Assassin’s Creed II – Review

+%28Ubisoft%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Assassin’s Creed II – Review

 (Ubisoft)

(Ubisoft)

(Ubisoft)

(Ubisoft)

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

The sequel to Assassin’s Creed is finally here, and even after two years of waiting, Assassin’s Creed II has more than restored my faith in the series. I’ll be honest–I was pretty disappointed with the original Assassin’s Creed. While I was able to enjoy it overall, the final product was shallow, repetitive and often times frustrating.

The differences between Assassin’s Creed II and its predecessor are like night and day. The developers at Ubisoft Montreal have taken criticisms from the original game to heart and have created an experience that is one of the year’s best games.

Set in the near future and taking place immediately after the first game, Desmond Miles must relive the memories of his ancestor, master assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Ezio lived during the Italian Renaissance and Desmond must learn of his origins as an assassin to uncover the secrets of the Knights Templar.

Ezio’s journey will transform him from a trouble-making teenager into a suave and cunning assassin. The story is very reminiscent of a Dan Brown plot at times; taking familiar signs, symbols and religious elements, and adding a layer of mystery to them. The story as a whole is quite intriguing and never failed to keep my attention.

Along the way, you’ll meet and come across historical figures such as Leonardo di Vinci, Lorenzo de’ Medici and Niccolò Machiavelli as well as traveling to exotic locales such as Florence, Venice, Tuscany and Romanga. The game does an amazing job of capturing the atmosphere of the Italian Renaissance and recreating the cities and towns of Italy. Buildings and sites like the Florence Cathedral, Piazza San Marco and St Mark’s Basilica are accurately recreated for the player to freely explore. The game’s detail in the architecture is so accurate, I think that this game could be used as a learning tool for art history teachers and majors. Simply put, they absolutely nailed the essence of Renaissance era Italy.

The original game had many criticisms including its repetitive mission structure, pointless collectible items and lack of gameplay diversity. I’m glad to report that the sequel completely remedied every problem its predecessor had. Returning players will feel right at home with the game’s free-running controls and combat mechanics, which have been greatly expanded. Players will be able to freely roam across a massive game world with an expanded set of missions to undertake. To name a few options, players can participate in foot races across the city, contract assassinations and help locals with small favors.

Unlike the last game, exploration is now encouraged with hidden treasures scattered throughout the five cities. Collecting these treasures will gain you currency which you can use to purchase equipment and renovate your home base. Unlike the last game, the sequel actually rewards the player for exploring the world. By far the best rewards for exploration are the hidden tombs scattered around the game. These tombs, unique to each location, have the player explore the underground world, finding treasure and overcoming puzzles.

Playing through the game is a constantly rewarding experience. While I do have a few minor complaints with the accuracy of the game’s platforming and the enemy AI, they’re all momentary bumps in an otherwise smooth experience. Even if you had major issues with the previous game you should at least give this one a chance –Assassin’s Creed II is a remarkable game by anyone’s standards.