Those Games We Play

Assassin's Creed II - She's Abusive To Hall Monitors Too

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Quick Review:

In nearly every way, this game polishes the core concepts of the first Assassin's Creed. The first two-thirds of the game delivers tutorials, action, and story at a terrific pace. It all looks better, plays even more fluidly, and contributes a more engrossing saga than its predecessor.

Unfortunately, the excellent pacing slams head-first into a brick wall when the protagonist reaches the city of Venice. Suddenly, the brisk affair is deluged with unnecessary tasks to drag out the game, the most annoying of which is an escort mission where you must carry your client across town. And the game ends with a final interior mission that is contrary to the central gameplay. So close to getting it all right, the game really stumbles at the finish line. Plus, the gee-whiz spectacle of the new platforming mechanics isn't so new anymore.

Recommended for action gamers and fans of the first game.

3 1/2 Stars

Lizzy Says

They introduce a small handgun in this game, which I thought was an odd choice for the stealthish combat. But I suppose when guards hear that, they don't realize what a gunshot is. They probably just think it's a button shooting off of Gary's trousers, and that's nothing they want to investigate.

Clyde Says

It must just be the U.S. that zone their buildings so far apart. I see chase scenes in movies set in other countries that go on for miles and never have to touch the ground. Our American sense of personal space is really cramping our parkour potential.

Artist's Notes

I had difficulty rating this game. As I said in the review, it exceeds the first game in pretty much every way. But that last few hours really killed it for me. And yet, if this is the first game of the franchise you play, you probably won't feel the original is better when you get around to playing that one. So it really depends on how you've come to experience the series. And since I started at the beginning, and it amazed me when it was new, that's how it will stay in my mind.

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