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Assassin's Creed - Play It
I thought it would be fitting to move from a relatively old game to something decidedly more modern. Assassin's Creed was a big hit at E3 2006 (the only E3 I've attended) for its visual punch and huge living environment. When I took the PS3 plunge it was always close to the top of my list, even after a review cycle that was disappointing to the many who were hoping for near perfect tens. I've never been one to take 7s and 8s as a reason to not buy a game and reading Gabe's view on the subject (scroll down to the AC post) further cemented my desire to try it out.

At its core, Assassin's Creed is an outstanding game engine. The cities are packed with other people, all of whom react in a (usually) believable manner to the events that transpire around them, be that simply getting bumped into or witnessing a murder. I guarantee anyone who plays this game for the first time will be immediately drawn in to just fooling around. What happens if I run into this person while sprinting? What happens if I jump off this building and land on that guy's head? What happens if I punch this random person in the face and then chase after them? That last one sounds kind of violent doesn't it? It is, and it feels like it. You'll find yourself wanting to avoid hurting innocents solely because of their realistic reactions, not because the game penalizes you for doing so. The living and breathing world is a hard thing to leave in chaos.

Sadly, most of the game itself plays out as a demonstration of this glorious engine and not as a well thought out game. Missions are extremely repetitive. You'll find yourself saving citizens dozens and dozens of times. These citizens only pull from maybe six different voice scripts, so be prepared to hear the same random thank you several times over. When you're not saving citizens you are either climbing towers, eaves dropping on people, beating people up, picking people's pockets, or assassinating people. These basic concepts are repeated over and over again under the guise of collecting information about one of the nine boss assassinations. This fundamental repetitiveness must be the cause for some of the hate this game has received.

So the magic question of these posts is, should you play it? The engine is so interesting that the answer is a resounding yes, but here are some tips to help maximize your enjoyment. First and foremost, do not worry about collecting flags. There are probably close to 1000 of them in the game. No sane person could actually enjoy searching for them. You'll also quickly see that you don't need to do every single side mission before moving on to the main assassinations. They are doing you a favor by not requiring all of them! Decide whether or not you'll do them based on whether or not you'll enjoy the process.
By Mike on September 20, 2008 at 3:48pm EDT Topic(s): games assassin's creed ps3 playstation 3 ubisoft play it?

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