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Information about Assassin's CreedAssassin's Creed is a third person action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was released worldwide in Nov. 2007 (10 years ago) on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, and Apr. 2008 (9 years ago) for Windows and a ported version in Q2 2009 (8 years ago) for the iPhone/iPod Touch.
The story takes place in sep. 2012 (5 years ago), following Desmond Miles, a bartender kidnapped by a laboratory conducting research into genetic memory. By the sessions conducted on Miles, the player learns he is a descendant of Alta´r Ibn La-Ahad ("Son of None"), a member of the "Assassin Clan" in 1191 (826 years ago), who were on a mission to obtain a "Piece of Eden", an artifact capable of creating illusions, from the Knights Templar. As the story develops, it is learned that the laboratory management were a modern version of the Knights Templar, and that they knew about Miles' ancestry. When their true objective is revealed, the player learns that they were looking for the location of a Piece of Eden, which they believed to be hidden in Miles' memory.
GameplayAssassin's Creed is an action-adventure video game in which the player primarily assumes the role of Alta´r as experienced by Desmond. The primary goal of the game is to carry out a series of assassinations ordered by Al Mualim, the leader of the Assassins. To achieve this goal, the player must travel from the Brotherhood's headquarters in Masyaf, across the terrain of the Holy Land known as the Kingdom to one of three cities, Jerusalem, Acre, or Damascus, to find the Brotherhood agent in that city. There, the agent, in addition to providing a safe house, gives the player minimal knowledge about the target, and requires them to perform additional intelligence gathering missions before attempting the assassination. These missions include eavesdropping, interrogation, pickpocketing and completing tasks for informers and fellow assassins. Additionally, the player may take part in any number of side objectives, including climbing tall towers to map out the city, and saving citizens who are being threatened or harassed by the city guards. There are also various side quests that do not advance the plot such as hunting down and killing Templars and flag collecting. After completing each set of assassinations, the player is returned back to the Brotherhood and rewarded with a better weapon and then given another set of targets, with the player free to select the order of their targets.
The player is made aware of how noticeable Alta´r is to enemy guards as well as the current state of alert in the local area via an alertness level meter. To perform many of the assassinations and other tasks, the player must consider the use of commands distinguished by its type of profile. Low profile commands allow Alta´r to blend into nearby crowds, pass by other citizens, or other non-threatening tasks that can be used to hide and reduce the alertness level; the player can also use Alta´r's retractable blade to attempt low profile assassinations. High profile commands are more noticeable, and include running, scaling the sides of buildings to climb to higher vantage points, and attacking foes; performing these actions at certain times may raise the local area's awareness level. Once the area is at high alert, the crowds run and scatter while guards attempt to chase and bring down Alta´r; to reduce the alert level, the player must control Alta´r as to break the guards' line of sight and then find a hiding space such as a haystack or rooftop garden, or blend in with the citizens sitting on benches or wandering scholars. Should the player be unable to escape the guards, they can fight back using swordplay maneuvers.
The player's health is described as the level of synchronization between Desmond and Alta´r's memories; should Alta´r suffer injury, it is represented as deviation from the actual events of the memory, rather than physical damage. If all synchronization is lost, the current memory that Desmond is experiencing will be restarted at the last checkpoint. When the synchronization bar is full, the player has the additional option to use "eagle vision" which allows the computer-rendered memory to highlight all visible characters in colors corresponding to whether they are friend or foe or even the target of their assassination. Due to Alta´r's memories being rendered by the computer of the Animus project, the player may experience "glitches" in the rendering of the historical world, which may help the player to identify targets, or can be used to alter the viewpoint during in-game scripted scenes should the player react fast enough when they appear.
PlotDesmond Miles is a bartender kidnapped by the company Abstergo Industries for use as a test subject in the "Animus", a device that can stimulate the recall of ancestral memories. Abstergo intends to put Desmond in the device to recall the role of his ancestor, Alta´r Ibn La-Ahad, in the "Assassin Clan" during 1191 (826 years ago) as part of the Third Crusade in the Holy Land. Desmond has trouble adjusting to the device, but eventually relives Alta´r's exploits over the next several days. The game then primarily takes Alta´r's view point, with occasional swap with Desmond, due to glitches in the Animus.
Alta´r is first shown attempting to retrieve a "Piece of Eden" from Solomon's Temple with the help of other assassins, but is stopped by Robert de SablÚ, a member of the Knights Templar and sworn enemies of the assassins. While retrieving the treasure, Alta´r breaks all three tenets of the Assassin's Creed ("Do not harm the innocent," "Be discrete in your work" and "Do not compromise the Brotherhood") within the opening minutes of gameplay to attempt to kill de SablÚ, but fails. Upon returning to Masyaf, Al Mualim, leader of the Assassins, demotes Alta´r to an initiate but gives him another chance to rise through the ranks of the Brotherhood. Al Mualim assigns Alta´r the task of assassinating nine key figures across the Holy Land in Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus, to attempt to bring peace between the Crusader and Saracen forces. Each target is based on a real life character who died in 1191 (826 years ago) and include Majd Addin (Regent of Jerusalem), Garnier de Nablus (Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller), Jubair al Hakim (a eminent scholar in Damascus), Abu'l Nuqoud (the wealthiest man in Damascus), Robert de SablÚ, Grand Master Sibrand of the Teutonic Order and William V, Marquess of Montferrat (Regent of Acre).
Alta´r completes each task, learning that each target is connected to Robert and the Templars. He discovers that the Templars are trying to trick the Muslim and Christian forces into working together to face the assassins, so as to bring peace to the world. Alta´r's final target, de SablÚ, reveals in his dying words that Al Mualim is himself a member of the Knights Templar, and used Alta´r to kill the other members so he could keep the treasure for himself. Alta´r quickly returns to Masyaf to accost his master. Al Mualim reveals the truth; the Piece of Eden which he had received from one of the men in the Temple after Alta´r's transgression creates illusions, and he denounces religion and other seemingly supernatural events (e.g. the parting of the Red Sea, the Ten Plagues of Egypt and the presence of the Greek Gods in the Trojan War) as illusions caused by it. He then states his intention to use the artifact to compel mankind into a brainwashed state and so bring an end to conflict. Alta´r is eventually able to see through deceptions created by the artifact to kill Al Mualim. When Alta´r recovers the artifact, the Piece of Eden activates, showing a holographic view of the world with numerous locations of other Pieces of Eden marked across the globe.
When the process is complete, Desmond learns that Abstergo is a modern-day version of the Knights Templar, and are already seeking other artifacts at locations identified in Alta´r's memory. He further learns that the modern-day assassins had tried to rescue him before the memory was complete but had failed. Desmond was to be killed after completion, but a researcher named Lucy Stillman saves him from death. Though Desmond remains trapped in the Abstergo laboratory, his experience in the Animus has created a "bleeding effect" of Alta´r's life in his own, allowing him to see strange messages painted on the walls of his room, as well as allowing Desmond to use Alta´r's eagle vision (which proves to him that Lucy, who earlier bends down her ring finger as if to show him that she's on his side, is indeed an ally, as she glows blue). The messages all deal with various forms of the end of the world from different cultures, including several references to the date dec. 21, 2012 (5 years ago), the date that Abstergo plans to launch a satellite that will "permanently end the war". It is hinted at that this will be by the same method that Al Mualim hypnotized Masyaf, only on a larger scale.
DevelopmentOn sep. 28, 2006 (11 years ago), in an interview with IGN, producer Jade Raymond confirmed that Alta´r is "a medieval hitman with a mysterious past" and that he is not a time traveler. In a later interview on dec. 13, 2006 (11 years ago), with IGN, Kristen Bell (95 walls) (who lent her voice to the game) talked about the plot. According to the interview, the plot centers on genetic memory and a corporation looking for descendants of an assassin.
"It's actually really interesting to me. It's sort of based on the research that's sort of happening now, about the fact that your genes might be able to hold memory. And you could argue semantics and say it's instinct, but how does a baby bird know to eat a worm, as opposed to a cockroach, if its parents don't show it? And it's about this science company trying to, Matrix-style, go into people's brains and find out an ancestor who used to be an assassin, and sort of locate who that person is."
On Oct. 22, 2007 (10 years ago), in an IGN Australia interview with Patrice Desilets mentioned that the lead character's climbing and running were done by "Alex and Richard ľ the same guys from Prince of Persia".
Alta´r is voiced by actor Philip Shahbaz, and his face is modeled on Francisco Randez, a model from MontrÚal.
MusicJade Raymond, producer of Assassin's Creed said "For Assassin's Creed we wanted the score to capture the gruesome atmosphere of medieval warfare but also be edgy and contemporary." The musical score was composed by Jesper Kyd in 2007 (10 years ago). Six tracks were made available online to those who have purchased the game; a password was given to people to insert at the soundtrack section of the Ubisoft website. Several tracks are also available to listen to on Kyd's MySpace and his official website. The released tracks as a whole have the archaic Latin chorus and dark orchestral music, while the track "Meditation Begins" features a kind of Saltarello with a very ominous, dark, ambient overtone with men whispering in Latin. The atmosphere in these tracks is what Jesper Kyd is known for and is effective in situ. The soundtrack is available in iTunes Music Store and Amazon MP3.
Windows versionIt was made public in Apr. 2008 (9 years ago) that Assassin's Creed would be sold electronically and available for pre-order through Valve's software distribution program, Steam. The PC version of Assassin's Creed was released on Apr. 8, 2008 (9 years ago) in North America. Four bonus mission types, not seen in the console version, are included. These 4 new missions are archer assassination, rooftop race challenge, merchant stand destruction challenge and escort challenge.
A pirated version of the game has been in existence since late Feb. 2008 (9 years ago). According to Ubisoft a bug was purposely inserted into the pre-release version of the game by the publisher itself to unpredictably crash the game and prevent completion as a security measure, though players were able to use extra content available on the Internet to bypass it. The pirated version of Assassin's Creed was one of the most popular titles for piracy during the first week of Mar. 2008 (9 years ago). The presence of the bug and performance of the pirated version of the game was believed by Ubisoft to lead to "irreparable harm" for the game and resulted in low retail sales; NPD Group reports that 40,000 copies of the PC title were sold in United States in July, while more than 700,000 copies were illegally downloaded according to Ubisoft. In Jul. 2008 (9 years ago), Ubisoft sued disc manufacturer Optical Experts Manufacturing, believing the company to be the source of the leak, citing poor security procedures that allowed an employee to leave with a copy of the game.
DemosOn Jul. 10, 2007 (10 years ago), during Microsoft's E3 press conference, a demo was shown using a previously unseen city, Jerusalem. Features that were demonstrated included improved crowd mechanics, the "chase" system (chasing after a target trying to flee), as well as deeper aspects of parkour. This was the first time when Alta´r could be heard speaking. It was again showcased for 20 minutes on Jul. 11, 2007 (10 years ago). The video showed an extended version of the E3 demo, and included Alta´r trying to escape after his assassination of Talal the Slave Trader.
On Aug. 26, 2007 (10 years ago), a 11-minute demo of Assassin's Creed was shown at the Penny Arcade expo. The level that was shown was the same as in the E3 demo; however, a different path was taken to reach the target. At the end of the demo, a conversation between Alta´r and the head of the Assassin's bureau in Jerusalem called Malik was shown.
ReceptionAssassin's Creed has received generally positive reviews, although several publications such as Eurogamer, while still awarding the game decent scores, pointed out a number of significant shortcomings. Eurogamer stated that the gameplay "never evolves and ultimately becomes a bit boring, and quite amazingly repetitive." In Andrew P.'s review for EGM(Kage), he wrote that the game features "a challenging Parkour path of escape..." Famitsu awarded the Xbox 360 version of Assassin's Creed a 36 (9, 9, 9, 9), while the PS3 version received a 37 (10, 8, 9, 10) out of 40, positively citing the story, presentation, and acrobatics, while criticizing the one button combat, map layout, and camera problems. Game Informer awarded Assassin's Creed a 9.5 out of 10, praising the control scheme, replay value, and intriguing story, but expressing frustration over the "repetitive" information gathering missions. On The Hotlist on ESPNEWS, ESPN's Aaron Boulding called the game's concept of social stealth "fairly original" and added, "Visually, the developers nailed it." GameTrailers similarly praised the story (giving a 9.7 score to its story), and also cited repetitive gameplay and "moronic" AI as somewhat stifling its potential. "Assassins Creed is one of those games that breaks new ground yet fails in nailing some fundamentals", said Gametrailers. The game also received a 10 out of 10 from GamesRadar, and has a Metacritic score of 79. According to GamePro, Assassin's Creed is one of the "finest gaming experiences ever created" if you are willing to be "patient" due to the lack of fast-paced action. Hyper's Darren Wells commends the game for its "great story, great graphics and intuitive controls". However, he criticises it for "some missions that don't feel right on the PC and its loopy menu system".
Assassin's Creed won several awards at E3 2006 (11 years ago). Game Critics awarded it "Best Action/Adventure Game,"; from IGN, "Best Action Game", "PS3 Game of the Show", "Best PS3 Action Game", "Best PS3 Graphics"; from GameSpot and GameSpy, "Best PS3 Game of the Show"; from GameTrailers "Best of Show", and from 1UP.com, "Best PS3 game". Creed was nominated for several other awards by X-Play and Spike TV.
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