Review: Assassin's Creed: As Good As We Imagined (Page 3 of 5)
The upside is that this then clears up different avenues of approach and allows you to get closer to your mark without fear of reprisal. The downside, of course, is that puts the city on high alert with every arm of the law looking for you. Get the guards riled up enough and you will be greeted with a swarm of blades if you so much as sneeze in the wrong person's direction.
But if you do happen to find yourself in a scuffle, know that the fighting mechanics in the game are based on timing, meaning you can't just hack 'n slash. While you can repeatedly swing your sword by hitting the X button, learning the nuances of battle, like dodging, countering, and using your combo attacks, are the key to making it out of the fray alive. Just as there is no set path to completing you assassination objectives, there is no set way to finish a battle. If you so choose you can simply run away, you can, provided your free-running skills are good enough.
Of course, the minor skirmishes in the game don't compare to the rush of hunting down and slaughtering your assassination targets. Like everything else in the game, there's no set path to doing this. You have a lot of freedom to set up your kills and the end results are satisfying; also thrilling are the post-kill escapes that you have to pull off, outwitting and outrunning guards who are anxious to bring you down.
So much to do, so little time
It's hard to put the sheer size and brilliance of Assassin's Creed into words. It is an epic game that you have to experience for yourself. I will caution that the game is not for the impatient or the faint of heart. While you can plow through the main storyline in under 20 hours, to truly get every single last shred of gaming goodness, you will probably have to put in twice that number. The enormity of the game will probably turn off gamers expecting a fast-paced action title but remember that an assassin's greatest tool is patience. Approach this game with that frame of mind and you will be rewarded with one of the best gaming experiences around.--Todd Melick