Gameloft's much anticipated Assassin's Creed for the iPhone arrived in the App Store [link] tonight. The game is priced at $9.99 and delivers a port of the Nintendo DS version.
The original Assassin's Creed is a popular sandbox-style action-adventure that was first released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. A version of the game called Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles was later released for the Nintendo DS. The DS version of the game is described as a prequel to the console version and drew mixed reviews as well as the ire of some of our own forum members. The iPhone version appears to be a graphically enhanced port of the DS title that has adapted to the iPhone's touch screen.
How the iPhone community reacts to what seems to be the same essential game as the DS will be quite interesting. Some of the poor reviews of the DS version seemed to cite short gameplay (3-5 hours) and only a very loose association with the original game. It's also quite likely that being compared to the existing library of Nintendo DS titles and being priced at $29 negatively impacted its DS reception. That said, some reviews were positive, with some sites comparing the game favorably to Prince of Persia.
On the iPhone side, the game is a full $20 cheaper, and the length seems on-par with many other high-quality iPhone titles. The game, itself, is an attractive 3D platformer with running, jumping, climbing and fighting. While these sort of titles may be common on other mobile platforms, the iPhone is notably deficient in these types of games. As a result, I suspect iPhone gamers without any pre-conceptions will find the game to be particularly impressive.
Our gameplay video shows some of the platform jumping components as well as the early fighting:
Fans of Gameloft's Hero of Sparta will recognize a similar control system in Assassin's Creed. The game, however, is less focused on pure fighting and adds a number of mini games as well as some mild puzzle components.
Meanwhile, forum user Big Albie provides additional detailed first impressions based on his early gameplay.
App Store Link: Assassin's Creed - Altair's Chronicles, $9.99