Please sign in or sign up!
  • Forget your password?
  • Want to sign up?
  •       ...blogs for gamers

    Find a GameLog
    ... by game ... by platform
    advanced search  advanced search ]
    GameLog Entries

    dkirschner's Assassin's Creed II (360)

    [May 7, 2012 11:35:21 PM]
    Finished up Assassin's Creed 2 yesterday. Interesting game, worth playing for some of its cool ideas. I played AC 1 a couple years ago and found it also neat, but very very repetitive. AC 2 is a much better game with much more to do. If you played the Prince of Persia games for PS2, it's a lot like those too, and I suppose also sort of like Mirror's Edge for more reference. Lots of climbing up buildings and running over rooftops. One thing that struck me about AC 2 is that it's not really about being stealthy. I spent most of my time running full speed through city streets, weaving in and out of crowds, or jumping like a madman across rooftops. Rooftop archers and other guards didn't so much not notice me as they saw me a mile away and I ran at them until my dagger found their faces. They couldn't do too much to defend themselves. Sure, you can play it stealthy, but it got boring for me to do that all the time. The game has a neat mechanic for blending in with crowds that I very much enjoyed, and when I needed to use it, I did with great success. Also, the addition of hiring thieves, fighters, and courtesans to distract guards so you could go steal treasure was pretty fun.

    My first impressions of the game, however, were very much like the first, and it doesn't pick up for a while. You don't get to assassinate anyone or even get weapons until several hours in. But yeah, after the extensive hand-holding, you finally get to start running around and doing real missions. AC 2 has equipment you can buy at various shops, paintings, treasure maps, health potions, weapon poisons, smoke bombs, and all kinds of other things. It's awesome but I didn't use half of them. Like I ever even tried smoke bombs or poisons because I'd rather just stab stuff, and the menu to select different types of a weapon is annoying because it always defaults back to the default weapon of that type. So you hit up/right for different weapon types on the D-pad. So up is my wrist blade. If I want to select my poison, I have to hit R2, move a dial around and select poison. But if I want to switch back to my sword then back to poison, I have to do the annoying radial menu again to get back to poison. Every single time you want to switch to something besides your main weapons, you have to go through the radial menu, even if you were just there. My solution was to ignore it.

    All the cool stuff you get to do in the game is doled out over its entirety. This irked me for the most part too. Two examples: (1) you get a pistol near the end of the game. A PISTOL! What assassin doesn't want a pistol to snipe with? This one does. But I get it at the very end of the game where I hardly have time to play with it, and you only want me to use it in a few scripted sequences? I could have been sniping from rooftops the entire game. Lame. (2) 'super jump' - Yes, you get a super jump. Actually it's a leap technique you learn from the thieves' guild in like chapter 8 (out of 14 -- actually out of 12 because 12 and 13 are missing, which is another issue). The super jump lets you reach higher places on buildings by getting a little extra height in your reaches while climbing. This was so so so so stupid...but the same time. So I'd been trying to climb this tall tower forever. It was the only lookout point I hadn't gotten to in the city, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to scale it. I just couldn't find anywhere to jump up at some point, so I couldn't progress. It was really annoying and I kept trying to look for alternate angles, coming back to it after doing other missions, etc. Wellll, a couple hours later I did this section with the thieves' guild and they teach me how to climb better, which, you guessed it, lets me get up that tall church tower. Bullshit man. Why bother not letting you climb just a little higher for 3/4 of the game, and then giving you this giant tower to climb that you can't even climb until you do this mission, which you have no inkling that you would ever be able to reach any higher during climbs. It was just dumb. And then to make it worse, after that button was unlocked (push A while hanging to make an extended reach), like 1/2 the time I climbed after that when I just wanted to climb NORMALLY (also by holding A) it would read it as pushing A, which yeah I was doing but then holding it, and Ezio would leap up and fall back down. Constantly. It was so annoying and pointless.

    One of the best things about the game was your uncle's villa that served as your headquarters. You could upgrade its buildings, get discounts from merchants there, and generally pay for its upkeep. Then, you get to reap the rewards of your hard work there by taking profit from the coffers. The coffers filled up every hour and twenty minutes. I always like games where I get my own keep or something to maintain, like one of the Neverwinter Nights expansions.

    There were a lot of different types of collectibles in the game -- feathers, statuettes, assassin's seals, etc. There were also 300 treasure chests (wow!) that you could hunt for with money in them. I spent most of the game unlocking and doing everything on the map, but near the end realized I had more money than I would ever need, so much so, I calculated, that I probably didn't need to open a single treasure chest, which would have saved me a lot of time...but opening them was still fun. I haven't had as much fun going and collecting things in a game in a while, so I'm glad I liked running across rooftops and stabbing guards. I upgraded all my weapons and everything to the best available, and got the special set of armor, Altaire's armor, by completing all 6 of the assassin's tombs and getting those seals. Those were some of the most fun and challenging areas of the game, complete platforming challenges and very Prince of Persia-esque. They were huge tombs that you had to navigate your way around, and you had to be precise about it because one misstep and sometimes you were back to the beginning!

    AC has a cool story, complete with a database and conspiracy flowchart showing who you've killed and who is still around. The database was very cool. I haven't mentioned yet that this game is absolutely steeped in history from the time. I know nothing about 15th century Italy, and I can't say I learned a lot, but I read a lot of factoids about palaces and chapels and popes, and I found it compelling because the designers obviously cared about the historical aspect of the game. And of course, the cities and churches and other things were painstakingly recreated I'm sure. Lots of research went into this one. The descriptions in the database often had little jokes here and there, usually pointing out ironies of papal rule or making fun of the church's brutality back then.

    What else...oh, there's no death penalty. You just restart at a checkpoint. That plus the insane amount of health you get and the simplicity of fighting (X, X, X, X, X, X) means the game was REALLY easy and you could do stupid things like jump off the tallest building in the city and die and it didn't matter. Kind of lame, kind of cool. The hard parts of the game involved getting jumps just right and remaining invisible when you had to. But yeah, a failure sets you back about 30 seconds on average.

    And finally, since I was talking about endings earlier, the ending of this one is cool, but it comes pretty quickly. Meaning that you're assassinating some people in memory sequence 11 and then whoooooaaahahhahah hazy dreamy stuff happens and you're transported to memory sequence 14 to kill the main conspirator! What happened to 12 and 13?! I looked it up because I'm not a huge fan of gaps in my games. Guess what. DLC! Wow really, you mean I have to buy more to get story that should have been in this game? Awesome, thanks! This isn't 'extra' stuff that's missing. It's the stuff that happened between memory 11 and 14, the stuff that you figure should be there or else they would have just named the last two memories 11 and 12. Creative design or creative marketing? You decide.

    Either way, the 12...or 14..chapters of the game are lengthy enough without dragging. Overall enjoyable experience. Definitely better than AC 1. I have AC: Brotherhood sitting on my shelf as well, but I don't think I want to play it any time soon. And I just borrowed Arkham City from a friend, which will be similar to AC, so I'll probably hold off a bit on that one too. Maybe squeeze a couple other games and a little vacation in first. Good times. Oh, and Brotherhood has the multiplayer I've been excited to try out!
    add a comment Add comment

    dkirschner's Assassin's Creed II (360)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 1 May, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Monday 7 May, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Don't remember much about the first one, mostly just assassinating, moving through crowds, and jumping off buildings into hay bales. --------- Yep, fun game! Sometimes wonky controls, but overall beautiful and exciting to play.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on Assassin's Creed II

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Assassin's Creed II (360) by asanori (rating: 5)
    2 : Assassin's Creed II (360) by Jboos (rating: 5)
    3 : Assassin's Creed II (360) by jwhite16 (rating: 5)
    4 : Assassin's Creed II (360) by richard (rating: 4)
    5 : Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (VITA) by jp (rating: 5)


    games - logs - members - about - help - recent updates

    Copyright 2004-2014