Assassin’s Creed – Altair’s Chronicles in Review: Failing to live up to Expectations
Assassin’s Creed – Altair’s Chronicles published by Gameloft under license from Ubisoft Entertainment is a 3D stealth/action game developed for your idevice. You take on the role of a Master Assassin known as Altair in a prequel to the 2007 console game Assassin’s Creed. Your mission is to locate and turn over to the Order of the Assassins, “The Chalice” an object so powerful it could bring an end the Crusades. The device is currently being held by the Templar. You discover the location of the object early in the game, but before you can recover it, you must first find three keys being held by three separate individuals in three separate locations of the holy lands. With this knowledge you set out to accomplish your mission.
Creed was one of the more hotly anticipated titles for the iDevice in recent memory. Having been based off of one of the most financially successful new IP’s in recent history, expectations were high for the quality of gameplay it would bring to the market place. Sadly, the game suffers from bad camera angles and control issues. The problems become obvious early and you’re never able to overcome them for any extended length of time. During the course of play, you spend most of your time moving across rooftops, jumping from beam to beam, swinging on ropes and grappling hooks while attempting to avoid arrows, sharp blades, large boulders and collapsing environments.
The control stick isn’t as responsive as its console sibling. When you’re balancing on a beam 20 feet above the ground you need all the precision you can get. Jump too soon, too late, too little or too much and you will find yourself looking at a death screen. Luckily there are frequent checkpoints, so there isn’t the pain of having to start over from the beginning of the level. But when you come to a tricky location that has multiple obstacles located between checkpoints and you misstep the first one because you over jumped and have to start over, only to come to the next obstacle and discover there was an unexpected jump at the bottom of the slope you were unaware of and fall to your death, the death screens and restarts begin to add up as it becomes a constant battle of trial an error.
Another issue fighting you throughout the game is the camera angle. You’re watching your character from the side in a zoomed out perspective. Being in a 3D environment your character will move from left to right and back to front. When you come to a point where Altair is facing you and he must jump from the platform he’s standing on to one in front of him and you can’t determine the distance between the two surfaces, you can find yourself plummeting to your death because you didn’t jump enough, or you over jumped and landed on the spikes below. This issue could have been resolved if the player had been given control of the camera.
Visually the game looks good. While playing through some locations, I was reminded of similar locations in the console version. The designs of the buildings have nice detail and the look of fire and explosions go a long way to draw you into the experience. Altair’s costume has nice subtle details that cause it to stand out in the environment. There are a handful of designs for guards you will see spread throughout the game with the occasional mini-boss being unique in their own clothing and hair styles on par with that of Altair’s character.
The game is filled with voice acting for your character and those he comes in contact with. There is a nice believability to the acting and gives you a real sense of depth to the characters. Along with the voice work, text is displayed across the screen. Following along with the dialogue you will find that the two don’t match up on a number of occasions. Nothing that hurts the overall experience, but it feels a bit out of place.
The games fighting system offers the player the depth of multiple attacks and defense with the option to use, swords, daggers and even bombs throughout the game. Very often you will find you can dispatch your enemies by simply mashing on each of the two basic sword attacks without the need for fancy moves or use of additional equipment.
For those who played the console version and are looking for more of the same, or you’ve never experienced the world of Assassin’s Creed but you want a stealth/action game you can spend a few hours with and don’t mind playing through the same scenes over and over until you get everything right, you will enjoy Altair’s adventure. For everyone else, I can’t recommend Assassin’s Creed, having witnessed the death screen more than 100 times over the course of the game, lead to serious frustration and the desire to crush my iphone on multiple occasions. Until the controls are tightened, camera issues are fixed and the ease at which you can plunge to your death are addressed, Assassin’s Creed is an example of a title that fails to live up to its expectations.
|Title:||Assassin’s Creed-Altair’s Chronicles||Developer:||Gameloft|
|Price:||$9.99||App Size:||129.0 MB|