Review: Assassin's Creed 2

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DO WANT! I had the urge to play this this morning. Bring on xmas

Susan Arendt:
Sorry, did the best I could without knowing the language.

I totally understand, I just like educating (read: nitpicking), actually yours is a very good phrase compared to many that I've seen around now that the game has come out.
BTW good review, I can't wait to lay my hands on it, even more so since I liked the first one quite a lot, even with the repetitive sub-missions (I actually did all of them).

For me, this game is probably game of the year - it expands on everything that made the first game good without loses its charm or originality. The story is very well told, the world incredibly large and yet so detailed - and for once an open-world lead character is actually interesting and develops over the course off the game...

In all : Buy it - you won't be disappointed.

I too found myself hating the minstrels for a long time. Towards the end of the game I was running past one and I knocked his guitar out of his had. He got all emotional about it and said "But I wrote it for YOU." After that I just couldn't kill them anymore. I don't know why, but I just felt bad.

I really really like this game. I enjoyed the original quite a bit, though the end was godawful. I'm hoping it's better this time round (I'm very nearly there). I have to say I enjoyed obtaining all the seals, it was reminiscent of the Prince of Persia puzzles (not a huge surprise I suppose, both are ubisoft games), which I liked, though I can see why people are unhappy with the controls, they just don't always respond in the right way. Anyway, good review, excellent game.

Hooray Susan is back! I missed her friendly, friendly voice. It puts me in mind it puppies and teddy bears.

I'm glad to see that the sequel is successful; maybe this will be the thing to stop me from thinking of Assassin's Creed as "Ass Creed".

Oh, the maturity. It's so evident. [/sarcasm]

Susan Arendt:

Krythe:
Ok, this person definitely did not play the game through to completion. Block&counter is a good way to die fighting brutes and seekers, unless you have the hidden blade equipped, in which case combat takes forever.

The enemies don't all take turns attacking you; this reveiwer is going to hell for lying. Much the contrary, there are some times an enemy will attack you when you're in the middle of an attack animation against another enemy and can't do a thing about it (again, this happens much more often late game). Which is a shame because I didn't think the first AC's combat had anything wrong with it.

And lastly, the video of the truth I wouldn't say is very confusing once you actually unlock the whole thing. The dialogue more or less clears it up when paired with the game's ending. What makes it confusing is that in the initial steps, there's no sound and it's fragmented.

All in all, it's pretty obvious that this reveiwer just played the first couple hours and not the complete game.

Wow, going to hell for lying, eh? No, the enemies don't literally take it in turns to attack you every single time (not that I claimed they did), but it certainly happens often enough to sap much of the enjoyment out of the combat.

As for saying the video of the truth makes sense once you've seen all of it...well, duh. Of course it does. You seem to be confusing my desire to not provide spoilers with not knowing what I'm talking about. The confusion of piecing together "the truth" is in fact part of what makes it enjoyable...just like any good mystery.

Wow... I honestly did not mean for that to come out as hostile as it did, sorry about that.

Still, it just seemed odd to me to be cricizing minor aspects like those when there were so many more pertinant criticisms; like the jumping-puzzles-with-randomly-changing-camera-angles designed by Satan for example.

Viruzzo:
Being born and raised in San Gimignano, I was very disappointed in seeing that it's very different from the actual town. Monteriggioni is even worse, it has nothing in common with the real one (even though I can understand the poetic license needed to fit in the "SimCity" part).

Couldn't the difference be contributed to time period? I'm in no position to argue, but I'd expect something like that.

Anyways, since you know your way around the language, I was thinking how you found the ingame Italian speech, or accents? I personally feel it sounds great, and contributes to the atmosphere, but then again I have no understanding of the actual language.

Wait a second you avoid guards? Pure madness without the senseless bloodletting how can you properly horrify your target when 2 guards were pounced on after an archer crashed into him from the roof of a nearby building and the guy in full plate has an axe embedded in his skull? Then after he is dead the guards swarm you followed by a loud gunshot a cloud of smoke appearing and when it clears all the guards except one are dead and you are just standing there.

I expected more from you Susan for it's not just about assassinating it's also about showmanship!

DayDark:
Couldn't the difference be contributed to time period? I'm in no position to argue, but I'd expect something like that.

San Gimignano is based around its tourism, and so it's very well preserved (as is Monteriggioni), but more than that, in AC2 it's much smaller (I'd say 1/3 - 1/4 the actual size) and many places are missing (the "castle" in particular, and the main road). The most recognizable thing (aside from the towers) it's the duomo plaza, and near there's a smaller version of "piazza della cisterna" (where there is a well as should be).
Edit: to explain, the size difference can't depend on the period, since the walls mark the size of the town and are still intact today.
Edit 2: by the way, San Gimignano has 2 twin towers placed one next to the other, I wonder if those are present (I can't check right now).

DayDark:
Anyways, since you know your way around the language, I was thinking how you found the ingame Italian speech, or accents? I personally feel it sounds great, and contributes to the atmosphere, but then again I have no understanding of the actual language.

Thing is, the Italian version is completely dubbed (as is common in blockbuster games). What I can tell you is that the video they released in the beginning (in Venice, with the flying machine) was terrible: basically they used an italo-american accent, and the Italian phrases were odd (they sounded more botched translations than Renassaince vulgar Italian). The difference in accent is great, because what is (as I understand it) usually seen as Italian accent in anglophone countries is actually a derivation of Sicilian dialect and accent from the immigrants in the USA; for example, the famous "capisc'" is definitely not the correct Italian pronounciation. Add that every italian region has a very different dialect, all of which are, of course, modern: ancient Italy was divided and has seen a lot of different dominations, hence a lot of different influences (also, being a mercantile country at the center of a sea helps) and (wildly!) different dialects and accents.

I was also confused when the Thieves Guild increased the amount of money your Villa got.

A fun game, I have yet to finish it.

Krythe:

Susan Arendt:

Krythe:
Ok, this person definitely did not play the game through to completion. Block&counter is a good way to die fighting brutes and seekers, unless you have the hidden blade equipped, in which case combat takes forever.

The enemies don't all take turns attacking you; this reveiwer is going to hell for lying. Much the contrary, there are some times an enemy will attack you when you're in the middle of an attack animation against another enemy and can't do a thing about it (again, this happens much more often late game). Which is a shame because I didn't think the first AC's combat had anything wrong with it.

And lastly, the video of the truth I wouldn't say is very confusing once you actually unlock the whole thing. The dialogue more or less clears it up when paired with the game's ending. What makes it confusing is that in the initial steps, there's no sound and it's fragmented.

All in all, it's pretty obvious that this reveiwer just played the first couple hours and not the complete game.

Wow, going to hell for lying, eh? No, the enemies don't literally take it in turns to attack you every single time (not that I claimed they did), but it certainly happens often enough to sap much of the enjoyment out of the combat.

As for saying the video of the truth makes sense once you've seen all of it...well, duh. Of course it does. You seem to be confusing my desire to not provide spoilers with not knowing what I'm talking about. The confusion of piecing together "the truth" is in fact part of what makes it enjoyable...just like any good mystery.

Wow... I honestly did not mean for that to come out as hostile as it did, sorry about that.

Still, it just seemed odd to me to be cricizing minor aspects like those when there were so many more pertinant criticisms; like the jumping-puzzles-with-randomly-changing-camera-angles designed by Satan for example.

You are absolutely right that I should've mentioned that. Though the puzzles themselves didn't bother me (felt very Prince of Persia, which I happen to love), the "hey, look over HERE!" camera was enough to make you want to kick puppies. Again, not a game-breaker when contrasted with the game's overall quality, but definitely an aggravation. Glad you mentioned it.

Susan Arendt:

Krythe:

Susan Arendt:

Krythe:
Ok, this person definitely did not play the game through to completion. Block&counter is a good way to die fighting brutes and seekers, unless you have the hidden blade equipped, in which case combat takes forever.

The enemies don't all take turns attacking you; this reveiwer is going to hell for lying. Much the contrary, there are some times an enemy will attack you when you're in the middle of an attack animation against another enemy and can't do a thing about it (again, this happens much more often late game). Which is a shame because I didn't think the first AC's combat had anything wrong with it.

And lastly, the video of the truth I wouldn't say is very confusing once you actually unlock the whole thing. The dialogue more or less clears it up when paired with the game's ending. What makes it confusing is that in the initial steps, there's no sound and it's fragmented.

All in all, it's pretty obvious that this reveiwer just played the first couple hours and not the complete game.

Wow, going to hell for lying, eh? No, the enemies don't literally take it in turns to attack you every single time (not that I claimed they did), but it certainly happens often enough to sap much of the enjoyment out of the combat.

As for saying the video of the truth makes sense once you've seen all of it...well, duh. Of course it does. You seem to be confusing my desire to not provide spoilers with not knowing what I'm talking about. The confusion of piecing together "the truth" is in fact part of what makes it enjoyable...just like any good mystery.

Wow... I honestly did not mean for that to come out as hostile as it did, sorry about that.

Still, it just seemed odd to me to be cricizing minor aspects like those when there were so many more pertinant criticisms; like the jumping-puzzles-with-randomly-changing-camera-angles designed by Satan for example.

You are absolutely right that I should've mentioned that. Though the puzzles themselves didn't bother me (felt very Prince of Persia, which I happen to love), the "hey, look over HERE!" camera was enough to make you want to kick puppies. Again, not a game-breaker when contrasted with the game's overall quality, but definitely an aggravation. Glad you mentioned it.

Yeah, the changing camera angles are what annoyed me the most. Especially during a chase event, I think it was desiigned that way though to make it more frantic. I would get about three feet from a dude and then SKOOTCH camera angle change, sending me flying in an unintended direction. Enzio also has a thing for kicking guards in the head while he jumps over them too.

Susan Arendt:

Lord Krunk:
Huh. First official review I've seen on the site that doesn't actually tell me whether to buy it or not.

Seems overall positive though.

"Yeah, the first one was aggravating, I know, but don't hold that against this one. You'll find a lot to love, I promise. Assassin's Creed 2 is the best kind of sequel."

That seems like a pretty clear recommendation to me...

I'm used to seeing a Buy/Rent/Don't Bother emboldened at the end of the review. I just noticed that there wasn't one this time around.

Susan Arendt:

DaxStrife:
The gameplay of AC always bores me, but I muck through it for the story. I didn't give two craps about the jerk in the last game, I just played through the levels to get back to Desmond. How long are the levels in this one compared to the first game?

I think you'll care more about Ezio than you did about Altair, but you don't actually go back to see Desmond in between levels.

Ill agree on that, Altair was more of a Non charecter then anything, Kill, listen to people, kill ect. With Ezio, you get to know him more.

You see Im torn between playin the first one till the end so I can get the full story of what is happenin in the second one or just playin Assassin Creed 2 'cos of the shear beauty of the game (and yes I know that AC1 has been out for over a year, I've had it since the day it came out, I just got distracted by other games)

-M

Charcharo:
Looks okay. When is it out for PC... march? Damn *&6)! So is there a special edition for PC?

Yea the special edition including all the content from the original gam including retarded xbl error messages with the added bonus of a ton of bugs resulting from the port that had an entire 5 minutes of work put into it and ubisoft's signature hardware wrecking drm Starforce. Oh, and you get to spend 6 months to listening to very vocal console tards spoiling every single detail of the plot.

In short, remember to throw a brick covered in shit through their windows the next time you are in canada.

i dont get why people dont like the desmond bit thats the only interesting story structure its got going.

This game looks like hash browns smothered in cheese and mushrooms: RIDICULOUSLY GOOD. Same with FF13. Wonder if we're approaching the uncanny valley yet...

In any case, when I buy a 360 sometime next year, I'll be sure to pick this up as well. PS3 comes first, though! *lusts for BluRay quality Final Fantasy and Devil May Cry*

Yeah, this is seriously my GOTY. I mean, I just love any game that makes moving around fun.

I guess I'll rent it sooner or later. I think the game looks boring as hell but with me being a story buff I guess I'll have to check it out.

CrazyHaircut94:

Kermi:

CrazyHaircut94:
I too have a compulsion to stab the minstrels. Seriously, whenever they run by they just disturb me.

Once I got tired of throwing money on the ground, I found drawing my sword to be an effective technique. One minstrel ran up to me, I quietly draw my sword, and he dropped his lute and changed direction.

Little touches like that fill in the gaps nicely, for me. If anything the thing I like least is finding the seals. I'm finding the jumping puzzles a bit tedious.

I found them fun, but the controls made them somewhat painful. When I want to jump to the right, Ezio jumps left into a haystack. When I want to jump right-forward to a platform, he jumps down to the right. Thanks, that's what I want, repeat the last half hour of getting up where I was.

But I loooooove the black armor you get later. It's so fu***** awesome! :D

I actually screamed at the screen when he failed to jump in the right direction for the 8th time in a row. What did I scream? "Are you from the same retardation tree as Faith you idiot!?" Because the similarity of the "I don't wanna" of his jumping style was so oddly similar.

laryri:
I actually liked the first one more. The assassinations seemed very on-rails instead of the more free-form assassinations of the first.

I think i have to agree with you on that...the assassinations felt very...scripted? i think that's the correct word i am looking for.

I'm very disappointed that the combat is still easy. Maybe they should make me immune to fall damage too and give him steel skin that way hes sure not to ever die.

Ok, am I misreading or has this game transformed into Scavenger Hunt version 13? Because if it really has...
/facepalm

And the combat still sucks? Damn...

I'm still unsure if I want to buy this after the disappointment the first one was for me.

Ive noticed a few people mention minstrels asking for money, if these guys are as annoying as the beggars from the first game, I'll definately pass. They annoyed the hell out of me.

I would honestly find myself shooting thieves and not taking my money back just because they p*** me off so much.

I love the game overall; the story is amazing to say the least; and if I had one wish for improvement it would be the over-sensitive free running and faster fighting.

I love the realism of the fencing/counter system as opposed to a less assassin-like hack and slash; but the guards should man up and attack;

I also want to be able to counter seekers and brutes with my sword; I don't like the hidden blades or disarming.

I like bad ass swordsmanship;

One last complaint - when they say 'Counters instantly kill enemies' in the game manual; they f****** lie! It takes 5 counters to kill a heavy armored basic guard and the fact they take ages to attack exacerbates this.

I do love assassin's creed 2 though.

One last personal message for Susan; I'm currently going into Games Journalism for college (Dream job); Any words from the wise to a beginner?

EDIT; Need to stop beginning every sentence with I

What Susan didn't mention is that there was a low key sequal that probably took 2 months for them to throw together for the psp. without going into my own detail of that game, you can link up the psp game to the ps3 copy of assassin's creed II and quickly gain money and weapons based on how far you are in the psp game. once i completed the assassin's creed bloodlines, and synched the to games, the final sword from the psp was my strongest weapon all the way up until i got altair's sword in the 9th or 10th memory sequence of assassin's creed 2.

am getting this for crimbo cant wait looks really good

Cmwissy:
One last complaint - when they say 'Counters instantly kill enemies' in the game manual; they f****** lie! It takes 5 counters to kill a heavy armored basic guard and the fact they take ages to attack exacerbates this.

They meant hidden blade counters. Which are always an instant kill.

I really enjoyed the combat. I wasn't expecting to be a minority here, but I guess that's how things roll.
I think it's because I played around with it. I'd swap weapons, I'd just beat up on the enemy, I'd run up walls then jump down and assassinate the enemy.
I like that they improved the way the combat worked in terms of the combo system. If you can keep a steady combo, you'll kill them before you've completely whittled down their health, as you stagger them. I thought that was a nice touch.

Caimekaze:

Cmwissy:
One last complaint - when they say 'Counters instantly kill enemies' in the game manual; they f****** lie! It takes 5 counters to kill a heavy armored basic guard and the fact they take ages to attack exacerbates this.

They meant hidden blade counters. Which are always and instant kill.

I really enjoyed the combat. I wasn't expecting to be a minority here, but I guess that's how it rolls.
I think it's because I played around with it. I'd swap weapons, I'd just beat up on the enemy, I'd run up walls then jump down and assassinate the enemy.
I like that they improved the way the combat worked in terms of the combo system. If you can keep a steady combo, you'll kill them before you've completely whittled down their health, as you stagger them. I thought that was a nice touch.

The bad part about this is - I don't like the hidden blade.

Cmwissy:
The bad part about this is - I don't like the hidden blade.

Well, then, you're not going to get instant kill counters. That's just how it works, unfortunately.

Caimekaze:

Cmwissy:
The bad part about this is - I don't like the hidden blade.

Well, then, you're not going to get instant kill counters. That's just how it works, unfortunately.

I don't understand why the hidden blade deserves those instant kill counters and the small knives do not.

Or altairs epic sword.

Cmwissy:
I don't understand why the hidden blade deserves those instant kill counters and the small knives do not.

Or altairs epic sword.

Because a sword or a knife is much, much easier to block than a blade which only springs out when it needs to. Especially a sword.
But if you want to use those weapons, you don't really need to counter; if you get a nice flow going, you'll kill them quickly regardless. Or grab them and press attack.

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