deadly_polo's Bonfire of the Vanities (PlayStation 3) review

The Bonfire of the Vanities concludes the story neatly and well.

  Assassins Creed II's new  DLC is more assassination fun and a worthwhile return to 15 th Century Florence. There are 9 assassination missions which make up the bulk of this  DLC, and although exciting, they do end up using the same formula; meaning that this is probably a good place to end the Assassins Creed II saga. Following the less than worthy Battle of  Forli, sequence 13 is a return to the heights of the main game and one that fans should be considering.

The new area which you get to explore fills in the southern third of Florence, beneath the river on the map. Stylistically the area is like all the other districts of Florence, though it contains no new things to find of any value. The one extra move  Ezio finds is an advanced jump, to do this he sprints onto a pole hanging of the side of a building (with a red banner hanging from it), and automatically springs across the street. Although given this after the first memory, I only used it once in a mission, since it is only possible in the new area. Although a nice touch, it looks goofy and is it seems wasted on just one district.

The memories themselves cover the whole of Florence, with only a third starting inside the new district. The bulk of the memories are assassinations of medium to heavily guarded people; but just under half of these missions desynchronize once any guard has been alerted to your presence. This makes some of the Assassinations tedious, but most of them can be completed easily once you know were the guards are and with a bit of patience. Indeed for those who don't like climbing and waiting this pack is not for you, many of the assassinations are best done by climbing around to a vantage point or bail of hay and waiting for the target to walk by. The one problem which is especially apparent while taking your time is how there is very little dialogue, most targets will say about 5 lines, pause, and repeat; this really detracts from the immersion.

Ezio himself is still sporting that beard and still uses snappy and satisfying one liners when in the white world after assassinations. There is a nice reminder of the original Assassins Creed: blending with monks to enter the guarded gates to the city is a clever touch (unless you just kill all the guards).  Ezio also gets to have a nice closing speech, though this really highlights how the sequence was written for use in the game as part of a full play through; and a warning that without playing the Battle of  Forli, the story will make little sense. Another minor annoyance is the fully notorious state that Ezio has early on, but that goes after 2 memories.

It is probably a vanity that causes you to buy this DLC: you get to scale the  Duomo, kill some bad people, traverse more of Florence and really just play some more Assassins Creed II. Without achievements or trophies of course it is really just paying for an extension on one of probably the best games of the year. It's a shame that the first DLC was so poor, and indeed that these were not in the game originally is quite unfortunate. The bottom line is that this is a fun, and quite cheap few missions which conclude the story of Assassins Creed II, and save for some minor gripes this is something that all fans of the original should be considering. 


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