Better Late Than Never Reviews: Assassins Creed 2.

Liberaliter

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As the thread title indicates I am reviewing a fairly old game (by gamers standards anyway).



[HEADING=1]Assassin's Creed 2[/HEADING]

Assassins Creed 2 is the sequal to the first Assassins Creed, a brilliant new IP which found itself terribly flawed by reptitive gameplay and irritatingly paced story. Its successor sets out to rectify these flaws and hopefully leave a satisfying after taste.

[HEADING=3]The Good[/HEADING]

They grow up so fast... Improving vastly on the first game, Assassins Creed 2 has a brilliant story, leaving you quite happy to play for hours to reach the next cutscene. The characters are all introduced and expanded upon well and Ezio is certainly a likeable protagonist, watching him grow from spoilt rich renaissance playboy to a grisled, cold Assassin is a highlight and really gives you a fleshed out emotional attachment to the character. The pacing is also done well. Characters and locations are introduced just when things start getting stale to keep you on your toes.

I can see my house from here! The scope in AC2 is a spectacle in itself. The first game was a treat for its time and arguably a true showcase of the 'next gen power', AC2 continues this trend with a far more diverse range of location. Grey washed out cities from AC1 turn into shining beacons of renaissance splendor with an expanded colour palette to give a marvelous treat for the eyes. Animations are also nothing short of amazing and really add to the overall atmosphere as your finely tuned Assassins makes his way through the meticulously detailed streets, dodging guards and slipping through the crowds.

Wash, rinse, innovation. Unlike its predecessor, AC2 is no longer the monotonous affair of eavesdrop, pickpocket, interrogate, assassinate. AC2 opens up the options and gives a wide array of mission types all merged into a cohesive narrative. The missions play almost like a linear game with some awesome set pieces thrown in for good measure. Exploration is also greatly improved upon offering more incentive to find those chests thanks to the economy system. Systems such as your own villa, glyphs and assassin's tombs further the depth and scale of the game, you will not get bored playing and it will never begin to drag. The things that did remain and fine tuned to near perfection, climbing is even smoother, looks even cooler and is just flat out more enjoyable and fast paced, whilst the thrill of being an Assassin hasn't grown old.



[HEADING=3]The Bad[/HEADING]

You again... One of the annoyances from many players of AC1 was the inclusion of Desmond. He came in at the most inappropriate times and his appearances generally felt mis-jointed and awkward. Probably due to the mess of a story in that game anyway. AC2 does attempt to rectify this problem by reducing Desmonds appearances. But this just means you almost don't seen him enough. Oddly enough I would have liked to have seen more 'real world' Desmond exploring and getting information from his new found allies. AC2 see's his role reduced to less regular intervals, but longer episodes. Ezio has been with the player the whole game, you have seen him grow. Desmond on the other hand you still do not know enough about to make that same connection. It is definitely improved, but not as good as it could be.

So lonely... Now this is a complaint I could probably levy at most open world games. The Saboteur did it to me, Mercenaries 2 did it to me, and now AC2. Where did everyone go? allow me to elaborate, you follow a by all means awesome story, you like the characters, you care about them and you want to get the villain. But then after completion that brilliant world just ends. Sure you can still explore and make your own fun, complete a few side quests, but the characters who have been with you throughout the game just vanish. Take Leonardo for example, he was my favourite character and arguably Ezio's closest friend. But once all the codex pages are discovered he isn't there anymore. It would have been nice to have him hanging about somewhere, spouting random dialogue when you visit him. A minor complaint maybe but suddenly having all the fun characters yanked away with you definitely makes you feel a bit sad. Saints Row 2 fixed this for me by being able to call up 'homies' to follow you around. Now if only Leonardo can invent a renaissance telephone...

[HEADING=3]In Conclusion[/HEADING]

As a sequel, AC2 is near perfect. It feels like what the first game should have been, and if this game is any indication, good things are in store for AC3. The franchise has come along way and shown that new IP's can become successful. Replay value, a good story and lots of bad ass Assassinating, what more do you want?

Cossacks [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.195871-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-Cossacks]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 19th May 2010
Morrowind and Oblivion [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.192265-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-Morrowind-and-Oblivion#6055714]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 2nd May 2010
SWAT 4 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.191487-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-SWAT-4]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 28th April 2010
Just Cause 2 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.186030-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-Just-Cause-2]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 5th April 2010
The Saboteur [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.178026-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-The-Saboteur]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 28th February 2010
Battlefield 1943 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.174400-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-Battlefield-1943]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 10th February 2010
Crackdown [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.173611-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-Crackdown]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 7th February 2010
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.171417-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-Monster-Hunter-Freedom-Unite]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 28th January 2010
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.170907-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-The-Elder-Scrolls-III-Morrowind]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 25th January 2010
Assassins Creed 2 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.170499-Better-Late-Than-Never-Reviews-Assassins-Creed-2]- Liberaliter - Better Late Than Never Reviews - 23rd January 2010
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Nice review.

The only problems I have with it is that you didn't quite go into the gameplay, save for briefly touching on the exploring.

And it would be nice if you included a buy/rent/skip verdict at the end.

Other than that, nice review.

And it is a shame that all the cool characters seem to dissapear when you beat the game. It does make you feel lonely :(
 

Liberaliter

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Irridium said:
Nice review.

The only problems I have with it is that you didn't quite go into the gameplay, save for briefly touching on the exploring.

And it would be nice if you included a buy/rent/skip verdict at the end.

Other than that, nice review.

And it is a shame that all the cool characters seem to dissapear when you beat the game. It does make you feel lonely :(
I did have a buy it at the end but I edited it out. xD.

And I kinda wrote it in a different style to make it shorter and more concise so people can see the pro's and cons. But yeah I'll try to go into different areas next time.
 

Lullabye

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Oct 23, 2008
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You should include a part solely for the oddest part in a game. Your review is short and sweet enough that it wouldn't feel too long afterword...
 

InsomniJack

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Dec 4, 2009
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Good review. Pretty informative, and it was a good length.

Regarding Desmond:
I would probably assume that the developers are holding off on explaining Desmond until the third game. One thought that comes to mind is that perhaps the reason we don't know much about Desmond is so we can somewhat relate to him. In the first game, we showed up at the lab out of the blue, without any indication of what was going on. Desmond may have been a pre-determined character with set standards and behaviours, but one of the biggest factors that worked for him was that he was just as clueless about what was going on as we were. It helped make the game just a bit more engrossing.

But Ubisoft is probably going to save Desmond's skills and life story for the next game. And I think it'll be pretty cool to see this guy function.
 

Liberaliter

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Sep 17, 2008
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InsomniJack said:
Good review. Pretty informative, and it was a good length.

Regarding Desmond:
I would probably assume that the developers are holding off on explaining Desmond until the third game. One thought that comes to mind is that perhaps the reason we don't know much about Desmond is so we can somewhat relate to him. In the first game, we showed up at the lab out of the blue, without any indication of what was going on. Desmond may have been a pre-determined character with set standards and behaviours, but one of the biggest factors that worked for him was that he was just as clueless about what was going on as we were. It helped make the game just a bit more engrossing.

But Ubisoft is probably going to save Desmond's skills and life story for the next game. And I think it'll be pretty cool to see this guy function.
Thanks, and yeah I can't wait to see Desmonds role hopefully expand by the next game, as long as they keep the historical assassinating ^-^
 

Dedae

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Jan 24, 2010
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Really well written. I'm sure it's a great read for people who played and didn't like the first game, hopefully this review will lead people to consider the sequel.
 

Premonition

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Jan 25, 2010
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Everyone got a call after the game finished, they were needed in Narnia. Good review though, I liked it. Short and sweet, to the point.