Assassins Creed 2 Review by Darknight630
Assassins Creed 2 is the sequel to one of the fastest selling new IP’s of all time, Assassins Creed. As was with the original Assassins Creed 2 has two distinctive story lines thrown in. One is of Desmond Miles, who you might remember from the original game. While the other story line involves the new assassin, Ezio. Unlike in Assassins Creed you played as Altair, the dedicated assassin. Ezio’s story is one of betrayal and revenge, the more Ezio goes into getting revenge the more he becomes tangled in the same war between the Assassins and Knight’s Templar. Assassins Creed 2 has been in development for over 2 years now, so how have those two years served to fix all the issues that plagued the original Assassins Creed? Let’s find out.
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 Miles escaping Abstergo Industries. 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 (who was an assassin from the get-go), Ezio starts out as a simple nobleman whose seemingly perfect world is shattered when his family is betrayed and killed. Thus begins Ezio’s quest to seek revenge against those who betrayed and killed his family. However the deeper Ezio goes in avenging his family he becomes more and more tangled in a war between the Assassins and Knight’s Templar. Everything in Assassins Creed 2 is much deeper story wise. Whereas the original Assassins Creed had you repeating the same tasks over and over again to reach an assassination, AC2 actually has a story that fleshes out each character and has you actually seeing what is going on in this war between Assassins and Templars. Once more unlike Altair, who blindly followed orders from whomever, Ezio has his own agenda and plan. There is no one pulling the stings so to speak when it comes to Ezio. Plus without getting into spoiler territory AC2 also goes into explaining the “creation of man” in the AC universe and thus leaving you with the begging feeling to play Assassins Creed 3.
Assassins Creed 2 has made an incredible improvement from the first game in terms of game play. 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 original idea for Assassins Creed was to be a mixture of Prince of Persia and Grand Theft Auto, however the first game never delivered on that. Assassins Creed 2 definitely delivers. 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 (including using enemies weapons), 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. Other new gadgets include a hidden wrist pistol, smoke bombs, and poison.
Graphically Assassins Creed 2 is amazing. Ubisoft did a real nice job of bringing all the cities of AC2 to life. Considering the game takes place in Italy you can tell how detailed all the cities look. Everything has pretty much been accurately recreated to match what could be found in Italy during the AC2 time frame. The inhabitants of the cities also add to the effect and don’t look as bland as they did in the original game. The same goes for all the main characters in the game, they actually show emotions and actually make you feel for these characters as you meet them throughout the game. Also for all you fans of blood and gore those effects are definitely nice in AC2, in some cases they are good enough to even make you cringe at the sight of some of the assassinations. Soundwise Assassins Creed 2 is much better over its predecessors. There is a simple soundtrack to be found in the game, nothing to really get excited about. However the sounds of weapons hitting each other and even the sounds of weapons being impaled into flesh all sound great. Also a grand addition to AC2 that the original game didn’t use, character accents!
In terms of replayability and value Assassins Creed definitely has both of those over the original. Unlike the original game who’s only form of replayability was collecting flags scattered around the land, AC2 adds far more options in this sense. Such missions include finding hidden treasure chests in the land and helping your mother find 100 feathers scattered around. These two are in the same vein as the original games flag collecting, however AC2 adds one more thing that greatly improves replayability, the ability to assist your Uncle Mario (Yes, there is a Super Mario Brothers joke in the game) in rebuilding his city. Using any money you earn throughout the game you can donate and repair things such as the Mansion you live in, the Weapons shop, the Art shop, the Tailor shop, etc. All these repairs go into giving you discounts for weapons, armor, art pieces, and more. Also added to the game to increase replayability are the clues that explain something I cannot go into for fear or spoiling the game. They serve as clues that explain Subject 16…and that’s as far as I can go.
So to sum it up Assassins Creed 2 is a great improvement over the original game. It’s a rather lengthy game as well spanning well over 25 hours or so depending on your skill and if you choose to do the side missions. I completed the game in about 27 hours playing it on the Xbox 360. There are no major differences between playing this game on the 360 or PS3 aside from the controller.
Final Score: 8/10