Saturday, January 2, 2010

Assassin's Credits [Assassin's Creed II Review]

What the fuck its over?

I really like Assassin's Creed II. Thanks so much BSP for the Saturnalia present. I maybe liked it too much, 'cause I really burned through it. Received it and began playing Xmas eve, I finished it one week later, New Year's Eve at 5:30 AM after a marathon session of about fourteen hours.

My complaints about the repetitiveness of the first installment have been quelled, as reported by the mainstream media outlets. I never at any point felt like I was grinding my way through AC2 like I did the original, which is great. But unfortunately, it was over far quicker than I would have liked.

How did they fix they repetition? Oh let me count the ways. Searching for glyphs on famous landmarks and then deciphering their subsequent puzzles, renovating your villa, the Prince of Persia-esque Assassin's Tomb sequences and chasing down pickpockets all jump to the top of the list, nicely complementing the carryover feather collection, viewpoint synchronization, freerunning races and treasure hunting. Assassination contracts, non-lethal assault requests and courier missions fill in for the rest of the types of local diversions. Possibly the slickest addition are the notoriety reduction objectives that populate your map once the heat is on. Bribing heralds, tearing down wanted posters, and terminating officials all achieve this to varying degrees.

So yeah, thanks Jade, we all appreciate you listening.

After delving into Venice (by far the best chunk of the game) I began to refer to the game as Grand Theft Gondola, as it was a very useful way to cross town when rooftop archers abounded. Horses return as the best long distance mode of transportation, though cartographers provide a much smoother fast travel system this time. There are two other one off sequences that have you racing the touge in a horse drawn carriage and then later piloting Da Vinci's flying machine.

So the variety is there. The realistic vast cities are there. The disinteresting countryside is consolidated (into Tuscany). The character development was improved. The new weapons and contraptions are a blast. And, probably most importantly, the primary assassination sequences were better executed than the first iteration of the series.

All in all, a great game. I plan to go back to my game and try to collect and solve the rest of the glyphs and their passcodes. A second playhthrough is doubtful, but I may indulge in the upcoming DLC expansions which are said to include two new memory sequences, sixteen new missions, a new jump technique and another mission with Da Vinci's flying machine. Indulgence, of course, contingent on my preoccupation with other games.


But damn... I was just getting fired up...

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