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Assassin's Creed review

Stabbing Crusaders in the neck is more fun than we ever expected

Assassin's Creed offers a lot of options for tackling your objectives; if some soldiers are guarding a gate, for example, you can climb over the wall next to them, blend in with a group of monks and walk right past them, create a distraction to lure them away or just pick a fight with them. Whatever you decide to do, however, the crowd is often your greatest tool. The game is really incredible in this respect, rendering dozens of highly detailed, unique citizens at once, and they can either be a huge asset or a huge hindrance. If you're playing it slow and cool, they're your cover, and you can gently push your way through them unnoticed, or try to blend in with them when suspicious guards give you the stink eye.

On the other hand, they act more or less like real people, and they'll draw attention to you the second you do anything out of the ordinary. Start climbing the side of a building, for example, and they'll get upset and start shouting that you're going to fall and hurt yourself. If you're trying to run from guards, they'll unwittingly get in your way, forcing you to shove them aside instead of just sprinting like crazy. And then there are the beggars and crazies, whose job it is to irritate you, get in your way and bring attention to you by whining loudly or shoving you around.

Despite all the annoyances and the game's strange resemblance to a medieval Grand Theft Auto IV, however, you can't just randomly kill people, at least not unless you want your life bar to take a hit. A silent stab and a falling body can create a diversion that draws everyone's attention away from you, but since Altair is nominally a good guy, it's best to save that stuff for use on guards, Knights Templar and other bullies.

On the other hand, they act more or less like real people, and they'll draw attention to you the second you do anything out of the ordinary. Start climbing the side of a building, for example, and they'll get upset and start shouting that you're going to fall and hurt yourself. If you're trying to run from guards, they'll unwittingly get in your way, forcing you to shove them aside instead of just sprinting like crazy. And then there are the beggars and crazies, whose job it is to irritate you, get in your way and bring attention to you by whining loudly or shoving you around.

Despite all the annoyances and the game's strange resemblance to a medieval Grand Theft Auto IV, however, you can't just randomly kill people, at least not unless you want your life bar to take a hit. A silent stab and a falling body can create a diversion that draws everyone's attention away from you, but since Altair is nominally a good guy, it's best to save that stuff for use on guards, Knights Templar and other bullies.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionUbisoft Montreal's formerly secret project seems to mix elements of Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia.
Franchise nameAssassin's Creed
PlatformPC, PS3, Xbox 360
US censor ratingMature
Release date8 April 2008 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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