Top critical review
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Too Short, Not Sweet enough.
on December 2, 2011
I mean, it is sweet, its Assassin's Creed. The characters, the story, all top notch. Istanbul/Constantinople is a beautiful city...which looks to be about half the size of Rome from AC:B. Graphics and Story get 9/10, and that's with the "we all knew it was coming" fact that this won't be the last AC and it doesn't reveal much.
This game was much more cinematic than the others, and it doesn't fail in this since its well done. Where it does fail is that the game is waaaaay to short. Each Memory Sequence is made of 2 story quests and 2 book quests. The book quests take the place of the requisite Assassin relic missions. I logged a total of 27 hours, and while that sounds like a long time, that was me abusing the money system by leaving it running. I should have seen it as a warning sign of shortness when it turns out practically the entire map is open to you from the beginning. take that 27 hours and knock 16 off (2 8 hour shifts I left the game on to fill up all my banks) leaves you with 11 hours, which maybe a third of were quests. Most of that was running around. Tunnels are back, but with a map this small, and the necessity of keeping a low profile half the fun is ruined by using them.
Its sad because they made the world breath much more than the other games before it. In this I mean that while you are much more effective in combat, combat is harder. Taking control of a zone doesn't mean you won't lose it. You have to maintain a low profile or the Templars come looking for you. Stalkers (Templar Assassins that randomly spawn and try to assassinate you) might add a bit of suspense, if it wasn't practically impossible to be killed by one even when they get the drop on you.
A minor complaint about the face change: Desmond looks like a douchy cousin of Nicholas Cage now. Ubi said it was from a better facial recognition software, but I'm pretty sure they changed actors as well, because the new Desmond looks nothing like his earlier incarnations. Bad move, I hate the new Desmond, don't care about him at all. Is it a shallow complaint? Maybe, but it definitely ruined the immersion not only for them to change him but to change him into someone who looks so bland and uncaring you want to punch them to see if they even react. Strangely enough, they use the same (New) actor for Ezio, but it works better, guess the beard and grey really make that much difference. Altair also gets a new face and voice, but they didn't totally screw him up the way they did Desmond.
So the Irony is that sure, its a great game, and if you love AC then you will love this one. It just feels like an addon-pack more than a full game. As much as I'm sure multiplayer is fun, its not the reason we play AC games and I resent the fact that Ubisoft wasted time that could have added more story to the game.