For a game that began life as a PlayStation 3 title, it’s surprising just how reliant Assassin’s Creed is on using the rumble to allow you to “feel” your way around the environment. So much so, in fact, that it’s impossible to see how the PS3 (or PC) versions could even fundamentally work. As you may know, Assassin’s Creed’s gameplay is inspired by free-running movement; that is, being able to climb, leap, crawl and vault your way through the town’s architecture as if it were one big stony climbing frame.
The ambitious control system aims to channel this level of dexterity from your fat fingers directly to your on-screen assassin by assigning a button or key to each part of your anatomy. For instance, on the 360, A controls your leg movements, X and B are your arms, and Y controls your medieval head. The physical force you put behind your motion is controlled by holding down the right trigger, otherwise known as the “intensity button.” It’s disorientating beyond all reason at first, like trying to walk a tightrope with a spiteful parrot on each arm, but once you’ve learned how to time the moves correctly and discovered which of the maneuvers is best suited to which particular situation, traversing the environment becomes second nature.