GameNow WP Theme

Dark Light
Assassins Creed 2 Review
Review Score:

The first Assassins Creed game is a little bit like marmite, you either love it or you hate it, everything in the game was nicely pulled off, but the needless filler side missions are what brought the entire thing down, and until the PC version was released, these missions and a fairly short story was all there was to do in the game. The second instalment in the series truly is something, with over 200 missions and a vast array of side missions and Tid bits, this is a game that will eat up your life, and most likely drag you away from the mindless and repetitive shooting of Call of Duty.

I can’t really explain the storyline of the game without this review containing massive spoilers, however, I’ll try my best to explain everything without getting too far into the game. The game opens where the first game left of, you playing as a bartender called Desmond who has been captured by Abstergo Labs, a company nothing short of evil and the same taste in architecture as a James Bond villain. Abstergo have a machine called the ‘Animus’ which allows Desmond to go back to his ancestors time periods in order to find things out or learn valuable skills from them. The first game sends you back to the third crusade to play as a master assassin known as Altair, who is disgraced and sent back to being a rookie after a bodge mission in the opening ten minutes of the game, this is where Assassins Creed 2 differs from the first game, the first mission you play as Ezio (our new main character) is literally as a new born baby (no kidding) and we see him progress from a young nobleman into a full blown will-cut-your-head-off-if-you-look-at-him-wrong Assassin, and this journey is accompanied by an incredibly deep, dark and exiting storyline, but not a completely humourless one (for those of you who haven’t already heard about the Mario part, either go look it up or play through to it yourself, I laughed so hard I was almost in tears.)

The missions in the game aren’t as boring and repetitive as its predecessor and there is a much wider range of build up and other optional missions to do, including some amazing Assassins Tomb sections, which are optional, but have an absolutely awesome prize for finishing all of them, these pieces will put your free running skills to the test and occasionally drop you into some incredibly crowded fights. The actual assassination missions in the game are pulled off a lot better than in the original, with many different ways to pull them off and not so much build up, for example, you can literally sprint at your target holding R1 and tap square to take them out, then have a massive fight on your hands afterwards or you can take out all of the resistance stealthily beforehand and then finish your target with the light slash of a poisoned blade afterwards.

The game play is almost identical to the first game, but with improvements on everything, the free running flows much more nicely, the combat is much smoother and requires some skill with timings and anticipating enemies moves, but once you get the hang of the system you can make some great looking action movie style fights. There are a few new mechanics in the combat system, including disarming, which is incredibly useful but requires good timing, and the use of smoke bombs, medicine and various other new weapons. The dual hidden blades can be a godsend when approached by a group of guards who think you are suspicious and are about to attack, as you can take out two of them at once thus lowering their numbers and making the combat easier for you. There are various fun ways to take out enemies, and the classic throwing knives are still in the game, although take a bit more skill to use than they did in the first game. New additions to assassinations include pulling guards of the edge of buildings by stabbing them where it hurts and throwing them behind you, all the way up to dragging guards into the hay carts that are still conveniently placed near high jumps, which brings me onto the next section quite nicely.

The graphics in the game are very good, but it takes some time and a few missions to see the full potential of them. With bustling towns and busy cities up to a peaceful countryside, the game has a huge variation of environments waiting to be found, and with the loading times at a fairly decent amount for the huge areas in the game, you won’t be waiting long to explore your favourite places in the game, nor will you have time to make a cup of tea after every kill like in the first game. Ubisoft Montreal are known for their games such as the Prince of Persia series, and the exploration available in the game is fantastic, with lots of collectables to find and some amazing overhead views of your environment available if you are willing to climb high enough, the game truly delivers with its environments. Character animations are nice, and in contrast to the first game where guards could free run as well as you, they now struggle to get over obstacles, aren’t as fast, and larger enemies don’t even bother to chase you down. Ezio as a character looks awesome, and I am expecting to see a few people cosplaying as him at MCM expo next year, the amount of detail gone into all of the costumes, armour pieces and weapons truly is astounding, however there are sometimes clipping issues with Ezio’s cape and shoulder pieces, as well as shadows in some of the cutscenes, however, if you don’t have an eye for those sort of issues, they are barely noticeable. The games interface and menu system definitely deserves a mention, and is very crisp and smooth, it also gives historical and background information on various aspects of the game, from buildings to prostitution (did you know that the government supported it until the 15th century? I sure didn’t.) The game can be pretty brutal in some places but the gore isn’t as over the top as say Borderlands, but the legendary ‘Break his legs’ from the first game is something everybody who has played it will remember, despite conveying the true brutality of history.

The game contains several optional puzzles, some of which are quite tricky, when they are all completed a video is unlocked which adds to the dark back-story of the previous captives of Abstergo in the first game, these puzzles are located on various landmarks and if failed can be retried from the menu. The puzzles range in difficulty and some of them took me a long time to figure out, and some I could spot within seconds.

To finish up this review, Assassins Creed 2 was good enough to drag me away from COD and Tekken 6, so is definitely worth a purchase if you are an addict, but on a more serious note, this is one of the best games I have played all year, and for me, it’s up there with Fallout 3 and the Final Fantasy games. Ubisoft have really done a great job on this one, and fortunately I had a chance to play it at Eurogamer Expo earlier in the year, and to give you an idea, the ten or fifteen minutes I played it for there, guaranteed a purchase from me. I’m going to give this one full marks and a thumbs up.

-Dean Case

GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
Assassins Creed 2 Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Leave a Reply:

A unique adventure you will never forget Polls

Playstation Plus is...

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Latest Reviews Affiliates
Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Digg button Youtube button