Review by Arxny
Requiescat in pace innovative combat
Story - The lore of this game was certainly... interesting to say the least. It felt like a rip-off of the matrix from the start with Lucy starring as Trinity and Desmond as Neo. That aside, you begin the game as a young Ezio Auditore(b.1459) in Firenze, Italy 1476 when everything begins to come into fruition for young Ezio. And by that of course I mean that his family is met with tragedy and that he seeks revenge on any and every person that is even remotely involved in who was responsible for the events to occur. Looking at the time line for the game to the end, this runs up to the year 1499 which according to my calculations would put young Ezio at about 40 years old.
With that aside, the game for the most part was actually rather entertaining with our friends at Ubisoft bending history a little bit to keep you guessing. What I probably could not help wondering is why all of the actions Ezio made roughly lined up as a parallel to a modern day terrorist. it is a nice gesture after every assassination he always says in a nutshell, "Sorry it turned out this way buddy but you were remotely involved in my family members dying so this has to be done and I am going to be completely respectful about it. Rest in peace." To me it just seemed that he was just doing it to avenge the death of his family while killing countless government officials, and nobles in the process just to further his cause. But who am I to judge?
Graphics- Ah this game just falls beautifully in this department. It was nearly perfect aside from some of the women in some cities looking like men, but I just assumed that it was a prank amongst the producers, plus I got a laugh at it so not much to complain about. As far as all of the interfaces go in the game, it is very well done with. Weapons are easy to access, you can see clearly where you are supposed to go on the mini-map.
Probably the best thing that this game did was recreate the cities of Florence and Venice in this game. One of the Assassin's Tombs in the game was actually a church in Venice, Italy and the interior was remarkably similar in game as it is in real life. This was an aspect I absolutely loved about this game, and I think that every developer that plans on creating games in the future to look at this title and see how they did it. Definitely the staple of this game.
Gameplay- This game certainly was not the holy grail in every aspect of this department. I found myself very bored with the fighting in general after a while, yet I was able to get around the boring, easy, typical sword fights with enemies, and turn it into a smoke bomb + poison needle mosh pit fest, which was nice to do every once in a while, but I mean why do that when I can just go to a concert and do that in real life. I can't have awesome battles with sharp objects in real life, but I certainly can not free-run like a maniac either, which this game on one hand does incredibly well. It certainly felt liberating escaping from guards after a little scuffle (i.e. stabbing one of those annoying bards in the guy with your hidden blade) and in that point they did very well which is a bonus.
The absolute BIGGEST problem with the gameplay was all of the collecting. If I wanted to find 100 hidden thingies in a game, I would go play Banjo-Kazooie. I thought the 100 feathers and the 330 treasure chests were totally unnecessary and annoying as all hell when they could have focused their efforts on bettering the combat of the game instead of hiding boxes full of money which becomes completely obsolete when you effectively become Donald Trump halfway through the game.
Other comments about gameplay is "The Truth" segment of the game which is completely puzzle based and focuses on a silly conspiracy theory was actually quite entertaining, and if you're into those types of things like I was, this is definitely a treat.
Sound- Nothing out of the ordinary in this department. All of the BGMs were appropriate, and very nice to listen too during gameplay. Sound effects were good, and depending on the textures you landed on, it made the appropriate noise upon landing. The tiles sounded like tiles and the dirt sounded like dirt if that even makes any sense.
Conclusion- As nit picky as I was with this game, there is still much to love about Assassin's Creed 2 whether it be the unique gameplay, or the beautiful re creation of renaissance Italy. While still a tad on the repetitive side, it will definitely keep you interested for 20-30 hours of play if you get into it, not a difficult platinum to add to your trophy collection, but all in all, I would say that if you're new to the series, it is a rent. If you like the first Assassins Creed, a buy.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Assassin's Creed II (US, 11/17/09)
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