Assassin's Creed (PC) - Adventure Forums
You are viewing an archived version of the site which is no longer maintained.
Go to the current live site or the Adventure Gamers forums
Adventure Gamers

Home Adventure Forums Gaming Reader Reviews Assassin's Creed (PC)


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-25-2008, 08:52 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default Assassin's Creed (PC)


- screenshot stolen shamelessly from assassinshaven.com which, by the way, is a hilarious domain name -

Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition (PC)

So I finally had a chance to play this, specifically the PC "Director's Cut" version which is different in its greater variety of side-missions (adding Rooftop Race, Merchant-Stand Destruction, Archer Assassination and Assassin Escort).

I loooove the exploration. I like how intuitive the Parkour is, allowing you to focus on being awesome rather than having to think about the steps required to achieve awesome.

I'm not sure I buy into the reasoning behind Altair forgetting how to dodge and grab ledges as he's stripped of his rank at the start of the game, but once you've run some missions and regained your station you've got a pretty sweet arsenal of skills at your fingertips. And it's literally fingertips as the buttons on the 360 pad - still on the PC - correspond to your weapon hand, your free hand, your eyes and your legs... with the right trigger acting as a switch between high- and low profile, each action depending on context. So for example using your free hand in low profile allows you to gently push past your fellow pedestrians, while using it in high profile will let you grab and throw them.

The game's historical setting is something truly special. Three great ancient cities are brought to life in startling detail: Acre, Jerusalem and Damascus, each of them with its own distinctive ambiance. Truly a marvel. It's a bit of a shame then that the game's over-arching narrative is so at odds with it. We are thrust into the shoes of Desmond Miles, a modern-day bartender kidnapped by some shadowy corporation for the purpose of 'exploring his genetic memory', specifically that of his Hashshashin ancestor Altair in the Holy Land of 1191. It's all very "meta" and, while kind of interesting, strikes me as ultimately unecessary, lacking the elegance of Sands of Time.

It would have been okay if they'd reserved the Matrixy glitches for when the 'simulation' was actually breaking down or initializing (such as in the first few moments, or when loading memories) but hints of fakery are found throughout: on collectible flags, on the glowing selection effect and on the goddamn popups that appear all the time long after you've finished all tutorials.

At least you can turn the HUD off.

Actually, the game was at its best I found when played entirely blind. That is to say, forget the GPS, don't even use the map more than once or twice and just explore... Climb a few towers to figure out where you are. Once you've done a few missions it's easy enough to recognize what you're looking for (eg Assassin's Bureau) and with 'sixth sense' vision it's easy enough to pick out your targets if you take the time.

Which is why I was surprised at the highly arbitrary time limits imposed on some side-missions. Why you had to do the standard Stealth Assassination in minutes when you could take your sweet time with the Archer Assassination I have no idea, but neither I think were in any hurry to leave town. Same with the (corrupt) Merchant-Stand Destruction. When you're being chased by guards because you just buried one of their colleagues in a pile of wood and assorted groceries it's kinda hard to slip away and anonymously report back to your buddy in under three minutes. Sans the time-pressure would have been more enjoyable.

Also I would like to know how Altair back in 1191 managed to do the Rooftop Race Challenge without functioning GPS. I can suspend disbelief on the haystack diving for gameplay purposes, but this is stretching it.

Given how free-form most of the game is, it's a bit perplexing that when the time comes for your target to die you are often required to move to a very specific position before events start to unfold in semi-cutscene form. When the talking starts you're still able to move around, but you cannot choose to move in and cut the monologue short with a well-placed stab in the back. It's only when the cinematic is over that you may proceed... In some missions this is more restrictive than others as often there's still enough room to act on your own terms, but just as often you will find yourself in highly impractical and conspicuous locations. It kind of defeats the purpose of all that careful preparation.

The main criticism leveled at Assassin was repetition, which I don't think weighs as heavily now as it did for the 360 version. As long as you don't try to rush it there's plenty variety to keep you entertained till the credits roll.

The game looks and sounds amazing. If you've got a rig that can handle it and turn it up to full settings it is the stuff that blows minds... There are some issues with LOD here and there and the aforementioned intentional glitches somewhat diminish the atmosphere but it never ceases to be genuinely awesome. The animation and the way it ties into interaction with the crowd and the environment is nothing short of groundbreaking.

Spoiler:
The ending is a bit meh.

"Uh... do I exit to menu now?"

I had to be told by someone to use the Assassin-o vision here as it had been pretty firmly established at this point that you couldn't use any assassin skills in the real world, but all the same it was a bit of an anti-climax.

If Malak's great-great-grandsomething had burst in carrying Vidic's head on a scimitar (or something less graphic) it would have left on a more consistent note, but hey... I like how you could steal access keys and codes through the course of the game to reach the various rooms and read everyone's email. Added some nice backstory.


So the verdict in the end? It's not perfect. Still, I can't help but love this game.

Links
Shiny trailers & featurettes - if you haven't seen it in motion
Lecture notes on crowds from GDC 08 - interesting stuff

Last edited by Melanie68; 08-02-2009 at 01:32 PM. Reason: image link updated
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 05-30-2008, 07:32 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

Or if you can't bring yourself to read all of that: It's a good game. You should play it.

Didn't like the futuristic stuff (first 5 minutes, not a spoiler), didn't like the occasional cutscene-induced linearity... liked basically everything else.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 07:05 AM   #3
The Greater
 
Giligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,541
Send a message via AIM to Giligan
Default

The repetition was the worst thing. I can't imagine anyone actually hunting down all the flags in the game. Spot-on with the game looking and sounding amazing, though. It's one of the best-looking games out there.
__________________
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
-Cliff Bleszinski
Giligan is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 08:28 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

Well yeah, the flag collecting is for crazy people but then isn't any "Achievement" whether it be on Xbox or Steam? Seriously, if you go out of your way to collect all the flags you either have OCD or you're just trying to ruin the game for yourself. I found them a (visual) distraction useful only as location save-points (which apparently was their original purpose), but I really don't think you can hold it against the game too much. They're basically there for the ignoring.

Did you play the 360 version or the PC version? Because as I mentioned above I really didn't find the PC game (with the added missions) all that repetitive. As long as you don't try to rush through it and change up your tactics a bit there's plenty of variation in both pace and actions. If you were trying to complete the whole thing in under a week: sure, I can see how that might start to grate, but a brief daily excursion to the ancient cities of the Holy Land worked nicely for me...

Last edited by Ninja Dodo; 05-31-2008 at 08:49 AM.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 09:15 AM   #5
The Greater
 
Giligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,541
Send a message via AIM to Giligan
Default

I played the 360 version. That explains it. The 360 version didn't have the Assassination mini-games, and probably a few others, now that I think of it.

As far as achievements go, I don't mind getting them if they involve a fairly easy method. They usually seem to be nothing more than the developers trying to gently prod the player into playing the game to its fullest extent, and often they're fun to complete.

Another (small) bone to pick is that the Altair can't swim, (I'm sure you noticed this, not sure if you mentioned it up there) so at places like Acre, jumping from pier-support to pier-support, it can get a bit annoying. It seems to be at odds with the idea of a super-agile guy like Altair, but I suppose letting players swim would have ruined the gimmick of balancing on narrow poles.
__________________
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
-Cliff Bleszinski
Giligan is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 11:00 AM   #6
The Quiet One
 
DustyShinigami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,986
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja Dodo View Post
Well yeah, the flag collecting is for crazy people but then isn't any "Achievement" whether it be on Xbox or Steam? Seriously, if you go out of your way to collect all the flags you either have OCD or you're just trying to ruin the game for yourself. I found them a (visual) distraction useful only as location save-points (which apparently was their original purpose), but I really don't think you can hold it against the game too much. They're basically there for the ignoring.
Nice, i'm crazy. And yeah, i'd say i have OCD. I collected all the flags and killed all the templars. Granted, it was tedious but it's all good. But i wouldn't say i was trying to ruin the game for myself. Doing achievements like that help to make the games more longer and can sometimes make them more challenging. Certainly get your moneys worth by doing everything.
__________________
Now Playing: Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut (DS and iPhone), DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil, Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All, Silent Hill - HD Collection
Recently Completed: Max Payne, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Next: Bayonetta, Devil May Cry - HD Collection, Max Payne 3, Metal Gear Solid - HD Collection, Silent Hill: Downpour
DustyShinigami is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 11:08 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

I'll concede that in some cases Achievements do indeed encourage players to explore a game more fully but I find them a very artificial method of doing so, much like grinding in RPGs it's a rather empty pursuit and really the core gameplay itself should not need such contrived encouragement to be enjoyed.

In Half Life Episode 2 I actually found the constant pop-ups of unlocked Achievements really took me out of the atmosphere, reminded me it's 'just a videogame'. This was no less true of the Achievements in Assassin.

The lack of swimming was a little surprising, but considering the climate plausible and for gameplay purposes understandable. I can see people in such an arid region not having much use for swimming. I don't know, is there any historical word on swimming skills in the ancient Middle East? Either way, it didn't really bother me.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 11:13 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alucard View Post
Nice, i'm crazy. And yeah, i'd say i have OCD. I collected all the flags and killed all the templars. Granted, it was tedious but it's all good. But i wouldn't say i was trying to ruin the game for myself. Doing achievements like that help to make the games more longer and can sometimes make them more challenging. Certainly get your moneys worth by doing everything.
I guess it depends from person to person but I just don't get a kick out of that at all... and I have too many games left unplayed to make a special effort to get my money's worth out of any one single game.

Tedious, as you say.

Being a sucker for story I do tend to exhaust all quests and such but it stops at collection. Okami for example really took that too far.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 12:42 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 90
Default

This may seem slightly off topic, but not really. I would love to play this game on the PC and I am looking to purchase a new computer as the one I have is grounding to a halt. Can I ask those of you who have played this game on the PC, what are the specs you have?
Gamegirl is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 01:34 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

Funny you should ask... I ended up playing it first at work during lunch, then on my housemate's computer as my own PC is one processor short.

That's really the main thing: You need a dual-core CPU or you're out... not even an option of running it on lower settings. Personally I tend to not mind going as low as 800x600 if it means I can run a game smoothly without having to upgrade. But no dice. Frankly I think it's a bit lazy - and possibly stupid - on Ubisoft's part to not cater to a wider demographic. Last I heard most people are still running single core only, but it seems they've already sold so much on 360 that they don't really care about the PC market all that much. Though, to be fair, if you can run it, it runs beautifully. The controls and everything as far as I can tell are perfectly ported... and there's the added content.

One thing you may want to consider is that the game is widescreen only, so if you run it on a 4:3 monitor you will get a black letterbox framing the action.

I've run it on both XP and Vista and there didn't appear to be any difference except that Vista is stupid and won't let you connect or disconnect a headphone or Xbox controller during the (any?) game or run it full-screen unless you remember to click on the splash image as it starts up.

Definitely get an Xbox controller by the way. I never tried the keyboard/mouse setup but this game is clearly designed for a gamepad and the 360 ones plug nicely into your USB.

Beyond that, I suggest checking the official recommended specs for ideas.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 05-31-2008, 04:12 PM   #11
The Greater
 
Giligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,541
Send a message via AIM to Giligan
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja Dodo View Post
I'll concede that in some cases Achievements do indeed encourage players to explore a game more fully but I find them a very artificial method of doing so, much like grinding in RPGs it's a rather empty pursuit and really the core gameplay itself should not need such contrived encouragement to be enjoyed.

In Half Life Episode 2 I actually found the constant pop-ups of unlocked Achievements really took me out of the atmosphere, reminded me it's 'just a videogame'. This was no less true of the Achievements in Assassin.

The lack of swimming was a little surprising, but considering the climate plausible and for gameplay purposes understandable. I can see people in such an arid region not having much use for swimming. I don't know, is there any historical word on swimming skills in the ancient Middle East? Either way, it didn't really bother me.
I don't know, if I lived in the Middle East, I'm pretty sure I'd want to spend as much time as possible out of the hot, dry desert and in the water. That said, I have no idea whether or not people who live in the Middle East swim much.

I get what you're saying on Achievement notifications, although when I played Half-Life 2: Episode 2, I was so immersed, not even that was enough to pull me out of the experience.
__________________
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
-Cliff Bleszinski
Giligan is offline  
Old 06-25-2008, 10:56 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja Dodo View Post
Definitely get an Xbox controller by the way.

This brings me to the question I think is most important...does it play well using a mouse and keyboard? Anyone who knows I would really love to hear what you think.
I absolutely refuse to use an Xbox controller with my computer. My computer is controlled by a mouse and keyboard, the way god intended.
BucketBot is offline  
Old 06-25-2008, 12:39 PM   #13
Psychonaut
 
Lucien21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 5,114
Default

Yes you can play it with mouse and keyboard if you are a masocist.
__________________
I'm not insane, my mother had me tested!
Lucien21 is offline  
Old 06-25-2008, 02:13 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

While I played Assassin with a 360 controller as, I might add, it was intended (you'll find the recommended specs include it)... as someone who has played both the PC and PS2 version of Sands of Time (mouse vs gamepad) I can extrapolate and tell you:

Of course it doesn't.

3rd person action-adventure/platformers are not meant for mouse & keyboard. There are some games that get away with it (Outcast) by not focusing on precise navigation, but if you voluntarily play a game like Assassin without a gamepad you are clinging to pointless elitism...

I want to be clear that no console fps is ever going to play better with a gamepad than the same game on PC with mouse & WASD (or *maybe* a Wii)... BUT, there are certain games that simply require a gamepad. Sands of Time is one, Assassin's Creed is another.

Basically, it's all about precision: WASD gives you 4 directions independent of camera, an analog stick gives you 360. A keyboard gives you SHIFT toggle to sneak, analog gives you 3 or 4 different speeds depending on how far you push the stick.

If you play this game on a keyboard, you are missing out.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:04 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22
Default

Lucien, I believe you meant "masochist". Sorry, but it took me several seconds to figure out what in the world that word was supposed to be.

Ninja, Thanks for the great reply! I am actually not clinging to "pointless elitism" (the thing about god intending us to play with a mouse and keyboard was a joke...). I am comfortable using a mouse and keyboard as I believe it gives me more control, more options. Everything basically. Everything I need is right there at my fingertips. I can have a button for everything. There is so much freedom with a keyboard. I wouldn't feel like I could play to the best of my abilities using a little box with a couple buttons and a stick or two. I like having keys. Everyone is different. That is my preference.
Plus I'm not interested in going out and buying some expensive piece of junk just for that one game.
BucketBot is offline  
Old 06-27-2008, 12:44 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

They're not very expensive (like 30 euros) and you would be buying it for more than just one game. Most games these days lead on the 360 and eventually come out on PC, often with added content, but always with the option to use the 360 pad which has pretty much become the standard. You'll be needing that controller more often than you think.

Just off the top of my head I can guarantee you that Beyond Good & Evil 2, the new Prince of Persia and Brutal Legend will all play better with a controller, simply by virtue of being designed for it. Actually the latter is a bad example cause it may not even be coming to PC, but whatever.

More buttons does not equal better interface.

I am in complete agreement that for certain games the keyboard and mouse combo is the way to go for precision and control, but as I illustrated above this is not always the case. If you choose to go with the cruder control of WASD over analog that's your choice, but your gameplay experience will be a less subtle one...

Last edited by Ninja Dodo; 06-27-2008 at 01:08 AM.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 06-27-2008, 07:32 AM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22
Default

30 Euros is about 60 dollars right now and that's a lot of cheddar (to me).
I don't actually buy a lot of console-to-PC ports. I am probably going to pass on Assassin's Creed anyway, but I was curious how well it ported. Some games do great. All the GTA games were actually much better on PC (I know because back in the day I had the PS2 and an original Xbox) and some games don't go over well at all and will always be better on their original system. Sounds like AC might be one of those.
BucketBot is offline  
Old 06-28-2008, 05:10 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

Actually that's very much not the case. If you use a 360 pad the controls are identical and other than having rather excessive system requirements it's a perfect port, but the PC version is superior because with four new types of investigation side-quests it alleviates much of the repetition that people criticized in the 360 version.

Still, if you're looking for reasons not to play it I'm sure you'll find them, but otherwise I can heartily recommend it...
Ninja Dodo is offline  
Old 07-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Terramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,595
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja Dodo View Post
Basically, it's all about precision: WASD gives you 4 directions independent of camera, an analog stick gives you 360. A keyboard gives you SHIFT toggle to sneak, analog gives you 3 or 4 different speeds depending on how far you push the stick.

If you play this game on a keyboard, you are missing out.
On the contrary, I've played plenty of games on consoles, then their PC versions using WASD (ie Silent Hill series, GTA, Max Payne, Psychonauts, Beyond Good and Evil), and I tend to get more response and accuracy with the latter.

Perhaps this has changed with the 360 and PS3, but one of the reasons why I've switched from console to PC is because the more fluid controls I get with a keyboard.

That being said, I've still spent the majority of my gaming time playing on pads (from the age of 4) so I don't mind playing using them, and I still do when I come across a game I have to play on em', so I'd also like to state, like some before, I'm not elitist to mouse + keyboard.

However, I never want to buy a 360pad. I've got my own playstation 2 USB converter, and I intend to use it for all it's worth. That and the fact that I've never liked the 360 pad and I certainly don't want to give Microsoft any more money than I have to. Forcing people to use their pads is just plain dispicable. Other companies allow 3rd party pads on their systems, so why must I exclusively use their pad on a machine that was not created by MS in the 1st place?
Terramax is offline  
Old 07-19-2008, 01:18 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Ninja Dodo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,459
Default

They're just more compatible than others. And you get an exact match of the 360 version's controls as they were designed.

Sure camera control with the mouse will always be more refined (which is why fps should be played on PC), but for 3rd person navigation you cannot objectively state that 4-directional on/off WASD gives you more control than the analog stick unless the game is designed to only have 4 directions. Analog > digital.

Put it this way, a game where moving is more important than aiming will always be better with a gamepad.
Ninja Dodo is offline  
 



Thread Tools

 


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.