Assassin’s Creed II

Steampowered Sunday #10

I have had a really lousy week, and if you have followed my blog you know why.  However that said, I did not want to break the Steampowered Sunday tradition.  This week we had a tie between Assassin’s Creed II and Evoland, and in order to settle the tie I essentially flipped a coin.  As a result I played roughly and hour and a half of Assassin’s Creed II.  At face value this seems like a game I would not like very much, considering in general I do not like stealth titles.  However so many friends of mine have been so into this game series that I felt like I had to give it a try.  I feel like I am somehow losing gamer cred by admitting that I have never played ANY of the Assassin’s Creed games before today.


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All of my friends have said that the essential title that I needed to start with was Assassin’s Creed II, so as a result that is the title I have placed in the running for a few weeks.  Initially the title suffers from many of the console game tropes that I hate.  Namely the “long introduction” and the forced “stealth” to get to an area where the game opens up.  Then when you finally get into the action, there is yet another trope that I cannot stand…  “the un-skippable mini-game” namely in the form of the rooftop race with your brother.  So early on… things were not looking really good for this title.  Within the first 15 minutes it had committed three cardinal sins.  That said I kept playing and eventually got a grasp on why exactly this game is fun.

AssassinsCreedIIGame 2014-03-23 11-16-19-93

Where this game shines is the open world exploration aspect.  While they only give you a small area at a time to roam around, for the most part you are allowed to get to your objective in whatever fashion you like.  Additionally the “stealth” aspect of the game is extremely forgiving.  If you are “feeling your wheaties” you can beat the shit out of your pursuers, or if you don’t feel like fighting you can simply run away and in a grand theft auto style wait for the coast to be clear again.  Your enemies show up as very clear red dots on the map, and in many times you can simply blend into the crowd to avoid them.  The only time they seem to notice you is if you are extremely close or doing something like running about or doing something to draw attention to yourself.

AssassinsCreedIIGame 2014-03-23 11-22-55-66 I realize at an hour and a half into the game I have barely scratched the surface.  So far it seems like the game progresses in a very GTA style, where you are presented a series of small quests.  Some of them involve going and fetching something, others beating up a person, and others still following around NPCs and helping them with some task.  All of this is pretty boring, but the fact that you can accomplish these missions by wandering around the rooftops of the city make it far more enjoyable.  I can see why people are into this title, and I think I would like it even more if it were more open and free.  I can only imagine how great this title would be if it were presented in a more “fallout” type sandbox manner.  Right now you are given pretty clear direction in what the quests do and which ones you should take.

AssassinsCreedIIGame 2014-03-23 11-18-25-82 So far the only real frustration is when I manage to get a “timed event” style quest.  I find movement in this world to be cludgy at best, especially after being used to the parkour of newer games like Titanfall.  There are many times where I do something like leap off of a building that I did not intend, but did so because I either didn’t wait long enough for my camera angle to readjust or waited too long.  If I can get used to the quirks of the movement I feel like my enjoyment will improve, however when you put me under a timer and the  movement does something screwball I feel like throwing the controller across the room.  I have to remind myself that this game was initially released in 2009, and since then game controls have become so much more responsive.  I am sure if I cracked open Assassin’s Creed IV many of these issues have been solved.

AssassinsCreedIIGame 2014-03-23 11-15-41-64 Overall I think this is going to be a title I play quite a bit more of.  In fact once I finish a few chores this morning, I will probably boot it back up and play some more.  I am hooked enough on what is there to make me want to play some more.  Right now I am also feeling deeply antisocial, so a single player title is a good option.  At this moment I am tentatively positive about the game and considering I got it as part of a massive package of other Assassin’s Creed titles, I can see maybe going back and playing the others as well.  My friends all told me to start with 2, because there were some serious controllability issues prior to that point.  If that is the case I am very glad I did, because I already feel like 2 is more than a little awkward, I would not have likely made it this far in a title where the controls were worse.

5 thoughts on “Assassin’s Creed II

  1. Heh, I’ve just played through three Assassin’s Creed titles the last couple of weeks. I’m not a fan of platformers or puzzle-jump stuff either, but AC grew on me. Maybe it helps to be a woman in this case, but the start of ACII was just so darn cute. 😀
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  2. AC1 is boring and only worth it for hardcore fans of the series. AC2 is where the series grew, by providing with you with many different types of scenarios. Also, Ezio is far more charismatic than Altair from AC1 or Connor from AC3.

    Have fun with it. It’s one of my favorite series, though I think it might be jumping the shark at this point as Ubisoft continues to milk the cash cow with no end in sight.

  3. Yeah, I’ve only played a little bit of AC2, helping my daughter through some tuff stuff mostly. The race you mentioned isn’t just a mini game. It’s meant to be part of the tutorial on timed maneuvering, which may be another reason you didn’t like it. I’m not super big on jumping puzzles, but I did enjoy this game, from what I played.
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