Posts tagged assassin’s creed
This is starting to get a bit trickier now and I’m still quite near the beginning. Last night I had to chase a rogue through the streets of Barcelona, only to find myself at a door at the end of the level that I couldn’t get through. (Yes, I’m a trained assassin who can’t open doors – I love you, videogames!)
The rogue would then catch up with me. (Yes, I had to chase her by staying ahead of her – I love you, videogames!) She’d burst through the door and I’d fail the mission. Frustration ensued, but was tempered by the fact that running full pelt through the streets was really, really fun.
Eventually I noticed I could climb a wall and run over the roof, avoiding the door entirely. Once I did, I completed the level. Hurrah!
It’s a good game, this, you know, but right now it’s lack a certain something to make it one of the best games on the iPhone. I think it’s a combination of the odd control fluff (they’re perfectly responsive, but the context-sensitive buttons can be a little confusing right now) and the fact that running full speed, which is the best part of the game, will almost always land you in deep trouble if you don’t know exactly what lies ahead.
Right now, I think that if I made a list of the top twenty games on the iPhone, this might make it in, but it’s not going to unseat any of the top ten. That could all change after more play, though. I might come to love it, or the little annoyances might grow and grow until I end up hating the very mention of Ezio’s name.
I’m looking forward to finding out.
A side-scrolling platform take on Assassin’s Creed that’s not going to be for everybody. It controls pretty nicely, though there are enough different things to do that in these early days I’m having a little trouble remembering what I can do when, it looks fairly pretty for a game with 3D models, there are collectables, achievements and multiple paths through levels and it seems to have a decent amount of content.
I started it up for a quick go this lunchtime and found it very hard to pull myself away, but you might want to be cautious. Ask yourself a question:
Do you mind trial and error in your platform games?
If you do, you may want to steer clear. Even in these, presumably simple, early levels, there’s a lot of learning to do. You’ll fall, you’ll die, you’ll run into guards you didn’t know were there. Worst of all, for some, there are an awful lot of leaps of faith. (Though, to be fair, they seem to be needed to take the best routes in a level, fall down and you’ll be inconvenienced, but not killed. So far, at least.) The general rule is to jump at the end of every rooftop when you’re running, stop and have a look around if you’re sneaking. Doesn’t work every time, though.
For my part, I’ve never minded having to learn games. I get knocked down, I get back up again and hope I’ve remembered where the problem was. It feeds the “one more go” factor and grabs me and won’t let go.
I like this game. Whether or not it’s worth the premium price tag I don’t yet know, but first impressions are good. It’s going to divide people, though, I’m sure.
Played a lot of this over the weekend, but I don’t seem to be anywhere close to the end. I’ve made it to Venice, but a lot of the city is still locked. It’s all been excellent fun, except for a glyph that turned out not to be on the building the description seemed to be saying it was. That was a cause of great frustration. Oh, and there was a code wheel puzzle where I simply couldn’t see any clues at all. I used GameFAQs for both those things, but they’re the only times I’ve had to look something up online so far.
The general running, jumping, stabbing mayhem has still been perfectly fine. I’ve started to disarm opponents a lot now; seems to be the best way to kill many tougher enemies.
Honestly, the demo of Bayonetta spoiled this a bit for me last night. After the fluid grace of the lady with the glasses, Ezio felt like a big lumbering fool of a man, constantly stumbling and falling over. I dunno, maybe he was drunk. Or maybe it’s just that I was dog tired last night.
I actually got a bit frustrated with the game, for the first time since the “Leonardo’s box falling through the scenery” incident. I have an assassination contract to do, which has to be done without any of my targets spotting me. Trouble is, throwing knives just seem to piss them off a bit and I can’t get close without them spotting me.
Oh, and it crashed once, too, just after finishing a different assassination mission – which I now have to do again. Grr.
Hopefully just an aberration.
Took a month off, for no real reason, but I’m back in Italy now. And I’m having a whale of a time. There’s a million things to do, all of them fun, and it’s just one of the very best games I’ve played in ages. It’s amazing how much better than the first game it is. I loved that one, but I’m sure that if I went back it would seem far too empty and simplistic.
Last night I played for about an hour and a half and in that time I managed to do one story mission, some side assassinations, kill a courier, find my way to some tricky feathers, buy a treasure map and go hunting, upgrade my town and villa, change my clothes, buy some new armour and weapons, name a horse Jeremy, climb new eagle points, hire some courtesans and mercenaries to distract guards, solve some puzzles revealed by glyphs, decode and rearrange codex pages, etc., etc.
Normal blogging will be resumed shortly, but to mark the new year, here are the best ten games of 2009… that I played. (So no Modern Warfare 2 or Uncharted 2, for example.) It was hard to whittle it down to a top ten, but I think I got there. Unfortunately, it means that 33rd Division, Scribblenauts, Angry Birds, Ridge Racer Accelerated, Doom Classic, Borderlands and even the mighty Demon’s Souls, Minigore and Orbital got left out.
Assassin’s Creed 2 (360)
I loved the first Assassin’s Creed game, but the sequel is on a completely different level. It’s tuned to perfection, with the developers having learnt the lessons of the first game and it’s absolutely packed with things to do. You can’t move more than three feet in town without encountering a side mission, treasure chest, shop, random chase, glyph or feather. Everything’s interesting, everything’s fun, there’s a decent script that’s not afraid to be funny now and again (“It’s me, Mario!”) and it’s absolutely beautiful. Best of all, I’m nowhere near done with it, so it’ll last me well into 2010.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)
If I had to choose one single Game of the Year, there’s no doubt that it would be Batman: Arkham Asylum. Influenced by the best comics and cartoons, it’s the first game that really, truly lets you be Batman. Batman’s not going to get hurt in a fight with a thug, but make him fight six at a time and he needs to be careful. And if those thugs have got guns, well, he’ll have to take them out without being seen. All the gameplay elements mesh together perfectly – with the exception of a few of the boss fights – and I’ll remember the setting and Mark Hamill’s Joker for a long, long time to come, even if I’ve already forgotten some of the details of the actual story. Brilliant.
If I were doing hardware awards, the iPhone would be running away with them. My scepticism of the device as a games machine disappeared within days of getting one. I even like virtual sticks and buttons now. But the first iPhone game to make this alphabetical list doesn’t need any of those. Instead, you just tap on the screen everytime you want to jump. It’s simple, yes, but only dimwits would see that as a bad thing. You run, you jump and you inevitably die. And then you come back for another go. The randomly-generated levels keep things tense and it looks and sounds incredible.
Breathtaking. Flower sees you become a god or spirit and takes you on a incredible journey. It’s something of a miracle that the big brick of technology that is the Playstation 3 can make you feel such a part of nature. To describe the story would be an injustice – and I expect everyone has their own interpretation. The gentle glides, the swoops, the windmills and pylons and cities and grass and flowers… it’ll all stay with me a long, long time.
The game I’ve always wanted in my head now exists in real life. It’s a huge, sprawling mess of America, where driving for hours with no goal in mind is a simple joy. It’s a game you remember. Riding bikes down impossibly huge cliffs, picking your way round the shallows of a lake at night, watching the sun break over a burned forest… like most of the games in this list, this is an exceptional game not just for the pure rush of the gaming moment, but in the way the sights, sounds and feelings remain long after you’ve stopped playing. And, you know, it didn’t hurt that many of the races were brilliantly-designed, requiring knowledge of the environment and vehicles to succeed. A towering single-player achievement, it’s just a shame that the online didn’t quite live up to expectations.
Gran Turismo (PSP)
I only got this a few days before the end of the year, but after many hours of playing on the sofa and in bed, I knew it had to make this list. The driving model is exciting (though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise before playing with the settings) and there are a huge number of cars and tracks. What really makes it for me, though, is the structure. Instead of a career mode you’re just given some basic modes and can choose any of the tracks to race on. By racing you earn more money to buy new cars. There’s nothing forced on you, you can just buy the cars you think look interesting and take them round your favourite tracks. What to see how a 1954 2CV handles Laguna Seca? Well, off you go – and you’ll even get some money for it. Absolutely exceptional.
Killzone 2 (PS3)
You like shooting people in the face? Of course you do! Killzone 2 understands this. It gives you great guns and great enemies and makes amazing set pieces out of them. It takes a while to get into, but once you’ve wormed your way inside, you won’t want to get out. Perfectly paced and just as long as it needs to be, Killzone 2 is an absolute triumph of the simple joy of putting bullets into bad guys.
Noby Noby Boy (PS3)
Initially, it seems like it’ll probably be fun for ten minutes, but no more. There aren’t any real goals (beyond hunting for trophies, if you feel like it) there’s just a random level and the stretching, twisting, ever-hungry Boy. You move around, eat things, knock things over and just play for the simple joy of play. And it doesn’t seem to get old. You always expect it to, but every time you go back, it still grabs you and a quick five minutes turns into an hour and a half without you noticing – or caring. Criminally overlooked and incredibly cheap, Noby Noby Boy deserved much, much better.
Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? (PSP)
Hard as nails – you might well lose all your 1,000 lives before completing the game – but never malicious, Prinny is an odd game. It’s an old school platformer spin-off from a series of strategy games and shouldn’t really work. If you believe the reviewers who skated the surface without finding their way inside, it was a failure. But those reviewers are wrong. It’s a huge game, packed with humour and secrets and, crucially, death is always your own fault. Quite frankly, if you like running, jumping and pounding things with your bottom, there wasn’t a better game released this year.
Words With Friends (iPhone)
The online multiplayer hit of the year, I’ve played this every day for months now. Heavily based on Scrabble, Words With Friends doesn’t bother with any fluff, but just lets you play the game against other people with a minimum of fuss. Portable game of the year, without a shadow of a doubt.
Honestly, I’m not sure what I should say about this. I really don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but otherwise all I can say is that I played this for a couple of hours last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I dreamt about the game last night, too. I killed some men carrying a jewel-encrusted chest through the streets, then opened it to see what goodies were inside. I remember the following:
Half a loaf of Sainsbury’s Long Life sliced white bread.
Half a bag of grated Sainsbury’s Basics cheese.
There were some other modern foodstuffs, too, but I don’t remember what. Anyway, I froze in confusion and then two monks opened their robes to reveal uzis and started spraying bullets around. Turned out they’d hacked into the animus to kill me in the past, or something.
All very exciting, but the cat woke me up before there was any conclusion.
Nothing like that happened in the game, though. Bit of a shame, as it could be excellent. I could live without the Sainsbury’s product placement, mind.
Yes! A non-iPhone game! I went out on Saturday morning and used up the credit on my Blockbuster account on a copy of Assassin’s Creed 2. In these heady App Store days, spending forty pounds – forty pounds! – on a game seems ludicrous, so however much I wanted this game I’d not have got it if I didn’t have the store credit sitting there waiting for me.
I bought AC2 over all the other recent releases (Modern Warfare 2, New Super Mario Bros, etc.) because I loved and adored the first game and had heard this one was the same, but bigger and better. I’d heard right. It’s Assassin’s Creed taken to a whole new level, with a better structure and lots, lots more to do. It’s simply glorious.
I’m tempted to list all the cool things I did over the weekend, but I don’t really want to take away the surprise from people who haven’t played it. I’ve mostly avoided reviews and forum chat, so was constantly being surprised by new gameplay elements. I’m not sure that the story’s really up to much – it seems to be a fairly confusing conspiracy tale, not unlike the first game – but individual lines and scenes are well-scripted, with a surprising amount of humour.
I played for five or six hours the weekend, I think, and I’m itching to get back for more.
So, yes, I tried this again, too, after realising it was on my Mac and I just had to re-sync my iPhone to put it back.
I got an iPhone at the weekend. It’s the best thing ever. I can Twitter while I sit on the loo. I can keep up with baseball scores. I can set my Sky HD to record programs while I’m out and about. I can turn the phone upside down so ladies lose their clothes. Etc. It also plays games. I’ve tried a lot of them over the last few days, so I’m going to post some brief impressions in this thread, then I’ll post individual entries for games in the future. Ready? Here goes!
Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D – My most played iPhone game. It’s a simple game where you simply have to hit as many baseballs as possible as far as you can. It works due to the speed and the controls. Games are short (at least they are when you’re not very good), but it’s very hard not to hit “Yes” when it asks you if you want to play again. The controls are simple – tilt the iPhone to aim, touch anywhere on the screen to swing – and work perfectly. Very, very highly recommended. It cost me £1.79 and I’m happy with that, but for today only it’s down to 59p. Go get it – now!
Droplitz – Fantastic puzzle game where you have to rotate paths so that drops can get from the top of the screen to the bottom. Highly addictive and my second most played iPhone game. I believe it costs £1.19, which is an absolute steal, even when other games are 59p.
Flight Control – Draw paths so planes and helicopters can reach their destination without crashing. Great fun and makes good use of the iPhone’s location, giving you very local leaderboards. There’s a reason this 59p game has been such a big hit.
Zombies & Me – Notable for being the first product of a new EA studio set up to produce cheap iPhone games. You run around, getting zombies to follow you and then lead them into the path of falling bombs to blow them up. Very simple, but great fun. It really needs online leaderboards, though.
Assassin’s Creed Lite – Pretty rubbish. Looks lovely, but the virtual d-pad and buttons just don’t work well enough.
Mega Man 2 Lite – Another game ruined by having to make use of a virtual d-pad.
Topple – Free, fun enough, but a bit clunky to control. Worth a download.
iso – Falling block matching game. Decent enough, but I’m glad it was free.
Enviro-Bear 2010 – Insane, er, bear driving simulator. Absolutely impossible to control, but that’s the point. Not worthy of its current cult status, but you really do need to pay the 59p just for the WTF-ness.
WildWest Pinball – Good pinball game and well worth a download for the current price of zero pence.
Toki Tori – Excellent little puzzle game, which makes good use of touch screen controls and features some fiendish puzzles. Well worth the asking price – I played the demo and then bought the full version immediately.
Paper Toss – Oddly relaxing game where you have to flick balls of paper into a wastepaper basket. It’s free and worth downloading. I play it more than I feel I should.
Globall – Tilty ball game. It’s decent, but somehow it hasn’t grabbed me.
Galcon – Imagine Risk. In space. In real time. Where a whole game lasts about thirty seconds. You’ve just imagined Galcon. Recommended – and there’s a good demo, too, which convinced me to buy the full game.
Westbang – You remember that old game set in the wild west where there are three doors and when they open you have to shoot the baddies but avoid shooting the good guys? This is that. Works brilliantly and comes highly recommended. Yet another game where the demo convinced me to buy the game. I was surprised how good it was. Check it out.
Pocket God – Mainly notable for being the only game I’ve tried so far to make use of the cross-game Feint achievements system. It’s a fun little diversion for thirty seconds – you’re a god and you can kill your islanders in briefly amusing ways – but even 59p feels like a bit of a stretch to me. It’s hugely popular, though, so I’m probably in the minority here.