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Assassins Creed 2 Review

Ubisoft Montreal really outdid themselves on the sequel to 2007’s hit game Assassin’s Creed. Story takes place right where it left us with Desmond Miles still locked up in his prison cell in Abstergo’s headquarters awaiting his fate. The game quickly picks up with a desperate escape and run to the modern day assassins den, where you’re introduced to some new allies and a new and improved Animus machine. Here Desmond relives the memories of a new ancestor during the renaissance era in Italy, Ezio Auditore Da Firenze. But unlike the first game, Desmond isn’t being forced to go through his bloodline memories to find hidden treasures for the defunct Templar Order. Instead, he is looking to prevent these artifacts from falling into evil hands while at the same time using what’s called a “bleeding effect” to train himself in the ways of the assassins.

The mechanics and gameplay have been dramatically improved in this new installment to the series, quite literally making the first game look like a washed up demo. Fighting and free-running are all much more fluid and fast-paced, leaving past frustrations in the dust. Players are given an extensive array of weapons including your new and improved hidden blades, variety of swords, daggers, poison, throwing knives, and even a hidden pistol. And the new feature of being able to pick up enemies weapons temporarily brings new depth to the combat experience. Money has also been thankfully brought into play, creating a whole new aspect of this already amazing series. Shops, banks, tailors, blacksmiths, doctors, and a customizable home base are all introduced and present a brand new side to the game that allows players to get lost in the vastly open world environment.

Ezio’s story seems to be much more in depth than Altair’s was. Starting off as nothing more than a womanizing, street fighting teen in Italy, the story quickly evolves into a plot against his family and his Assassin father. Being forced into the roll of an assassin and seeking revenge, the player gets emotionally attached to the main conflicts of the game. A slew of brand new and vibrant characters such as the famous Leonardo Da Vinci, really create a much more gripping experience that wasn’t present in Assassin’s Creed 1. As Ezio learns the ways of the assassins with help from other family members and friends he meets along his journey, Desmond also picks up on these techniques in the modern day through the Animus’s bleeding effect leading to the player being able to control him in several new sequences. The game also introduces a common enemy in the Templar Order named Rodrigo Borgia. Right from the get go, characters instantly hate this enemy as he is truly out for power and cares only for himself, willing to sacrifice anyone or anything to get what he wants.

The repetitiveness of the first game was well addressed and fixed with this installment. No more of the doing the same side missions over and over before you’re allowed to go after your main target. The main story seems to be only part of this game, and side missions and conquests can be completely optional to the player leading into easily 20 plus hours of added game play. Every assassination is unique in itself, and the player is free to go about all of the missions in several ways as they see fit. Being able to hire Courtesans, mercenaries, and thieves in order to distract or fight guards is also a welcome addition opening up several new options during missions. New side missions such as hidden assassin tombs come into play, with the player forced to get through intricate puzzles and situations the differ greatly from the main story. The rewards for completing these tombs are six keys that unlock the best armor set in the game, Altair’s legendary equipment.

As expected, the scenery and environments have once again been depicted beautifully. The cities are even larger than before, with much more detail and depth. The soundtrack to the game was also done very well, and is much more diverse than expected.
All in all this combined with the huge open roam world, creates a unique and deep game for fans of action titles or anyone looking to try something new. I highly recommend Assassin’s Creed 2, and give it 8 out of 10

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