In this game, Altair continues to fight against the Templars while holding the Piece of Eden, which he obtained after the events of Assassin's Creed. Some characters are mentioned, but don't make a direct appearance in the game. Now this game was not as well received as it's predecessor and successor, and at times it can be tough, excruciating, and more. I'm a fan of the series, but I did not like the gameplay and graphics that much, because in my opinion it should have been a console game. Though this takes place between AC and AC2, the game does not feature Desmond, Lucy, Warren Vidic, or the Animus for that matter. Now before this is said and done, I will teach you how to play this game with this review once and for all.
Plot. Some time has passed after Altair defeated Al Mualim at the end of Assassin's Creed. Altair continues to fight against the Templars while the Piece of Eden is in his hands, and intends to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Robert De Sable is dead, but a new Grand Master of the Templars succeeds him, Armand Bouchart. After a brief fight with Maria Thorpe in Acre, Altair's next destination takes him to the island of Limassol and helps the local resistance fight off the Templars. Altair also travels to Cyprus in order to eradicate threats, getting him closer to his prime target to elminate, Armand Bouchart.
Getting to the top of view points can draw out the map, even if it is already. But this leads to side-missions that players can enter at their own choice. There are also in-game achievements that gamers can get after performing certain actions. Story missions and assassinations were simplified and straightforward. As a replacement for eavesdropping and pickpocketing, missions were played in the same structure as Assassin's Creed II, with Altaïr handling one task after another and slowly gathering vital information from both his allies and enemies as each mission was cleared.
Concept. Players guide Altair through seven memory blocks, although not in the Animus like in the last game. Players must guide our hero to obtain vital information on assassination targets in Limassol and Kyrenia. After a memory block, Altair narrates his experiences by writing Codex Pages, which will be vital in Assassin's Creed II. Characters such as Maria Thorpe return, but Desmond, Lucy, Warren Vidic, don't appear, and neither do Abstergo and the Animus.
Design. The graphics have been greatly reduced to look similar to those of a PlayStation 2 graphics. But still, the environments were well done nevertheless. The game also provides voice acting, and Phillip Shahbaz returns to voice Altair, but this time, he has an accent instead of his American-like one from the first game. The music themes of the first game are also played during battle sequences against soldiers.
Tips and Strategies. When fighting, blocking can be excruciating because you have to time your movements. Before the guard strikes, immediately press the Square button to counterattack. If done in time, you can dispatch an enemy quickly, but unfortunately it does not work on bosses. Some missions require a limit number of enemies to defeat in order to proceed at once. Some boss battles require patience and skill to win, especially the final boss battle. Armand Bouchart is no joke as a boss, his special attack cannot be blocked, so you have to know when you can block and when to dodge.
Rantings. Though I liked the game a bit, it has a majority of rantings from me. Stealth has been downgraded and you cannot blend in with the scholars anymore. Also, graphics have been downgraded as well. What bothers me as well is the control schemes, because I found it uncomfortable. The other thing I hate about this game is that Altair, STILL cannot swim. Also, I feel that the game's story was a bit rushed as well because it was so short, like only 7 memory blocks? Come on! Developers could've done better than that.
Good Aspects. The replay value is average, despite it's many flaws. Also, what's good about this game is that you can connect it to the PlayStation 3's version of Assassin's Creed II, thus giving new items and practical weapons in the game.
Overall. Not the best Assassin's Creed game, but a decent one. My final score for Bloodlines is a 6 out of 10.