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Assassin's Creed II - a truly exceptional game

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
It's been a long time since I've had one of these, probably since Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Legend of Zelda stands out from all of the other games I played on N64 because it was unique, well-thought out, well-structured, well-engineered, complex, but not terribly difficult. Since then, I've played quite a lot of games, both PC and Xbox that have been moderately satisfactory but nothing truly good. The first Assassin's Creed was a really great game, it just didn't have much depth, room for exploration, and just overall became very repetitive and linear after a while, like most games I've played in the past ten years or so, but still delivered a fine gaming experience. Assassin's Creed II is one of the only games I've played within the past ten years which I can truly say was exceptional.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and just go ahead and say Assassin's Creed II is the best Action-Adventure that has been released this decade, period. The storyline is completely kick-***. If someone wrote a book based on this game, I'd run right out to B&N and grab it right now. MYST is the only game I can think of that produced a meaningful series of books, but MYST isn't an action game, it's an adventure game, so it depends on its storyline in the first place, plus its creators were geniuses. Assassin's Creed II not only has an adventure game-like storyline, it has some seriously gratifying action in it that in almost every way triumph over the first game. The graphics? Ridiculously good, the best I've seen come out of an Xbox 360, period. Ubi is knocking on the door of needing a faster console to go further with the graphics. The sound? Excellent, almost like a movie script, but in real-time. The challenges? Simple, but gratifying. The game is very easy, but it never gets old. The little dungeons you have to jump through to get the seals remind me a lot of Tomb Raider or Legend of Zelda and that's appreciated. The monetary system and customization ability of your hero is an awesome addition and really enriches the experience in a semi-world of warcraft way. The pace of the game is just fantastic. You get breaks in between each big chunk of the main mission to do whatever you want, including little mini-missions or the aforementioned mini-dungeons. The game encourages you to explore the surrounding area and makes it worthwhile to do so...something the first game completely lacked.

Are there drawbacks to this game? Well, yes. Firstly, the control of the character is largely the same as the first game (but becoming more like Prince of Persia). I know people claim that it's faster or easier to get around on rooftops and climb towers, but to me, it feels almost exactly the same, which is just slightly short of ideal. The jumps and everything are highly automated and if you're going to go that route, I think they need to improve...honestly, when the only thing in front of me is a pole I'm trying to jump on to and my hero jumps 10 degrees to the left instead of straight onto it, then misses, couldn't they have made the game think about where I wanted to go? I got stuck in this one dungeon on this timed jumping thing and it really made me frustrated when I couldn't do it over and over and over again when it was so simple, but that was the only instance I can think of. Second drawback? Fighting. For some reason they decided that giving your enemies at least twice the health in this game was a good idea. Now fighting off a pack of guards takes about three times as long because you can't just one-hit-kill them like you could in the first game, and the power of the sword has been greatly diminished in general. I noticed little actual improvement in slaying ability once I bought the ultimate sword compared to the one you get at the beginning of the game, although it was cool to have different weapons. Also, like in the first game, I never used the short sword. One big plus in this game was that move that you could get Altair to do 1/1000000 of the time with his hidden blade is gone and now you get to kick @$$ all the time with the now dual-hidden blades. Very fun.

But those are being extremely nitpicky. Overall, you just cannot deny the fact that this is a top-shelf, primo game. Except for the unnecessary cursing and blood, this is a very general-audience game that is sure to satisfy pretty much anyone. I had more fun playing this game than I've had in a long time. Just be prepared to give it a solid chunk of time because it is much longer than the first game.

edit: This game got game of the year from IGN and best Xbox 360 game from Gamespot.
post #2 of 24
Calling it the best all year is pretty bold. I guess I should pick up a copy and see for myself. I would rank some RPG's before this, but who knows? Thanks for the review.
post #3 of 24
Assassin's Creed (II) is anything but an RPG. Action Adventure is more like it.

Prime examples of RPGs are more in-line with: Dragon Age: Origins, Diablo II, Deus Ex, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, etc. Heck, even Borderlands (often touted as "Diablo with guns") is more of an RPG then ACII.

For what it's worth, my friend piped in while I typed this and said he doesn't remember that much swearing, and the violence is part of the good stuff. The way the "finishing blows" are executed are great!
post #4 of 24
It actually does seem like the two things you didn't like about the game are pretty bad...movement in a game like Assassin's Creed needs to be flawless (though within the time I put into the first game, I was very impressed with the movement). Also, I loved the easy-kill enemies, because it did highlight the fact that merely killing the guards wasn't the main point of the game. Other than that, from your review, it also seems like Assassin's Creed II improved where it needed the most improvement, so I might give this game a shot.

I'm pretty torn between the first game though. The parts I liked about it I really liked, but the places the game went wrong were really bad.
post #5 of 24
The first Ass is a bit repetitive to me.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
The first Ass is a bit repetitive to me.
Which is why I quit after doing the first round of all the cities.
post #7 of 24
For Assassin I, I beat it and sold it back. The repetitiveness really does get annoying.
post #8 of 24


Ass I (i love this shortened version lol) I quit after the 2nd or 3rd town, when it didn't matter how well I was sneaking around, the guards always got me, then it turned into run at your mark as fast as possible. I will have to check out the second one, I have heard great things about it.
post #9 of 24
^^That captures it for 1. LOL I don't know about 2.
post #10 of 24
I might just wait for a few more months when it's cheaper.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule View Post
Assassin's Creed (II) is anything but an RPG. Action Adventure is more like it.

Prime examples of RPGs are more in-line with: Dragon Age: Origins, Diablo II, Deus Ex, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, etc. Heck, even Borderlands (often touted as "Diablo with guns") is more of an RPG then ACII.

For what it's worth, my friend piped in while I typed this and said he doesn't remember that much swearing, and the violence is part of the good stuff. The way the "finishing blows" are executed are great!
Oh I agree, the violence is excellent, but the blood that they added was unnecessary and not even realistic...more of a Super Smash Brothers type 2D animation. Perhaps I don't understand the difference between RPG and Action-Adventure. In this game, you play the role of Enzio or Desmond. That makes it a role-playing game, right? The swearing wasn't a big deal but it stood out because it was forced rather than natural.
post #12 of 24
Why is it truly exceptional then...MD1032s descriptions make it seem average, and just as frustrating as the first.
post #13 of 24
I just got this for Christmas and I finally had to stop playing CoD MW2 to play this game. And I may not play MW2 again, ever lol.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by P4Z View Post
Why is it truly exceptional then...MD1032s descriptions make it seem average, and just as frustrating as the first.
I'm highly, highly exaggerating everything I could possibly complain about. This game has so much more depth, so much more to do than the first game. The world is so much richer, more complex, and involving. The drab colors and monotonous surroundings have been replaced by an organized street and rooftop scene with interactive characters and a very interesting "notoriety" indicator replacing the frustrating red/yellow eye thing in the first game that made guards just seem to attack you for no reason. The side-quests and slight customization ability remind me a lot of Zelda...very few other games bother to take a pause (or can afford to) to allow the user to interact with the world, nor make it gratifying to do so, but this game totally delivered. How many times did you climb a tower in the first game because you felt like it? I never did, in fact, I found it to be a huge pain at times, but in this game I did. That should say something about their changes.

If you were frustrated with the first, then I'm not sure what to tell you except that you owe it to yourself to give the new one a shot because everything has been greatly improved upon. Pretty much the only thing you did in the first game was climb and kill. That's a core concept in this game, but they've added a heck of a lot more. If you found the first game frustrating because it was difficult, then I don't know what to tell you because it was one of the easiest games I've played in a long time and if you can't master a game like this, then you need to find another source of enjoyment than video games.

I have a feeling this trilogy is going somewhere great. The third game has the potential to be even better than this game, which is already possibly one of the best games of this style ever made.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MD1032 View Post
Perhaps I don't understand the difference between RPG and Action-Adventure. In this game, you play the role of Enzio or Desmond. That makes it a role-playing game, right?
Well with that logic, I guess Madden 2k10 is a role-playing game too, right?
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