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Assassin's Creed

Game review may contain spoilers - 2 agree

After the success of the Prince of Persia with its dynamic and combative game play, it is easy to see how Ubisoft moved to Assassins creed as the spiritual successor to the concept.
Built around a more realistic and often accurate world Assassins creed puts you in charge of Altair a 11th century assassin fighting the oppression of the powerful templars. The game plays much like an open world version of POP but is far more detailed an nuanced. The gaming environment, whether it be Acre, Damascus, Masayaf or Jerusalem gives players free reign to dart through streets, over rooftops and survey each cities districts from climbable high towers and monuments. The parkour style given to Altair is perfect for stealth and escape giving the player the feel of a real hidden predator walking the streets of the city in search of your target.
Each of the 9 assassination target you are required to kill to regain your honour need research and investigation which leads you to the best possible approach. While, towards the latter targets this can seem a bit monotonous, the challenges are varied with various collectables and side missions to keep you interested.
The story itself is a marvel, digging into key historical moments with respect and detail and pushing the boundaries of what your preconceived notions of the plot may be. The voice acting is superb, atuned to accent and dynamics which creates believable characters you can connect with or hate depending on their role in Altairs plight.
Aside from the mentioned monotony and the occasional control problem as Altair blasts across rooftops, Assassins creed offers a compelling beginning to deep and fascinating narrative worthy of its respective sequels.


Portal: The Flash Version Mod

Mod review - 1 agrees - 2 disagree

Putting aside the way in which this mod has appeared on moddb, I am going to review the mod itself.
For anyone who was a little upset at the short play time involved in Portal, this mod is perfect. A 3D replication of a mini-flash game version of Valves triumphant puzzler it fleshes out the chambers and adds a whole slew of new problems for you to solve.
There is little by way of over-arching plot in this mod, in fact there is no plot whatsoever, but where that fails the sheer number of levels (40+ at my count) make it a valid addition to anyone's portal experience.
Guiding you through from the very basic to the frustratingly taxing it almost seems like portals cutting room floor has been collected and pieced together to give fans an psudeo-directors cut, a sort of Portal: Extended addition.
There is little more to say in regard to style, character or original content, the mod uses Portals textures and elements exclusively (with teh addition of the dropped 'fizzler') and even the various comments from GLaDOS. Its originality is only found in the varying and fun-to-play test chambers which will no doubt keep portal fans glued to their guns for many more hours.
Great mod, if a little under reaching, but they never set out to create greatness, just to create more. In essence a success and worthy of a home in anyone's portal mod folder.


Blue Portals

Mod review may contain spoilers - 4 agree - 1 disagrees

So here it is, one of the biggest portal mods released since Prelude and what can one say besides congratulations. This mod is positively stunning and filled to the brim with newness that its hard to find the words. So let's start at the beginning:
Texture & Look > Everything is new and the look of the test chamber holds together wonderfully well, almost better than Portal itself in the intricacies, the glass plates and scattered yellow metal feels like the most fully formed idea. Once all this has been absorbed you still have the sheer scale and wonder of the BS areas, which easily surpass valves ideas in Portal. The modelling of various debris, lifts, cone and bins makes for a complete idea of the BPDC.
Character & Gameplay > Once again unsurpassed, the level of unique input of this mod really does give it an edge that future modders should look towards. With a new omniscient presence (why would GLaDOS be here?) guiding you through the various new testing facilities, which, can only be described as inspired, portalling light, propelling fans, fire, ice, waterfalls, the list is more than impressive. Plus there is the addition of the new voices to the turrets, which will make you want to get shot just to hear their brilliant quips (my personal favourite being " 'Appy face!")
Puzzles & Ability > Sadly this is where the praise stops, I love this mod, I wanted to love its shiny, quirky uniqueness completely. But to put it bluntly it is incredibly difficult, almost every jump is a mis-calculated 'I hope this works' moment. Find the solution alone takes time -which you don't have as almost every puzzle has a timer in it.
The rule of thumb becomes, spot it fast, do it fast and be sure you're right. The new elements are superb but I found I couldn't have the fun I wanted with them as I was too busy being furious with every room and its, my-way-or-the-highway solution.
A great looking and unique mod, if a little difficult, A plus for the scope and development.

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