Review by Poseidon8363

Reviewed: 01/05/10

Nothing may be true, but Assassin's Creed 2 still rocks

Late 2007, Ubisoft unleashed a very interesting game called Assassin’s Creed. While this game defiantly rose in popularity many had problems with this first installment. People stated that the first game was too repetitive, lacked replay value, and had a terrible ending. Today Ubisoft has created Assassin’s Creed 2 extending Desmond’s journeys through the Animus to his ancestor Ezio Auditore during the Renaissance in Italy.

Thankfully, if you disliked Assassin’s Creed for any of the three stated reasons you have no reason to dislike this game. Ubisoft has truly taken a good game and made it an outstanding game.

Gameplay – (10/10)

Ubisoft has come a long way since the first Assassin’s Creed and has made many improvements which I will try summarize here if at all possible.

Some of the greatest improvements have come in the form of a widely customizable weapon system. Unlike the first game you can choose whether you want to carry a sword, mace, or hammer. You now have two hidden blades to simultaneously take out targets. There are other cool additions such as smoke bombs, poison, and a wrist pistol. Your fists are no longer useless in fights, but allow you to disarm and use your opponent’s weapons! The addition of variety of weapons allows for many more possibilities when assassinating and better combat. The same goes for the game’s armor system.

What makes a game about an Assassin truly fun is one thing: Assassinations. Fans of the first Assassin’s Creed should be pleased to behold that there are far more then 9 assassinations as opposed to the first game; some within the story and some optional missions. You will no longer have to track assassinations in the repetitive fashion the first game provided. There are also missions to quickly deliver letters, beat up unfaithful husbands, and set new race records. If that isn’t enough for you, there are assassin’s tombs to raid, codex pages to find, hidden glyph puzzles, 100 feathers to collect, and over 300 treasure chests withholding money! You still also have viewpoints as in the first game, 66 to be exact!

The actual movement in the game is very similar to that of the original game. Holding “R1” down changes you from low profile to high profile actions. Low profile is socially acceptable while high profile isn’t. Each button corresponds to Ezio's respective body parts:"X" controls his legs, "O" his right arm, "square" his left arm, and "triangle" his head or eagle vision.

One huge improvement to Assassin’s Creed 2 is the economy. The economy in the game is run by florins. You can collect florins through your Uncle Mario’s Villa, by doing missions, by completing more of the story, by pick pocketing or looting people, and finally by finding treasure chests. With this money you can buy more weapons, armor, ammunition, repair your weapons, heal yourself at a doctor, prostitutes/thieves to distract guards, mercenaries to fight with you, dye your robes different colors, invest in your Uncle’s Villa to make more money, and more!

Assassin’s Creed 2 also has worked in a notoriety system. As you kill more guards your notoriety will increase and when it reaches maximum you will become notorious. When your notorious guards will notice you once you get too close and will attack after recognizing you. To decrease notoriety you can rip your “wanted” posters, bribe heralds, and/or kill corrupt officials.

Finally the platforming from Assassin’s Creed 1 is still flawless. Everything looks like you can’t climb it but you can climb on everything!

Also one last tag: you can SWIM! (thank you Ubisoft!)

Story (9/10) – Ok now I’ve talked quite awhile about gameplay but let’s get onto the story. The story in Assassin’s Creed 2 is extremely well done. There are multiple plot lines going on at the same time. You’ll experience Desmond’s story from outside the Animus, Ezio’s story within Italy, and even some very interesting story telling by Subject 16. The characters in the game are all believable. Ezio is a great character and you will see him grow from a troublesome teenager to an Assassin. You’ll get to work with some actual historical figures such as Leonardo Da Vinci. The story is full of plot twists from start to finish. The “let me down” ending of the first Assassin’s Creed is not present in any sense. The ending of Assassin’s Creed 2 is VERY well done and shocking to say the least. One complaint I have of the story is that sometimes it can get a little confusing about where Ezio is going or what the heck he is doing. Also you don’t get to use Desmond much at all.

Graphics (10/10) – The world in Assassin’s Creed 2 is vivid and real. The cities of Florence and Venice are HUGE. In the first game when you looked from atop a viewpoint you couldn’t see fine detail, but in the sequel I swear you could nearly count the bricks on a distant tower. The people themselves are put together much better. In the first one everyone was boring and not very detailed. Now there are colorful assortments of people, so colorful in fact that in a crowd you sometimes have trouble locating a main character you may be following. The day/night cycle that is present in this game adds to the graphics when you look upon a lit-up city at night. Also the range at which you can see and the size of the cities are huge. One great example of this games graphics is the amazing looking countryside of Tuscany.

Sound (9/10) – The Italian language in the game is really well done. Ezio has a very believable Italian accent as many of the other characters have as well. The hustle and bustle of each city has a very believable sound track behind it. The people’s responses to your actions sound great as well. They’ll say how impressive you are, or out-loud express their feelings that you might be drunk. The musical score to the game has some great tunes especially during the races. I have two major problems with the sound track though that did hurt the game. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what the characters are saying at times especially when they mix in long, complicated Italian names. Since this can be a problem, I recommend subtitles. Also at certain parts some of the biggest moments of the game lack good background music. The final fight disappointed me with little or no music.

Replay Value (10/10) – I have to give this game a 10 here after such a vast improvement from the first game. In the third paragraph on this review in the gameplay section I list all the things you can do in Assassin’s Creed 2. Gone are the days of simply collecting flags and getting nothing.

Conclusion - “9.6/10” or rounded: (10/10)

Assassin’s Creed 2 is truly one of the most expansive and fun games I have ever played. For those that hated the original or thought it was too repetitive, give this game a chance and you’ll probably find it much to you liking. Well what are you waiting for, your still reading this review? Go buy it! And may the Father of Understanding not guide you!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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

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