First Impressions: Assassin’s Creed 2

I think it’s a given that anytime a player character starts off in a game with a family, they’re probably going to die.  If they have a spouse &/or child, they’ll die.  If they have parents, at least the father will die.  Strangely, it’s rare for the father to live if the mother dies.  Maybe it’s that whole war mentality, where it’s somehow more acceptable to kill off the men.

I suppose that may be a spoiler for the overarching plot of Assassin’s Creed 2, but given that it happens in the first memory sequence, I don’t think it’s that big a deal.  In fact, I knew that would happen even though I haven’t really read anything about the game aside from some general critiques.

I’m glad the game started with a brief recap, as it’s been a long time since I played the first Assassin’s Creed.  But I remembered more of less everything.  Desmond Miles is kidnapped by this secret organization to relive the memories of his ancestors to help the Templars against some sect of Assassins to retrieve some mystical or alien artifact called a Piece of Eden that would allow them to essentially brainwash people & rewrite history.  After this recap, the game picks up with the woman who’d been working undercover for the Assassins busting him out of confinement, only to take him to a safe house where they want him to do exactly the same thing he did in the first game but for slightly more altruistic purposes.  By reliving the memories of another ancestor, they hope his skills will “bleed over” into Desmond so he can become a true Assassin, & presumably stop the Templars.  Because brainwashing is bad.

From my somewhat cheeky summary, you may think I didn’t like Assassin’s Creed.  But in truth, I didn’t think it was bad.  It certainly had its flaws (boring combat, repetitive side missions, & Altair’s propensity for jumping in directions I wasn’t pointing my thumbstick), but it had its share of fun.  I love stealth games, & Assassin’s Creed really shined during the missions where you actually had to kill someone.  Plus, the free-running aspects were a blast, even when I was crashing into the ground because I misjudged the distance.

So far I’ve only played up until about half of the second memory fragment, & I’ve found more free-running (& falling) goodness.

I’ve noticed several improvements thus far.  For one, Ezio is a far more likeable protagonist than Altair.  Altair always struck me as a bit of an arrogant prat, thus why he ended up demoted at the start of the game.  Not to say I’m particularly fond of Ezio’s womanizing ways, but at least they’re setting him up for some character development that I might actually care about.  The combat also seems slightly improved.  In the first game, combat always consisted of standing around blocking until you could counter an incoming attack.  By the end of the game, I developed claw hands from holding both triggers down for hours.  But it seems like this time around actually attacking someone is a viable option.

At this point, I’m still in the tutorial stages of the game, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.  I’m hoping to get the bulk of the game done this coming week because starting the week after that I’ll be starting my internship on top of working full-time & going to grad school.  So my free time will be limited.

AC2_PC_5

– GamerDame

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