Assassin’s Creed 2 Review
The good people at Ubisoft Montreal have once again visited their breakout franchise in the follow up to 2007 Assissin’s Creed with the much-hyped and vastly improved Assassin’s Creed II. This sequel, seeking to make-up for past mistakes, manages to improve upon its winning formula and in doing so has positioned itself as the best action game of 2009.
The original breakout hit of Assassin’s Creed proved to audiances that history could be fun, and engaging, IF interpritted the right way. Basing its missions and structure on actual historical figures and events, the Assassin’s Creed of two years past to creative leeway with over 600 years of history and made it their own. In this return to the franchise, it is evident that developers took heed from its critics, stripping away what didn’t work and building upon what did. Gone are the annoying and repeatitive collection missions, and long eventless horse rides traversing between the three major cities of the first. Even the main assassination missions have been tweaked to give the player a sense of diversity and non-linear play. And although some cumbersome issues do tend to rear their head from time to time (inane flag collecting, have been replaced by hunting for feathers) these tasks have been reduced to side-mission status and are not a nessisity for completeing the game. Complestionists will still have the task of hunting hours on end for random items to reach a ful 1000 gamerpoints, but that what the internet is for.
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End Date: Friday May-24-2013 5:56:44 PDT
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Having nailed the game play aspects of their latest title, Ubisoft was also tasked with updating its graphic engine to surpass the original. Two years is a long time in this industry and outdated graphics is an issure that have plagued other triple-A franchises, (IE Halo, Call of Duty.) Not to worry here. The visuals are stunning for an open-world, sand-box game and its easy to forget that the player has an entire city-scape to play in until confronted by high verticals of the view-points. Perched high above splendid cities, such as Florence and Venice, is a real treat as your character balances perceariously upon the steeple of a four hundred year old church. Loading within the game happens only when you decide to traverse from one major metrplotion area to the next, so interruption of game play is at a minimum which has thankfully become a staple in the industry these days.
The only major complaint that can be issued for Assassin’s Creed II, is one that was prominent in it predecessor. That strike goes against its confusing and somewhat befuddled story. Although it’s evident that pains were taken to have the arc laid out much more simply this time around, it seems that there is only so much actress Kristen Bell can explain in black and white before the plots finer points turn the whole thing into a foggy, grey, mess. The problem is that this issue isn’t so much due to it’s poor development or that not enough attention was paid to the story-telling aspects of Assassin’s Creed II, its that the story becomes a victim of itself. The game cannot give away too much of itself, it being the middle child of a pre-planned sequel, but if it doesn’t give itself over to some details then the player is left without questions to ask, let alone answers for them. Imagine watching an episode of Lost once every two years. You don’t know what going on half the time, because you don’t know what you should know.
Luckily that’s not really the main focus of Assassin’s Creed II as game-play and assassination take center stage. An action game that is well made by a developer that knows action games, as evident from their Prince of Persia saga. Assassin’s Creed is a fun romp that should take about 8 hours does a hell of a job, in not only being fun and memorable, but perhaps capturing what a well planned execution four hundred years ago MAY have felt like. If this game is a little mature for you then have a look at the new zelda game.