The long awaited Assassin’s Creed 2 has been on the wish list of a lot of fans of the first game since its announcement some months back. Regrettably its only been recently that we here at Pinoy Gaming Network secured our copy and registered it. Well better late than never I say. So here it is mga kapatid, our review or Assassin’s Creed 2.
The story begins right after the events of the first game. You still play as Desmond, you’re still trapped in the laboratory of Abstergo the organization representing the modern templars that seek the Piece of Eden, powerful artifacts that were once used to control the world. After a daring escape assisted by Lucy your new found friend, you are brought to a hidden facility run by Assassins where they jack you back into a new and improved Animus 2.0. This time you won’t be in control of Altair, you will be controlling Ezio a young man of Italy during the 1400’s. Yep, you read it, THE RENAISSANCE.
For a console port, Assassin’s Creed 2 (AC2) looks fairly well rendered. On a high end PC, expect to see a lot of eye candy especially when you have Ezio climb really tall towers to look over Italian cities such as Firenze (Florence) and Venice. On top of those towers, the view is absolutely marvelous. Is it just me though or did the developers lessen the number of people inside the cities since part 1? Not only that but Ezio’s clothing clip on top of his other clothes? Perhaps its the console porting that did this. A PC game of this calibre, I’d expect, would have more polish. Generally though, the feel of the first game has been essentially preserved, even if the setting was changed.
Soundwise AC2 remains to be truly inspired. Markets sound like markets with people hawking their wares. Street corners are busy with carpet sellers, fish merchants, blacksmiths and even prostitutes! Yes, another game with prostis. What could have been improved is the transition of the sounds. When you walk towards a market, you should be able to hear the market sounds slowly getting louder, instead, you hear the market sounds the moment you step into an imaginary line that separates the market from the other places. It makes the transition sound contrived. Other than that, AC2 has superb sound mastery from music during chase scenes to the clanging of swords and even as weapons hit flesh.
Gameplay has dramatically changed in AC2 since part 1. Now, there are over a hundred ways to go about your mission not only because, as was part 1, its a open world game, but also the myriad of weapons under you can wield against the bad guys. You now get a second hidden blade which you can taint with poison, a small pistol, smoke bombs, oh and you can even throw money to distract people. To get around the game, you still do the awesome free runs on rooftops and on the streets of Italy the same way you did back in AC1. The game also has special action sequences as well, from driving a carriage to flying Leonardo da Vinci’s ornithopter.
Let’s talk about dramatic changes. Now you need MONEY. First of all because your weapons get damaged and you will need the money to get them repaired at the local blacksmith. Second is because you may want to buy new weapons and armor, one cannot survive in AC2 without a decent set. Third is to heal yourself, you now get potions to heal yourself with. And last, and something more interesting (spoiler) since you need to upgrade the Villa your uncle Mario runs. The Villa can generate income for you over time, but you will have to invest some money on it for it to grow. Investments in an action adventure, I love it! I myself invested heavily to acquire a whorehouse for the Villa, sue me, a town needs its prostis. I mean where would the politicians go if there’s no whorehouse, right?
The game is an open world, you can travel anywhere you want anytime you want which means there is a lot of ways to play it the first time, second time and so on. There is always a new way to play it, that pretty much takes care of the replay value. However it throws in a couple more surprises. You need to collect several disks from the tombs of dead assassins to unlock Altair’s armor, which looks pretty badass. Also you can choose to collect all the statues and paintings for the Villa and acquire all the upgrades for it. You could also go on side missions such as races, assassinations, beat ups and some special events. So there’s a lot of gameplay hours on AC2 which makes it a game worth buying.
Graphics – 9
Sound – 8
Gameplay – 9
Replay Value – 8