While we wait to see when the PC version will turn up, Assassin's Creed hits the consoles. Reviews are starting to appear, generally speaking below what people may have expected. That said, the thing that's most caught my eye about the game is Tom Chick - who actually likes a lot about the game - sliding a knife home. The coup de grace?
Where are your balls, Ubisoft? Talk more about the Prophet, peace be upon Him. Put a Jewish character in the game and let him be reviled. Show the Crusaders as something other than the dudes playing the role of the cops from GTA. Because you know everyone's thinking about it when they see your game. It's a potentially powerful subject, and it's on all our minds, and your pussy footing around the weak safe choices is a disappointment, particularly when you insist on wrapping your game in a modern-day shell. Assassin's Creed is as aware of today as it is of the 12th Century. Act like it, for God's sake. Because if your love of the setting were expressed in the writing with one tenth of the passion you show for your love of the architecture, Assassin's Creed could have been an experience as memorable as BioShock or Portal.
While Call of Duty 4 was over-careful in its desire to avoid offending by doing things like setting it in "The Middle East", it at least tempered it with some genuinely powerful material. You have to wonder why anyone would make a game about a controversial topic without realising that they are - if they're going to do it any justice whatsoever - make a controversial game.