Chuff_72 Speaks Yet Again: Assasin's Creed review

Yes, here at TGAM, we have lost the plot a bit. We don't actually play games anymore but we like to think we are characters in a Douglas Coupland book*. Fortunately, Chuff_72, our man on the street, does play games. Here are his thoughts on hyped to the max Assasin's Creed. SPOILER_O_RAMA

Dude, I rented Assassassassinssss Creed over the weekend and busted that bad boy right open - CAUTION, OPINION WITHIN MAY NOT BE OF THE POPULAR VARIETY.

First off, I DO like this game, it is fun and looks pretty. However, it is also, misleading, rushed, boring, repetitive, annoying and overrated.

Fun. I finished this game and enjoyed it, I liked the story and the characters, I thought the future elements were nice and especially that you are a Bartender called Desmond (Spoiler?), though very divisive (this game is basically a setup for a new franchise, even EA would be ashamed of the obviousness of this) and the game felt cool to play, it does a good job of making you feel like a badass (except the main dude swings his hips a little too much.)

Looks pretty. Oh yes, this game is a looker, shame all three cities are essentially exactly the same boxes tinted blue/yellow/green to differentiate them. There are no interiors in the game (well there are a couple but essentially all the buildings are just pretty boxes - there is also no interaction, you can't remove a plank bridge to stop people following you for example.) The docks in Acre look are sweet though - except you can't fucking swim, not even a doggy paddle, I'm not gonna go on about this, we all know how frustrating is.

Misleading, because while you play an assassin, and are told to avoid conflict and generally attempt to be stealthy we know this is a lie because there is no "hide behind shit" button, there are no real sneaking sections in the game, and when you upgrade between missions, reclaiming weapons and ranks (Spoiler) they are all for extra fighting mechanics, not stealthing mechanics. So really you play a role more akin to Rambo, on a horse (Part III, but without the Russians and guns), I must have killed over a 1000 guys during play, all open combat. This extends to the Assassination missions themselves, all of which I did by running directly up to the target and stabbing them in face, except then they ran and I stabbed them in the back.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but to call your dude an assassin is a bit of stretch, you are more like a crazy merc or something, a killer for hire, taking on all comers face to face, rather than a stealthy-stealthy-catchy-monkey type ninja, this is not Tenchu.

Rushed. There are some odd glitches (though funny), I fell into a table and stayed there with my legs pointing skyward, fell through a couple buildings, and into the floor. I guess the main problem with the whole game is that you only do the same six or seven activities in each section of each city, over and over and over. Example, "Save Citizen" this occurs nine times (approx) in each section there are three sections in each of the three cities, so that’s 81 (approx) save citizen missions, this is not fun. Well it IS fun as the fighting is pretty coolio, but it's lazy design-wise and is a strong representation of how the rest of the game is structured.

Boring. The future bits are nice as the story expands but are dull as hell to play. We have already covered the repetition of the main game.

Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Even the dialogue is the same for EVERYONE who is not a main character. You do the same shit from start to finish with no change in pace, except for the very end of the game which ups the pace a notch.

Annoying. God damn this game can piss you off! On the whole the controls are really well though out and considered, however to run up a wall you need to hold the right trigger and "A" however "A" is also the jump button, so if you forget to release "A" (and you will because most of the game you are running up walls) you try to navigate up a tower and accidentally push "away" from the tower you will leap off the building, yay, broken legs.

The mental cases and the drunks, these dude stumble around not harming a fly until you happen to wonder too close, when they push you as hard as they can, this has two effects; 1. it's just fucking annoying as they don't push anybody else, so it feels kinda personal, 2. Say you have just assassinated some dude, and are trying to get away without being busted, all you need do is press "A" and you look at the floor and put your hands together, this fools people… I know. However while in this mode you walk real slow, which means you can't get away from the drunks who home in on you like you're a walking kebab, when they push you it breaks your magical "I am not an assassin" mode and all the surrounding guards fucking pounce on you which instantly fails you mission. Some of these mission require that you assassinate five dudes in under three minutes, which can be tricky, especially when you have just busted the last dude and the above happens. HOWEVER, this is not the end of this particular rant my friends. You see, now you have to kill/escape from the soldiers, once you do the mission resets, you go back to the dude, which reinitiates the mission, great! BUT the fucking bodies of the fucking guys you previously killed are still there which means that the guards are on high alert the whole time and the drunks/retards are still stumbling round pushing you! Arrgghhh. My advise, hit that reset button and all will be gravy once more.

Now for a major issue I have with the game. The big assassination missions that round out each city section are LAME, you would think you would have to do something interesting, maybe sneaking up on a dude over roof tops, silently taking out guards, clearing away defences, scoping out movement patterns etc. But no, this is how most of these missions pan out:

1.You collect a bunch of bullshit information that sounds cool but doesn’t actually affect the gameplay.
2. You trot over to the flashing mission marker on your radar (yeah you have a radar, because you are really in the future and anything other that a radar is too difficult for us retards to work out, like I don’t know, following an eagle to your kill or making Altair gesture the desired direction? But whatever.)
3. Cut scene initiation, that's right, while a whole bunch of games these days allow you to carry on open play while the story telling happens around you and makes it feel unobtrusive - see Half Life 2, here the game stops and we get a whole monologue from the bad guy, while you are left scratching you balls thinking "now if I were an assassin I would have taken this opportunity while the target is entirely distracted to maybe fire an arrow through his face." Oh yeah, you're not allowed a bow and arrow, even though the "bad guys" have them, and the whole game takes place in the open, where a bow and arrow type deal would be real useful.
4. Cut scene ends, you run up to the dude/chase dude for maybe a minute at most and stab him in the neck. You then get another monologue in "cyber-space," I shit you not.
5. Escape. This is so easy it's frankly pathetic - climb up a wall, threat indicator goes orange (you have threat indicator because, did I mention this? it's really set in the future… blah blah bollocks,) climb in a box, sit on a bench, stand with some monks, whatever. End.

Overrated! Every magazine and website who mark this game over seven should be fucking ashamed of themselves, yeah yeah I know Jade Raymond has tits and all, I guess the magic these exude should not be underestimated, well I ain't buying it Jade, fuck you.

Also the end boss fight is rubbish, you go from playing a (semi) realistic game, with a good strong story line with a smidgen of biblical mythology to a stupid fucking derivative video game, I wonder what magic (yeah, magic) the guy will use? HOLY SHIT, he goes invisible when you hit him, he can make multiple versions of himself, and laughs manically all through! (Spoiler) The only interesting bit is when you fight a bunch resurrected dudes (Spoiler).

So overall, like I said, I really did enjoy playing through this game, it was in turns fun/original and boring/repetitive. I guess I'm just a bit steamed that all the press has been glowing, except UK IGN, WAY TO STICK IT TO THE MAN, GUYS! I swear it's the power of the boobies.

C_72 out.

p.s. Fuck Halo, CoD4 rokz.

*I apologise for the literary reference. With hindsight it was wanky and uneccessary. Sorry.


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