The first game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise is set in 1191 AD, when the Third Crusade was tearing the Holy Land apart. Shrouded in secrecy and feared for their ruthlessness, the Assassins intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict. Players, assuming the role of the main character Altair, will have the power to throw their immediate environment into chaos and to shape events during this pivotal moment in history. Features: Be an assassin: Plan your attacks, strike without mercy, and fight your way to escape. Realistic and responsive environments: Every action has consequences. Crowds react to your moves, and will either help or hinder you on your quests. Action with total freedom: Eliminate your targets wherever, whenever, and however. Do whatever it takes to achieve your objectives.
It’s easy to see why there was so much fighting amongst the console manufacturers to try and make this game a format exclusive. Where early launch titles may have disappointed this game not only looks like a next generation game but it plays like it too. Taken at face value the story casts you as an Arabic fighter in 1191, out to assassinate the nine Western leaders of the Third Crusade. There is more to the story than that though making it more than simple historical adventure it first seems.
Since it’s developed by many of the same team behind Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, it’s no surprise to find the game using many of the same ideas. With the bold claim that you can climb on or over anything in the game world that sticks out more than two inches, this allows incredible freedom of movement, with a style of acrobatics heavily influenced by Parkour/free running. The game also innovates in terms of combat, with each of the face buttons controlling a different area of the body, rather like a marionette. As such one button controls the feet, one your open hand, one your weapon hand and the other your head.
As an assassin stealth plays an important role in the game too, but here it’s often a case of hiding in plain sight as you mill around inside large crowds of people. Everyone will react to you realistically though, so if you go around pushing people out of the way, or even killing them, the crowd will react and report you. With stunning graphics and genuinely innovative gameplay this is destined to be one of the most important releases of the year.