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Monday, December 31, 2007

Altair: Defender of the People

As the year comes to a close, it looks like Assassin's Creed will be the last game I play in 2007. After dabbling a little with Mass Effect, I decided to get back into Assassin's Creed and finish the game off. As things stand, I think I'm very close to finishing the game and I'm looking forward to seeing how things finish for our hero Altaïr.

Although I was starting to get into Mass Effect, seeing and playing Assassin's Creed on my friend's 50-inch plasma was amazing. My friend thought the game looked incredible and he was truly amazed by how well the free running and twitch-combat was integrated into the game. I'd have to concur: no matter how much you play Assassin's Creed, watching Altaïr scale a building or fight a large group of guards never grows old.

For all the talk of how easily one could beat Assassin's Creed, I'm finding many parts of the game to be quite tough now. Having completed seven of the nine assassinations, I can confirm that the game's difficulty does ramp up quite nicely. The assassinations get tougher, the investigations can be terribly challenging (especially the Informer missions), and the fights can get downright ugly. Whereas I used to take on all comers when battling soldiers and guards, I've now found myself having to run from fights if only to continue moving the story along. I'm pretty sure that I could easily continue fighting guards in one long protracted battle, if I so chose, due to the staggering number of guards and patrols clogging the cities' streets.

Since I last played and discussed Assassin's Creed, I've managed to pick up a few more achievements.

Defender of the People: Acre [20 GamerPoint]: There are a number of citizens requiring assistance in each of the cities of Damascus, Jerusalem, and Acre. With the balance of power shifting in the Holy Land, many of the cities' guards are having problems handling their new found power and authority. When these guards get out of line and start harassing innocent citizens, it is up to Altaïr to save the day.

After visiting Acre on three different occasions, I managed to save all the citizens who needed my aid. And though this required a lot of fighting on behalf of the down-trodden and unfortunate victims of a changing society, I can say that it was worth it. Altaïr gets the satisfaction that the citizens of Acre are momentarily safe from the clutches of corrupt guards and I get the satisfaction of having 20 GamerPoint added to my gamer score. Now that's a win-win scenario if I ever saw one!

The Blood of a Teutonic Leader [25 GamerPoint]: This assassination proved to be a little more difficult than most. Why? Well, Altaïr can't swim in much the same that the nameless hero from GTA 3 couldn't swim and Tommy Vercetti from GTA: Vice City couldn't swim. You wouldn't think that this would pose that big a problem in the scorching heat of the Middle East. However, Acre is a port city and the Teutonic Leader liked to stay close to water.

Although the actual assassination took place with very little fuss (Altaïr's target ran like a coward until his life was ended by a quick puncture wound made to the side of his neck), I managed to drown Altaïr on three separate occasions as I tried to get near the intended victim. As a word of advice to those of you who plan on playing Assassin's Creed: when fighting near water, do your best to position Altaïr with a wall directly behind him. By doing so, you should avoid being knocked off your feet and into the water. Trust me, it's a little harder than it seems...

For my efforts, I got 25 GamerPoint and Altaïr got a bath!

Defender of the People: Damascus [20 GamerPoint]: The citizens of Damascus were also being harassed as were those in Acre. Once again, Altaïr put an end to injustice to the tune of 20 gamer points!

I don't think I'll be playing any Assassin's Creed this evening so it looks my 2007 year of gaming is now at an end. I had a lot of fun with a lot of great games! And I've really enjoyed relaying my virtual adventures to you, my readers. I'm happy to see that my readership has grown rather large in the past few weeks. Though I suspect the increased traffic is due to the rabid holiday shoppers, I hope that many of you who've been stopping by will stay on and continue regularly visiting my site in 2008.

I'll be back in the New Year with more achievements, more news, more previews, and more reviews. Until then, let me wish each and every one of you a safe and happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Truly, this game was remarkable. I play the PC-version, and i've gotta say that it's very awesome. Better than I thought it would be. 8/10 if you ask me, no doubts. :)