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Old 10-27-2010, 04:20 PM   #1
Wesley J
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Please Rate this Review: Assassins Creed 2 (Xbox 360)

"Assassino, Assassino!"

low: The first couple hours of the game

high: Perched on the highest point in Italy, checking out the vista as an untouchable Assassin

WTF: The annoying guys with the guitars, it still make me laugh though

Assassins Creed 2 is an open world game that takes place in two different time frames, present day and the late 1400's in Italy. It's kind of set up like the first game, just done way way better. Thank God! I can see that Ubisoft put a lot of time and listen to what the audience had to say about the first games flaws. In the present time you play as Desmond Miles, who is being forced as a prisoner to use the Animus 2.0. The 2.0 is a machine used to take a subjects mind back to there ancestral roots, and relive the memories they had back then. Before that Desmond walks around the the main building and talks to people who work there, and guide him on how to use the Animus 2.0 and what he is doing there. This part of the game was slow, I mean it almost take an easy hour just to get into the game. Then you get to meet this English asshole, who just talks shit to you and your like wow! I just want to get in the game, and get this going! Take me to Italy please.....

This is where the game takes off, when you get to meet Desmonds ancestor Ezio Auditore. A young man in who lives in the Italian Renaissance, he has a family and seems to be one for the ladies. He quickly learns that his life will change soon, the plot goes from good to worse for Ezio in at the beginning of the story. He finds out that his Father and brothers have been murdered. Ezio must learn to accept his fate and also learn what mysteries his family was hiding from him all these years. He quickly wants to take revenge and learns from his Mother and sister that he must follow the Assassins code. Ezio then begins his journey to change time forever. I wont get too much in to the story don't want to spoil it. It is so worth the time and money to play this game and see how beautiful the world really is. The character models and voice over work is spot on, it is just so well done and I felt apart of this story and everything in this world. The story can be a little cinematic at times. The graphics are gorgeous to say the least, the draw distance is very well done. Climbing and free running around the city I could see the amazing work that the team at Ubisoft did, and how beautiful the art design of Italy in the 1400's was. Excellent choice.

Running through the city the ambient noises I heard are random to say the least, and there is always something going on to hear or see. I would be running around and here people talking about politics in the squares, people selling merchandise, or just see someone yelling at me cause your running across their roof. Italian chatter is a very nice touch too, I love that, immerses you into the experience that much more. Music is very orchestral and very old school Italian themed, which was put together perfectly I think. The gameplay is tweeked from the first game. Ezio can disarm now with bare hands, counter, block, evade, and run and scale walls at will. This plays very smooth once I got the hang off it, but I feel sometimes it let me down. I would be going to make a jump and be so close and you fall to the ground. That said, the combat has improved. Everything from full out battles feel more fluent and more variety of the death/assassination animations. Game consist of tons of mission to do. Main mission, side missions (assassinate), tomb challenges, and collecting different items such as paintings and feathers. Sort of like the Flags in the first, which is what the feathers are in this game really. The assassins tombs were a nice touch, there were 6 in total I believe. They essentially were each a giant puzzle level, where Ezio has to scale walls and climb places within a certain time frame. They are very very challenging at times, and the controls sometimes let me down here too. In the end each one separately gives him a key to unlock Altairs armor, which I found a cool touch that it is possible to unlock the old armor from the past game.

Ezio acquires a Villa in a little town, where he can build up the city there. This is like a little meta game that helps him get deals at the blacksmith or taylors where he buys his armor from. Also the Villa helps generate steady income for you to purchase more gadgets for Ezio. I maxed this out as soon as I could, out almost everything I earned into this and was rewarded heavily. It almost seemed to make the game financially easier for me to buy things, which was a bonus and tip to anyone who hasn't played it to try. During the course of the main story Ezio meets up and take sides with some interesting people, the main person and historical figure I forgot to mention is Leonardo Da Vinci. He ends up helping Ezio with his quest to avenge his Fathers death. Ezio brings Leonardo various blueprints which then he makes them for you in his shop. One of the coolest things was the Pistole, a hidden Pistole under Ezios' sleeve. In one mission he builds Ezio a glider prototype, that he uses to infiltrate enemy quarters. It all ties in well and well executed story.

This is only a single player experience, which doesn't bother me any. I rather have something that has lots of love, depth, and care into it as a single player game for 20 plus hours , rather then a shitty 6 hour campaign with a decent multiplayer feature. The game was long, deep, and enjoyable and worth playing again for sure. It took me almost 25 hours to complete the campaign and all the side missions I did(still tons left). I definitely want to go back and do a lot more in the game, mostly side quest and collectables that I missed. There is downloadable content out for this game, that does add more chapters to the story holes that they left in the game. I haven't check them out yet. All in all Assassins Creed 2 has to be one of the top 10 if not 5 games of last year for sure. There was such a good amount of games that all came out this time last year that you might have missed this one, if you missed this one you should check this title out for sure. Well done Ubisoft.

8.5/10

Disclosures: Rental, played on Xbox 360, Approx 25 hours of single player, no online

Parents: M for Mature, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes. Not for children.

Deaf and Heard of Hearing: The game does offer subtitles in the options
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