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Jelle's "Assasins Creed ( PC )" Review

Discussion in 'Games' started by Jelle Mees, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    [​IMG]

    First let me start off by saying that my English is far from perfect ( I am Belgian ). If you find any spelling faults, please contact me via PM. TPU visitors were very positive about my Crysis review, let's hope you like this review aswell.

    Update: Thanks to member "knowledge123" for correcting spelling!

    Assassins Creed?
    First time I knew something about this game was when Gametrailers.com released their video-review. I was really amazed by the realism of this game. I didn't buy it on my Xbox simply because there was no hype about this game. When I read the news about Assassins Creed coming to PC, the game caught my interest. A lot of rumors where spreading about this game being the most demanding game of 2008 and that it would be the first game that actually benefits from DirectX 10. I am a graphics whore and when I read something about a game, pushing the hardware requirements to the next level, I always keep a certain interest, even though it's not my genre. I've always been fascinated by game-realism and the Xbox review was pretty impressive. Months passed by and when the game got released, I just thought "I'll buy it, and if it sucks, I could still sell it very fast so someone else". Lucky for me, the game didn't suck, not at all.

    The Story

    First thing I noticed when I launched the game was a futuristic interface. I didn't remember much from the Xbox review so I was pretty surprised. You start of as a guy who's a living experiment. Some scientist has some crazy theory about instincts being some kind of memory. A memory which humans can't recall without some electronic aid. So, the nutty professor developed a machine called the "Animus" which allows the player to travel back in time, in his own memory. The theory is kinda fucked up, but never forgot that you're playing a videogame. Once you've "traveled back in time" ( memory ), you're an assassin. That's all I will say about the storyline because it's really something you have to experience without knowing what's going to happen.

    [​IMG]

    The Graphics
    I've posted it more then once on this forum, the graphics are truly amazing. Not only that, the engine works like a charm and the requirements aren't that high for the amount of details you see on your screen. Sometimes the graphics are really breathtaking, especially when you're on top of a huge tower, scanning the area for new objectives. There are some abnormalities though. For example, not all characters have shadows. And in a game like this, it's not easy to miss it. Also, when you are enjoying the HUGE draw distance from a high tower, only a few humans will be visible and usually they don't have shadows and the buildings in the distance always have some kind of fog around them. Don't really know why Ubisoft created this fog but my guess is that they did it to improve performance.

    If you want to know how the game looks like on PC, take the time to view these movies:
    Short High-res High-quality movie: http://rapidshare.com/files/107076257/Assasins_Creed_HD_Movie.wmv
    Very long High-res High-quality movie: http://files.filefront.com/Assasinc Creed Combatwmv/;10016944;/fileinfo.html

    This game uses an engine that isn't very popular like Unreal Engine 3 but it should be. I had absolutely no framerate difference between 0xAF and 16XAF or 2 characters on the screen or 50 characters on the screen. This engine is powerful and should be used more often in future Ubisoft releases.

    The sound
    The sound? Why should I write something about the sound. Well, simply because it isn't that great. Not only have I read many, many complaints about gamers who have to play the game without sound, many games that DO have audio experienced problems with the voice-volume. In many cases, it's not loud enough. And in many cutscenes, it's really unrealistic. For example,, you could be standing in a huge crowd of people while listening to someone who's speaking from a high balcony. You hear the people around you like they are 10 miles away and the guy on the balcony like he's standing next to you.

    [​IMG]

    Gameplay
    3 words: Awesome but repetitive. The gameplay is unique, fun and original but I doubt that most gamers finish this game, or want to finish this game in one game-session, because then it could get boring. Not for me though, I feel like playing the game again and again and again.

    You can move around while doing one acrobatic stunt after the other by holding down two buttons/keys:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/107076257/Assasins_Creed_HD_Movie.wmv

    At the beginning you are limited to one weapon and a few basic hack and slash moves:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiGNB7SAnJU

    Once you've assassinated a very important target you always go back to you superior and gain a weapon and/or a combat move. At the end you are able to dodge attacks, counter attacks and break the enemies defense. I always keep attacking and counter when possible. It's not that I don't know how to dodge an attack, I just love the amazing camera viewpoints that you get while hitting the enemy with a counter-move. If you dodge attacks, you can't counter them.

    At the end you can take on many soldiers at once:
    Low-res hiqh-quality movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfAN29IcV64
    HD movie: http://files.filefront.com/Assasinc Creed Combatwmv/;10016944;/fileinfo.html

    Other thoughts

    ven though this is definitely my #1 game for 2008 so far, I do think that the game could use some tweaking here and there. The combat-style is pretty realistic and the counter-attacks are great but I miss the finishing touch. It happens very often that you are fighting against multiple soldiers and that you hack and slash the air 2-3 times before hitting one of the soldiers. It would have been cool if the character automatically gets closer to the enemies so that the fights look more realistic. I also would have liked more counter moves. I think that there are only 5-10 counter-moves which you see over and over again. If there were 20, the fights would have been a lot more interesting. There is also one thing I would have loved, the night. It would have been very cool if it got dark from time to time to see the huge cities at night.

    I don't know if there is going to be an Assassins Creed 2, but I am definitely hoping for it. Assassins Creed 2 should have:
    - Shadows on ALL characters at all times
    - No reduced details + fog from tower viewpoints
    - Day and night
    - 2 extra weapons
    - 20 extra counter-moves
    - More realistic combat
    That's all there is needed for another great game if you ask me.

    [​IMG]

    Assassins Creed is one of the most beautiful games ever, the storyline and the unique gameplay keeps you interested from the beginning to the end. Even though this originally was a console-game, the controls work like a charm on the PC. The only minor downside is that the game could be to repetitive for many gamers.

    Graphics: 9.5/10
    Sound: 6/10
    Gameplay: 9.5/10
    Replay: 7/10

    Total score: 8/10


    Recommended game for every PC gamer!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
    novacheck, Azazel, ShadowFold and 5 others say thanks.
  2. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    Great review. I think that it needs more variety in missions. Much like Spiderman 2 doing the same 3 mini missions gets old after the first 30 times.
     
  3. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    For some reason I don't get bored playing the same sort of mission over and over again. But I never play more then 2 hours without takin a brake from it.
     
  4. knowledge123 New Member

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    Excellent Review. :cool:
    I've been looking at this for a while, and when this drops in price I'll get it. :)

    Just a couple of questions
    How are the controls ? Did you play with a joypad or keyboard and mouse ?
    Are there lots of options on the graphics options screen, so you can configure it to your preference, or is it UT3/Stranglehold-ified, and there are very few ?
     
    Jelle Mees says thanks.
  5. das müffin mann

    das müffin mann New Member

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    controls feel very natural and are easy to learn (keyboard and mouse)
    you can tweak the grapics a little bit idk, it isnt very demanding so you should be able to just crank it up all the way
     
  6. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thats made me wanna go out and buy the game now! is it DX10? and is it multithredded do you know?
     
  7. Widjaja

    Widjaja

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    After all the hype about the game being heavy on the system.
    Very impressive ingmae screenshots by the way.
    I'm happy as long as the fighting is not like The Witcher.
    Just how reviews should be done.
    Not with cut scene screenshots.
     
  8. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    Quite nice.

    I only use the "WSDF" keys to move, pretty sure most people play that way and I used the "@" key to use "Eagle eye".

    All other movements were configured in my mouse. I have the Logitech MX 1000 and it had enough keys for all actions.

    There aren't many options available, but the ones that are there are sufficient. Shadows are most demanding. I recommend setting level 2 because the game is more beatifull that way.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    There is no quality difference between DirectX 9 and DirectX 10. However, DirectX 10 performance is slightly higher than its DirectX 9 counterpart (also running on Vista).

    The game is multithreaded. CPU usage went up to 70% while playing Assasins Creed with my 3.6Ghz quadcore.
     
  10. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    Yep Tatty, it's DX10.
     
  11. CrackerJack

    CrackerJack

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    i got the 720p on the site now, LOOKS AWESOME MAN!!!
     
  12. naokiakira New Member

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    the question is. Worth getting if you've played/beaten it on a friends console?


    I dont know if the PC version has anything extra, but If its the same as the consoles I wouldnt think so =/
     
  13. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    Don't buy it if you already played it on the console...
     
  14. naokiakira New Member

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    Right on. I never knew if they had anything extra in the PC version or what not. I suppose it'd be worth a DL for some high res screenies
     
  15. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    i really enjoyed playing this game for the PS3 and also recommend it if you want to play on the PC.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  16. Ripper3

    Ripper3 New Member

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    It has 4 new types of missions to do when investigating, compared to the console versions. That definately allows for less repitition, but as probably not worth it if you've beaten it already.

    This is a brilliant game, and I actually play it with a Logitech Chillstream controller, which works like, and has the exact layout of a 360 controller. I love the way it works. It's a little easier for me to remember buttons and their actions when using the controller.

    I do wish there was one more weapon, and it's a choice between two, which I'm unbiased either way: bow & arrows, or crossbow and bolts. Either one, as it would be ncie to have a longer ranged weapon, to take down enemies (especially when starting the Save the Citizen missions, or jumping around heavily guarded roof-tops), but I love stealthy kills when you're just walking around in blend mode.
    I do doubt they'll add new weapons, as the d-pad is used on the console versions to select the weapon. Consider you already have 5 weapons, on a 4-way (although it can accomodate 8 directions) d-pad, and you're past the limit, unless the currently useless trigger buttons could be used for ranged attacks (currently, the my two triggers are unused in this game, and they feel a little left-out), like if they used a similar system to CoD2's sniping: You can steady your aim for holding your breath. Let's say, you can hold your breath to varying degrees with the left trigger (so, pressing harder means you're holding breath tighter, but you have less time before you shoot the arrow, and a longer recovery time), and then the right trigger could be used for the strength you pull back the arrow with, before letting it go.
    It would solve the dilemma when playing on a 360, but might not work on PS3, does that have triggers?

    I got lost in thought, and forgot what else I was goign to add.
    Still, pretty good review, bad about the sound problems (I do think it's pretty weird about the sounds being closer for people far off, and further for people close-by, but I guess you could say it's picking out sounds. When you're about to kill someone, you'd likely try to think more about what you're doing, and ignore noises coming from people around you, or sumat), but luckily, I've had no problems, like missing voices, with my X-Fi.


    Oh, that was it, I remembered what else I wanted to say. Performance-wise, I get very smooth playable fps. Can't measure it, as Rivatuner's OSD just ends up being 88.8. Not sure why it doesn't refresh properly, and haven't used Fraps in ages, but it's a real resource whore. I only get low FPS when using the AA set to its highest, and I'm running through a busy town. Otherwise, all high, at 1680x1050, and my system runs it just fine. I would love to try it out with DX10, to see if the claims about improved performance apply to me too, but frankly, if there are no additional benefits, like nicer surroundings, I'd rather not bother with a reinstall, and having to buy Vista.


    Oh, and to add, before I forget, this is the first in a set of Assassin's Creed games. I went to the imdb page for it, because I thought I recognised the assistant in the lab as Kristen Bell (so hawt), and I was right. I clicked through to see the voice actor for Altair, and he's listed as having the same role for Assassin's Creed 2, which has a date of 2008/2009, can't remember which.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  17. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    I remember one last thing that gets annoying with Assassins Creed. The fact that you have to exit the memory, exit the animus, exit the game, and sign back in just to quit. Would it have been so hard to quit directly from the memory screen?
     
  18. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    That is true, should have mentioned that in the review because that ennoys me aswell.
     
  19. jbunch07

    jbunch07 New Member

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    i came really close to buyin this game today but i was a lil worried that i might get board doing the same thing over and over again and wasn't 100% sure on what you actually do.
    do u just go around and assassinate people whats the story behind it?
     
  20. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    It's like GTA but less advanced.
     
  21. jbunch07

    jbunch07 New Member

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    hmm so you have like open world free rome and that kinda thing?
     
  22. Jelle Mees

    Jelle Mees New Member

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    Yep. But no cars lol
     
  23. jbunch07

    jbunch07 New Member

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    lol gotcha well i might have to buy it, thanks man
    nice review btw! :toast:
     
  24. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Nice review Jelle, I also have a couple of suggestions (I was considering doing a review on this for GPU!, but have not decided yet...)

    - Controls

    I found on the keyboard, the controls are "okay" at best, but with a 3D Action/Adventure like this, it's true bread and butter for controls were perfect for the hardware it was initially designed for, the console. Fortunately, I have one of those $10 Smartjoy PS2 Controller-to-USB Adapters lying around, works great in XP, XP64, Vista, Vista64 btw! Once I configured the controller to how I wanted it to work with this game,(all buttons are labeled Buttons 1-12 tho...at least for the PS2 Controller counterpart, unsure of the XBox controller...) it worked quite well and made the gameplay much more enjoyable for me. I prefer my KB + MS for most any game aside from racing and adventure games such as this, as there really is only so much to be accomplished with the Keyboard and Mouse in these games...a place in my mind where the controller still reigns as king and makes the gameplay that much sweeter. For me this made the game interesting enough to continue playing, unlike the Keyboard and mouse which was starting to become a reason not to even fire the game up due to the annoyance in control.

    Graphics,

    I played with both the DX9 and DX10 counterparts in Vista x64, I found some differences, while not huge, definately added a little more depth and detail to the overal visual treatment while using DX10. Another plus is the fact that I didn't feel any performance drop at all (see my sys specs) with everything turned up @ 1440x900 resolution, it looked really good. The shading was executed very nicely in DX10, DX9 looked great, but there were some shadow issues/missing shadows I noticed. Really it makes no huge difference what mode one plays the game in, as the graphics rendering is pretty decent, I was in awe at first, but further into the game it's already familiar and feels like more could've been accomplished.

    On the accomplishment note, not too long ago in these very forums was a link to a place that did a review on the graphics of this game, and they found a pretty healthy ammount of performance increase in the HD3XXX series using Vista with SP1 for DX10.1, even got validation that AC is in fact the first game to support such technology. I hope this is true for all you AMD/ATI fans out there sporting such hardware as you will truly benefit with 10.1/4.1 hardware!

    Now I do disagree on some aspects, as I am already growing tired of the game in some instances such as the repeated-feeling it seems to have, the fighting system leaves quite a bit to be desired IMO...a God of War setup with swords would've proven much better here imo, it would've helped keep the pace going...ever get bored fighting in an action game? I did...in this game, after only my first few fights when I realised that it's combo system can get kind of odd, and really is nothing THAT special. The fighting and targeting gimmicks are interesting, but lost my interest...I was hoping for more progression and capabilities...we've seen quite a few games out there provide so much more in the fighting area that this game is almost dull in that aspect.

    To me the overall feeling I come away with is a game with nice graphics, DX10.1 support, with a decent story and mild gameplay gimmicks that you must push yourself to keep playing as it gives less and less incentive to keep playing not too long after the beginning of the game. But it is interesting, and so far has been a fairly enjoyable play...will I play it thru more than once...no, but I hope I feel I accomplished something when I do complete it as I feel that games should first of all be fun, second of all have great gameplay and third of all feel accomplished when completed, and maybe great enough for another few play-thru's.

    I think you did a great job on your review, and by no means am I trying to offend you or suggesting that you add/agree to what I submitted, I just felt I would submit some of my mental notes on the game thus far.

    :toast:

    EDIT: That's what I forgot, the sound deal...no issues with my X-Fi..on my Turtle Beach HPA2 5.1 headset...I have a control module that allows volumes for all my channels, made a huge difference in this game...using my 2.1 speakers was like voices were 10 miles away...I mostly use my headset for everything I do anyways (apartment complexes...geesh!).
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  25. ..'Ant'..

    ..'Ant'.. New Member

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    Yes its true that you get bored of it when you play more than a couple hours and redoing the missions.
     

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