Over-hypedOne of the most talked about and anticipated games of the year, Assassin’s Creed, has finally arrived and I didn’t expect or want to say it, but I’m disappointed. You see, the story is an interesting one and is told extremely well through emotive, well-produced and cleverly penned cut-scenes. The memorable soundtrack, scored by the incomparable Jesper Kid, wouldn’t sound out of place in any Blockbuster movie and the graphics push the capabilities of the Xbox 360 hardware and look fabulous in almost every respect. As a package, Assassin’s Creed appears to have all the elements it needs to be one of the best Games of 2007. But, it has one vital ingredient missing.
If ever you needed an example of why you shouldn’t get carried away with hype, it’s this game. I’m not questioning the fact that Ubisoft’s Montreal studio has created a marvellous graphical spectacle, it’s the best looking title on the Xbox 360 to date, but the movie-set façade can’t hide the fact that the game deteriorates the more you play it and after a few hours even gazing in awe at the stunning backdrop begins to get tiresome. It’s plain and simple. You can plough as much money as you can get your hands on and have the best designers in the world creating a graphical and technical masterpiece, but if a game lacks any challenge or fails to deliver an exciting gameplay experience, it’s going to stand out for all the wrong reasons.
While Assassin’s Creed has many positives and is certainly still worthy of picking up – even if it’s just to soak up the lively atmosphere in the streets of the Holy cities - it doesn’t provide a compelling enough gaming experience to warrant being rated alongside some this year’s great titles, like Bioshock, The Orange Box, Call of Duty 4 or The Darkness - all of which offer an exciting gameplay experience. Assassin’s Creed is a prime example of where hype has helped to fuel my disappointed. The game is actually quite good in places, but it’s just not as great as I was expecting.