Assassin’s Creed

Adam Birch - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
Produced by: Ubisoft
Price Range: $51-60
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Reviewed By: Adam (Six) Birch
STAFF REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Genre: Adventure
Christian Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 1 of 5 (extreme)
Adult Content: 5 of 5 (none)

Assassin's Creed.  Illustration copyrighted.


Assassin's Creed was a much awaited title that released just before Christmas of 2007 on the PS3 and Xbox 360; my review is of the 360 title and I do not know of any differences between that and the PS3 release.

PLOT:The protagonist Desmond Miles is an everyday bartender that happens to be descended from a long line of assassins. Somewhere in his family history one of his ancestors (Altair)was involved in the concealment of a powerful artifact, hiding it from the Templars and other rather insidious groups of people during the time of the third crusade. A group of people kidnap Desmond and force him to enter the Animus, a machine that unlocks genetic memories encoded in a subjects DNA. The different stages that you play through are different memories of Desmond's ancestor Altair. I will explain more of the convoluted plot as it is very thoroughly explained in long cut scenes throughout the game.

Graphics: The artwork in this game is absolutely stunning. It is truly a next gen experience, the graphics in this game are stunning. There is great attention to detail, particularly on buildings and landscapes, character design is also very good; I've never seen a character move quite so naturally in game.

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GAMEPLAY: It takes some getting used to for seasoned gamers. Every button on the controller does something but you have to get used to doing less than normal for a adventure/platformer game. It's very smooth once you understand that the game itself takes most of the responsibility for making things happen. The game controls are simple, once you get used to them, there isn't a lot of multi-tasking involved. What takes the most getting used to is the sheer wealth of options available at any given moment. If you like fighting, you can do that but you are rarely forced to; you can run at any moment and unlike most games, running actually works in this one. The only fights you must take part in are when you complete the final assassination of the stage, although there are very helpful “save the citizens” missions where you fight guards who are harassing citizens. This gets the citizens on your side and they will actually aid you in many cases, if you do not do this the citizens will often hinder you in some way. The stealth in this game doesn't revolve around hiding unless you are being chased, rather you have different actions that allow you to blend with crowds and you often use people as cover. Overall the gameplay is at once simple, and deep. There is a wealth of options and you can play the game to your personal style, which allows many different types of gamers to find enjoyment in it.

VIOLENT CONTENT: The protagonist is an assassin who specializes in kills that are up close and personal, with blades. There's lots of blood. In many situations when you make a kill it switches to a sort of cut scene and you see the deed in a very cinematic aspect. Also, the main assassination targets are all particularly vile men and some of them them kill people in the cut scenes preceding your assassination; these kills can be rather brutal. Also, if you are not careful it is very likely you will end up killing a citizen or two by accident as they have a bad habit of walking in front of you while you are in combat with soldiers.

SEXUAL CONTENT:There is absolutely no sexual content in the game.

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LANGUAGE:Strong language (f*** and S***) is sprinkled throughout, though all in scenes involving Desmond and his kidnappers; this is not a very large portion of the game at all.

SPIRITUAL CONTENT: It takes place in the Mediterranean middle east during the third crusade. The game depicts the religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity in a historical light. Many mistakes and poor decisions were made on many sides during that period of history and because of the nature of the game (one where you kill bad people) there isn't really room for any good portrayals of religion. The game developers did do a good job in not going out of their way to offend anybody though.

CONCLUSION: Assassin's Creed is a great game and I had a blast with it; however if high amounts of violence, blood and gore are a problem for you, then games about assassins are probably not for you. Overall this game is a visual masterpiece and the gameplay is streamlined and effortless. If you choose to exhaust your options in each level and play the game for its story it is very rewarding; this is not a game you would want to try to beat as fast as possible, if that is your goal you will find it rather repetitive and boring. Something I found interesting about the game is that as each target (read boss) dies you hear their own unique perspective and justification for their actions, which is a side of things often left out of games. This opens up an opportunity for the gamer to actually think about the circumstance and decide whether or not they agree with what the protagonist is doing. Sometimes playing Assassin's Creed feels more like playing a role in a play than actually playing a game, it is a very unique experience. If the violence, blood and gore are not an obstacle for you, and you are 17 I highly recommend this title.

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Year of Release — 2007

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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