Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Review: Assassin’s Creed 2

I had to wait until just before New Year to actually get the game but was the wait worth it?

The story follows your ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze, from birth to adulthood, and following on from a family tragedy his growing into the role of an assassin. The game starts in Florence but later on takes you to the bustling city of Venice. The story is engrossing and kept me interested throughout the game however I wasn’t too sold on the game’s ending. I’ve thought about this for a bit and I feel that the ending cliff hanger breaks the “rhythm” of the rest of the story.

Much like the first game the locations are visually stunning and fun to run from roof to roof, the addition of being able to swim also helps with getting around and a leap from the roof tops into the water pulling off a flawless dive is very satisfying. However it was pointed out to me by a friend, that in this game the people don’t look like they live there, they look like tourists. There are a few people that are actually doing something like painting or fishing, but the rest are walking around or standing talking. In the first game you had people setting up stalls and selling stuff, but that’s missing in this game.

The achievements did seem to be a step in the wrong direction. While they got rid of all the flag collection achievements which is a good thing, it’s also gotten rid of all the rewards for doing all the side quests. You don’t get anything for climbing all the viewpoints, or for completing the side missions. The game makes a fuss about these codex pages which you can display on a wall in your villa, which once you have them all you get nothing for it, some extra heath squares but that’s it. This doesn’t seem right to me, yes I thought that in the first game the side missions got repetitive, but the side missions in this game are good and varied enough to not get boring, but with no rewards I don’t see the point, and that has to be my biggest gripe with this game.

To sum up it’s a decent sequel that builds on the strengths of the first game, and the few downsides don’t detract from the enjoyment of the rest of the game. This game also has the best gaming culture reference joke I’ve ever heard in a game, I’ve tried to keep this review spoiler free so if you’ve yet to play you in for a real treat. 

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