First Impressions: Assassin’s Creed Recollection
There’s a new Assassin’s Creed game out, one that revitalizes its genre and gives life to its platform. No, I’m not talking about Revelations, despite the fact that it has many letters in common (a fact which surely must be intentional). This is Assassin’s Creed Recollection; it’s an exclusive for the iPad, and it’s a… card game?
Yeah ok, so this is not your typical AC game, but from the hours I’ve put in so far, this entry is still a very worthwhile venture. The story is completely separate from the game itself, and in fact, the system and cards could be removed from its Assassin’s Creed wrapper without sustaining any damage to the game itself. Swap it out for, oh, say, Star Wars or Mario, and you’d still have a completely viable game. This, however, is one of the game’s only flaws, and it is somewhat mitigated by the gorgeous Assassin’s Creed artwork and style filling it.
Let’s talk more about the details of the game after the Break.
The game itself is actually a real-time card game, a fact which unfortunately prevents it from ever being recreated using actual paper. (Each card that you play has a timer that must run out before it enters play, and there are just too many cards that could potentially be in play at any given time to make this feasible.) This, however, requires the player to think fast, and provides a true tactical challenge. The object is to score 10 points in 2 out of the 3 playing fields, so the player must effectively keep track of 3 separate areas. What’s more, there are two different ways of scoring points in each area, so the result is actually 6 different areas that have to be watched and taken into consideration when determining your next move.
When combined with the real-time aspect, a true strategic challenge asserts itself. Although rounds start off slow, matters can quickly escalate if the player is not watchful. Of course, with any card game, there is always a degree of luck; it is always possible to get “card screwed” (that is to say, not getting any of the cards that you actually need at the moment), so it is a given that you will not win every match. This is not a game for the faint of heart.
Aside from the true intellectual-property-agnostic nature of the game, the only truly negative point thus far is the rate at which you earn money in-game. This is undoubtedly because Ubisoft wishes you to pay real money in microtransactions to get in-game money, but it creates a uneven sort of in-game economy; after the tutorial levels, you only earn new cards by purchasing them, so without paying more real money, you will be stuck with the same cards for round after round after round, and being able to afford the better packs will take a ridiculously long time.
Putting this aside, Assassin’s Creed Recollection is a masterfully built real-time card game, one which any card game fan can appreciate. Assassin’s Creed fans who don’t shy away from a good strategy game will also find much to appreciate here, as long as they’re not expecting any sort of plot. There are very few games this damn good on the iOS App Store that you can find for $2.99.