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Thread: Assassins Creed

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    Assassins Creed

    Assassins Creed is finally out on the PC, so for those not lucky enough to have a PS3 yet they can finally get their hands on this game.

    First the bad news. As expected the system specs are quite high. Minimum spec (according to the game) is 1GB ram, 2GHz Dual Core CPU, 256MB DX9c 6800 or higher GFX card, HD space 12GB.

    And the recommend specs (according to the game) indicate that to run the game in all its glory will be out of the reach of many current PC gamers. These being 2.8GHz dual core CPU (3.2GHz for Vista), 2GB Ram (3GB for Vista), 512MB GFX card (768MB DX10 for Vista), 12GB HD space.

    Based on these specs I was expecting my current PC to fall over and not run this game well at all, but now for the good news. It runs perfectly well!

    The system I'm running it on is an Athlon 64 4000+ (single core), 2GB ram, GeForce 7800GT 256MB, XP Pro SP2. With medium settings and a resolution of 1024x768 it runs smoothly and still looks great. I did try it at 1280x1024, but could instantly feel the slowdown in framerate and performance. It was still playable and didn't stutter, but the reaction time of the game character was definitely slower and so was not worth playing the game in that resolution. But importantly the graphics didn't look that different to 1024x768.

    I played around with the graphics settings, trying variations of all the settings (expected to need them all set to minimum) and was pleasantly surprised by the settings I could use for a decent frame rate. With all of the settings on medium the game runs smoothly without any stuttering framerate issues you often get when a machine is struggling to keep up.

    I did also test it with all the settings on minimum and, while I did notice a slight increase in the smoothness of movement within the game, it removed too much of the game's detail to be liked. The shadows were completely gone, the graphics all had slight jaggies on them, most of the particle and light effects were gone, the number of people populating the world was reduced, and the number of little additions like birds flying around was clearly lowered by a lot. On minimum settings it gives the game a very dated look, although for those struggling to even get the game to run I suppose it is better than nothing until they can upgrade.

    Bumping the settings all up to medium removed the jaggies, added much nicer textures, particle, smoke and lighting effects, more people populating the areas, lots more going on in the areas. But more noticeable has to be the shadows. With them switched off everything looks wrong and very flat. Moving that setting up to medium really does make a huge difference and instantly gives life to the game world.

    Moving all the settings up to max does give another noticeable increase in visual quality, making the game look very nice, but the difference between medium and high settings isn't actually as great as I was expecting. Yes you can see a difference, but it isn't so great, so medium settings are still going to please most gamers.

    Obviously due to my setup I'm running the game in DX9 mode, and I fully expect it looks even better on a DX10 based system. But it is by no means a disappointment using DX9.

    Now to the game. Many have already played the game via the console releases so know what to expect, and it is pretty much the same. The story and areas are identical, except the PC release is meant to contain a bit more new content. Not sure what but anything extra is always good.

    The control system is clearly adapted from a console origin, with the 4 circle command indicator visible at the top right of the screen at all times. And it does make the controls slight fiddly. Standard movement is the FPS standard of WASD and mouse, but everything else you do is set of key combinations. The left and right mouse buttons are confusingly referred to as Button 0 (left mouse button) and Button 1 (right mouse button). Holding Button 1 toggles between the two command modes,and Button 0 is used for the currently selected action like attack.

    The actual access to the 4 commands in each of the two command modes is via the keyboard using E, Ctrl, Shift and Space. With other such as F for target lock. This definitely takes some getting used to as you need to be holding the right mouse button down and the space bar in order to perform jumps. Definitely not as intuitive as the standard PC FPS method of just tapping the space bar.

    Weapon switching is also made more fiddly due to this control system. Why can't we just press keys 1-4 to select the weapons? Rather than needed to use a keyboard combination and then the numbers to select each.

    You can customise the keyboard commands so I might see if I can do this to make it all much simpler and more PC FPS standard. It is still playable with the standard controls, but you know they are not ideal when you suddenly find yourself trying to remember a keyboard combination during battle!

    As with the PS3 version, gameplay is fun. I would say that it is slightly easy compared to most games released recently. You find yourself being guided through much of it without needing to think, and while the levels are free roaming you can't get lost because your next objective is always clearly marked on your compass map. But it is fun to play and enjoyable to watch. Definitely worth playing.

    There are however bugs. I've played the game for about 2 hours so far and in that time it has crashed back to the desktop three times. I haven't had any other games crash on this system, so it is definitely the game.

    The first time I entered the Fortress at Jerusalem it crashed. I instantly thought. Oh no, it's that well know bug everyone is taking about! But reloading the game I was then able to enter fine and continue. And similarly the other two times I was just moving through the areas of the game and it crashed. Restarting allowing me to continue. So it definitely looks like a patch is needed to stabilise it fully, but these bugs don't prevent you playing the game, so as long as you don't mind reloading occasionally it is OK.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Don't you have a game controller to use with the PC?

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    Yes, but I normally prefer to play such games using a mouse + keyboard combination. I will trying it with a PS2 controller though as it should definitely be much easier.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    The only games I can think of that are more playable with mouse/keyboard are definitely FPS, but I think that all other genre of games play well with a controller.

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    RTS? Sorry couldn't resist.

    Assassins Creed is pretty much geared up as a FPS but with an over the shoulder view point. I think it depends on the game really.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Weird that the same kind of bugs that plagued the console versions were carried over to the PC version.

    I've considered trying this game out, but simply had too many other games lying about. The newly purchased CycloDS Evolution for my DS didn't help much either, in that regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
    RTS? Sorry couldn't resist.
    Oops, forgot about that, you're right.

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    Hmm, I have this game on the PS3...it gets quite meh after a while, there is no variation to anything...the same thing, over and over...
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    While it is true that once you get past the good introduction sections and into the main assassination missions it does start to follow a pattern for each mission, but I've not found it boring yet.

    From what I've played so far you can really see the influences of the development team's previous games on this one. Especially the Prince of Persia and the Splinter Cell series. But most of all I think it takes many ideas and its feel from the Thief series, and I remember reading that some of the AC developers were originally involved in developing the Thief games; the third still being just as good as when it was released in 2004 and worth playing if you haven't done so yet.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
    From what I've played so far you can really see the influences of the development team's previous games on this one. Especially the Prince of Persia and the Splinter Cell series. But most of all I think it takes many ideas and its feel from the Thief series, and I remember reading that some of the AC developers were originally involved in developing the Thief games; the third still being just as good as when it was released in 2004 and worth playing if you haven't done so yet.
    Yep you definately can see those influences
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