App Review: Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles Mark Dell 4 August, 2010 For those who don’t keep up with console releases, Assassin’s Creed is a PC/Console game released around three years ago which primarily focuses around an Assassin called Altaïr living around Jerusalem in the time of the third crusade involved in a fight against the Templars. However, unlike its big brother, the mobile version doesn’t boast the same large open world, sidequests or even the scaling up the sides of buildings. Things are instead trimmed down to running through platforming areas with some combat in between. Combat is basic, but fortunately not overused Dispute the concessions that had to be made to bring this game to a portable device, this still feels very much like a fully fleshed out and realized game. There’s the expected combat and platforming but there’s also choreographed story sequences to advance the plot between levels and skills and abilities to unlock as the game progresses such as wall running and a grappling hook. Certain skills are unlocked through simply advancing the story, where as health and attack damage are upgraded by gaining experience by slaying Templars. Platforming has more of a Prince of Persia vibe. The combat doesn’t feel particularity deep or well structured and often is resolved by alternating between the pair of attack buttons and blocking followed by a counter when things get rough. Some foes can be avoided but the heavy reliance on stealth that is present in the console versions is left mostly unexplored, with the exception of some select situations, such as a guard sleeping. Platforming, however, is a lot less forgiving. Timing jumps can be rather tricky and making it through a tough section can result in far more deaths than seem reasonable for this level of platforming. There’s nothing wrong with a strong level of difficulty in sections such as these, but when the task laid out before you is so simple and you fail through lack of precision in the controls, things cease to be fun and frustration quickly takes over. Checkpoints help alleviate much of the frustration that would be caused by jumping further back in the level but you’ll still be wishing for them to be a little more frequent or for you to unlock some kind of dagger that could rewind time. You’ll be seeing this a lot. Graphically, Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles is a real jaw dropper. Often there’s a great deal being displayed on screen giving the world a sense of scale without any noticeable slowdown. Animation of the characters whether they be in combat or running over rooftops is fluid and believable, you might even just find yourself forgetting that you’re playing a handheld game on your phone. Even all the cut scenes are fully voiced, but the quality of both the writing and the acting are questionable at best, sometimes beyond the point of being bad and into the realm of spoof like hilarity in places. The dialog might be bad, but on a platform that doesn’t usually have voiced sequences it’s hard to fault the game for this. Altaïr proves his superior knowledge of a cat’s subconscious. Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles is by no means a perfect game and the frustrations in some areas might just be too bad for some to see past. However, if you can make it past some of these issues with the controls then you’ll have a great looking and full game that makes a great showpiece for just what the Android platform can do when there’s a talented developer working with it. Application name : Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles (Not to be confused with the cheaper game available on the market) Published by: Gameloft Price: $4.99 Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles can be purchased direct from Gameloft at: http://www.gameloft.com/smartphone/Assassins-Creed/ Are you a gamer? What games do you play most on your Android device and what else would like us to review? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!