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Assassin's Creed Review
|ON OTHER PLATFORMS: Xbox360, PC|
developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Intel Dual Core 2.6 or AMD 64 X2 3800, 2GB RAM, 12GB HDD, 256MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Apr 08, 08
|» All About Assassin's Creed on ActionTrip|
When Ubisoft realized it's running a bit low on ideas for another Prince of Persia game, they decided to turn their efforts elsewhere and give the series a rest. In the meantime, however, an idea for a new third-person stealthy action adventure sprung up, from the same folks who worked on the PoP trilogy (The Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones.
Back in September 2006, gamers were introduced to a character named Altair - a highly skilled assassin, who was to be the center role of Ubi's next game, Assassin's Creed. As soon as Assassin's Creed arrived to PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms (Nov. '07), it became a commercial triumph. Further down the road, it had done wonders for Ubi's sales.
Most of you probably know what we thought of the Xbox 360 version. With the PC edition though, extra content was promised to spice things up and add a dash of diversity to the gameplay. And, has it worked? Well, more or less.
Story wise, nothing has changed. Players get into the role of a hitman, who somehow ended up being a "lab rat" to serve the purposes of a scientific experiment that explores the memory of his ancestors. To unlock various points in his memory, he must follow the deeds of one Altair, a member of an age-old organization of elite assassins. Somewhere along the line, Altair disgraces the organization and is stripped of his rank and weapons. He's then assigned to eliminate key individuals to redeem himself in the eyes of assassin leader, Al Mualim. In order to do this, he'll have to journey to cities, such as Jerusalem, Damascus, Acre and Masyaf.
The PC version certainly has its advantages over its console counterparts. The visuals are much sharper and the game looks way better in high res (particularly in 1280*1024). We've tried it out in DX9 and I must admit I was rather pleased with the appearance of each city and character. The sad news is that in order to enjoy the game in all its visual might, you'll need a pretty powerful rig. For starters, the minimum hardware requirements of Assassin's Creed insist on a dual-core CPU. Enough said. This means that a huge number of gamers with modest rigs won't be able to run the game at all. Even Crysis wasn't that ruthless.
Now, taking part in the assassination missions represents the heart of the game and one of the main reasons why I felt compelled to play on. Trouble is, that building up to each assassination forces the player to complete an assortment of routine tasks, which seldom vary. That was a major bummer in the console version. The PC edition, on the other hand, goes to show that Ubisoft Montreal was aware of the game's repetitive nature and they made an effort to add a little variety to the proceedings.
When trying to gather information for the main objective, you'll do more than just pick-pocket, eavesdrop and such. One of the new missions require Altair to take out a certain number of archers silently, while another type of task involves him escorting an ally informant while fending off oncoming attackers. There's also a mission which requires Altair to trash market stands by tossing guards into them. This was definitely the most fun of all. Another cool bit is going through timed rooftop races, which weren't present in the console versions. Essentially, this is what the developers should've concentrated on from the beginning. This PC-exclusive feature is exactly what the game needs. Some of these new tasks allow players to make full use of Altair's skills, instead of just going through the same mundane tasks repeatedly.
The developers have done an excellent job of translating the controls to the PC and making things suitable for hardcore PC gamers. Of course, players are free to customize the controls any way they want to, but from our experience the default settings work just fine.
Looks and sounds awesome, new missions add a much needed variety to the gameplay, decent controls;
Hardware requirements exceed those of Crysis, certainly not entertaining enough if you've already played the 360 and PS3 editions, AI quirks, recurring mission structure.