Customer Review

109 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TIPPING THE SCALES OF POWER WITH YOUR KNIFE, April 13, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition - PC (DVD-ROM)
This is on of the most anticipated games to be ported to PCs. For this, the Director's Cut edition was produced, adding some content over the console versions (mostly rooftop action missions), and care was taken to make the gamepad to keyboard/mouse-transition as seamless as possible. For the most part it was successful.

This is a TREMENDOUSLY BEAUTIFULLY GAME. The first thing that grabs you is how REAL the city environments feel. The graphics are just OUT OF THIS WORLD! You will need a very good PC to enjoy their full potential (minimum requirements provided below), but real skies, dynamic shadows, facial expressions and realistically flowing robes are only beginning to describe it! Run on a roof and the other citizens will gather around and comment on your crazy behavior! Throw someone on a vendor's cart and he will come after you complaining about his ruined produce! And the city is alive well beyond your character. If only BIOWARE could take some lessons for its next BALDUR's GATE...

Adding to this is the wonderful sound! From the crowd murmurs and the NTCs cries for help, to the whistling of the wind and the well-chosen background music, a good sound-card and speakers set is recommended to truly enjoy this game. If you have a 5.1 speaker system (I do not) I can imagine the experience to become even more immersing.

As to the gameplay, you control Altaïr ibn La-Ahad ("The Flying One, Son of None"). He is a member of the Assassin Brotherhood that sides, well, with both...sides, during the 3rd Crusade. In a story twist, he is also your ancestor, the game being your/his flashback memories. This is a twist I could do without, but I would guess it lays groundwork for the sequels.

The Third person perspective works beautifully and will never loose your interest. Most missions require sneaking and murdering in the shadows. Others will have you eavesdropping for passwords or pickpocketing documents to gain access into target buildings. Some will have you sharpen those sword skills. Still, the game does not avoid its share of stupid "keep this...suicidal character from getting killed" missions. Keep in mind though that ASSASSIN's CREED is rather a strategically thinking action TPS, not a hack&slash fast-paced one.

Controlling your character with a keyboard/mouse takes a lot of getting used to as you have to manage running, climbing, fighting as well as modifying your actions from low to high visibility. The keys are remapable but their complexity will never let you forget you are playing a game. Now for some bad news.

These are the official MINIMUM Requirements:
* Pentium D 2.6GHz (YES, Dual Core!) (or AMD equivalent)
* nVidia 6800 (or Shader Model 3.0 compliant or ATI equivalent)
* Dual-Layer DVD-ROM (or BluRay disc)
* 12GB HDD Space (although my install folder was no larger than 7GB)

As one can see, this is worse than CRYSIS! What I cannot get is how on earth ASSASSIN works on only 512MB of RAM of the XBox, yet it is recommended to have...3GB of RAM on a PC! Sure, the extra content is nice but who did the porting, unpaid interns? Has ANY PC optimization been attempted at all?
Keep also in mind that (as with CRYSIS) in order to fully enjoy the game, barely meeting the minimum requirements means you will barely experience the game. I refuse to deal with WinVISTA so, obviously, this review pertains to DirectX-9. The game is also DirectX-10 compatible, something I cannot comment on though. And now for some good news.

UBISOFT has been recently hit with a $5million class-action suit for hardware (OK, "allegedly") damaged by StarForce bundled with its games. Since, they have announced to be abandoning its StarForce partnership - so let's all rejoice: unlike other UBISOFT games, ASSASSIN's CREED does NOT sport StarForce! Instead, a much milder SafeDisc is used.
It is a pity it took litigation to finally listen to their own customers (suing StarForce would make much more sense, but try finding them in Russia!), but let's count our blessings.

So, overall, this is a well made and beautiful, immersing (although quite short) game that needed more work in PC optimization (where it looses 1 star Overall) and character control (where it looses 1 star for Fun).

As Altair himself would have put it: "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted."
Well, not everything - and certainly NOT StarForce.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 17, 2008 11:41:50 PM PDT
Mudd says:
As ever, your game reviews are great to read. I just can't understand where you get all this time to play game after game after game.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2008 4:09:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 19, 2008 1:05:04 AM PDT
NeuroSplicer says:
Thank you for your kind words.

I am a Neuroscientist with lots of hours to kill in the lab (waiting for this to run and that to mature). More importantly though, some years ago I decided that I would not let TV eat up all of my free time and only watch very selected programs or wait for the DVD set.

Posted on Apr 23, 2008 8:58:22 PM PDT
lol, thats great, so no TV lots of video games!

Posted on May 27, 2008 8:00:15 PM PDT
Brian Norton says:
Nice review.

Odd though that devs continue to use StarForce though, especially given user complaints. I mean, I don't like disc protection at all and I dance in glee when I find out an excellent launch won't have any, but that's rare. Everyone wants to switch to SecuROM which isn't any better than StarForce if you ask me.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 3:22:08 PM PST
we are two says:
As a correction, if my research is correct, Assassin's Creed uses SafeDisc, not SecuROM, and definitely not "SecurDisc."

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 6:56:10 PM PST
domo-kun says:
The reason why the PC version needs more RAM is because of the operating system (especially Vista), which may be running other programs that take up memory, like anti-virus and personal firewall, for example. I can definitely understand the memory recommendations for Vista, since you need at least 2 GB if you're running Aero (at least, that's my experience anyway).

Posted on Nov 23, 2009 8:33:46 AM PST
lol "I refuse to deal with WinVista". What is there to deal with? Vista is fine, in fact it's pretty good. But Windows 7 is out now so your review is even more irrelevant.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2009 11:31:24 AM PST
NeuroSplicer says:
Here's something irrelevant: commenting on a review of a game ...a year after its release.

As to WinVISTA: if they were any good you think Microsoft would had released the brand new Win7 not even 24 months after that lemon?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2009 9:30:12 PM PST
J. Gonzalez says:
They only did that cause people with crappy computers cry too much, im running vista on my asus g50v-a2 and its pretty incredible, most people bought half built dells on sale from walmart and wonder why it runs bad. people are stupid

Posted on Dec 17, 2010 3:34:48 PM PST
NeuroSplicer: Excellent review, thanks for your in-depth analysis. I've recently been getting back into gaming after several years of playing almost nothing, so I am just discovering these great games that I missed the first time around (i.e. Left4Dead 1 & 2, Dead Space, Fallout 3, FEAR, Bioshock, etc.). Your review of Assassin's Creed gave me the impetus to order it right away, so I'm looking forward to it arriving Monday, in time for my holiday vacation. I also have the Battlefield Bad Company 2 Vietnam expansion being released that day, so I have plenty of corpse-making fun ahead of me.

Regarding your Vista comments, I understand that lots of folks had issues, but I'm not one of them. During the Vista years, I had good, well-equipped PCs with plenty of ram running Vista/64 (I do graphic design, 3d and music so I need the horsepower) and never ran into the problems so many others reported. A friend who is an avid gamer and computer gearhead had a similar experience with Vista. Perhaps we were among the lucky few, but there it is. I run Win 7/64 now and although I love it, I've actually had more problems with it (often locking up or becoming sluggish on resume from hibernation) than with Vista.

Anyway, thanks for the review and I agree with you on intrusive copy protection schemes: more times than not they do nothing but annoy legitimate users and generate ill will from those who are actually buying the software. The pirates generally crack it easily and quickly, so the only people being harmed by it are those who are willing to shell out the cash for the product. It's totally counter intuitive.

(by the way, nice Wm Gibson reference in your profile)
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