Assassin's Creed 2 Review
- Posted December 7th, 2009 at 12:09 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 35 Comments
- PSU Review Score
- Avg. user review score:
You must be logged in to rate a game
Despite some frustrating combat moments, Assassin's Creed II secures its place among 2009's finest and is sure to keep you entertained well into the New Year.
- The beautifully crafted Italian cities
- The epic storyline of betrayal and mystery
- Running across very valuable architecture
- The clumsy, frustrating combat system
- The occasional graphic and voiceover glitches during cutscenes
- The crummy accents
(continued from previous page) ...odd. You can face 10 enemies, and they take turns swinging away at you. This breaks the veil of believability the game works so hard to achieve. The rest of the game’s AI is spot on. We absolutely loved walking around the cities and towns, listening in on conversations, pushing away beggars and street musicians, and watching ‘ladies of the night’ dance for our pleasure. We were, however, a bit frustrated with the poor cutscene graphics during voiceovers. On several occasions, the characters' lips were not even close to being synched with the dialogue. Still, that’s not to say the cutscenes are horrendous, they’re just not quite as polished as we expected.
Visually the game is an absolute joy to behold. Throughout your journey you’ll visit a diverse range of beautifully crafted locations, including Florence, Venice, and the evocative Tuscan countryside. Needless to say, it's pretty obvious Ubisoft spent a lot of time working on the game's scenery, as the attention to detail is positively jaw-dropping. The cities are intricately detailed, massive in scale and completely open for your exploration, while the characters and particle effects are equally stunning.
Elsewhere, Assassin’s Creed II also throws in a healthy dose of exploration. Whereas the first game tended to steer people towards storyline missions, the sequel seems to encourage you to take the road less traveled, and investigate every little icon on your mini-map. This is where the game truly starts to excel. There is just so much to do outside of the story mission – which can take you roughly 20 hours to complete depending on how fast you blow through the missions. You’ll find yourself killing unfaithful husbands, chasing thieves, opening treasure chests, searching for feathers, and uncovering various glyphs that all help to tell the story. You can even hire prostitutes to distract guards, or hire warriors to fight along your side.
Another aspect of the game is helping Ezio’s uncle’s villa flourish. Monteriggioni starts in a pretty sad state. There isn’t all that much to see or do. But over time, as Ezio deposits money into the community, and helps the local architect make improvements to the infrastructure, the town starts to bustle. As the game progresses and your donations get put to use, the town starts to liven up and it actually looks welcoming. There’s also potential to make some serious cash off of your investment, so play it wisely.
You’ll spend money on various weapons and armor upgrades. You can also buy medicine and poison. The upgraded armor boosts your overall health, while new weapons do more damage. The differences between the weapons in combat are not too noticeable. One important note, a young Leonardo da Vinci plays a very important role in the game, and without spoiling too much of the story, he becomes an integral part of the story and one of Ezio’s most trusted friends. Notoriety is also a key component in the sequel. As it rises, the guards will be much more likely to find you and attack. You can lower your notoriety by tearing down wanted posters, assassinating corrupt officials, or bribing town criers.
Perhaps Assassin’s Creed II’s biggest flaw comes from how the game begins. It took us a while to find much interest in learning how to properly run across rooftops, or fight pathetic guards. It’s not that it’s overly difficult (although, both of these can be extremely frustrating), it’s just the first couple of hours are downright slow. Once the game picks up, it’s hard to put it down. The noticeable advancements compared to the first game are well needed, but above all, the game is so beautiful and massive that we found ourselves distracted by the Italian cities and countryside, and the long list of side missions and non-story tasks. The story is one of the most complex in all of recent gaming, and the characters are some of the most developed we’ve encountered. Still, hopefully Ubisoft will see fit to tidy up a few of the game’s shortcomings – specifically the combat – for the inevitable third entry. Until then, there is so much to do and see in Assassin’s Creed II, that you won’t spend much time noticing its flaws.
- Page 1
- Page 2
- 7:13am EST - December 7th, 2009
- 7:14am EST - December 7th, 2009
If this were a perfect world, I'd have a job and already have this game.
But the world hates me.
- 7:15am EST - December 7th, 2009
A definate improvement from AC1 and the story is good also.
- 7:18am EST - December 7th, 2009
Nice review, acutally finished the game the other night.
- 7:24am EST - December 7th, 2009
AC2 is similar to AC1 but in so many ways it is light years better. It took me about 25 hours to complete the platinum trophy and I didn't do more than a handful of side quests. I probably still have 10 hours of gameplay left in just the side quests. Maybe more.
The only thing I hope they add in AC3 is better combat controls (they are not bad but could use some tweaking), make the enemy able to swim, and for the love of everything unholy... LET ME KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE like I could in AC1. ;)
- 7:33am EST - December 7th, 2009
I'm still playing it. I especially like the ability to have your own hide out (Monteriggioni I believe?) and upgrade it everyone once and a while and show off all your weapons and armour.
- 7:50am EST - December 7th, 2009
nice review but why have you used AC1 screenshots instead of screens from the actual game you're reviewing? XD
- 7:55am EST - December 7th, 2009
can't wait to buy this game!! it look amazing :-)
@ 1 : wow, you're like a superhero and a model to follow in life for me!!! how did you did it? enlighten us and tell us your great secret! On a more serious note , you're human stupidity in its purest form.congratulations
- 7:58am EST - December 7th, 2009
As I'm out of money I am forced to borrow this game once my mate has finished it, I know I feel dirty even saying it :(
- 8:08am EST - December 7th, 2009
LOL at the pics used.
- 8:12am EST - December 7th, 2009
will have to get this sometime
Perishing_Mind | Ernad_BMW
- 8:49am EST - December 7th, 2009
@2: dude I feel your pain
- 9:05am EST - December 7th, 2009
- 9:22am EST - December 7th, 2009
you can go and F... yo self
- 9:26am EST - December 7th, 2009
@ 14 : take it easy man, don't let your head explode :-))))))
- 9:33am EST - December 7th, 2009
anybody else think that the final ac game is gonna take place in the modern world? unfoturnatly thats how it seems
- 11:15am EST - December 7th, 2009
I had no problem with the fighting.
- 11:55am EST - December 7th, 2009
@16 yeah I was thinking the same thing
- 12:24pm EST - December 7th, 2009
9.0 with all those flaws? Seriously?
- 12:27pm EST - December 7th, 2009
coming from someone who really didnt like the first game, i thought ac2 was amazing, i just finished it last night after 24 hours and I cant find many faults at all, pretty much everything has been improved from the first game, i wouldnt hav any less respect for psu if they gave it a 10 to be honest
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!