Developer: Ubisoft / Publisher: Ubisoft / ESRB: Mature (Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Content, Strong Language) / Played on: Xbox 360 / Price: $29.99
Today on Pay, Rent or Pass we are checking out the brand new sequel from Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed 2. The first title had a lot of things that really annoyed many gamers… Does the sequel remedy the problems of the first? Time to find out.
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Assassin’s Creed 2 picks up right where the last game left off. You are in control of Desmond and you are broken out of the Abstergo Labs and moved to another location to drop back into the virtual world and once again discover the secrets stored in your DNA. The reason for re-entering the animus this time around is to learn how to become a master assassin himself in the real world. Desmond is in control of a new ancestor, the assassin Ezio. Ezio was an assassin in Italy in the 1400’s and this is the character that the players will be controlling throughout the game.
Assassin’s Creed 2 utilizes a lot of the same basic gameplay mechanics from the first game but really puts on a polish and adds more of them. The game runs much smoother then the first which was a big pain while in combat in the first title. There is much more for players to do in the sequel as the developers have added in a lot more mission types and a variety of side quests as well. I found myself getting way off course of the main storyline because I was too busy with all the side missions the game provided me with. AC2 also has a nice selection of new weapons and armor for players to use while assassinating their targets. Hammers, small daggers, throwing knives and even a gun at one point are just a small sampling of the weapons available. The game rewards players with cash as missions are completed or by having players find hidden treasure chests throughout the different areas in the game. Players can then use the in game money to upgrade armor and buy new weapons. Players should be forewarned as well that Assassins Creed 2 is a very story driven game, many people were turned off by that in the first game, but I have to say that this time around the story is really quite good. So quit hating
AC2 looks great. It’s amazing to watch each of the levels load up when you start a new area in the game or when you synchronize your map perched high about the cities. The character models all look much better this time around and the character animations are stellar. There are so many different ways to assassinate enemies this time around and all of the animations that show you doing so are bad ass.
One of the biggest complaints I had with the first Assassin’s Creed was the voice-acting. It was abysmal. Not convincing at all. Luckily this time around the voice acting at least sounds somewhat credible. I can believe these guys are Italians… sure. It’s a good thing too, because I mentioned that this is one helluva story driven game so the voice acting needs to be good. It’s also worth mentioning that the soundtrack in this game is really well done. It helped to make me feel like I was in Italy in the 1400’s as an assassin.
This is one of the few things about this game that I don’t like. The controls are really finicky, most of the game has you slinking across rooftops, clambering up the sides of buildings, or walking across thin platforms in very high places. This is all accomplished by holding down the right trigger and then using A to free-run. I had a hell of a time getting this down, for the life of me, no matter what I would do, it seemed like Ezio had a mind of his own and would jump wherever the hell he wanted, which was usually to his death. It took me a long time to really get the controls down for this part of the game and the learning curve is just a little too steep for my tastes. Combat however is really simple and easy to control, so I don’t know how the hell things got so skewed for the climbing controls.
Assassin’s Creed 2 is a shining example of a good sequel. Ubisoft took the things that didn’t work and either got rid of them or fixed them. They took the things that worked well and polished them and added more of them. The game has a boatload of replay value for completionists with hidden treasure chests and collectables strewn about the different cities. I would have to say that if you liked the first game but finished feeling like you needed a little more, then Assassin’s Creed 2 is right up your alley. This one is a pay.