Review by Myrdraal8
"With Improved Game Play, a True Assassin Ezio Is"
Concept: Follow the revenge tale of Ezio as he grows from a street brawler into a feared assassin. The game play is expanded with adventure elements to make this iteration a complete experience. The layout of the cities is as accurate as possible to the period, and real historical figures are incorporated into the story to create a truly well written renaissance plot. Expect to learn some history as Ubisoft did their research, and a lot of the places and people Ezio meets along the way were real.
Graphics: Outstanding. Entire large cities are brought to life to the tiniest detail. Movement and combat is natural and fluidic, just a beautiful game to watch. Cinema scenes are great, but of standard quality.
Sound: Good. The music adjusts to the action with the best soundtrack being played during the chase scenes. The voice acting of the crowd, our hero, his allies, and soon to be dead targets complete the feeling of complete immersion into the Renaissance.
Control: It is the same exact control scheme from the first Assassin's Creed, complete with its flaws. The platforming sequences are still very frustrating as Ezio jumps best perpendicular to edges, and may jump in the completely wrong direction otherwise. Mapping weapons to d-pad increases Ezio's options in combat to allow a player to play the game in their own unique style.
Game Time: 30-45 hours.
As someone who loved the first Assassin's Creed this sequel improves upon it in everyway such that initial iteration looks primitive. The central plot is an origins story that lets the player experience how Ezio becomes an assassin. Additional missions in the game let players explore the mysteries of Agent 16 and the Templers, greatly expanding the mythos of the series. All of the controls are enhanced, and the feel of the game play is extended to make this game feel complete.
The lengthily combats can now be bypassed by using smoke grenades to escape the guards. More hiding places, including a mechanic to let you blend in any crowd greatly enhances the stealth capability of the assassin. More weapons can be selected and more abilities have been added. For example one can now assassinate a target while holding onto a ledge, shoot a fatal pistol shot into a target, and disarm foes to turn their weapons upon them. These improvements are not only fun, but make the game move away from Assassin Creed's extended brawls by allowing a player to use stealth to sneak toward targets and escape while only killing the target.
Most importantly the game play has been enhanced by the open world layout of the missions, and the adventure elements incorporated into the game. One now does not need to follow the main plot line, but can go to places as they please to discover numerous side quests and adventures. An economy has been incorporated into the game that requires Ezio to buy weapons, armor, training, and improvements for his family's' villa. Money is earned by exploring tomes, completing assassination contracts, helping people, and winning races.
Lastly, the 400 flags and 100 Templers from Assassin's Creed have been replaced by 100 feathers and approximately 30 assassination contracts. These feathers and contracts expand the story, and are not simply objects to collect in the beautifully rendered world.
Recommendation: Even if this is your first Assassin's Creed game, if you enjoy stealth, adventure, and action games this game is a must play. The mechanics and plot make this game a stand-alone masterpiece. Only those who are religiously tolerant however should play as the game has very mature themes that challenge traditional beliefs.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/14/11
Game Release: Assassin's Creed II (US, 11/17/09)
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