Assassin’s Creed 2
Yes, I know.I’m late to the party. It’s been on my Tesco rental list for quite a while now. I finally posted Bayonetta back after months of it sitting idle in my room. That’s the only hiccup with my Tesco rentals, occasionally I completely forget to send them back when I’m done with them.
After Bayonetta I received an anime film called Paprika which deserves a mention. I really enjoyed this complex film, but never really found the correct words to review it. A brief summary is there are experimental tools that let people invade others dreams and Paprika must save the day. If this sounds interesting to you here’s a good review http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=1042 and I’d advise a rent of it.
After Paprika came Assassin’s Creed 2 which I had actually forgotten I had queued on my rental list. I had really enjoyed the first game but found that I agreed with pretty much everyone else in that the free-running was very enjoyable by itself and it presented such a beautiful and well thought out playground, but unfortunately this playground had a very limited number of toys that became quite boring after you had played with them a couple of times each.
Again it seemed that everyone was right when they said that AC2 fixed all the problems in the first game. What I had never heard from others that had played it was that is just so much to do. One night I was up playing this till 4.30am just because I was getting led from one exciting adventure to another. I was truly caught up in “just one more mission” syndrome. And I could’ve kept going if I hadn’t had to be somewhere the next day. Assassination contracts, races, hidden glyphs, collectable statues, renovating a small town, solving mysterious puzzles and scaling highpoints to synchronize the map are all things that have kept me from storming through the story. There also seems to be a lot less messing around outside of the Animus this time, which occasionally broke the flow of the first game, which is a bonus in my opinion.
AC2 also tidies up minor issues its predecessor had. Instead of the clumsy “You are teh awesomez but all your stuff got taken away, QQ” start to number 1, the protagonist of this game has the basic free running skills but is by no means a master assassin, which makes more sense as he levels up. Also the addition of money and item shops to upgrade your equipment is very welcome. As an aside, I was quite surprised to see that you can arm yourself with hammers and maces besides your typical swords. Not exactly your usual assassins weapon but very nice to have the choice. Although , besides cosmetic reasons, with the way combat works, employing the parry/counter system, why would you want any weapon without maximum deflect bonus available? On top of that you can disarm the heavily armoured Brutes when they attack you and “hey presto, I just assassinated your ass with a SODDING GREAT-WEAPON!” Yay!
The story line is dragging me in as well. As pointed out by Van Hemlock on this podcast, Ezio is less of a jerk than Altair and you can actually give a crap about him. At one point during one of the cut scenes your friend Leonardo Da Vinci, who has been helping you out since your traumatic loss at the start of the game and who you have endured dangerous escapades with, opens his arms for a friendly hug and you are prompted to press a button to hug him back. I actually missed this because I wasn’t paying full attention at the time. This caused Ezio to stare at his potential hug partner blankly, and the rejected Leonardo looked quite rejected and sad. I have to admit I felt pretty bad for him, and I’m almost tempted to go back and replay that mission at some point just to set things straight.
I am enjoying my time back in the Animus and I think I am far from done with it at the moment.