Assassin's Creed II
Review by MasterViVi2
"What every sequel should strive to be."
Assassins Creed 2 is the sequel to the fastest selling new IP of all time, Assassins Creed. Like in the original, Assassins Creed has 2 story lines on going. One is of Desmond Miles, who appeared in the original and takes the backseat of the overall story, playtime wise, but the other aspect of the story lines, Ezio, is a completely new character.
Whereas in Assassins Creed 1, you played as Altiar, who was a dedicated assassin, completely dedicated and obedient to his masters rule, Ezios story is one of betrayal and revenge. The deeper Ezio goes into getting revenge, the more he gets wrapped up in the same war between the Assassins and Templars that have engulfed the stories of Altiar and Desmond.
Game play 8/10
The game play is more or less the same as the original. Most of the basic combat functions are the same, Counter Kills, Dodging ect. all work the same way. They did add some new killing techniques that I don't remember from the first game, such as when your hanging from a ledge, you can grab a guard and pulling him over the ledge and dropping him to his death, or when your hiding in hay, pulling a enemy in with you and killing him in secret.
The Free-running aspect works the same however the buildings all seem to be better suited for climbing and running from one to another then they were in AC1. There is a bit of a learning curve in regard to the controls, but if you've played the first one you'll feel right at home. If not, once you get the hang of it it'll feel like second nature.
Ubisoft has completely done away with the repetativeness of hunting for clues from the first game. Instead you now go from mission to mission in a way like many other games. They also added new aspects, like buying new weapons, upgrading your hidden blade (and there is now 2), allowing you to buy armor and dye your cloak different colors.
The first game had very bland side quests, searching for useless flags and killing hidden templars that are standing around doing nothing. In this game all the side quests have purpose, at a point early in the game you can start helping rebuild a town to its former glory, search for Codex pages, explore Tombs of 6 different Assassins (wait until you see who each one killed) and other fairly interesting things to do.
Ubisoft has planned to tell the story of Assassins Creed as a story and you can tell. The story of AC2 alone is extremely interesting from start to finish, seeing how far Ezio goes to exact his revenge and how deep the Templar power lies. What is even more impressive is how well the story of Desmond connects from the first game to the second, and the creative way they used the Codex pages to tell fans what happened with Altiar after the events of AC1.
Its hard to say too much without spoiling anything but there are very few stories in video games that tell such a interesting original story. The only negative is that in the first game, when you assassinated a target, in his dying breaths there was always a very interesting conversation between Altiar and the victim, but in this game the conversation has been reduced to a few sentences at best.
The graphics are a lot like the first game, which were very good. Really the only noticeable update was that buildings are a lot more textured then they were before. When you equip different armor you can see the difference on Ezio, same as when you buy new dyes to change color.
The music suits the game very well,light-hearted music during the early part of the game is fun, and the dramatic music during serious missions are intense. Sound effect wise, the game is the same as the first.
Depending on how much of the side quests you do, this game can last anywhere from 15-30 hours. If you take your time and enjoy the beautiful world Ubisoft has created this game will last as long as any non-RPG. However rush through it, missing out on the immense story and interesting locale, it can be done in 15 hours.
This game does not have any more or any less replayability then most games of its genre. If you greatly enjoyed it you may be motivated to play through again to enjoy the deep story and amazing cities. Or to find new ways to kill all the targets.
If you enjoyed the first one and only found few faults in it, this is easily a buy. If you have not played the first one you will want to start there so you can fully understand the story. If you are skeptical of buying this one due to how repetative the first one was, you may want to rent it before you buy it just to be certain, though if you rent it and then plan to do everything in this game buying it is highly recommended.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/23/09
Game Release: Assassin's Creed II (US, 11/17/09)
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