Drinking Games: Assassin’s Creed vs. Jack Daniels Monday, January 21, 2008Posted by PQ Crash in PQ Crash, video games.
Tags: i've moved up from the card table, my liver is going to regret this
Hello all, this is PQ Crash and the fine folks at DeadOn have allowed me to partake in their reindeer blogging games. Unfortunately, the writer’s strike has taken its toll on everyone here, and sad to say, myself included. However, when I’m bored beyond creation, I’ve always taken solace in two things: booze and video-games. So, on a bi-weekly basis, I’ll be concurrently reviewing one game and one alcohol for DeadOn. Sometimes the two go hand-in-hand, sometimes one wins out over the other. Which provides more mind-numbing relief? Let’s find out.
This week: Assassin’s Creed vs. Jack Daniels
Ideally, I’ll be covering a recently released game…let’s face it, two-month old reviews aren’t any fun. But for now, I’ll be rehashing my holiday joy.
Assassin’s Creed (PS3)
In Assassin’s Creed you control Altair, an assassin whose objective is to snuff out the leaders of opposing sides during the Crusades. The game’s missions put you in full re-creations of the 12th century cities of Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus. And no, I did not feel good about the character wearing a white robe with a pointy hood while shanking people…it’s just not right.
The fine whiskey that has been loved by rednecks, business men, rappers, rockers and everyone in between for years. My co-worker bought me a 1.75L bottle from the duty-free store in Canada for Christmas. Apparently, I’m easier to deal with when I’m drunk.
Within the first five minutes of the game the plot is revealed. The character of Altair is being controlled by a descendant of his by using some sort of “genetic memory replicator” provided by an evil corporation (oh, spoiler alert, my bad). Fortunately for me, I’d been pointed in the direction of a drink called an “Apple Jack” (steamed apple cider and Jack Daniels, it’s fucking delicious), so I didn’t really care about the story since I was already half-drunk when I started the game.
For the sake of brevity I’ll just say that said assassin knew about the location of a valuable object found during the Crusades that the current-day evil scientists were trying to get their hands on and the object of the game consisted of playing through Altair’s memories until this object was found. Have another drink, it’ll make sense then.
Assassin’s Creed’s strength lied in the ability to let your character wander around the cities in a sandbox fashion (think Grand Theft Auto) and utilized a freerunning style of exploration. Climbing the sides of buildings and onto rooftops opened up other areas to explore and find missions to further the plotline. I have to note that the freerunning/climbing wasn’t easy to control while intoxicated (or sober for that matter), but the basic concept is a brilliant idea and it should be executed better in the inevitable sequel.
The developers tried to take a novel approach to the control scheme. There were two sets of controls; one was for “socially acceptable” (walking slowly, gently pushing aside people in the crowd, etc.) controls and the other was for killing. Each button controlled one part of the body; i.e. one for the head, one for each arm and one for the legs. While appreciated for trying to bring something new to the table, the combat consisted of button mashing (Get it? Mashing? Sour mash? Ah, nevermind.) and the movement controls consisted of holding down the right shoulder button and the sprint button, nothing too complicated for a drunkard.
Fortunately, the enemy AI couldn’t keep up with my inebriated killing spree. When taking on a group of soldiers, I’d be fighting one soldier while the rest stood around until their comrade was dead and then another would approach me. Rinse and repeat. Never did the AI present a challenge during the game.
The three cities’ streets were filled with AI-controlled citizens: merchants who mostly stood around, drunks (yes!) that would shove you into guards which, in turn, would start a fight with you, and finally, beggars that would get in your way. Unfortunately, you would lose health when you’d shank anyone of them.
On a side note, Assassin’s Creed tried to implement a stealth element in the game. Even though Altair carried a sword and wore a white robe that probably showed numerous blood stains, it was easy to hide from the guards by blending in with the town peasants or diving into a bale of hay. Again, have another drink, it’ll make sense then.
Oh, and there was a glitch in the game where Altair could ride Barbaro.
It took nearly half of the 1.75L bottle of Jack Daniels to get through the game; my hand-eye coordination suffers greatly when I’m drunk. I’d started off with the aforementioned Apple Jack and by the middle of the game I was drinking Jack and Pepsi (fuck Coke, I was almost killed by a falling pallet of Coke 12-packs…long story). At the end of the game I was drinking double shots of Jack on ice, no mixer. I’ve never drank in fear of a hangover, but sooner or later I’ll need to revise this thought.
Last Call (Horrible pun, I know)
Even though Assassin’s Creed didn’t do everything right, the story was a bit overdone and the controls could have been executed better, it was still a fun game and worth the sixty dollars. I DVR’d all of my regular TV shows in order to free up my time to finish the game, which rarely happens.
Jack Daniels has always been one of my favorites and, when enjoyed responsibly, has never given me a crippling hangover.
The winner? The game or the booze? It’s a push. Both provided countless hours of escapement from the forced socialization brought on by the holiday season.
Any questions, suggestions or comments? Leave them below or e-mail me at pqcrash_at_gmail.com.
In two weeks: Burnout Paradise and…I don’t know yet.