Assassin’s Creed 2

When thinking about potential career changes, a game can always come in handy for influencing your options: war hero, archaeologist, spell caster, or perhaps a frightfully swift, cloaked assassin whose sole mission is to pierce the back of your cranium with a 6 inch long blade before you can run for the rooftops. I know which one I’d go for, but when you put it like that it’s not really that hard to choose now is it?

In a world where, at the time of release, a scarily large portion of the gaming world will probably be highly absorbed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you have to admire a company who has the balls to release what could arguably be their biggest title of the year, and pit it against a record breaker for sales. Hell, it’s no secret that MW2 has had many a game running for the hills of 2010 rather than compete against it in the Christmas market; and with this in mind you have to agree that either Ubisoft are barking mad, or have a very good reason to put all of their eggs in one basket. Thankfully, I’m happy to report that in this case, it’s the latter.

Assassin’s Creed’s success snuck up on the market like a dark and deadly ninja taking a lot of the gaming world by pleasant surprise as a result, and although undoubtedly well received also took its fair share of criticism. As excited as many gamers have been regarding the sequel, there have always been reservations over the missed potential of the first title, specifically due to repetitive game play. A large proportion of the game focused on locating and taking down assassination targets, or locating extras such as flags or hidden Templars, and despite the stunning locations and captivating storyline, it left some people less impressed than others. Assassin’s Creed 2 comes across like an older and wiser version of its predecessor; how it should have been.

The storyline now takes a much more obvious role, developing plot both in and out of the Animus, a machine designed to tap into the genetic memory of a subject allowing a person to relive the life of an ancestor. Desmond, captured by Abstergo (the company who designed the Animus machine) returns to our screens, this time reliving the past of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the son of a 15th Century Italian nobleman whose life is thrown into chaos as he unravels the truth of his father’s hidden existence. During your travels you can hope to visit Florence, Venice and Tuscany, and encounter new allies for your cause including the great Leonardo Di Vinci whose ingenious mind offers you technological upgrades to enable you on your missions! All of this while trying to uncover the secret behind the Animus, and the true purpose of Abstergo; so, not a lot then?

Obviously, a sequel is always going to bear a striking resemblance to its original, but when it’s as visually stunning as the Assassin’s Creed series you really don’t seem to care! Although a large portion of the game still centres round completing bonus missions, these are now much more varied than hunting down knights playing hide and seek. One of my particular new favourites are the glyph missions, which require a keen eye and puzzle hungry mind to solve riddles. Completing the puzzles unlocks hidden secrets behind Abstergo’s test subject before Desmond; if you lap up your story line as much as I do, the extra knowledge they offer make the puzzles feel more worthy of the time spent completing them and are a welcome addition for variety.

On top of that, your assassin Ezio also offers a bountiful skill set, much higher than that of Altair’s now ancient 11th century ways! While the character controls still work in the same way as the first, a variety of weapons and possible take downs have been added, giving a new lease of life to the combat system. This also ties in with the new in game marketplace which allows you to upgrade, heal and pimp your assassin in the style of the times; admit it – you all wanted leather chaps under your cloak to impress the ladies, right? Money is earned by completing side missions and scouting for treasure, and aside from donning Ezio in all the latest clobber, also allows you to bribe and hire the locals to do your bidding! On top of that you can now interact with the water; diving, swimming and rowing are all possible – isn’t it amazing what 4 centuries of learning can teach you Altair?







3 responses to “Assassin’s Creed 2”

  1. Duncan avatar

    Great review!

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this at Christmas. 😀

  2. Ramsden avatar

    Modern Warfare 2 is very well marketed, but basically just a standard FPS. In some ways it’s actually antiquated and backwards.

    Assassin’s Creed II however is a legitimate progression, and really bloody good.

    No question in my mind that Assassin’s Creed II should be game of the year, but sadly, I suspect it’ll be robbed. Then again, when all is said and done, the main thing is the game. And Ubisoft are definitely my new best friends.

  3. ninja training avatar

    Awesome content, thanks for the information.

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