Assassin’s Creed is a video game being developed by Ubisoft Montreal
Published by Ubisoft. The release date was announced as a global launch on November 9, 2007
Let’s start off on what the game is about:
Assassin’s Creed 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.
The story follows a disgraced master Assassin Altair who embarks on an epic quest to restore his status within the Assassin Order. After failing to assassinate the Templar Leader Robert De Sable and recover the legendary Templar Treasure, Altair is demoted to Uninitiated (the lowest rank in the Assassin order).
Sinan, Leader of the Assassins, offers Altair an opportunity to redeem himself. Altair must venture out into the Holy Land and assassinate men said to be exacerbating and exploiting the hostilities created by the Third Crusade. In doing so, he will stabilize the region, allowing Sinan to usher in an age of peace.
When the game begins, Richard the Lion heart has just recaptured the port city of Acre from occupying Saracens. With a base of operations established, the Crusaders prepare to march south. Their true target is Jerusalem � which they intend to recapture in the name of the Church. However, Saladin, leader of the Saracen Army, currently rules Jerusalem. Stinging from his army’s defeat at Acre, he will not allow Richard to humiliate him again. The Saracens are massing at the ruins of Fortress Arsuf, intending to ambush the Crusaders and prevent them from reaching Jerusalem.
These war manoeuvres have left the rest of the Holy Land wide open. While Richard and Saladin battle one another, the men left to govern in their stead have begun taking advantage of their newfound positions of power. Exploitation, manipulation, and provocation rule the day. It is into this chaotic mess Altair now finds himself. He is ordered to assassinate those most active in their exploitation. This is how Altair begins his missions.
Along the way, however, he will begin to discover that his targets are bound by more than just a shared interest in personal gain. They seem to share membership in a secret society � a group all too familiar to the Assassins. And they are not simply looking for profit. The true goal and how they plan to achieve it are secrets to be discovered during the course of the story.
Now let’s see what the game as got for us.
You will be playing the role of (Arabic,” The Flyer”) a member of the Hashshashin sect (the original “assassins”) whose object is to assassinate the nine historical figures who are propagating the Crusades.
As the player finds and kills there targets, their conspiracy is unveiled. You will be able to travel through three cities: Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus.
The environment is completely interactive, from people to the historically accurate cities. These cities are populated by many people and the way the player controls Altair affects how people around him react to his presence.
The streets are crowded with merchants, thugs, and even the occasional desperate housewife. These distraught maidens will force their way in front of Altair and plead for money, or kindness, or assistance. It may be tempting to give a good solid sock to one of these women, but that would be a big mistake. Each character has an assigned social value to help determine how the game world reacts to their treatment. Beat down a thug and no one will care (you get the added bonus of hearing him blubber as he lies bleeding on the ground); sock a helpless woman and you will get a very different reaction. Some citizens may run in fear. Many will jeer. One may even come at you. Any guard in the area will become alerted — or may be notified by one of the fleeing citizens. And once the guards are onto you, your job as an assassin becomes much more difficult.
It’s not that the guards want to stop you because you’re the player; it’s just their job to keep the peace. From what we saw in the demo, the guards’ reactions were pretty reasonable, if you accidentally bump into a lady carrying a water vase and it crashes, the guards will give you a casual glance. If you make the same clumsy move once the guards are aware there is an assassin in the city and they will immediately take notice.
Make a jaunt across the rooftops in sight of a guard and he will know you are up to no good (no one takes leisurely runs across the roofs of Jerusalem).
When guards spot Altair, there are two options: Fight or run. While you’re initial reaction may be to pull out your sword and do battle, keep in mind that the city of Jerusalem employs a lot of guards.
At the start of a fight, target the higher-order guards first. Take a couple of the tougher ones down and you may actually scare away some of the weaker ones. Even if you kill every guard in the area, the rest of the city will still be on alert. Your best bet, after slaying a few of the guards for fun, is to run and hide.
Now for the features:
The scope of the city’s size is made all the more impressive by the fact that each building is made up of numerous foot- and handholds that allow Altair to climb pretty much any wall he comes across. And this is just one of three major cities, all promised to be of comparable size and scale. Exploration will be possible to a greater degree than in most other games.(Ubisoft boasts that any object that stands out more than two inches will be interactive).The control scheme in Assassin’s Creed will be significantly different from other typical game.
The controls are built on simple principles,
The face buttons represent your head, free hand, weapon hand, and feet.
The Right Trigger acts as a modifier. Hold it and the feet button down to perform the most crucial move in Assassin’s Creed, Free run. With free run you can perform some amazing feats of daring-do.
Like if you just run towards a building with free run active, you will often be able to leap up to an available nook and then continue your climb to the top. This action is instantaneous and fluid. Unlike Gears of War, which sucks you into a wall, Assassin’s Creed makes the interactions between Altair and his environment look and feel natural.
The art tells you what you can grab. If there is a crack in a wall, you can dig your fingers in and pull yourself up. If a decorative stone knob is sticking out of a building, you can take hold.
The beautiful animations make the climb seem all the more impressive. Altair has weight to him and his movements, just like the virtual Jerusalem, seem completely believable.
Tall building is a game objective. If you spot an eagle circling in a building, it’s a landmark you’ll want to climb. Finding a way to the top will earn you a spectacular view of the city and also unlock new areas to explore.
Another reason to climb is the search for specially-marked Leap of Faith spots. These areas will have pigeons flying overhead. Just perch on the area marked by the pigeons and you are prepped for Altair’s most sensational move. If you’re willing to squat over pigeon droppings, you should have no trepidation about leaping over the edge in a swan dive. Done in the right spot, you will land gracefully in a bail of hay. Miss your mark and you may crack your back on the roof below.
Yes, there will be downloadable content, achievements, and all of that other good stuff too.
Now for the Weaponry:
Like most of the cool elements in Assassin’s Creed, the best of combat requires you to hold down the Right Trigger. This puts Altair in a defensive stance. He’ll automatically attempt to parry attacks, whether he has his fists, sword, or assassin’s blade equipped.
Targeting an enemy requires just a tap of the Left Trigger. The target system is smart and will switch targets the minute Altair is attacked by someone else.
Altair almost never fought one-on-one. You will be surrounded quite often, so having the targeting system switch to an attacker from the rear is actually very helpful.
In combat, you can dodge with proper timing, perform grabs, and pull off impressive combos.
The combo system isn’t for button-mashers. This is a system based completely on timing, since there is only one true attack button. From what we saw, the combos are pretty varied and with more than 10,000 animations for Altair alone.
The combat is beautiful and fluid — when you aren’t getting your ass handed to you. Counters are the toughest trick to pull off, as they require a perfectly timed strike to be triggered right as your enemy’s combat animation begins. The reward is often a cinematic execution with requisite spray of blood, and we all like a bit of blood.
The Combat isn’t perfect. The camera, which is generally in the right place, can sometimes lose its place or get stuck behind bushes and against walls. Getting used to the system takes some time as well, though admittedly the demo takes place several hours into the game, so the guards are tougher than you’d initially face. Seeing someone with skill play the combat, it can be frighteningly fast. Most enemies fall from one strike of the sword, but delivering the blow is the challenge. Enemies will parry and dodge. And with four or more enemies surrounding you at all times, your attention swings left and right throughout the battle.
Altair will carry a number of highly specialized weapons for his role as an assassin
A small crossbow, which appears to also be able to be used as an axe
Concealed mechanical dagger
Altair is also missing his left hand ring finger which was severed as part of an initiation ceremony when he received his mechanical dagger. When the blade is extended and the hand is balled into a fist the blade extends through the space left by the removed ring finger.
Throwing needles (it is unknown if these can be used or if it is just for the effect)
You will be able to unlock new abilities and customizations for Altair’s weaponry.
We would like to point out that Assassin’s Creed is not a stealth game.
There are elements where you will need to be a bit sneaky, but this is an action title. It’s not Metal Gear or Splinter Cell.
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