In which our hero (namely me) compares and contrasts three big-selling adventure games and reports to you, the consumer, which one he likes the best.
1) Assassin’s Creed – Released by Ubisoft in 2007, Creed’s major selling points are twofold; firstly, it has a long and absorbing storyline for players to engage with. A young man is captured by mysterious forces, and placed in a machine that forces him to re-live the past adventures of his ancient ancestor, who belonged to an ancient cult of (you guessed it) Assassins. The second thing is the gameplay; Creed is tremendously playable, evoking memories of such classic games as ‘Metal Gear Solid’ and ‘Prince of Persia.’ What’s more, the story ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. Fortunately there is now a whole series for you to play, together with at least one more ancestor to inhabit as our young hero struggles for his freedom. It is, in short, excellent.
2) Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – SCE (Sony Computer Entertainment) released this game in 2007 and our second game choice is another story-based romp. In this story, Nate Drake (apparently related to Sir Francis Drake) goes looking for the lost treasure of El-Dorado, accompanied by a journalist and plagued by a series of not-quite-sexy ‘will-they-won’t-they?’ scenarios. The blatant tip of the Stetson to Indiana Jones and out and out rip off of the ‘Tomb Raider’ series notwithstanding, the story is interesting and the graphics are incredible. At times, it’s like watching a movie. Unfortunately, Drake is less fortunate than the aforementioned Dr. Jones, as whoever directed his story is no Spielberg. Far more interested in cinematic camera angles than actual gameplay, Uncharted is frequently mired by the player’s inability to see what is going on right in front of them. It’s fine at first, but gets tedious after the 200th death on a simple jump just because you can’t bloody see where you’re jumping to!
3) Batman: Arkham Asylum – (I’m cheating a little bit here, as this game is two year’s younger than the others, being released by Eidos in 2009). Batman is a mighty game with a style and panache all on its own. While not as engrossing or interesting as Creed, (Comics writer Paul Dini ensures that most of the script is true to the comics but offers little in the way of actual plot) it is still immensely enjoyable. The asylum itself (now an island for creative license purposes) is rendered with such attention to detail that it becomes almost a character in its own right and Mark Hamill’s incendiary turn as The Joker will put chills up your spine. The gameplay is as swift and graceful as Batman himself. Is it any wonder the Batman comics team recently re-designed the Batsuit to resemble the look of this game?
Summing up: Drake loses out on the grounds of poorer camera angles and gameplay. Now to choose between Assassin’s and Batman…hmm…It’s a draw.