Assassin’s Creed 2 scores 8.5

Altair on horseback

Assassin’s Creed II makes major improvements upon the first game in the series (AC), by providing players with more variety in missions; with practically 200 missions to boot. The combat system offers new style assassinations ranging from “air”, “ledge” and “haystack”, while blending takes on new shapes with the aid of female escorts who seductively distract guards for a handsome fee. Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young nobleman who descends from Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad, becomes an assassin after his father’s plotted murder. Desmond Miles remains the focus of an upgraded machine; the “Animus” 2.0., and still seems unable to decipher the “bleeding effect” of his genetic code.

One thing I find useful in AC2 is the new “Fast Travel Station”, which places you at any major point of destination previously explored for a small fee. The game now features an economy system, allowing you to acquire larger amounts of income based upon investing money towards renovations for the city. Tailor shops offer dyeing services, enabling color configuration of Ezio’s attire. This feature is distinct from most games I’ve played, with the changes of color even appearing during in-game cut scenes. “Art Merchents” sell paintings made during the Italian Renaissance which give clues about the “Apple of Eden”, and feathers are found atop buildings that are then placed in a chest, comforting Ezio’s mother.

The “Leap of Faith” is always exciting to do, but it might be time to add a new variation to this unique AC action. The new weapons are wonderful, and the game itself is visually detailed; displaying alluring and lush graphics with deep brooding sounds provided by Jesper Kyd. There are “Assassination Tombs” which individually contain a combined total of “six seals” that unlock a hidden mystery in gaining Altaïr’s attire. Despite these advancements, the game still seems somewhat repetitive in its presentation albeit much more diverse in its choice of assignments. Another thing still unrefined is the artificial intelligence of the non-player characters (NPCs) remains primarily unintelligent as opposed to the backdrop of a game like GTA4.

One thing I find awfully troublesome that I don’t find an issue with in the first installment, is the rigidity and inflexibility of movement when controlling the main player-character Ezio. When attempting to maneuver in diagonal directions while running/climbing rooftops, this seemingly free-flowing task is awkwardly cumbersome to do most times. In essence, the character (Ezio) must literally stop in the midst of a full sprint and actually turn left/right 90 degrees to complete this action. This is faulty for several reasons.

When the player is attempting to evade guards using rooftops (or even on ground), having to constantly stop and climb easily gets the player caught. In the midst of the action, the last thing a player wants to do is to fight/struggle with climbing ledges and rooftops; it clumsily takes away from the action. And most of all, it just isn’t fun, particularly for a skillful assassin.

There is more than enough potential for this action-adventure stealth trilogy to end on a high note, with its last installment (perhaps) Assassin’s Creed III.


Score: 8.5


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