It’s that time of year again… We’ve reached March and I’ve almost finished another Assassin’s Creed game. This time out it’s the first proper outing for the PS4 (I don’t count Black Flag because it was on both PS3 and 4).
So… Here we go…
We are in revolutionary Paris this time out and its the turn of the 18th century. The setting is amazing, the graphics as good as ever, but what really wows, is the number of NPCs this game has populating the city. It’s madness, there are often what feels like hundreds of them rioting, shouting at figure of authority, or attending executions.
I’m happy to say that while there is a little slowdown where there are so many NPCs the frame rate never gets doddery. And there are none of the erm… issues that plagued the PC version on release.
The story line, then what’s that like? Well, it’s… confusing, and not that great. You play as Arno, adopted as a child when his father is killed, then his step father is killed..this draws Arno into the Assassin Vs Templar shenanigans. Queue some rather good assassining and some interesting missions, but none of which seems to stick in the memory. There are a miriad of ways to complete missions (much more than in previous games – which is a very good thing) and they are relatively varied in style, but nothing seems to be outstanding.
There is a love interest (Which is a red head so you’d think *I’d* be drawn in – See below) but it never seems to amount to anything, at least so far (I’ve still got the last few missions to complete).
There are so many side missions, so very very many. In doing these I may have lost track of the story line, but that’s the point of an AC game, you can leave the story and come back to it. It should still make sense.
What can I say about the graphics? Impressive. That’s the only word I can come up with. Paris is seriously impressive. I’ve been to Paris and visited some of the sights, which look amazing in this game…
The character models are great and they look really good in motion in the cut scenes. As is standard for Ubisoft these days, it’s a solid, pretty game that probably pushes the hardware more through sheer numbers than quality. Having said that, there are very few rogue textures (every once in a while an NPC’s outfit will change or flicker).
Game play is the usual Assassin’s Creed fare. Running and climbing is easy but looks impressive. Sometimes Arno will either do something you didn’t want or won’t do *quite* what you want, but that’s an issue that arises from the simplifying of the controls (Basic controls to run and climb are the same as run and hide, but sometimes it does the wrong thing). Combat is more satisfying than in previous games. It’s more complicated now than just mashing X until the enemy is dead, with timed counters and the ability to unlock special attacks.
My impressions of this are pretty good. It’s entertaining, but missing something. Previous AC games have had *something* to detract from the main game, the ship battles and fleet management in Black Flag to the tower defence game in AC2. The Sections in this game are kind of “run here collect these things” mini games, but they aren’t that interesting or engaging, and get repetitive, even if the setting changes.
It’s a good entry into the series, with some good progress made in the missions, but lacking the great storytelling factor of previous games, or maybe any sequel to Black Flag would have suffered these comparisons, who knows…