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Genre: 3D, Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 12/5/09

Assassin's Creed™ - Altaïr's Chronicles (iPhone) Review

Developer: Gameloft


Game Features


No Animus
Lots of checkpoints


Hard to control
Only story mode

See Compatible Handsets












Review Details
Handset Apple iPhone 3G
Time Played 2 hours

Costas Stephanides’s Review

Review Date: 18/5/09

Altair's back before it began

As a little pre-hype to the release of Assassin's Creed 2, Gameloft have released the DS prequel onto the App Store. In the game Altair is searching for The Chalice and thankfully there's no Animus to keep interrupting affairs.

Naturally, a handheld game can not compete with its big console brother and they have toned down many features, however, they have sneaked in enough features to definitely give it an Assassin's Creed air. The graphics are pretty good in this horizontal scroller, the buildings are 3D and Altair's movements look great. The game handles the fights very well. You can be faced with several opponents at once and the game never slows down and the screen is never too cluttered.

The controls are the dodgy part. Actually it's just the walking that is tricky. A virtual left pad controls the walking and you can set it as either analogue or 8 way digital. You would hope that walking in a straight line would be easy but unfirtunately with no physical buttons to press, your thumb doesn't always believe in straight lines and it's easy to veer off course. Normally this is not a problem but when jumping from rooftop to rooftop it's all too easy to slip. This is probably a hangover from the DS version which would have more control thanks to the physical buttons. The right hand side of the screen works a lot better with two attack buttons, dodge and jump always present. A grappling hook and pickpocket icon will appear depending on the mission and location.

As you might expect, the game isn't as free of the console version and your path is very linear. Rather than taking the low road and facing enemies, the game forces you to the rooftops and stealth around. Unfortunately jumping between buildings requires some precise controls and it straying a little from the line or jumping too early is quite easy. Luckily there are plenty of checkpoints and restarting never requires much repeat play. Having to repeat the same sections over and over does unintentialy stretch out the game. What could probably be completed in a few hours may take double that time.

It's been awhile since I played Assassin's Creed on the PS3 and I was looking forward to some medieval bashing action. The controls are frustrating but there is plenty of action to keep you interested. The sword fights are quite good fun and Altair has a few combos up his sleeve that are gradually unlocked. While I was never expecting any sub-missions/flag collecting/panoramic vistas I was hoping for a survival mode where you could keep battling soldiers. At least the story mode does have a few simple mini games. Pickpocketing someone requires you to slip the item out of their bag without touching any other items. It's basically a labyrinth game where you drag the item around obstacles. Interrogations are also a little different here. The screen will show various pressure points on the body and you have to quickly press the zones in time - a little tricky but a few mistakes are allowed.

It's currently at $9.99/£5.99 and to be honest that does seem a little steep.