Game news We played the most immersive Assassin’s Creed possible! And it was stunning.
Assassin’s Creed in first person? Really feel the exhilarating effect of a leap of faith? Plunge a secret blade into an enemy using your own wrist? All this is possible in this new Assassin’s Creed game which marks a new step taken for the license.
Assassin’s Creed Nexus, the life of an Assassin larger than life
If the Animus were a video game, it would be a VR game. Whether it is one or the other, they all make the same promise: that of being able to fully immerse yourself in the skin of a character and lose yourself in a made-up virtual world coming to life all around us. In this sense, the very DNA of Assassin’s Creed linked it to virtual reality. It was almost written, Assassin’s Creed Nexus was made to exist. With this game, we are no longer just players. We are Desmond Miles, Layla Hassan and everyone who has ever been able to step directly into the shoes of a former assassin. In this case, we are a hacker (your choice) who works for Abstergo but secretly cooperates with Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane to counter the Templars’ new plan. But what is it? Recover mysterious fragments of the Antikytheria mechanism, which you will try to destroy on behalf of the Assassins. To do this, you will have to venture into three different eras: the Italian Renaissance with Ezio, Ancient Greece with Kassandra, and Colonial America with Connor. The promise is to offer you gameplay similar to the main opuses of the license (infiltration, climbing, parkour, assassination, etc.) but with the added virtual reality dimension.
Obviously, on paper, we already have the most immersive Assassin’s Creed experience possible. And this is confirmed once our Meta Quest 3 is finally placed on our nose, after long installation hassles it must be admitted. But we quickly forgot all these stories about equipment, Wi-Fi and batteries once we got behind the scenes at Abstergo. And yes, because the immersion begins even before having immersed yourself in the skin of Ezio, our first assassin. The Nexus teams have implemented a more than convincing interface throughout the contemporary era section. It’s not much, but it still makes a big difference. The immersion is total from the start and it will continue to be once you get to the heart of the matter.
It’s simple, we believe it. We believe in it to the point of not seeing the time that has passed despite the strap which almost lacerates our forehead after a while (it must be said that we are a little past the adjustment stage). From the leaps of faith, to parkour, the secret blade and the infiltration phases, everything is there to make us experience the real life of an Assassin. It’s fluid, it’s easy to learn, it’s thrilling at times and the quests are interesting enough to keep us in suspense. In terms of gameplay, it’s very intuitive and everything is done to promote immersion (weapons to be retrieved from the belt, no need for inventory, etc.). And then, the soundtrack is very captivating and with a good taste of nostalgia that touched us straight to the heart. However, certain inaccuracies sometimes lead us to recognize some limits to this immersion. And then there is the AI of the enemies which is somewhat strawberry at times. Moments that make you want to make yourself one face palm (at least if it were possible) but which ultimately do not spoil the overall experience.
A real AAA game in mobile VR?
But how long does this last? “overall experience” ? Well according to the various opinions published so far, it takes around fifteen hours to finish the game. If we trust what others say, you will have understood, it’s because we haven’t finished the game yet, due to lack of time. This is why you are currently reading news and not a test. If we haven’t been able to discover everything the game has to offer, we still already have a good overview of what it offers us. In particular, we were able to venture into several cities in the shoes of Ezio Auditore. But how does it look? No open world here. Basically, each time you will have a memory to visit with a mission to complete. On top of that, you have lots of little collectibles to collect and challenges to complete. At the same time, these allow you to train to better understand parkour or climbing sessions. And to be honest, it’s not too much. Because if the gameplay is very easy to learn and allows for fluid and pleasant exploration, parkour can still take a little time to master. There will certainly be many falls at the beginning.
As for the more general difficulty of the title, it must be said that there really isn’t one. Despite the three difficulty modes offered, it’s a little difficult to feel challenged. This is true of the infiltration phases but especially of the combat. The latter also remain very scripted and not always thrilling. An effort has clearly been made to diversify them with numerous tools and some possible interactions. And sometimes it works very well. But most of the time, we end up with a very mechanical duel and we therefore often lose the exhilarating side of the fights. But again, we’ve only played the beginning of Nexus so it’s hard to judge if this is the case throughout the game. It would also be interesting to see if the fights are more thrilling in the shoes of Kassandra for example, more warrior than assassin.
As for the graphics, however, we must emphasize that the rendering is quite impressive for a mobile headset. The settings are beautiful and detailed, which makes you want to get lost in the different closed but quite large areas of the game. And then, it’s really alive. There are people in the streets, interactions. Only small problem at this level: too much repetition of patterns and spoken phrases. We quickly have the impression of always seeing and hearing the same things and that’s a shame all the same. Some faces are also less successful than others. But if it’s not graphically at the level of the latest Assassin’s Creed, for a mobile headset it’s still quite impressive and overall well done.
And then Nexus is a real Assassin’s Creed game. If it is possible to appreciate the experience without being a fan of the license, it must be admitted that knowing AC is a real plus for venturing into it. Nostalgia quickly kicks in with the music, places and familiar faces. And of course we find important elements of the license. We have both points to synchronize and little historical anecdotes to unearth. As mentioned above, we also find the same gameplay with the presence of the three pillars so dear to Assassin’s Creed Mirage: stealth, assassination and parkour. This makes it not only a good game for VR enthusiasts but a particularly tasty experience for Assassin’s Creed fans. But for everyone to enjoy it, the game must be accessible to VR neophytes.
A VR game accessible to everyone?
Currently, Assassin’s Creed Nexus is not accessible to all players. It is indeed a Meta Quest exclusive, more precisely Meta Quest 2 and 3. To play it, you will therefore have to offer yourself one of these headsets, if you have not already done so. Obviously, that has a cost (around €300 for the Quest 2 and €550 for the Quest 3). Obviously, that limits the accessibility of the game a little. And that’s a shame, because one of the promises of Nexus is to offer an accessible experience to Assassin’s Creed fans who are not major specialists in VR. And that’s good since it’s my profile. Without being sick after five minutes, I personally have a little trouble with virtual reality. It tends to tire me out quickly and I quickly feel nauseous when it moves a little too much.
If I indulge in a few personal details, it is because Nexus promised numerous accessibility settings, aimed at reducing the motion sickness. And it’s clear that it works! With its four presets, the game allows you to live the life of an assassin whatever your tolerance for virtual reality. Although immersion is still greatly impaired in its most accessible version, everyone can play Nexus. Especially since it is also possible to personalize certain parameters and the “dizziness” factor is also taken into account. And then it is possible to switch from one mode to another easily and quickly if you ever start to feel sick or, on the contrary, better. Everything has been thought of to allow everyone to have as pleasant an experience as possible and that is to be welcomed. The work carried out is remarkable and we therefore have a truly great virtual reality game for everyone. This is the feeling we get after a few hours of play and obviously it is shared by those who have finished it. The game currently has a score of 81 on Opencritic.
If you are fans of Assassin’s Creed or a VR enthusiast, we can only advise you to take advantage of Christmas to treat yourself to a Meta Quest 3 with Assassin’s Creed Nexus. The experience is worth the detour!