Review: Assassin’s Creed 2

assassins_creed_2_cover 

In a strange and coincidental turn of events, I can name two moments of deep disappointment over the past few years after picking up a game that I had really been looking forward to.  One was the original Assassin’s Creed and the other was the next-gen debut of Prince of Persia. I ditched AC after only a few days ofter realizing that it was way more repetitive than I liked, and I sold PoP back about an hour after  I finished it because it came across to me like a childrens version of a once-great franchise.

See, I like climbing stuff. I like climbing really, really tall stuff. I enjoy the feeling that I’m going to fall from a dizzying height if I make the wrong move while climbing really, really tall stuff. That’s why Ico finds its way into my play rotation at least two times a year.

I was crushed by how little enjoyment I got out of AC.

Now, here comes Assassin’s Creed 2 with a different historical tableau to explore and a new protaganist to control. I had little interest originally, but after reading some advance impressions, and seeing some of the early gameplay, it looked like the folks over at Ubisoft had really listened to some of the gripes about AC and were setting out to address, fix and improve them.

Holy shit!

Not only did they turn out a much better game, but I got my PoP fix to boot!! Seriously, I seldom play a game for more than a few hours at a time before I’m either too drunk to continue or I’m distracted by some murder show on the Discovery Channel.  Nine straight hours in one night later, the only thing that pried my controller from my hands was my inability to keep my eyes open from need of sleep.

Graphics – Everything here is gorgeous. World characters repeat, but not so frequently that it becomes distracting. The city maps make me want to travel back in time and start stabbing people because it looks like so much fun!!!

Story – Fantastic. Engrossing and rich like a fine plate of  mezzaluna ravioli slathered in bolognese sauce. There will never be a time where you’re not interested in Ezio’s next mission. And the added bonus? I’m playing a videogame and I’ve picked up a little Italian along the way, you “bastardos”! See? It’s just like “bastard” but there’s an “o” at the end.

Gameplay – Nice to see that the people behind AC2 have fixed the problems of the original. The rooftop antics of this game would be enough to make it worth buying. As far as free-running is concerned, this game not only tops Mirrors Edge, but actually fixes the problem in THAT game as well!! There is the occasional, “oops, I jumped the wrong way” moment, but 9 times out of ten that’s my  fault. The fighting, on the other hand could use some work. A little bit rockier than I normally like.

Although in a few instances, this scenario......

Although in a few instances, this scenario......

 

...nearly led to THIS scenario!

...nearly led to THIS scenario!

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound – The hand to hand combat sounds like a guy hitting a wall with a nylon full of meat. Other than that, I love it. The music, the NPC dialogue and the swordplay sound great. Have fun standing in front of a herald and hearing what he has to say.

Replay Value –  Not quite done yet, but I look forward to going back and finishing up the side-missions and trying to actually cap out the achievement points.

Summary – Well worth a buy. Buy two in case the first one gets scratched by that raccoon that lives under the sink. Seriously, I haven’t been this re-interested in a product since Tomb Raider got their shit together.

Much love,

Max

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