Assassin’s Creed 2 Review (XBOX 360)

Developer – Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher – Ubisoft

Release Date – November 17 2009

Unlike other media, video games tend to improve with sequels because they already have the tech in place to build on. They can then divert resources into other areas such as story, game play and graphics. The original Assassin’s Creed was an ambitious game with flaws but the base concept was such a good idea that it sold extremely well (with the help of excellent marketing). A sequel could be made with all the resources in the world and this is why the second game in the series is excellent with an amount of polish and detail that very few games achieve.

Ubisoft improved everything they could’ve done with Assassin’s Creed 2. Gone were the small range of mission and large open spaces. It no longer feels like I’m doing the same thing over and over again. There are more RPG aspects with weapons and armor and you also have a dedicated home base which you can upgrade to earn you money. This sort of customisation is something that was missing in the first game and should be present in all open world games.

The graphics are great with impressive production values in terms of art direction and player models. Ubisoft did a realistic job of recreating Florence, Tuscany, and Venice where it was clear the spent a lot of time researching the period. It is even more impressive if you have actually been to those place and recognise the landmarks. It is also just a nice world to be in unlike most other games, I enjoyed just traversing through the cities and looking for collectables.

Assassin’s Creed 2 continues the fluid traversal and platforming in the first game. It is by far the best way to move around in any game I’ve played as it gives you complete freedom to go anywhere. The combat is improved with the increased variety of weapons but fundamentally it is similar to the first relying on counterattacking. I would’ve liked Ubisoft to go more deep with the combat with combos but I understand their decision to keep it simple to appeal to a mass audience. I really liked how Leonardo Da Vinci is involved in the game as he is your go to guy for upgrading you assassin blade. It makes a lot of sense and a much better way of dealing with ability upgrades than just arbitrarily giving you a new ability as you gain levels.

The game does start slow as it teaches you how to play the game by doing errands but the pace picks up and keeps on going. It is a long game (at least 20 hours) with a lot of things to do and I am looking forward to play the direct continuation, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, which came out at the end of last year. The story ends on a crazy note and is one of the reasons why I enjoy the series so much,  a historical time travel sci-fi tale is something that hasn’t been told in such an entertaining manner in any form of entertainment or media.

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Posted on January 25, 2011, in Completed Games, Microsoft, PC, PS3, Review, Video Games, Xbox 360 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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