Game Review: Assassin’s Creed 2 – Attack of the Killer Italian

Assassins Creed 2 Xbox 360 Cover Game Review: Assassins Creed 2   Attack of the Killer Italian

I feel like such a minority here for really loving the first Assassin’s Creed. Gamers complained that it was too repetitive, but other than doing the same pickpocket, stalking, beat-em-up missions, the game mechanics introduced us to the world of parkour and it really wowed me with its beautifully landscapes and scenery during the time of the Crusades. The story was also intriguing and it made me hungry for the inevitable sequel thanks to its cliffhanger.

Enter Assassin’s Creed 2. This is sure to please those disappointed with the lack of varied missions and its disjointed storytelling. You play as Ezio Auditoire, who’s an ancestor of Desmond (the main character of the series) during the Renaissance period in Italy. He is of nobility and because of a tragic event, Ezio goes on a mission to seek vengeance, while uncovering a mystery that can change the world forever. The game starts him off as a young womanizer who likes to get into trouble. Ezio slowly becomes the ultimate assassin as he progresses through the game, learning from new characters he meets along the way.

The gameplay mechanics are pretty much the same, from combat, to free running. The newest addition to combat is the ability to use the enemies’ weapons against them. Nothing makes me happier than to be able to go against a big armored guard, dodging his attack, then grabbing his axe, and turning it against him by ramming it into his skull. Along with combat, you get access to a lot of different types of weapons like smoke bombs, poison (my favorite), sledge hammers, a gun, a flying machine (thanks to Leonardo) and dual hidden blades. As for free running, Ezio feels a little bit slower, but other than that, he can hold his own compared to Altair.

The biggest improvement that people will like is the mission types and narrative. Gone are the generic missions that feel like side quests. Ubisoft has added a lot of depth and variety into the story and missions. The mission feels fluid, thanks to the narrative that progresses the story forward.

Also, you’ll spend more time in the Animus, the machine that lets you experience your ancestor’s life. Gone is the frequent exiting of the Animus into present time after a successful assassination. Although I hated the slow controls for roaming around as Desmond in the present world, I was still curious as to what’s happening around him by exploring different rooms, checking out computer files. It’s the subtle and not-so subtle depth and information about this mysterious group in the present world that made me want to know more about what Desmond is capable of and who he is facing against.

It’s the little things in the game that get me all hot and sweaty inside like Carrie Prejean’s solo sex tape. While running around the city, you’ll encounter random guys fishing near the edge of either a bridge or pier, and I feel like it’s my duty to run up to them and bump them off. The funny thing is, once they fall into the waters, they drown and sink. It seems like all the Italians in this game can’t swim, well except for Ezio of course.

I love the addition of hiring prostitutes ::ahem:: courtesans to distract guards and using nearby thieves to help you fight. The thieves are pretty useful, since the guards almost always focus on fighting them, it leaves their backs vulnerable to your blade.

The music is somewhat of a mixed bag for me. While I did enjoy Jesper Kyd’s score for the most part, the early soundtrack feels like it doesn’t belong; for example, in Tuscany, I am somehow reminded of 80’s synthesizers (Think Mass Effect). Usually it wouldn’t annoy me, but it took me out of the Renaissance setting.

After completing the game, you’ll get to finish off side quests and collect symbols. These symbols, when collected as a whole, will show you a cool revelation from history. Don’t want to spoil it for you guys, other than to say that this game is definitely worth checking out. For those that loved the first, you’ll definitely dig this improved sequel, and for those that were annoyed by the repetitive missions of the first game, you’ll see that this game is a nice surprise and will hopefully make you anticipate the next game. As for replay value, it depends on how much you like to mess around and kill guards, since there isn’t much else to do other than collecting feathers and beating up cheating husbands.

Grade: B+

pixel Game Review: Assassins Creed 2   Attack of the Killer Italian

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