Remember back in 2007 when you just had the urge to sneak up behind someone, and simply take them out with no one even noticing? Well here is your chance to do it again! The follow up to Ubisofts 2007 hit Assassins Creed returns with Assassins Creed II!
Step into the shoes of the new assassin Ezio, and dawn the hidden blades once more. How does Assassins Creed II live up the original though? Will it live by the Creed or die by the Creed? Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs!
Assassins Creed II follows Ezio, a normal guy turned assassin, and driven by revenge and duty. That right there is one great thing about AC2. You are not an uber assassin right from the get go like you were in the first Assassins Creed. Rather, you obtain abilities and new weapons all throughout the game, which helps develop Ezio as a character as he learns new skills. Though the plot may not be 100% original, it is extremely enjoyable, and will entertain you the entire way through. Ezio himself as a character is very likable and while playing the game, you will find yourself smirking at some of his witty remarks. You will also be taking on the role of Desmond Miles once again; however, he does not play as big of a role as he did in the first. That being said, he is a more enjoyable character in this game than he was in the first. There is also the “truth” to uncover, but that is something you will have to discover on your own!
The game features a wide cast of historical figures in the game, and you can even learn a lesson or two from reading their personal profiles. One such example will of course be Ezios close friend, Leonardo Da Vinci. Did you know that while staying in Florence Italy, Leonardo Da Vinci was given corpses to study human anatomy? No? Well, if you play Assassins Creed II and you will surly learn more! Da Vinci is not the only historical figure in the game, but I am not going to spoil anything for you! Not only are there many characters to meet, but you may even find the architecture of the game to become a character itself. The environments are designed to exactly mimic areas of Italy down to the finer details. You will be amazed at all of the authenticity of the buildings while running through the cities. It is truly a site to behold.
Double the blades, Double the fun!
It may seem very simple, but once you obtain your second hidden blade, the real fun begins. Duel assassinations and close quarters combat with the duel hidden blades is a great treat for the player. Not only that, you have a large verity of weapons to choose from, including swords, daggers, axes, spears, throwing knives, and more! You can even disarm enemies and use their weapons as your own! All of this weapon verity will surly break up the repetition of only using a few weapons like in the first Assassins Creed. Each of these new weapons also feels the part. An axe or a hammer will be slow, but powerful, while daggers and short swords will be quick and do less damage. While wielding all of these weapons, you will also find that they all have many kill animations. Instead of killing every enemy the same way, each weapon has its own unique kills, none of which get old.
Side-missions a plenty
There is more to Assassins Creed II than simply the main story line. You can embark on many side quests ranging from races special assassinations, and even exploring tombs of your ancestors. Each of these types of missions gives you certain rewards. The bulk of them is of course the in game currency which you can use to purchase new armor, weapons, and even health potions. Other missions can reward you with weapons, or armor. The most notable is exploring the tombs of your ancestors. Once you have explored all of them, you obtain the ability to unlock Altaïrs armor. You can also embark on real-estate in your own villa which can help you gain money at a quick rate. Improving your villa also snags you some nice discounts in shops, so it is wise to invest early.
Connect Bloodlines and get Coins/ Weapons! (PS3 Only)
Another way to get a lot of florins in the game is by connecting the PSP game Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines Save Data to your Assassin’s Creed II. There are a lot of things that are unlock by doing so. Things such as Maria’s Weapons to Bouchart’s weapon that he used in Bloodlines as well. Transfering Templar Coins will convert to Florins here in Assassin’s Creed II. This is a quick way to earn extra if you happen to own both games.
UPlay- Earn Rewards!
A great way to earn rewards is through UbiSoft’s UPlay. Upon completing certain tasks in the game, you will be gaining UPlay Points that you can use via UbiSoft’s in-game store. The rewards vary from Themes, to a new map that can be unlocked. There are around five things that you can unlock by exchanging points and the only way to get them is by playing UbiSoft’s games.
While the free running remains from the first Assassins Creed, it still retains some of the same problems. Yes you can climb almost anything as long as Ezio has something to grasp onto, but when you need to go to a specific spot, some trouble appears. Since the free running is automatic, you may aim for a certain ledge, but instead grab one that you are closer too, resulting in a great slow down in the action. This is really just upsetting in high tension chases where you have to slow down and then get back into the groove, dulling some of the excitement. Thought it doesn’t happen often, you will find yourself running into this problem a couple times throughout your play through.
Slight screen tearing
During the game you may notice some small visual quarks. The biggest one is some screen tearing that is noticeable during your play through, but it is nothing that distracts from enjoying the game.
At the end of the day, Assassins Creed II is simply a great game. Running from rooftop to rooftop and dispatching of enemies is a treat for the player, and the engaging story will keep you sucked in. A normal play through will last you at least 18 hours from the start. It’s great to know that you will get your monies worth. Though there are countless other great titles out there this holiday season, Assassins Creed II will defiantly be one to pick up and add to your playlist.
[Editor’s Note: Assassin’s Creed II was reviewed on a PlayStation 3 platform. The game was supplied to us by the publisher.]Assassins Creed II Review,