover stuff early in the game, to give you a little overview. Basically, the main character is a bartender from New York. He has been abducted by some crazed company Abstergo and is being forced to use a machine called the "Animus." Most of your gameplay comes from inside of the Animus but its worth noting that it's not the main characters area.
So, you may ask, why was this guy abducted? Well, to keep it simple, Abstergo wants something from the memories of our main man. Or rather, the memories of his ancestor, which are stored up in his noggin. They don't tell you what it is, and they dance around the subject and say stuff like "you'll see" but if you do I'm not sure.
So, you go around and play inside of the Animus, as your super-great grandfather who is an assassin in the Middle Ages. Basically, he's a pimp, and you play with him basically the entire game (except times where you walk around shortly outside of the animus).
If there is one thing that initially made me go "wow" about Assassin's Creed it was the graphics I saw on my friends high def TV. Now, although I don't have high def, the graphics are still incredible. Realistic, well toned, just well put together. They really put the Middle Ages into ones mind while playing. All pretty and shiny in the light... Shadows...
Now, Assassin's Creed knows it has amazing graphics and flaunts it with areas called "View Points." Each area of the world has a bunch, and when you reach one, you hit a button and the camera zooms around and gives you and amazing look at the area around you. It's pretty sweet.
--Gameplay-- (note: button configs listed are for XBox 360)
The creators of this game maybe have one of my favorite controller set-ups EVER. Basically, each area of your body is assigned a button: A = Legs, B = Off hand, X = Weapon Hand and Y = Head. Each button has 2 different modes, standard and "high profile" (attained by holding the Right Trigger). Ex: A in low profile uses the ability Blend whereas in high profile A makes you run. This allows the user to really get a feel for the action they're doing and not accidentally run when they meant to walk, etc.
Another cool aspect of the gameplay is building hopping/climbing. The creators did an amazing job of making sure if you jumped towards something, that you will land on, even if you're a tad off. This is great when you're running away, since you don't want to fall off of a roof and die or something. Plus, later in the game, you get cool little features that make building climbing easier .
Fighting is REALLY cheap in Assassin's Creed and has to be one of the weak points of the game. The game does a good job of making sure that the CPU doesn't have ridiculous moves that make you easy to kill, but at the same time, you have moves that make them ridiculously easy to kill. It has gotten to the point that after I kill a few guards, the rest of them run away in fear and I have to go chase them down. Like standard movement, there are two types of moves, distinguished by the Right Trigger. Standard moves include things like "attack" and "grab" while high profile moves include "counter attack" and "dodge." Counter Attack may be the cheapest thing in the game, since about 75% of the time you kill the attacker straight up, just a tad two overpowered. You can also get 2 different types of swords (long and short) which each have different strategies which is neat.
Avoiding detection is the CHEAPEST thing in Assassin's Creed. If you've ever watched a parody video of the game, I'm sure you've seen comments about "i was in priest mode! you can't attack me!" which isn't far off. The "Blend" mode I talked about earlier makes you bow your head, move really slow and look like a scholar. Basically, while in this mode, guards completely avoid you. This means, you can flat out murder somebody in front of a guard, then hit the Blend button, then walk away and nobody knows what happened. However, if you are found, it takes a while to shake the guards since they're well made to spot you, but nothing too difficult (I've gotten tired of running away and just flat out kill everything that moves).
Now, my favorite thing about the gameplay is that there are NO loading or cut-scenes while running around doing stuff. There is a loading screen going into each main area (like Jerusalem has a load period where you run around in free space as the Animus) but once inside the area, no load times (like no loading between Jerusalem's 3 districts). Not only is that amazing given the quality of the graphics and everything in the city, but its nice to have a smooth flow. Now, there are "video"-esque scenes in Assassin's Creed but the sweet thing is that they happen real time. Which means you can move your character around during the scene. Positioning yourself. Checking guard locations. Etc. Also, while fighting the camera will occassionally change when you're doing a pimp move while life is still going on outside of the little scene. It's very nice.
So, you're in this Animus thing... What do you do with it? Well... if the name of the game didn't give it away but your relative is an Assassin (omgz!) by the name of Altair. So you're told by your boss who to kill. You go to their area of residence, find some information about them (either through informants, eavesdropping, pickpocketing or my favorite, interrogation). Then you report to a city assassin head then go run around chopping people's heads off. It's nice.
You will learn quickly that the Altair's Hidden Blade and his throwing knives (which you don't get until a little later), are complete destruction in secret form. One hit from them, and whoever it is that touches it dies. Huzzah!
- Great Gameplay
- Great Graphics
- Great Plot
- Cheap weapons and moves
- Tedious additional tasks (like find 100 hidden flags in this HUGE area and you get a present!)
- For all the sweet pimping Altair can do, he can't swim. wtf?
So, I hope that everybody who stalled majorly to get this game (like me) find this helpful in determining whether it is a good buy. I'd give it a 95% for sheer amazingness