Assassin’s Creed II Review : Good storyline, awesome visuals and good sales

November 26, 2009, By Thomas Antony

In case you are not a gamer, you may not have heard the name Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft’s bestseller action-adventure game released back in 2007. The game follows the protagonist’s ( some poor bartender dude kidnapped by a big corporation ) “genetic memories”. In effect you play as this Assassin named Altair, and the game itself takes place during the Third Crusade in the Holy Land in 1191. The game received great reviews and even won several awards. It had become, and still remains “the fastest selling video game intellectual property ever in the US”

Assassin's Creed 2 Xbox 360 Cover

Assassin’s Creed 2 is Ubisoft’s sequel to the first game, and sets out to address several problems found in the first one. It released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 this Tuesday, and though not up to the mark of CoD: Modern Warfare 2, still got some awesome sales figures of $100M + USD by selling over 1.6 million copies in the first week. This does give Ubisoft, and the video game industry in general, something to smile about. The sales beat the expectations of most analysts who had even said that Ubisoft wouldn’t achieve their sales target due to the condition of the economy.

In the sequel too, you play as the poor bartender guy ( named Desmond Miles ), who though having escaped the corporation who held him earlier, have found some  new buddies who puts him again in “The Animus”, to relive the memory of one of his ancestors ,”Ezio Auditore da Firenze” to become a trained killer in a matter of days. Ezio’s story is around 300 years after Altair and takes place during the Italian Renaissance. He is a young noble, whose family is murdered by rival ruling families, which causes him to go on a quest for revenge that takes the players into an epic story that offers more variety in missions, surprising and engaging new gameplay elements, diverse weapons and a profound character progression that appeal to fans of the original Assassin’s Creed as well as entice players new to the brand.

When it comes to gameplay, though it tries to remove many of the defects of the first game, it still tends to become pretty repetitive at times. Some of the assassination missions do have a satisfactory conclusion and the part where Ezio flies using young Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying contraption is just plain awesome. The game still uses the control system from the first game, in which the same button performs different things depending on the context.

The game did receive mostly positive reviews from critics. In an exclusive review by Official Xbox Magazine, Assassin’s Creed II scored 9/10. Its second review was a perfect score from the Official PlayStation Magazine US, while the Official PlayStation Magazine UK scored the game a 9/10. The game has been criticised for its bad AI. Sometimes the enemies just swarm around Ezio and look at him, doing nothing. In case of visual effects the game pretty much gets it right. You can even play the game just to look around Medieval Italy.

Assassin’s Creed 2 carries a “Mature” rating and the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions available from various retailers at $59.99. Some retailers, such as NewEgg are offering it a lower price of $54.99 . The PC version will be released on March 17th and can be pre-ordered at $46.99 .

Assassin's Creed 2 Flight

Assassin's Creed 2 Scene

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