Well, Assassin's Creed Identity is finally out. You know, OUT out, not just stuck in the soft launch limbo that it's been in since 2014.
But is it any good? Was the wait worth it? And, more importantly, how many people is too many people to stab in one gaming session?
Well, let me answer those questions one by one. It's pretty good. If you're into Assassin's Creed it probably was worth the wait. And 86. 86 is too many.Is this the full Assassin's Creed experience on mobile then?
Yes and no. And maybe. It's certainly covered in the DNA of the main console series. It's all sneaky, stabby, hidey, climbing-up-things-y.
But the missions here take place in much tighter surroundings. There's no central world hub, instead you're diving in and out of bite-sized campaign sessions.
These usually last a few minutes, then you're dropped back out to the animus to equip new gear and level up.
It breaks the game into sensible chunks for a mobile audience. You're not going to be stuck high and dry if your bus journey ends.
But at the same time it robs the game of a little direction. If you were feeling churlish you might call it piecemeal.
There are side missions as well that you don't need to complete, but that give you extra experience and rewards. They might involve finishing in a set time, not getting detected, or killing some extra people.
As well as the campaign missions, there are contracts. These are even smaller missions focused on stabbing some people, stealing from a chest, or delivering something. You can use them to gain some extra XP and some new gear.
There's a decided action RPG feel here. You're sticking new gear on often, and watching your stats go up. There are classes to choose from, skills to unlock, levels to advance to, and the obligatory item forging too.
The controls are reasonably solid. A stick on the left lets you move, a stick on the right lets you look around.
Buildings and structures you can climb get white swooshy lines in front of them when you're near, showing you what you can scale and where you can jump.
You switch between a stealthy plod and a frantic jog with a tap of a button. There's a context sensitive action button too. This allows you to dive into hay stacks, pick up quest items, and perform assassinations.
When you're spotted you get an attack button. This lets you throw your weapon around, hacking chunks out of enemies. The combat is a bit sluggish. You bash the button and eventually someone dies. A bit more finesse wouldn't go amiss here.
In fact a bit more finesse wouldn't go amiss everywhere. There's lots of bumping into things, stumbling into benches when you meant to stab someone, and plenty of the almost customary AC glitches too.So it's a buggy blunt object?
That's one way of looking at it. There's certainly a lot to enjoy here. Scrambling over rooftops is fun, and the assassinations are every bit as satisfying as they've ever been.
It's not perfect though. It's clunky in places, sticky in others, and often pretty annoying. But, and this is a big but, when it gets things right it's like having a proper Assassin's Creed game on your phone.
You'll frown when you accidentally jump off a building instead of leaping gracefully across a gap. But you'll smile when you dive into a haystack, stab a guard in the chest, and drag him in after you.
Playing with an MFi controller bypasses some of the fiddliness of the controls, but even without one Assassin's Creed Identity is still an enjoyable murdering romp.
Come in with your expectations lowered and you'll find a brash, occasionally brilliant game here.