Assassin’s Creed

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Assassin’s Creed for the Xbox 360 is one of the best games I have played in a while. I am only an hour or so into it and am in the second main city, but so far I am really impressed. The graphics are top notch and it is hard these days to find a game with a true story that flows throughout the whole game. The story in Creed starts the moment you to begin and it unfolds throughout the game. The story is delicately woven into just about everything you do. It tells the player why you are where you are, what you need to do to move forward, and it helps create atmosphere throughout each of your quests.
 
I don’t want to give away the big “secret” twist here, but I am sure you can find out about it in other reviews. The basics, you are an assassin, you are in ancient times. No guns, just amazingly simple hand to hand and blade to blade combat. You are a member of the Assassin’s guild, but you become arrogant, break the rules, and get demoted. You must go off on a quest to reclaim your skills, weapons, and position in the guild. The cities are spectacular, in general if you can see it you can go to it and climb to the top of it. Creed uses a character control scheme that Ubisoft calls puppeteering. There are parts of the cities which become blocked off, probably so you don’t accidentally go flying out of the city while jumping around roof tops evading capture or death at the hands of the city guards. The outdoor areas, especially the kingdom, evokes the same feeling Shadow of the Colossus did/does, as in this could be a real place. The first time you approach a city, it is extremely cool. The NPC’s are the best I have ever seen in a game.
 
Yes there is repetition, but standing in the marketplace in Damascus really felt like a bustling, busy place. Really something we have not seen before. Assassin’s Creed controls are amazingly smooth. You control your characters feet, head and arms. This really just means that you can move your character, attack, use skills, and look at people, but it works out quite well. You can jump, attack and use your other skills all while running at a sprint or walking slowly to avoid detection. Creed uses a free running based movement system. You see a window or door jam, you can run up to it, jump and grab on to it to start climbing a building. Want to jump from one building to another, you can with ease. Watch out though because a high fall can kill you. Water also seems to be deadly so avoid falling into rivers or deep ponds as well. The controls become intuitive very quickly.
 
The free running is just great. I think Ubisoft really nailed the control on this one. I have read that people say it is too easy as you hold the right trigger and the A button to run and navigate with the left stick. This works so well because you are running so fast navigating is a full time job. Creed also has some of the best horse riding controls I have ever seen in a game. Riding a horse acts pretty much like you always thought it should, quick turns, gallops, rearing up to attack, jumping over stuff, its all there. You can also use any horse you see. Fighting is pretty simple, with your main sword, you can block, you can attack, you can counter attack, and you can throw. With your arm blade you can sneak up and assassinate anyone you want. You also have fists and throwing knives as choices for combat. You can also choose to kill everyone in town or just go after the bad guys. I like the combat a great deal. The reliance on timing for counter strikes is the main skill aspect, followed by positioning yourself to not leave your back exposed for the stabbing.
 
The AI is pretty decent, but it does have a few issues that come up when you start hiding from the guards who are trying to get you. When running from the law you have a few options to escape, you can fight, you can evade their line of sight, or you can jump into a hiding device such as a pile of hay or a roof top garden. When you evade your pursuers they just go back to what they were doing as if you never existed, good for a game, but not really realistic. It would have been nice if a few of them would wait around near where they just lost you forcing the player to avoid contact by choosing an alternate route out of the hiding spot. Fighing AI is pretty decent. If you end up in a fight with a group of people and one gets behind you he will stab you in the back while you are fighting the guy in front of you. Holding down the block button seems to protect you against these types of attacks pretty well.
 
If you like a video game to have a story you will love this one. There are many side quests to keep you playing the game for many many hours. The graphics are some of the best out there at the moment. Overall I would label this one a buy.
 
I give Assasin’s Creed 4 Out Of 5 Monkeys