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Wolf Kanno's Crazy Ramblings and Incoherent Statements

Assassin's Creed 2 Final Thoughts.

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It seems like everyone is finally getting around to play this game lately, so I'm going to add to it cause I finally finished it last night. I still haven't picked up the UPlay dungeon or the DLC but I finished the main game and got all trophies.

AC2 is a pretty damn awesome game and has finally propelled the AC franchise as one of the best new franchises to emerge this console generation. Sad to say, AC2 is probably the best game I've played on the PS3 so far. Which is remarkable cause the first game is abysmal, especially after playing this game.

So what makes this game so good you ask? Well almost everything. While AC2 doesn't diverge far from AC1 establishing the series as an action/platform series with stealth overtones, the game does a much better job of actually incorporating stealth elements into the game and is made into a richer experieince for it. I'm talking about stealth moments that give you auto-game overs if you screw up, cause Ezio was a badass and you can't have any time paradox in this game.

The game overhauls the story, Ezio is a much more fleshed out and interesting character than Altair was in the first game (though the Codex Pages offered some great character growth for him too) as he comes across more human due to him not being the "best of the best" but instead grows into the best by games end. He's also a horny bastard...

Combat is still easy and Ezio much like Altair, is a one man army, but combat has some new twists that makes it more enjoyable. More amusing kill animations, a reworked counter system that requires a little more timing than its predecessor. Hell, the coolest new feature is Ezio's ability to disarm enemies and kill them with their own weapons. While Ezio mostly gets the same types of weapon Altair did, he can now also get a chance to use axes, spears, and bastard swords by disarming guards.

Speaking of the guards, the game creates new types of guards to add more variety, beyond regualr guards there are now guards who are lightly armored but allows them to chase you down if you try to run from a fight, guards with spears who actively search hiding spots preventing you from hiding as easily, and heavy units (simialr to the Templar Knights in AC1) who can easily overpower you in fights and are difficult to counter against.

Helping you out is the introduction of special groups that Ezio can hire to help him out. Courtesans provide cover from enemies and can distract guards and lure them away, mercenaries help fight enemies, and Thieves can fight, lure enemies away, and have the distinction of being able to climb through the city like Ezio.

Also, dealing with annoying peasants is much easier, not only do they get some more amusing dialogue options, but Ezio can now throw coins and distract them, create a civilian shield from guards or get away from the annoying minstrels.

New to the series is a monetary system connected to a pseudo-sim city minigame but also allows you to buy upgrades to your weapons and armor, which is directly correlated to your health, so it has a bit of an RPG flavor to it.

The biggest problem with the first game was the sheer monotony of it all, you got a target, you need to get info which required doing the same five tasks over and over. There is now much more variety. You get assassination contracts you can do on the side and often these missions give stipulations that prevent them from being straightforward, like killing a target without anyone noticing, using poison to kill a target, or follow the target back to his lair to take them all out. You also get footraces which are timed challenges similar to the flag capturing challenges you did in the first game to get info, there is a horse race as well, you can get hired to beat up cheating husbands and boyfriends, you can chase down pickpockets and messengers to tackle them and get some extra cash, and the flag collecting is replaces with collecting feathers but you only need to find 100 of them and it actually nets you some items for doing so.

There are also new challenges like collecting the glyphs which result in puzzle games that will challenge you to know your history and religions. As well as my personal favorite games being the Assassin Tombs which are giant platforming puzzles that eventually net you the best weapon and armor in the game. There are even some special story missions like the coach ride with Leonardo and using his flying machine. Overall, its just a well polished and fun game.

The story is intriguing and has a huge cast. Its nice the game left an index so you can keep track of who's who. There are still times I feel the plot loses the player cause their are times when you think you've taken everyone out and the game just drops a few new targets into the mix, not to mention you have to pay attention to dates cause the game likes to jump around in Ezio's life so you can suddenly find yourself shot two years ahead in time. Other than that it much better than the first game cause there is a heavier emphasis on getting to know Ezio and the modern day parts also get a much better jolt in activity as well. It does end on another WTF? note but with Brotherhood already out and Revelations on its way, its not as disappointing, besides, they've yet to end on a bad note, just a "Wait, what just happened, is that what I think it is?" which any fan of Kingdom Hearts will know pretty well.

Overall, its just an overall better experience, though I still feel you should play AC1 first, partly to understand the plot but mostly so you can appreciate the sheer brilliance and effort that was made to revamp the franchise. I'm almost finished with Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, so I may have that review up in the next few days. Then I'm taking a break from AC to work on Catherine.
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  1. Shaibana's Avatar
    wouw ive actualy read the whole thing ^^
    glad u enjoyed ac2, caus i certainly did to.

    ACB is also a great game, though i found some -points.
    (SPOILER) the first thing is the map.. it looks awesome but i really enjoyed the exploring in the previous games, including the traveling between maps.

    in AC2 i thought: 'wouldt it be cool if i could ride the horse in town!? ' .. .. .. No, its not cool. it ruins the game becaus when u think 'jeez im tired of climbing' u wistle to yr horse and just runn of -.-
    .. . the temptation to make it yrself easyer is always to big. and since there are no consequenses when u run ppl over it just spoiles the fun of it.

    and in my opionion the biggest spoiler of the game is the actual brotherhood. when u have that, all the fun is ruined.
    it just makes it to easy to go to a 'boss' whistle your brotherhood and sit back and relax. Ive tried not to use it at all, becaus i want some challenge but unfortunatly sometimes u just have to.
    and once again, using the brotherhood has no consequenses for Ezio, and so ruins the challence and fun of it

    if i were to replay one of these games it wouuld without a doubt be AC2. to me that one is the most perfect balances of the 3 games..
    Now just have to wait for Revelations ^^
  2. Shiny's Avatar
    I definitely agree with you about the monotony comment with the first. I think they improved upon it a great deal in the sequels.
  3. Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
    As much as I love the first Assassin's Creed, I just can not go through the whole game again after playing the second one, which is why I always tell anybody wanting to skip it to play AC1 first or never. And I want to play Brotherhood! I'm tired of running into spoilers whenever the topic of Revelations comes up
  4. Slothy's Avatar
    I have to say you summed up my feelings on the game just about perfectly. If I had to pick one thing that made the huge difference going from AC to AC2, it has to be variety. Variety in the locations, variety in the tasks you complete, variety in the weapons available to you, and even in how you can hide from and escape enemies. It's just a much richer world with more likable characters, and doesn't require you to complete the same handful of tasks a half dozen times (or more when it came to saving civilians). Of course it helped as well that the controls felt a bit tighter and combat was less of a pain in the ass. It actually felt more button-mashy to me for most of the game, but the original was so frustratingly bad that that was actually an improvement.
  5. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    I forgot to mention how fun the achievement were, I generally ignore them cause they are mostly just time sinks but I honestly had fun doing them in AC2, especially when some of them are completely absurd like spending 5000 florins on prostitutes or kicking a guard while flying on Da Vinci's flying machine. I also forgot to mention the sheer amount of history in this game, as a history buff I was well pleased to learn more about an era and place I knew very little about. I've actually been reading more books on Renaissance Italy and the Italian families like the Borgias and Medici. The historical element is actually my favorite part of the series.

    I've also picked up the PSP entry Bloodlines, but it will probably be awhile before I start that. While I love Ezio, I still have a soft spot for Altair, and I'm looking forward to being able to play him again in Revelations.
  6. Bolivar's Avatar
    It's an awesome game dude, I've yet to try Brotherhood and I'm gonna hold off on Revelations, but it's good to know that I got some really good adventure games ahead of me.