I had a troubled relationship with Assassin’s Creed. You can read my review of the game from way back when to refresh your memory, if you like, although really a lot of the bigger problems troubling our relationship exist outside the continuum of the game itself. Suffice to say there were certain disagreements to which I was merely a sideline-based observer, disagreements which actually prompted me to play the game through for myself when I hadn’t really intended to pay it much attention to begin with. And what I found was a game that was roughly 80% complete, and in a confusing way: The tech and the environment and the art, by reputation the most expensive and difficult parts of a game to create, were just about rock-solid. But there was very little of interest to do in those beautifully-rendered cities of the Middle East, almost as if the creators forgot to actually include a game with their tech. I actually found myself wanting to like the game, but at every turn it seemed to make an active effort to prevent me from doing so.
Anyway, the point is that when I say the sequel is a much-improved experience by a matter of leaps and bounds, you need to understand that my saying so means something.
I didn’t have room to include this in the review, but Ezio is pretty much Renaissance Batman, and if it weren’t for Arkham Asylum having redeemed the Batman game franchise a few months back, I would happily call Assassin’s Creed II the greatest Batman game ever. Really, all it needs is a giant penny in Ezio’s mansion to make it perfect. Giant florin. Whatever.
And I’m not kidding about the game’s plot. It’s seriously like Ubisoft said, “Hey guys, what if Dan Brown wrote a Japanese RPG? What would that be like?” And then they went and gave it their best effort. It’s a little weird! But kind of fun, actually, just because it’s so ridiculous. Especially the final battle, which lets you do something JRPGs have been nervously flirting with for more than a decade.
17 thoughts on “Now 50% less ass-y”
I really have to wonder if the constant comparisons to Dan Brown would be made if it was a different setting.
But, er, the review has me interested in the game, at least!
I never played the original based on what I heard went wrong with it, and yet I noticed it had become something of a fan favorite. Good to see the sequel has tied up the loose ends. I might just check it out.
“Especially the final battle, which lets you do something JRPGs have been nervously flirting with for more than a decade.”
Go on a date with the 12 year old girl in the party?
Stab Jesus in the neck?
Go back to having properly maze-like dungeons?
You’re constantly asking Leonardo da Vinci to decrypt documents detailing secrets of the Templars, involving the origins of man and dark secrets of the Catholic faith. How could one not make the comparison?
I didn’t bother with the first game since people mentioned serious gameplay issues and it feeling very unfinished. Yet the game did extremely well due to its prowess as a tech demo. It’s kind of sad how great graphics and immersion can make a mediocre game popular, but I’m glad that this second game is actually very good.
I can see how people would be disappointed with the first game when it came out, but at its current, cheap, price, it’s really worth it, flaws and all. Especially since the second one is apparently much improved.
And I dunno about Arkham Asylum redeeming the Batman franchise, Parish. It’s what, the second solid Batman game in 20 years? (after Batman: The Movie for NES, of course)
You’re right though, applying a Batman/Gotham skin to Assassin’s Creed would be pretty great…
Just from some of the plot stuff I’ve read, I could choose to be offended, but if it’s as ridiculous as it sounds, then it’s probably more unintentionally funny than anything. As such, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to, you know, concentrate on actually being an assassin? Maybe a slightly more realistic plot? I think the nonsensical elements probably hurt the immersion more than anything.
I’ve always said that the first Assassin’s Creed would’ve had the potential to be an amazing Batman game. Interestingly enough, I said the same thing about Zone of the Enders and Superman, another case where the sequel felt much more complete than the original.
“Now 50% less ass-y”
So, Assin’s Creed, then?
“How could one not make the comparison?”
Well I didn’t know any of THAT, Mr. Smarty Pants. I only knew da Vinci was in the game and everyone was saying that. I concede the point.
@Chris – It’s not the graphics that made the mediocre first game popular, its that despite the mediocrity, there were a ton of great ideas and some of them, not all, are actually executed well. That’s why I’m excited to get home and pop in the new game; because as a proof of concept, the first one was still worth playing, which means by comparison the new one should be amazing.
ASandoval – I would also add that the game was hugely (and perhaps unfairly) hyped by the games media.
I’m not so sure it’s a ‘fan-favorite’ – everywhere you turn, someone is disappointed by the tediousness of parts of it. And what’s that thing they say about expectation and disappointment? Well, the Disappointed can thank the media for hyping it up.
That’s not to say it’s bad – like I said, it’s certainly worth the current price point.
Or the disappointed (I count myself among them) can blame it on their hardly being a game in the first Assassin’s Creed. I resolved to sell my copy when I slaughtered 20 guards outside of a town when they attacked me because my horse moved quickly.
There are people who adored the pants out of the original though. It was one of the more divisive games in recent memory, that’s for sure.
I had an enjoyable time with the original while recognizing its significant flaws. I’m definitely glad to hear from reliable sources that the sequel is a marked improvement, especially since I already pre-ordered it and am picking it up this afternoon…
Parish, I’m interested in the game but Last Action on 1UP.com informs me that you are actually a corporate shill who is giving every major game an A to help sell copies. Confirm or deny?
The tech and the environment and the art, by reputation the most expensive and difficult parts of a game to create, were just about rock-solid. But there was very little of interest to do in those beautifully-rendered cities of the Middle East, almost as if the creators forgot to actually include a game with their tech.
Funny how no one says anything like that about, say, Shadow of the Colossus, which actually has much less to see and do (and I love to explore). It’s more likely a result of lack of resources than a stylistic choice, but the result is fairly similar. When I first read about the game, I was most excited by the prospect of exploring entire cities and climbing buildings in a fresh historical setting, not the idea of having RPG-style quests or branching dialogue.
How could one not make the comparison?
In terms of plot elements, sure, but you could at least mention that whoever wrote ACII’s script is actually competent. Dan Brown is a horrible writer in every regard.
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