I had previously played a little portion of the first Assassin’s Creed, and though I could appreciate most aspects of it, I just couldn’t “get into it” and left it unfinished.
So, when Assassin’s Creed II was released in November 2009, I had no interest in returning for more. However, odd circumstances meant I managed to purchase the game extremely cheaply in early 2010. I’ve since played completely through the game twice. I guess I must have liked it?
Truthfully, this is one of the greatest games of all time. Sure, it has some flaws and imperfections, but some of these actually manage to enhance the likability of the game.
Playing as third-person in a ever-expanding open-world environment, you take control of the main character Ezio through many stages of his life in late 15th Century Italy. Fighting on the ground, climbing buildings, fighting on top of buildings explains a good proportion of what is done. There is also search for treasure chests and some challenging puzzle elements when inside special temples and tombs.
Visually, the game is superb and the movement of characters excellent. The cut-scenes, and there are many of them, probably not of the same standard, but still emote enough to compel the player to feel involved. The environment is beautiful and definitely one of the biggest highlights of the game.
I would have loved to give this game a perfect 10 out of 10. Sadly, two sections of the game were unfinished at time of release, but later offered payable download-able content. I find this a bit insulting. Also, the game is surprisingly easy. Most of the difficulties in the game is the actual grind of going through missions to unlock certain other areas, etc.
Nonetheless, Assassin’s Creed II is one of the best gaming experiences and genuinely surprised me. It combines an intelligent story and excellent script with seamless game-play. It’s a thrilling and exciting experience, and though the ending may be unsatisfying for some, it still manages to be a most memorable game. An instant classic, epic and an essential purchase.
score: 9.5 out of 10.