Review: Assassin's Creed II

Ubisoft continues the conspiratorial storyline of assassins versus templars with the recent release of Assassin’s Creed 2.

AC2 SS 1

Venice is for lovers ...or assassins.

AC2 tells the story of Ezio Auditore de Firenze, an assassin in Renaissance Italy, and Desmond Miles, a near-future descendant of Ezio.  Ezio is out to get revenge on a group of conspirators for the unjust killing of some members of his family. The game plays like a typical third-person action game, with some stealth and platforming elements.  The controls, for the most part, are tight, however because the controller buttons are context sensitive sometimes Ezio does not always perform the action the player wants to do.  There are a few good things about the game as well as some bad.

The first good thing that is noticed is how gorgeous the game looks.  Character models are extremely well detailed, down to the little details such as a character’s hair style or beard.  Ezio moves fluidly through the world, and when he performs a killing attack animation they look so beautiful and deadly they will make the player cringe.  The historical accuracy of the game is another great aspect.  Many of the main characters, including the main antagonist, are real people who lived during that time period.  The conspiratorial story, while it does get a bit confusing and strange near the end, is very well written and mashes together Ezio’s story in Renaissance Italy and Desmond’s near-future story.  Many of the repetitive parts of the last game, which were previously necessary to upgrade the character’s health, are still in the game, but no longer a requirement.  The player now upgrades Ezio’s health by buying new armor and weapons.  The missions are also more varied than the last game in the series, not only including assassination missions but timed races, stealth missions, and courier missions.

Like previously mentioned, the controls sometimes do not do exactly what the player wants, but those times are few and are easy to get used to.  While the story gets a bit confusing near the end, it is obvious the developers are setting the story up for another game.  One other confusing thing about the story is why it takes place over a number of years in Ezio’s story.  The player never gets the sense that actual time has passed for the characters in the game, because over the course of only a few seconds the story will jump forward a couple years.

A fight or a dance party? You decide!

This game is an obvious choice for any fan of action games.  The graphics and character animations, especially Ezio’s killing animations, are gorgeous to say the least.  The controls are tight, although sometimes they do not do exactly what the player intends.  While the story does get a bit confusing at times, it is very well done and engaging.  The fact that a majority of the main characters were real people during Renaissance Italy makes the game even more interesting.  For fans of the original game, and any fan of third-person action games, this is a must play.

3 comments on “Review: Assassin's Creed II”

  1. I like how, by and large, video game sequels are usually better than the originals. The only problem is now I’m going to want to play through AC1 before I can bring myself to play AC2, and from what I’ve heard I probably won’t enjoy it that much. I’ve been hearing really good things about AC2, though, and it seems like it’s lived up to everybody’s expectations for it. Color me interested :D.

  2. AC1 is still a good game, but AC2 fixed pretty much every problem most people had with the game.

  3. I’ll have AC2 in about a week or so, I’ll feel a bit bad for not having finished the first game (and being a bit behind in the story), but AC1 was just so boring.

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