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PSP Review – Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines

December 5, 2009 Written by Joseph Peterson

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Many questions were left unanswered at the end of Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft Montreal and Griptonite Games set out to answer some of the questions of the events that occurred after Assassin’s Creed. This time the story is told on the PlayStation Portable. How well does Assassin’s Creed’s massive open world translate on the Sony’s portable system given some of the limitations?

The game itself takes place after the events of Assassin’s Creed and before Assassin’s Creed II. The player resumes his role as Altair as he is attempting to hunt down the last of the Templars. The journey eventually leads him to the island of Cyprus. This is where the game takes place. As you progress through the story you will fight various bosses just like in the previous Assassin’s Creed. Though, there is much more fighting action in this version than it’s console brethren.

The game is definitely impressive on first glance. When you first fire it up and you reach a full city the first thing you will end up doing is wondering if you can climb a certain area, well you can. This game is an Assassin’s Creed title through and through. Everything can be climbed, and is definitely an impressive feat on a handheld. But in the end you have to do your best to not compare it to it’s console counterpart, because the limitations begin to show quickly.

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There are a total of two cities to explore with Altair on the island of Cyprus. Each have various sections within the cities within themselves. So you don’t actually have access to entire cities at one time in the game. To go to other sections of the city involves waiting on a load time while that particular section loads. Overall this does become annoying at times given that some missions involve traversing across multiple sections, and this leaves you waiting while the title loads. While this is understandable given that this title is on the PlayStation Portable, it is still an annoyance when trying to get through some missions while on the go.

As stated earlier, this is a full Assassin’s Creed title. It’s pretty shocking that they were able to accomplish this much at this level of quality on the handheld. But even so, considering how large the world is, this leaves for a lot of bland environments at times. You will feel like you’ve already visited an area that is actually new. This happens on multiple occasions. The city is fully scalable by Altair. He can climb everything within the cities. The problem here is that the camera struggles at times because there is no second analog stick to move the camera around. To move the camera you must hold the left trigger while using the analog stick. The problem here is that you must stop Altair to accomplish this. This causes many problems when trying to see where you are jumping at times when climbing.

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One major change within the title is the way Altair’s targets are fought. It is no longer by assassination. The targets are now bosses of sorts. Altair must “assassinate” them by simply depleting their health until they die. This actually takes a lot away from the series staple of being an “assassin”. Considering one of the main draws of the entire series is to sneak up on your unsuspecting enemy to eliminate them, the way the target fights are handled no longer allows this.

Those that have played games of the past will be familiar with the combat involved in the game. The game features a simple series of attack actions that are mapped to the buttons. There is an attack button, counter button, and grab button.The controls work fairly well in the title. Though it is very easy to counter almost anything the enemies throw at you.

As mentioned in our Assassin’s Creed II review, there is a connection option to unlock certain items/features within each game when connecting the two titles through a PlayStation 3. Within Assassin’s Creed II you will unlock the weapons that you have obtained within Bloodlines. In Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines you will unlock health and weapon unlocks based upon items obtained in Assassin’s Creed II. This is definitely a great feature that was added into both games. It gives players even more incentive to try to accomplish everything within both titles.

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Overall the game is a worthy handheld addition to the series. While it may feature some things that can be improved upon, it is still worthy of a look for those wanting to experience Assassin’s Creed on the go. The game does suffer from some of the downfalls that the first title did, mainly some the repetitiveness that will occur as you progress through the title. Aside from the additional camera quirks and the not so smart enemies the game is a good experience for any fan. The story is decent overall, and adds a bit to the series. But don’t expect anything mind blowing like in Assassin’s Creed II.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Amazing graphics overall for a true Assassin’s Creed experience on the go.

Can become repetitive as you progress through the game.

Controls can sometimes become a nuisance, especially the camera.

6 out of 10