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    Assassin's Creed II

    Game » consists of 27 releases. Released Nov 17, 2009

    The second installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise follows the life of Ezio Auditore da Firenze as he seeks revenge on those who betrayed his family.

    haggis's Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360) review

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    So much better than the first...

    I wanted to like the first Assassin's Creed, but found the mission structure too inflexible. It was a nice looking game, and I enjoyed the running around on rooftops, but the actual game content wasn't what I'd hoped.
    Assassin's Creed 2 fixes those problems. While the mission structures are often similar (you eavesdrop, track, and murder, followed by an escape), individual mission feel so much more open and free that it's almost an entirely different sort of game. While the first game's missions felt formal, structured and linear, AC2's feel more organic. There's no busywork here. Missions are straightforward, complicated only in ways that are reasonable (no flag collecting, for instance).
    Aside from the main missions, the assortment of side-missions is eclectic and interesting. Even the assassination contracts manage to set up some interesting obstacles. There are a few cookie-cutter missions, but even those will often throw you a curve. 
    I have mixed feelings about the tomb side-missions. While they are (admirably) very reminiscent of Prince of Persia in their platforming, on occasion the system takes over the camera control, usually during time-sensitive sequences. That might sound like a help until you realize that the controls have subtly shifted, meaning all that work you put into getting Ezio to move smoothly and predictably has gone out the window.
    And that takes us to the controls. Most of the time, Ezio's movements are smooth and the animations wonderful. However, it is far too easy to misjudge edges and find yourself jumping into the gap between buildings rather than, say, nimbly climbing across the ropes connecting the buildings. This can be avoided by slowing down on approach, but somehow that just seems wrong in the context of a fast and furious chase through the streets. It's infrequent enough not to be a huge negative, but the game could certainly use some more refinement there.
    The game is gorgeous, save for a few minor flaws. The female facial models in particularly are ... disturbing. Mouths too big, often grotesque facial animations. You have to wonder what they were thinking. But the movement animations, from walking to running and jumping, are all fantastic.
    As for the story:  I found myself more interested in Ezio than the overarching conspiracy/end-of-the-world story they handed us. Ezio's story is wonderfully fleshed out in the first hour of gameplay and then left to flounder. Revenge. Okay, I get it. But I wanted more about Ezio, and we just don't get it. Instead, we get a lot of tired conspiracy-theory claptrap that has been done to death over the last ten or fifteen years. It's all rather silly. The writers took a kitchen sink approach and threw in just about every kooky conspiracy theory out there. It comes off as being ambitious, sure, but in a high-school creative writing class kind of way. Sorry to say it, but it's my honest impression. Less, in this case, would have been more.

    Tired story aside, the gameplay here is solid and fun. In short, it's an excellent game, a huge improvement over the last, and I can say that I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.

    Other reviews for Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)

      Exactly what a sequel should be. 0

      Currently, the video game industry is driven by sequels; rather than risk a lot of money on a new series, game companies would rather stick to a franchise that has previously proven itself. Unfortunately, developers do not show any signs of relenting any time soon, so if they are going to maintain an entire medium mostly through sequels, they should at least know how to do it. Assassin’s Creed II is a prime example of how to make a sequel. The first way it proves this is by detaching its...

      24 out of 24 found this review helpful.

      Gaming's second most popular Italian. 0

        Assassin’s Creed 1 starred a preachy, philosophical, emotionless, characterless unibomber-lookalike named Altair. Killing was his business, but business was not good. First he had to pickpocket, eavesdrop and stalk random targets to obtain “information”, or rather grind missions to extend play, time about his victims-to-be. He would then proceed to attempt an assassination on said targets, one that would involve stealth and cunning…on paper. In practice, they usually ended in extended fight s...

      29 out of 30 found this review helpful.

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