As someone who quite enjoyed the first Assassin’s Creed game, despite it’s somewhat repetitive nature, I was really looking forward to stepping back into Altair’s shoes.
Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines picks up after the end of the previous game, with Altair travelling to Cyprus to seek out and destroy the last of the Templars.
Having been playing Assassin’s Creed 2 alongside it the button set up felt natural but it might seem a little confusing at first, with three sets of controls attributed to the face buttons depending on what else you’re pressing.
So on their own they perform low level feats such as blending into a crowd etc, with the left shoulder button held they control the camera angle and with the right shoulder button held they perform high risk feats such as climbing/assassinations etc. It sounds more complicated than it is!
Unfortunately, as is the case for the two PS3 games (though less so for Assassin’s Creed 2, which is a lot more intuitive), this means you’ll often be trying to flee by climbing and the game won’t recognize your button press in time. It doesn’t happen too much thankfully and when the system works it is thrilling.
Obviously being a handheld title the AI doesn’t challenge too much and it was a little easy to just blend into a crowd after murdering someone but once the alert is raised they will persue you fairly relentlessly – which is great.
They come in numbers as well, although you’ll probably not have more than 4 or 5 around you at one time. Believe me that is more than enough – on a few occasions I found myself ducking out of fight situations and making a run for it
The storyline was fairly interesting and concerned the Templar archive that Altair was trying to track down.
On the downside the audio was pretty poor, not only in terms of voice acting but also the spoken word parts skipped and jumped in places (switch the subtitles on!).
The gameplay itself is a touch repetitive and overall the experience reminded me much of the first game rather than the improved sequel.
The graphics are superb and Altair has some great assassination animations. There was no slowdown or anything like that, even with numerous enemies and civilians on screen. It’s nice to see people pushing the PSP.
One thing that is cool is the connectivity between the PSP game and Assassin’s Creed 2 on the PS3. Depending on your progress you can unlock new things in both – to be honest it’s better going from the PSP to PS3 as you get 6 new weapons (sweet ) whereas on the PSP you get a few bits, like being able to block with the hidden blade etc. Would love to see more games do this.
Overall then Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines reminds me a lot of the Syphon Filter PSP games – good fun to play but a touch repetitive and without major challenge. Definitely worth a play though.
This gets an 8 rather than a 7 for the very cool connectivity idea.