Assassin's Creed II PC User Review
Super Gamer Dude
A continuation of Assassin's Creed, the story continues where that sory left off with Desmond Miles escaping from the Templars with the help of Lucy and joining her group of resistance fighters. Desmond takes a look back at his ancestors' past roles as assassins. While about this he takes on the past role of Ezio in 15th century Firenze. There are a lot of links to the previous game so it helps if you have played it, but you'll get by without it anyway.
Assassin's Creed was thought by some to be rather repetitive but that's not the case here. The missions are of many varieties. The side missions can become a bit tedious but their only reason is to gain some extra money and if you don't want it don't do them. Ezio is a champion freerunner and a bit of a dab hand stabbing, making for acrobatics and creatively gorey murder methods. Even the great Leonardo Da Vinci lends a hand.
Ezio's capers make money which can buy weapons, ammunition and other sundry equipment. He can also use it to pimp his home city of Monteriggioni and in return a more beautiful city is received and a cut of the profits. There's also lots of collecting to do; weapons, paintings, armor, and the like.
All this is set in beautifully built cities which are all worlds in themselves and open to adventure. Running over rooftops as you do, pushing down some baddies, or quietly sauntering around town, please yourself.
The music adds to the ambience and there is also a commentary from people passing by when you're going nuts doing acrobatics and you can always listen in on covert conversations.
The camera can be difficult at times with nonsensical angles, and sometimes the images seem to have a mkind of their own, and during races this can be a problem. But for the most the part the visuals are up to the job.
Then the DRM problem; any problems with the internet or internet servers and you are doomed. However most of us will be OK in this respect. However we could do without the problem and it will cost sales.
The game itself is well playable and visually attractive. High marks all round.
There is a strange situation associated with this game, however. In order to play it, you have to have a permanent internet connection, which is something mentioned on the outside of the box. If that were a MMO game it would make sense, but Assassins Creed II is a single-player only adventure. If you dont have an internet connection, you cant play the game, and if you lose your connection while youre playing, the game pauses. This is a strange convention that leads to situations where you sometimes want to play the game, but cannot. Hopefully this isnt the beginning of a trend for PC games.
The story in this game follows Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the ancient ancestor of a modern-day character, Desmond Miles, who was in the original game. Youll adventure with Ezio through 15th-century Italy as you seek to unravel the mystery behind a murder caused by the enemies of the assassins, the Templars.
This world of 15th-century Italy is an incredible simulation of that time period in its own right. Merchant sweep the streets, the citizenry visits shops, couples pass by, engaged in conversation. Its an incredibly lifelike world that is as much fun to just experience as it is to accomplish tasks in. Even more enjoyable are the enormous, beautiful vistas that are witnessed when you climb higher up in the city. The game has impressive lighting and textures and youll be stunned at times by its beauty.
Climbing buildings to gain a beautiful viewpoint is not their only purpose, however. Moving around on rooftops is an essential part of the game, and youll enjoy how responsive and nimble your character is at this. Leaping from one rooftop to another is quite fun, and important to a great many missions throughout the game. The balance between moves that you need to pull off, and moves that are done automatically is balanced very well, so you can feel comfortable that youll be able to get to where youre trying to go without accidentally falling off a wall in the process.
A game called Assassins Creed cant be all about running and climbing, however. There has to be some assassination, and Ezio is more-than-skilled in this regard. In addition to the original hidden blade moves that allowed either a low or high-profile kill, there is also the capability to perform double assassinations. Merely walk between two poor, unsuspecting guards and youll be able to stab them both and walk away as if you were never there. You can also assassinate your targets from below, or above, pulling them up, or down as necessary and ending their pathetic lives.
While Assassins Creed II does do the things that a sequel should do, it does have its issues that need to be dealt with. Gamers will have to decide if dealing with those issues is worth the $60 price tag on the title to experience this diverse, interesting, and fun game world.