Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PCDS

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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Combat is reliant on timing and doesn't require too much skill
Combat is reliant on timing and doesn't require too much skill

Combat is reliant on timing and doesn't require too much skill

Once you've escaped the guards and have the required info on your target you head back to the Bureau and you're given the go-ahead to make the kill. It's here that the game is perhaps the most disappointing, as the assassinations simply aren't as diverse as I hoped they'd be. Once you make it to the sign-posted area an in-game cinematic kicks in, before you are left to take out your target. Try as I might, I simply wasn't able to make stealth kills, resulting in the guards spotting me and being on my case.

Again, once you've completed the kill and watched the target speak about his actions, you must head to the Bureau to confirm the kill - only after you've shaken off the guards and returned your social status to normal. It's then back to Maysaf to speak to your master, who gives you another target and handily upgrades your abilities and/or weapons. To begin with you're rather limited, with little more than a sword and the robe you wear, but by the end you'll be able to grab hold of ledges while falling, throw ninja-like blades and hold your own against a mob of enemies.

Combat in Assassin's Creed is something I have mixed feelings about. It's definitely not going to appeal to everyone, mainly down to the lack of skill required, but it serves its purpose and makes for great looking fights. You essentially have to rely on countering the attacks of your enemies, which when done correctly either knocks them to the ground for an easy kill or performs an instant kill in one of many bloody sequences. When you start your quest to kill the nine targets you'll be worried about taking on guards (especially the harder to kill Templars) but soon you'll be quite happy to face five or more, safe in the knowledge that you'll be able to take them all out without too many problems.

And that is the game. While you get new targets and move to new locations in each city, what you do is essentially the same. Side missions come in the form of collecting hundreds of flags littered throughout the cities and free-roaming kingdom (which you can travel through by horse), scaling all the view points, and citizens can be helped out which in turn give you allies who will block pursuing guards, to help you escape.

'While you get new targets and move to new locations in each city, what you do is essentially the same.'

As stunning as the game looks and as enthralled as I was by the story - which really is quite intriguing if you look for all the information - the game's flaws are too hard to ignore. They mostly boil down to how the game seemingly goes out of its way to make things less fun than they should be. Escaping should be something Altair is highly skilled at, but guards are just about as agile, leaping from building to building after you. Time after time I was moments from taking shelter in some hay, in a roof garden or in the safety of a group of scholars, when a guard would spot me, and another lengthy pursuit would ensue - what should have been great fun quickly devolved into a chore.

Don't take this to mean that I didn't enjoy the game; it's something that I highly recommend, but it's just not as polished as it should have been. While it looks utterly amazing, the frame rate drops to sluggish levels in both versions of the game - usually while free-running on roof tops - and the PS3 game suffers from a slightly less than great frame rate during most of the game. There's also noticeable tearing in both versions of the game. It's not enough to put you off the game, but a shame nonetheless. If fully polished Assassin's Creed would have hands down been the best looking game of this console generation.

Enemy AI is terribly erratic. They can chase you for minutes, but then you can walk behind one of them in a way so obvious a normal person would be highly suspicious of, and then stealth kill them from behind. Oh, and Altair, a man who is probably one of the most deadly characters ever to appear in a video game, dies when he hits water. I'm sure there's some reason for this, but it's still completely ridiculous.

Trying to remain out of sight is key to your success

Trying to remain out of sight is key to your success

And don't get me started on the ending. This pretty much nailed the coffin shut on the game's fate as a good but not stunning title. You'll have to experience it for yourself, but it simply didn't deliver what it should have. It left me wanting more, which Ubisoft may well see as job done, but gamers don't buy games with the hope that they're completed within the next few years; they want a conclusion straight away.

As I stated at the beginning of this review, Assassin's Creed should certainly be played by anyone who's taken the jump to the next-generation consoles, but don't expect to be playing something that will go down in history as one of the greatest games of all time. It's ambitious and succeeds more than it fails, giving me hope that one day Ubisoft Montréal will deliver the game they originally set out to make.

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User Comments

Reynoldimo's Avatar


Just bought for £6, well worth it so far! Hopefully a fun little prelude to get me excited for 2 which I ordered for £9. Really liking it so far, but totally agree with the review, it is a bit samey.
Posted 22:52 on 28 May 2011
safc's Avatar


i dont know how this is only rated 8, it should be rated 10 or 9 this is one of the best games ever ive completed this game and it was awsome. anyone who loves adventure games buy this game, assassins creed ftw!!!!!
Posted 09:21 on 11 February 2009
David's Avatar
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This review nailed it. Gorgeous game, but incredibly repetitive with many unnecessarily annoying elements. Gets better toward the end, but drudgery to get there. Definitely overrated, and I struggle to understand those who are infatuated with this title. This was in the same category as Bioshock for me -- pretty, groundbreaking, unique, but significantly flawed.
Posted 02:10 on 24 December 2008
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Posted 20:32 on 07 December 2008
Shark82's Avatar


I'm buying this this weekend. I was excited about it when it first came out. It sounded like a great story and good game play. Then I read some so-so reviews and, combined with not having the money, forgot about it. Now it's only $30 and my friend has been recommending it to me for a while now. This review recommends it also, so I'll take my chances
Posted 23:53 on 12 November 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar


I picked it up recently too when it went into the Classics range (£19.99 over here in the UK). Personally I loved it to bits, especially when I ranked up a few times and got the Counter Attack ability which really made combat more fun.

It's now on my 'to get round to' pile of games for when I want to go flag collecting and rack up some perfect assassinations for the achievements. (Fallout 3 has kinda replaced it in the meantime).

I was aware of Tom's review at the time of purchase, but his concerns about repetitiveness and awkward running didn't arise in my case, different strokes for different folks I guess, but they are valid concerns for some gamers.
Posted 23:50 on 12 November 2008
Eddie's Avatar
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I think one of the most goddamn annoying things about this games NPCs are the beggars and the retarded/drunk ones that attack you for no reason.

Occaisionally grabbing and throwing a beggar (because they're so goddamn whiny and annoying) and will land them into a merchant stall and kill them, thus you have to run.

The ones that hit you do it mostly when you need to stay in low profile, and they knock you out of it for a second, enough time to get spotted -_-.

But yeah good game though.
Posted 07:58 on 11 October 2008
HADI's Avatar
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Posted 18:00 on 06 October 2008
Tugs's Avatar


Hopefully they'll take our advice and fix up the next one to make it epic.

Still love Parkour. I think if the guards weren't as quick and skilled in that department as Altair, then it would be TOO easy to escape and therefore not very exciting. Just how I love the guards throwing rocks. Not only guards, but beggars. If you climb a wall around a beggar she flips out and starts yelling at you and throwing rocks. If you jump down she runs for her life. Maybe she's smarter than she is annoying... hmmm...

Yay for AI.

Still love it.
Posted 22:30 on 06 July 2008
Dominico's Avatar
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It is very repetitive with very little variation in the voice acting of the ordinary people of the city but its still a great game. Just to see the detail of the city etc is great. Unfortunately this reviewer has made a major error no reviewer should make. He gave it a bad score because he is bad at it. This doesnt mean the game is bad because you try to escape by climbing walls when the enemy is near. Its amazing that they throw stones at you or it would be pointless.

Not the perfect game but very good nonetheless. I would give it a 9.
Posted 01:15 on 17 May 2008
Insd34th's Avatar
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Stunning graphics and animations, but extremely repetitive. The first two hours were great, as were the last ones, but in between thebeginning and ending, it was repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat. I hope Assassin's Creed 2 is gonna be alot better.

A shame actuall, I was looking forward to this game for months...I did enjoy it, but not as much as I had hoped. It is among the better games I played, but definatel not in m top 3 list.
Posted 18:13 on 16 April 2008
bob mcavoy's Avatar
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bob mcavoy

the game is propbably one of the best for graphics but i totaly agree with you i definitly think it's too repetitive and awkward sometimes but generally a really good game. recomend renting the game first because you either hate it or love it.
Posted 18:51 on 02 April 2008
School's Avatar
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Omg! I can't google and find the Maysaf flags anywhere!!! I'm so mad! I hate school blackades! :/
Posted 18:49 on 05 March 2008

Game Stats

Assassin's Creed
Out of 10
Assassin's Creed
  • Roaming the cities is great
  • Stunning visuals
  • Free-running can be awkward
  • Very repetitive
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 16/11/2007
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC , DS
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 14,200 4
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