Thursday, December 17, 2009
Assassin's Creed 2 for the PS3 review
Personally, I enjoyed playing Assassin’s Creed on the PS3. It was a fun and innovative game for its genre. I know a lot of people thought it was nothing special, but I think they’re wrong. I think it stands as one of the best 360, PS3, and PC games ever made, though that will have to change, sadly, with the franchise’s sequel on the big consoles, Assassin’s Creed 2 for the PS3, 360, and PC. So, how does this sequel surpass the last one? Let’s find out, then.
The story basically picks up from where Assassin’s Creed left off, where the main guy, Desmond, escapes with Lucy, who was the doctor’s assistant in the last game. Before escaping, however, they strap Desmond into the Animus again, and find out that he had another ancestor in Italy a couple of hundred years after Altair’s existence. They escape getting caught, meet up with two of Lucy’s friends, and decide to explore this new ancestor in Italy. The game then moves to the main assassin, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young punk of a guy whose personality kind of reminds me of characters like Jack Sparrow or the Prince of Persia. One day, his father and two brothers get captured, falsely accused of some crime, and get hung by the templars. Ezio escapes his hometown of Florence with his sister and mother, and stay in the Turkish countryside. Now it is up to Ezio to find out who is behind all this and find out his destiny. It’s a good story, but I will explain what I don’t like about it further in the review.
The game play is basically similar to the last game, but with any sequel there are new things to play around with. You basically have your wrist-blade, sword, and knife, but now you get new equipment. Each time you help people out, or find codex pages, you can take them to your friend, Leonardo Da Vinci, and he will upgrade your wrist weapon to where you can wield two of them, have them filled with poison, and can use them like sniper rifles, which is my favorite way of taking guards out. You also get throwing knives and smoke bombs. Ezio has to carry around medicine so you can heal him, since you can’t auto-generate all your health. In one part of the game, you get to use one of Da Vinci’s inventions, which I think is a cool cameo of what one of his inventions could do. Another interesting addition is the new ways to assassinate people without having to sneak up behind them or fight them. You can kill them by hiding in a pile of hay, hanging over a ledge, or jumping on top of them. Since you also have two wrist-blades, you can stand between two guards and kill them both at once. My favorite power-up, like I said, is the gun, since if a guard or thief is running away, you can just stand still, aim, and shoot. Even if they are, like, 100 feet away, it still gets the target. Another thing players can do is find these seals that can unlock Altair’s armor, which looks nothing like the armor in the last game…oh well. If you don’t, though, you can always buy armor upgrades since they give you more health. However, if you do buy armor upgrades, get ready to go to the blacksmith often when your armor breaks, since you have to go repair it. The rpg element is basically shopping for items like weapons, pouches, ammunition, medicine, paintings, and the list goes on. You can buy a lot of stuff, but I recommend finding the seals to unlock Altair’s armor since the armor doesn’t break. You also get to run the villa you stay in. You can upgrade the buildings in the city and that will get you more money, since more people will stay in the villa, which raises the taxes, which in return, means you get more money. You can also hire a group of people to distract or fight guards, like prostitutes, thieves, and freedom fighters. You can travel by horse, but it’s quicker to teleport to each place if you’re traveling from whatever city you’re in, back to the villa for money, weapons, etc. You can also travel by swimming or by using a gondola, since it can take a while to get to places in the bigger cities like Venice on foot. There are also more side missions than the last game, so it doesn’t get so repetitious. I know a lot of people say that the fighting in both games is really lame, but I find it fits the game since you’re not some brute knight, but an assassin, and you always need to know when to strike.
Graphically, the game is impressive. It is still amazing, standing on the tallest building and looking around, watching all the people move below you. I bet that during the game-testing phase, the game kept crashing or a lot of bugs appeared. The music is also very well done since it was composed by Jesper Kyde, who did music for games like Unreal Tournament 3, Freedom Fighters, Robotech Invasion, Kane and Lynch, and the Hitman series. I also think the voice work is well done, but sometimes the lines can be a little cheesy and will make you roll your eyes.
Now, it’s time to find the bad parts that make this game not a ‘triple A’ title. First off. I do like the story in the game, but it seems to drag on a little, and near the end, you just want to be done with it. The graphics are nice, but up close they just look ugly and not well-polished. The hair on people looks like they would be on a PS2 not a PS3 or 360. Even though I enjoyed getting Altair’s armor, it’s really a chore getting through the areas that keep the seals, and since no one made a gamefaqs or complete walkthrough, it was kind of annoying not knowing what I had to do or what I needed to do. The game also doesn’t have much replay value, since when you’re done getting the best weapons and the best armor, there isn’t much left to do except this one thing where you need to find statues to unlock chests in the villa. Then again, who would want to start over again at the beginning of an extremely long game? I wouldn’t. I also didn’t enjoy the racing segments, since it’s been like a few months since I played the first Assassin’s Creed and wasn’t in my “assassin mode” yet. They just frustrate the hell out of me since you need to be exact on where you run or land, since one screw-up would make you lose the race.
Overall, though, I did enjoy this game, and it stands as one of the best games of this generation. I would recommend checking it out. However, I say rent it before buying it to see if you would play it over and over again. This is a great new series, and I hope they do a third Creed since some rumors are going around it will take place in Japan. So, basically, rent this game and check it out for yourself.
This game gets a 9 out of 10