Assassin’s Creed 2 Review (X360)

Posted by Chris Cesarano, Nov 27, 2009 12:36

So much has changed since the last trip to the Animus that it’s hard to know where to begin. While Assassin’s Creed may boast that “nothing is true, everything is permitted”, it is certainly true that this sequel feels like a new monster in comparison to its predecessor.

Let’s begin with combat, as that was one of the top complaints of the first game. While there are some foes that can easily be dispatched with a simple counter-attack, many are impervious to that solution. Ezio, Altair’s replacement, is now capable of using a large number of weapons. As you progress through the game you can purchase better swords, hammers or mauls to use as a primary weapon and daggers as a side arm. Each blade has a different set of statistics, so how well they deflect blows away or how quickly you can counter varies from weapon to weapon. As such, early on it may feel as if they game isn’t nearly so responsive as the original. And still each foe seems to have its own way of quickly being dispatched.

While this certainly makes combat more difficult yet much more interesting, it can also become a greater chore. Health does not regenerate on its own, meaning the player must carry a supply of medicine or visit a doctor once too much damage has been received. It will take players some time and a lot of exploration before they can find the best options to use in specific situations. However, each weapon is useful in some way, even the wrist blades and throwing knives.

Of course, players likely won’t be fighting as often as they had in the first game. Assassin’s Creed 2 features a new notoriety system, where certain actions will cause awareness in the city to go up. The higher the notoriety the more quickly guards will recognize you on the streets. However, reducing notoriety is as simple as tearing down wanted posters and bribing heralds to discuss anything but your antics. Though players should be careful when tearing posters down, as any guard that sees you doing so will only pester you and boost your notoriety right back up.

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Our Rating for Assassin’s Creed 2 Review (X360)
7.0 Replay
Great to go back to, but probably not for a few months at least.
9.0 Graphics
Major improvements over the first game. Each city looks different visually and characters look varied, like real people.
9.0 Sound
Voice work is top notch, and while some music is merely background noise other tracks are beautiful and catchy.
8.5 Gameplay
Solid with plenty to do and see, but hampered by some glitches, a couple poorly designed side missions and punishing stealth instead of rewarding it.
0.1 Multiplayer/Online Content
8.5 Overall
Ubisoft took a good idea with major problems and made it into a shining beacon of good design.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 9

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