Commentary: Assassin’s Creed II

Ok, so months ago I posted about how excited I was for the release of Assassin’s Creed II, right? I got it the day it came out and even though I had researched the crap out of it, it didn’t disappoint me. There is just so, so much content in this game.

I won’t go too much into the plot, but as I mentioned previously, the Assassin’s Creed series is about a man named Desmond Miles who is kidnapped by a company and is forced to relive the lives of his ancestors using a machine called the Animus. In Assassin’s Creed II, Desmond/you relive the life of Ezio Auditore de Firenze in the Italian Renaissance era. He lives the good life until a great tragedy befalls his family and he turns into an assassin to get revenge.

It’s pretty straightforward if you just play through the story and keep going to each main mission one after the other, but if you decide to do the side missions (which I HIGHLY suggest you do), you find a complexity in the story which makes it that much more interesting. I think this is probably one of key things missing from the first Assassin’s Creed game; I mean, apart from the really horribly repetitive game play.

Speaking of game play, they fixed the problem of repetitive game play in the first game. The compulsory missions are smoothly integrated into the story and it won’t feel like a chore when you have to do it. Also each place is huge and there are many, many treasures waiting to be found as rewards for exploration. In terms of action, Assassin’s Creed II makes assassination fun. There are many different ways to assassinate a target apart from the usual ‘stick-em-in-the-back-with-a-blade-when-they’re-not-looking’ thing. You can now jump from rooftops, grab people from bales of hay, pull them off ledges and pull them into water. The killing/death animations that accompany the different weapons that you can use are oh so very detailed. For example, using the two hidden blades, you can trigger animations such as repeatedly stabbing enemies in the abdomen (quite angrily I might add) and also stabbing the enemy simultaneously in the eyes. The second one made me go “OOOOOOOOOOOH *cringe*” as I am highly susceptible to eye squick. Using a pike can have you spear a guy and stick it in the ground while the body sloooowly slides down the pike and makes a bloody mess. Other weapons include, poison (in conjunction with your hidden blade), throwing daggers, small swords, swords in general – basically a lot. And there are many upgrades of each weapon type and each one is uniquely designed.

If you think that’s a lot of detail, I haven’t even gotten into the other stuff you can collect and mess around with. There is just that much content. You have your main missions, then optional side missions that come in the forms of catacomb puzzles, optional assassination missions and collecting stuff. Then there is just random things like being able to change your clothes and people you can interact with. I had so much fun being a bully and running into people to make them drop their stuff – that is until I found out if you do it enough those people start to chase you to punch you out and swear at you loudly in Italian. Then there was a part where I was running around a dock and pushing people off the wharfs while they were fishing, but then I realised “Hmm… these people aren’t coming back up…”.

The developers went into crazy amounts of detail with Assassin’s Creed II, seriously I am astonished. The buildings, the costumes, the interaction of random NPC’s in the street even. The ambient noises of the game are fantastic, plus I really love the hilarious comments you get when you rob a body in public or climb up a wall. Speaking of character interaction and dialogue, it’s great. It’s not all doom and gloom, there are jokes, witty comments and downright hilarious insults thrown about the place. There are fictional and historical characters in Assassin’s Creed II, whom are all seamlessly integrated into the game. Some friends of Ezio include Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli; if you don’t know who they are, especially the first name mentioned, for shame!

I guess my only complaint about this game is that there is so much content I got side-tracked from the main story. Even on my first play through I kept getting side-tracked with wanting to collect everything, but that could just be my pedantic gaming persona which has to finish a game 100%, even if I have to explore HUGE cities to find a hundred frickin’ tiny feathers so I can get a prize. *Rage Face*

Assassin’s Creed II is worth buying if you’re thinking about it. If you don’t have an Xbox 360 or PS3, don’t fret, a PC version is coming out very soon in Feburary and March. I will now leave you with some scans from the lovely Conspiracy artbook which I have from the Black Edition of Assassin’s Creed II.

A presto~!


~Click to get the full sized image~

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: