Fans hurting now that Altair's absent from the Assassin's Creed series might want to keep their eyes on the franchise's PSP exclusive entry, Bloodlines, which tells the story of what happened to Altair after the first game and leads into the sequel.
In the war of Assassin's Creed series protagonists, Assassin's Creed 2's Ezio might have a hang glider designed by Leonard da Vinci and double wrist-blades, but original series hero Altair has, well, he's got charisma. That can't be beat. And, well, uh, he's got more games than Ezio, including Bloodlines, the new PSP exclusive developed by Griptonite Studio with the supervision of the core Creed team at Ubisoft Montreal.
Bloodlines might be Altair's last hurrah, as it tells the story of what happened to the assassin gone rogue after the events of Assassin's Creed 2. The game follows Altair's last attempt to take down the Templars, and provides not only a new look at the character, who's now "more curious, more inquisitive and far less trusting," but is a narrative link between the first and second game. "If you want to understand how Ezio is born and where the Codex comes from, you need this game," producer Frederic Lefrancois said.
Gameplay-wise, Bloodlines looks to follow the same formula as the console AC games, with "the core gameplay of the original Assassin's Creed including the signature free-running and the intuitive combat system." It sounds like the same basic structure follows, with a series of missions acting as a prelude to an assassination. Griptonic says they're adding new mission types to that each mission will "feel as fresh and exciting as the final Assasination moment."
The link between Bloodlines and Assassin's Creed 2 doesn't just exist in the story, however. As you unlock health and weapon upgrades in Assassin's Creed 2 for PS3, the same upgrades become available in Bloodlines. Conversely, any "Templar Coins and special weapons" you collect in Bloodlines will be available in the PS3 game.
Sounds like a pretty decent experience for PSP owning Altair fans. The technology definitely impresses - this is one of the best looking PSP games since Chains of Olympus, if the screenshots are to be believed. Indeed, with the graphics and open-world mobility in Bloodlines (though judging from the trailer, the open-world isn't nearly as populous as before), Griptonic believes they've accomplished something special on Sony's handheld.
"This is a huge benchmark technology wise as this kind of freedom of movement has never been seen before on the PSP," Lefrancoise said.
Bloodlines will be available this winter on PSP and will ship in a bundle with a white PSP, UMD movie and memory stick for $200.