So I have to admit that my heart kind of sank when I read the numerous cutting reviews for Ubisoft's hyped up 'next best thing'. It's a game I've been following since I laid my eyes on the early previews and for whatever reason it really caught my attention and held it high for a long time.
Slowly the anticipation grew stronger and stronger with more and more news and information coming forth about the game. Then the trailer with the Moby tune was released. Simply one of the best game videos I have ever seen, how could you not want to buy a game with a trailer that makes it look so epic it actually makes you cry a little because it's not out yet? On top of that you have the fact the campaign is spearheaded by Jade Raymond and I don't think there needs to much else said about that...
On to the actual game itself then. Everything I had read was pushed to the back of my mind and forgotten as soon as I loaded up the game and began to play. It's a game that sucks you in with its glossy presentation and immersive graphics and it doesn't let go. It simply oozes atmosphere. The big surprise thrust upon at the start of the game does as it was intended, genuninely surprises and whilst it may not be the most original story, it brings to the game a certain duality not seen in many stories. Sure some would prefer that the story was centered on just Altair's quest in the Middle Ages with no need for any sci-fi thrown in for good measure, but for me it brought something extra to the table. As much as I wanted to finsh one story, I found myself as interested in the other.
The first few hours of gameplay are truely some of the most fun and jaw dropping I have experienced for quite some time. Running from rooftop to rooftop and scaling just about anything for the first time has to be seen to believed. The flawless animation of Altair moving from brick to brick as you work your way up the side of a tower has to be experienced, no amount of words will ever do it justice until you grab the joypad and do it yourself.
Then there's the combat. For something so simple to master, the amount of pleasure there is to get out of dispatching a circle of guards in the most satisfyingly brutal ways is amazing. I almost felt sorry for the poor guys as Altair gracefully dances around their attacks before smashing an arm to pieces and putting the poor blighter out of his misery with a sword through the chest.
As you can probably tell, I was and still am a fan of this title and whilst it does have a few downsides that have been highlighted by others, the things it gets right more than make up for it. I agree that whilst it isn't the game it could of been, the foundations are in place to make the next game truly outstanding.
9 / 10