So I picked up Assassin’s Creed 2 a little while ago because Steam had it for like $5 and I never had played an Assassin’s Creed game and that was supposed to be the best of the series. Each time you start up the game, it has this assurance that the people involved came from a wide variety of religious faiths, which made me like, “Oh man; what are there going to do in this game?” But the plot is all conspiracies and stuff — mainly in Renaissance era Italy — and it’s all rather hard to take seriously enough to be offensive.
Anyway, I was ultimately disappointed in the game. When first playing the game, I was like, “This is the best game ever!” You hold two buttons down and then you go into “Free-Run” mode which means if the main character hits a building, he automatically finds hand holds and scrambles up it. So people will be chasing you on the ground and soon enough you’re leaping from rooftop to rooftop and it’s really cool. It’s a bit like Prince of Persia, but more automated in that he automatically finds the right place to leap to and grab — most of the time.
Anyway, the game is very sandbox, and I was just loving running around the city collecting items and finding new vantage points (towers you need to climb to get more view of the city and open up more of the map).
But ultimately the game broke down.
STUFF WRONG WITH ASSASSIN’S CREED 2
* The automated jumping around works most of the time, but it happened pretty often I thought I was jumping to safety but instead the game had me do a suicidal leap to my death. The most challenging parts in the game were timed events that had you doing acrobatics — mainly because he kept not jumping where I wanted him to.
* Traveling around the roofs is fun, but for some reason the game puts archers on the rooftops to yell at you and keep you from doing that. They very seldom add any actual challenge to the game and only seemed to keep me from having harmless fun moving around the city on the roofs.
* The combat is boring. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the Batman Arkham games. In those, you see a large group of enemies, and you’re like, “Oh! Joy! A bunch of enemies to beat up for fun!” In here, fighting a large group of enemies was tedious. They only ever attack you one at a time and aren’t very challenging (plus you have more healing items then you would ever actually need). And your attacks (other than the final kill) aren’t very satisfying as it’s usually just your sword clanging against their armor and not seeming like it’s doing much damage. It’s more fun and a challenge to run away and lose your pursuers, but you never actually need to do that because the enemies are never much of a threat.
* The assassinations are actually kind of boring. You run up and stab the guy most of the time. You pretty much are always going to cause a ruckus doing it (this isn’t Hitman with a variety of stealthy ways to kill — actually, you’re more of an assassin in Hitman while more of a hitman — killing people publicly and noisily — in Assassin’s Creed).
* There a notoriety rating based on being witnessed doing crimes and stuff that ended up being completely pointless.
* The main character in modern times looks like a model strutting down a runway when he walks.
Really, what I found most fun in this game was the sandbox stuff of running around the city collecting things, and I was only motivated to do the main quests to open up more of the map. And then I didn’t finish the game because the main quests got tedious to me and I was only going through them to say I finished the game (which I’ve vowed to stop doing as I don’t have enough video game time these days to spend it playing games I no longer find fun). And the story wasn’t interesting enough to make me wonder what happened in the end (it’s just guys being all shady with conspiracies but nothing really jumped out). Basically, I think the game overstayed its welcome as it didn’t have enough variety of gameplay for its length (I actually put like 30 hours in it). I probably would have liked it more if it were shorter. But now I’m so worn out from it I can’t even imagine picking up one of the sequels (the new one will have pirates, though…)