Assassin's Creed, Director's cut edition

Assassin's Creed, Director's cut edition Review for PC

On: PCXbox 360PS3DS

Assassin's Creed is set in 1191 AD and puts the player in the role of Altair, a member of a group of assassins.

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8Out of 10
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On PC Assassin's Creed is still just short of greatness
On PC Assassin's Creed is still just short of greatness

On PC Assassin's Creed is still just short of greatness

Late last year Assassin's Creed divided opinion more than any other game in recent memory. While some hailed it as a true next-gen gaming experience, others felt it was little more than a simple gameplay concept wrapped in stunning visuals. Our opinion fell somewhere in-between, with the fairly repetitious gameplay being the main reason Assassin's Creed isn't the breathtaking experience it could have been. Some months later and with a smattering of new content the game has arrived on the PC, but is it any better for the additions?

Right up until its console release last year, the one thing that Ubisoft was sure not to reveal is the twist in the storyline. Although it's now pretty well known, this review won't spoil too many aspects for PC gamers coming fresh to the game, meaning you're safe to read on unless you absolutely don't want to know anything about the game prior to release. You play as Altair, an assassin who lived through the Third Crusade in 1191, but you don't exclusively play as him - I'll say no more.

The core goal is to restore your master's faith in you as an assassin by carrying out nine assassinations, which take you across the Holy Land, to Damascus, Acre, Jerusalem and Maysaf - with Maysaf being your initial gateway to the rest of the game world. This is really just a brief outline of the game. The full storyline is far deeper, featuring the expected twists and revelations, plus some infrequent and rather unexpected gameplay that will likely polarize opinion.

One of the most impressive aspects of the game is its size. The three main cities are huge, split into three distinct districts and full of citizens, guards, speakers, thugs, merchant stands, buildings, and just about everything you'd expect to see in a city from that era. The streets are full of people, and by full I mean packed. The first time you see Maysaf your jaw will hit the floor due to the game's beauty, but it's not until you walk the streets of one of the three main cities that you'll see what the game engine is really capable of. We've seen crowds in games before, but in Assassin's Creed it's been taken to a new level.

'Investigations are essential to your preparation, with each assassination needing a handful of investigations before you can carry out the deed.'

It's not just cosmetic either, although why that's the case needs a little explanation. When you enter a city you do so in order to find and assassinate a target. The process is practically the same throughout the game. Firstly you go to the Assassins Bureau in order to get some tips on where to look for clues about your target. You then head off into that area, which is usually in an area of the game map that's lacking detail. In order to draw this information onto your in-game map you need to scale numerous view points, which in turn displays the location of investigations.

Investigations are essential to your preparation, with each assassination needing a handful of investigations before you can carry out the deed. It's here that this so called Director's Cut of the game differs from the console versions. Four new investigation missions have been added on top of eves dropping, pick pocketing, carrying out tasks for informants (collecting flags, stealth killing people) and interrogation (beating people up). While great in theory, Rooftop Races, Archer Assassinations, Assassin Escorts and Merchant Stand Destruction challenges aren't hugely different to what console gamers did last year. Having more of these side missions to choose from helps reduce repetition slightly, but in the grand scheme of things they don't add a great deal to the game.

Visually it's even better looking on the PC

Visually it's even better looking on the PC

All the time you have to be aware of the guards and your current social status. Act like a normal citizen and you'll be fine, but act like a crazy man and the guards will get suspicious and start watching you. If your on-screen status starts flashing red it's time to take a low profile, and if that red dot gets bigger it's time to leg it. It's here that the game's huge number of citizens come into play. Imagine running through Oxford Street in London over your lunch hour, and you'll get some idea of what trying to outrun guards in Assassin's Creed is like - except you can take to the roofs.

Altair is highly agile, meaning he can leap from rooftop to rooftop, scale buildings and generally run across anything. When this works Assassin's Creed is at its brilliant best, with the feeling of freedom being unlike anything I've played, but it sadly doesn't always work as you want. Climbing can itself cause problems, with Altair often unwilling to lift himself up to a ledge that is clearly within reach. The guards are also great at throwing things at you, so you'll often be moments from pulling yourself onto a rooftop and then fall off after being hit by a rock or arrow. It might be smart AI, but it makes for highly annoying gameplay.

It doesn't help that the free-running aspect is a little hit and miss. Altair will run and jump in whichever direction you're pointing, so if you accidentally point off a building that has nothing beyond it except for a huge drop, you'll be falling - although it's never to your death - and even when you do die, you usually don't lose too much progress. On consoles part of the problem stemmed from the way free-running worked, with the control layout preventing you from manually controlling the camera while running. On the PC the camera is mapped to the mouse, so you don't have the same issues. On the other hand, the general controls don't feel quite as intuitive as they do on a controller, so many players might still prefer to opt for a Xbox 360 controller over mouse and keyboard.

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User Comments

assassinhit55's Avatar


How can I enter into the jerusalem.
Posted 23:24 on 03 January 2009
serious-lol101's Avatar


i really liked assassins creed. I got it on 360 and i found the graphics outstanding!! Gameplay a little bit of a letdown but still a great game in my opinion :)
Posted 10:08 on 16 November 2008
Sloppys1's Avatar
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If anyone is having touble viewing the game in full screen simply press "alt-enter" and all your problems will vanish.
Posted 08:00 on 16 November 2008
FRAncis's Avatar
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For some reason i can't enter fullscreen . i have a 9600 gefroce (DD3) , so it's not about the resolution the game needs 6700 ... can anyone help ?
Posted 18:02 on 28 October 2008
r3m3mb3rmynam3's Avatar
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Posted 00:30 on 18 October 2008
FRancis's Avatar
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DAndoo... you can do two things. Go into your sound manager in windows, go to the performance tab and set it to "low" or you can download an older EAX drivers. The new ones do weird things with special effects if your card can't handle it. Sounds like you just hear the echo right?

That should solve the audio problems.
Posted 14:49 on 12 July 2008
dandoo's Avatar
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Hey guys!!!! I`ve got a problem with the PC version, because I can`t hear most of the conversations, but the other game sounds work . Why that????/
And what can I do to hear the conversations in this game??? ;(
Posted 19:45 on 29 June 2008
LIquid's Avatar
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Super.Must have.
Posted 18:50 on 01 May 2008
Richard's Avatar
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While playing Assassins Creed on the PC it suddenly went into widescreen mode. How do I get it back into full screen mode? I have the directors cut edition. Zach
Posted 01:52 on 20 April 2008
Alex64's Avatar
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Pc has only higher resolution, and higher resolution - 6 month later - is not an improvement. On Xbox360 the frame rate is perfect, without hitcups or pop-up, maybe you have seen only the PS3 counterpart...
Posted 10:52 on 18 April 2008
Netmind's Avatar


So the PC is one step over consoles, still..
Lets say consoles are div 2 and PC is div 1 :P lol
Posted 14:27 on 14 April 2008
TomO's Avatar


The graphics are better, but not massively better. They benefit from being able to be viewed at a higher resolution, but in most cases they'll probably be far worse than the console games. On the PC, where games like Crysis exist, a 9/10 is perfectly fair.
Posted 12:51 on 14 April 2008
RaZoR_GTX's Avatar


Very true Netmind! I found the gfx alot better than the console versions!
Posted 11:25 on 14 April 2008
Netmind's Avatar


If the visuals is better on PC, why do all the versions get the same graphics score? Not making sense :/
Posted 09:48 on 14 April 2008

Game Stats

Assassin's Creed, Director's cut edition
Out of 10
Assassin's Creed, Director's cut edition
  • Roaming the cities is great
  • Stunning visuals
  • Very repetitive
  • Controls can feel awkward at times
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 11/04/2008
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360 , PS3 , DS
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 2,422 406
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