Review by InsipidActnHero
Creed's back and better than ever.
Firstly, those who did not enjoy the first game as much as I did for the core gameplay mechanics should stay away from this one, if not rent it. Assassin's Creed II is neither an action game or a game dependent entirely on stealth, but instead a mutated mix of both genres. It is mainly there for the story, and the sequel plays it's own out even more better than the first.
You play as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a florentine noble who is a direct descendant of Altair from the first game and a late ancestor to Desmond Miles, the "main character controlling the other main characters" in both. Ezio has lived a care-free life up to the start of the game at which point a plot twist happens and you are betrayed by your family's close friend and discover that your father was an assassin, before taking up his sworn work as your own.
From this point on, you progress as an inexperienced and young florentine noble through the course of 30 years from becoming a novice assassin to a master assassin. You take it upon yourself to abolish the work of the templars, who are also back from the first game. The game grabs you by the throat and takes you through excellent character and story progression, while adding in many different elements that refine this game as an improved sequel - you can buy treasure maps to search for treasure, compete in races and even beat up cheating husbands for their wives for hours of extra gameplay. The game also reveals a lot of unexpected twists about the assassins and templars, and the story engrosses you more than it's predecessor.
Tinting Ezio's clothes with colors and expanding his base of operations as you see fit give you a better feeling of customization and relation.
While the character detail for this game is a bit off compared to the original, the environmental artwork it just beautiful. From the villas of Florence to the forest covered mountainsides to Venice during midnight, the game is stunning in every way and is without a doubt the best looking free-roam game I have ever played.
All in all, the game is not for everybody. But to those who it appeals to, it fulfills almost every need for them. If you loved the first Assassin's Creed, then you will adore this one. You've more weapons at your disposal (over 30 I believe), factions who you can hire to assist you with your work and a main character who you can relate to more due to you following him and his story over a long period of his life. This game also has over 2 hours in cutscenes, which is more than most movies.
Overall, I give this game a 9/10. It delivers on everything it promises to. People who bought it and think that it deserves a lower score need only blame themselves for not researching the game more and appreciating what Assassin's Creed really is.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Assassin's Creed II (US, 11/17/09)
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