Review by Darkmagic3
"This game makes the first look like a mere tech demo"
Once again Assassins Creed 2 takes place in both the future and the past. The game begins at the exact spot where the first one ended with Desmond escaping Abstergo. Desmond still sits on the sidelines for most of the story, but in the few times that you do play as him you do a lot more then walk around a small room. Desmond must use the animus to watch the memories of ancestor Ezio in order to both train him to become an assassin and find an incredible secret. Unlike Altair, Ezio starts out as a simple nobleman whose seemingly perfect world is shattered when his family is betrayed and killed. He quickly becomes an assassin and seeks revenge. His story slowly turns from one of revenge to joining the war between assassins and templars. Everything is much deeper. You have actual cutscenes to allow you to truly see the characters emotions and the story is always gripping.Ezio does not blindly follow one man like Altair he takes the assistance of others, but does his own thing. The story also gives you a brief glimpse into the creation of man from the assassins creed universe and will leave you begging to play the third.
The gameplay has made an incredible improvement from the first game. No longer do you walk around cities quickly doing three of the exact same missions. Ezio has specific people to go to that provide him with a large variety of missions that never once become repetitive. The first game was expected to be like a mixture of grand theft auto and prince of persia, but never delivered on that. This one truly does. Combat has been improved in a big way making it so much more fun. You have about 30 weapons to choose from now rather then just three, and each have different styles of killing enemies. You may also disarm enemies now and even do actual combat with your hidden blades. Ezio has many different assassination techniques such as pulling guards over ledges, jumping on them from roofs, stabbing them from a hay bale, and more. You have new gadgets such as a hidden wrist pistol, smoke bombs, and poison. This time you truly do feel like a bad ass assassin and the combat does not feel like a chore. Another improvement is that you can actually execute your main targets in the same way you do guards, unlike in the first where Altair would simply stab their necks. Seeing Ezio stab a target in the stomach then slice his throat is so much more satisfying. Once again you have a lot to collect, but you are given some real motivation. In the first you had a ridiculous amount of flags to collect simply because they were there. Now you have clips of a video made by one of Abstergo's subjects that is said to reveal a shocking truth, codex pages that tell the story of Altair after the game ended and reveal something I wont spoil, and feathers to help Ezio's mother who is in a state of shock. Assassins Creed 2 has an economic system now as well. You can gather money and use it on weapons, paintings, ammo, clothing , and more. Ezio is given his own small village owned by his family and should you choose to use your money to take care of it, you will see it change from a filthy town filled with poor folks to a thriving town. Needless to say if you played the first game you will be blown away by all the changes.
All of the cities are really brought to life in this game. They have been recreated accurately based on how they looked at that time. The people really feel like a part of the worlds this time and do not look so bland. The characters are given great detail and now you can really see the emotion in their face. All of you killing leaves a nice gory effect as well. These are just yet another things to add to the list of great improvements.
There is a nice and simple soundtrack here that really fits the mood of what is going on. During combat you can hear weapons reacting with one another and even the impact of blade or fist to flesh. Voice acting is superb and the characters actually have accents this time.
Rent Or Buy
This game is a buy. I loved the first game at the time it came out and had a lot of fun every time I played it after that, but after this game I don't know if I would ever touch the first again. The sequel is just that good. It puts the first to shame and lets you see how many flaws it had that now no longer exist. The developers did an incredible job with this and I can only hope they do not take so long to deliver us the third.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/30/09
Game Release: Assassin's Creed II (US, 11/17/09)
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