Ubisoft's Holy Land head-bashing extravaganza Assassins Creed now heads to the PC. Can it cause as much controversy as the console original?

Assassins Creed caused quite a stir when it was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles last year. Originally hailed as a masterpiece of next generation gaming, then roundly derided by the gaming community for failing to live up to its potential, Assassin's Creed is a classic example of the ‘graphics versus gameplay' argument that has raged over the years.

Storywise Assassins Creed takes place in the Holy Land during the time of the crusades and you take the role of Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad, an member of a secret brotherhood of Assassins. The game revolves around Altair's demotion in the brotherhood and rise to power via the slaying of a series of historical figures during the year 1191.

This story is told via flashback form via Altair's ancestor in a time in the future when it is now apparantly possible to relive the memories of your ancestor that are stored in genetic coding.

The narrative of Assassins Creed is one of the areas in which the game can be commended and criticised at more or less the same level. The plot itself is intriguing and engaging, and the characters you are busy removing from this mortal coil are (according to Ubisoft) based on real historical figures.

Sadly – as is all too common in the videogame industry – the ideas of the game designers are let down by sub-standard implementation. While it may be too much to ask for virtual characters to deliver Oscar-level performances; it isn't too much to ask for accents that aren't Jonny-foreigner impersonations from a British sitcom circa 1970.

This in itself would be cringeworthy enough except that Assassins Creed's main character, Altair, speaks with a pure American accent, as if it were somehow normal to wander around the crusades like an extra from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

NEXT PAGE: the visuals, control system, and our expert verdict > >

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Assassins Creed

Ubisoft's Holy Land head-bashing extravaganza Assassins Creed now heads to the PC. Can it cause as much controversy as the console original?

Although visually stunning on the PS3 and Xbox 360, Assassins Creed comes across as distinctly average on the PC. Maybe it's because Crysis raised the bar so swiftly for higher end PCs that these owners will feel somewhat disappointed. We also saw more pop-up than we'd have liked on our mid-range test system.

More crictically though is the control system. The original Assassins Creed game was clearly designed with a joypad in mind and this has transformed on the keyboard to a game of 'finger-twister'.

Although Assassins Creed was not as bad a game as some will have you believe, it was profoundly disappointing on the console systems, and we are disheartened to discover that rather than address the myriad of issues (poor acting, repetitive gameplay), Ubisoft has more-or-less ported the game to the PC (with the addition of four new bonus missions).

Assassins Creed

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Assassins Creed: Specs

  • Windows XP / Vista
  • Dual core processor 2.6GHz Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or better recommended)
  • 2GB RAM (3GB recommended)
  • 256MB DirectX 10.0-compliant video card or DirectX 9.0-compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (512 MB video card recommended)
  • DirectX 9.0 or 10.0 compliant sound card (5.1 sound card recommended)
  • 12GB hard disk space
  • Windows XP / Vista
  • Dual core processor 2.6GHz Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or better recommended)
  • 2GB RAM (3GB recommended)
  • 256MB DirectX 10.0-compliant video card or DirectX 9.0-compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (512 MB video card recommended)
  • DirectX 9.0 or 10.0 compliant sound card (5.1 sound card recommended)
  • 12GB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

Assassins Creed fails to fix the problems found in the original console game, and the awkward control system brings a few new problems to the plate too. On the whole, we'd give it a miss.

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