When it comes to stealth and action games Assassin’s Creed franchise is a pure gold that you must not miss. The main reason for Assassin’s Creed popularity is that it brings open world with the mixture of stealth that allows you different ways to track down and execute your target.
As for Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines it’s has been released exclusively for PSP and it takes place between Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed 2. Once again, you play as the assassin Altair but this time game takes place on Cyprus. As Altair, you’ll travel two cities Limassol and Kyrenia in order to find out why are Templers are gathering there and assassinate every last one of them.
Great thing about Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines is that it is using similar mechanics as the original game with the open world and nonlinear gameplay. This means that you’ll be climbing on all sorts of buildings without any limits just as you would do in the original game. Even though cities are smaller than in the original game, they are using maximum from PSP hardware power. However, in order to show city’s structure when you look it from the rooftops developers have been reducing color palette so cities and buildings look mostly gray and less detailed. Although it’s less detailed and smaller it still looks amazing on a handheld console such as PSP, but again all that amount of gray makes the environment a bit boring.
Due to the hardware limitations, you won’t see as many people on the streets as you would on the console version but it’s better that way because it makes your assassinations easier. Speaking of assassinations AI of the guards has been reduced and they are less aware of their surroundings. This is actually a good thing because better AI would make this game a lot harder than it should be. As you know, most 3D games on PSP have camera positioning problems so it would be a lot harder to position your camera and fight with several enemies at the same time. Speaking of camera positioning, it’s almost impossible to position your camera in this game. In order to move the camera, you’ll have to hold the L button and you’ll have to adjust it with the face buttons. This is difficult to do when you’re standing but it’s impossible to do it while moving. Luckily, developers have added a button that automatically centers the camera behind your back so you won’t have to deal with the annoying positioning.
As for the combat, it works really well but the only flaw is that there’s too much combat in this game. There’s no need for the stealth sequences because you can take guards easily with your blades. Combat works great, and counterattacks look amazing because camera zooms in like in the original game. Same goes for the stealth kills, they look amazing while you’re grabbing your target and killing it with a single deadly blow.
Now I’ll have to mention few flaws that have been driving me insane. First of all, this game has a lot of sound glitches. Sound isn’t perfect as animation, although Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines is using sounds from the original. Voice acting is poor but the most frustrating thing is the sound glitches. Sometimes in the middle of a fight when you pull a successful counter attack you don’t even get a sound. Instead, you just kill your opponent silently and sound is left out for some reason. Another thing that has been bothering me is the empty streets. I know that PSP isn’t able to render that many models like other consoles but streets are looking abandoned, and sometimes it looks like walking through a ghost town. With gray colors and no people on the streets, this game reminds me of Silent Hill in a way. Now you won’t be able to blend in with the crowd and hide like in previous games, but instead since streets are clear you can simply run from the guards without any problems.
Bottom line, Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines is a good game, because it has great animation and combat sequences combined with open world and nonlinear gameplay. It has definitely moved away from the stealth genre and it seems like it was filled with combat bit too much for my taste. Although combat works nice, it gets boring and repetitive after a while and if you can live with that and with sound glitches Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines might be perfect for you.