Review by bluefalcon2121

"Assassin's Creed II a rewritten cleverly..yet still lacking."

Well, those of you who have played the first are asking yourselves "Do you feel lucky if you go blindly selecting this game as a purchase?", well in this review I will tell you some of the things in the anticipated first sequel of the trilogy started Assassin's Creed. Well for those of you that haven't played the first one, I would suggest giving it a run through, since the story is why this game is a piece of art from the get-go. You play as Desmond, the year is 2012 and you have been tagged as a suitable specimen for Abstergo Industries. This laboratory has a machine called "The Animus" that can pull up your ancestors memories looking through your DNA. First game has you looking at one of Desmond's ancestors around the timeframe of 1100AD (Altair). Assassin's Creed 2 has you following Desmond's ancestor dating back during the Renaissance time period (1400s). I would strongly advise those who have no knowledge of this series to either look up the storyline of the first Assassin's Creed or play through the first one that way when playing this second one you will be anicipating the story more.
Now it is time for the review!

Gameplay - There is so many things that can go on in this game, it's kind of like picking out the gameplay of a Grand Theft Auto game. You are in a 3rd person view, there is a free running motive that is back from the first game. You can climb up and down walls of buildings run across rooftops and swing off horizontal poles and swim through water. There is upgradeable items in this game as well but loses its flavor fast since even though they can kind of help, this game has no difficulty level. And after awhile of playing the fighting gets a little to easy and more of a rinse and repeat. The only time fights will become fun later in the game is if you try and test yourself and make it a bit more difficult by planing which way you want to take down enemies.
This game also has a wanted level (like Grand Theft Auto), where you can cause more trouble, the max keeps the guards on high alert with you (go figure!).

There is also side missions and stuff to collect that gives a bit more into this game. Yet it feels a bit forced into the game and doesn't really make me feel that these side missions are really all that great, unless you want some extra money early on. I would also like to add, closer to the end of the game, you will start to have wayy to much money and not enough things to spend it on which I found to be a big problem.

Story - As I stated in the brief history (in the beginning of the review), without spoiling the story. It's hard to tell a bunch about the story without spoiling parts of it. I admit at first when playing the games you have to concentrate hard on what's going on. Even this game I will go back through it a second time to figure out key points in the game that I didn't fully understand. The story of this series is actually really good, and I think this will be the main reason of buying these games.

Graphics/Sound - The graphics are well done, sometimes there is clipping, screen tear and pop in ( wen stuff pops up in front of you when it should have already been showing.), other than that, I think the graphics are pretty breathtaking if you can over come these few problems. The attention to detail done on the environment is outstanding, I feel like I'm roaming through popular cities of Italy back in the 1400's. I would say that roaming the popular cities of Italy has never been so much fun.

For sound, well I would say the sound effects and voice acting in the game submerge you into the story and what's going on, but I will say that the soundtrack (music). I could never really hear it throughout the game, I think towards the end I heard a littl bit. But if you are looking for a deep soundtrack this doesn't really have one.

Play Time/Replayability - It took me about 20 hours to beat the game, and that was sometimes wandering around aimlessly, but mostly stuck to the story. As for replayability, this game does not have a chapter select after you beat it (hopefully ubisoft will release a patch), but in order to replay chapters you just have to run through the full story again, and to fully understand the story I think a second play through is worth it. But after you do your second run through and grab all the stuff you can to 100% the game-this game lacks replay value. Ubisoft has also announced 2 big DLC (downloadable content) patches that are about 1 GB a piece. One will be released in January and the other on February. So please do keep this in mind when thinking of buying this game or renting it.

Final Recommendation - I would say if you are leaning on buying or renting, always rent first. If you think it is worthy of a purchase then do it. If you get it as a gift, well I'd say keep the game, you got it pretty much free. But if you are looking for a lot of replayability you won't find it with this game until the DLC is released (assuming you are finished with the game and platniumed it).

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/04/09

Game Release: Assassin's Creed II (US, 11/17/09)

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