Mia Bella Firenze
Assassin’s Creed.. Where do I begin, as a veteran of the series and an obsessive completionist, I’ve seen most everything good, bad and just plain weird that the series has to offer, now! This review is for Assassin’s Creed II, the game that perfected the formula of the series and stood alongside games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Batman Arkham Asylum and Bayonetta as contenders for GOTY.
The game starts out with a cinematic showing what happened in the last game, as soon as gameplay starts, you notice an immediate change in graphics quality. The cinematic uses video and stills from the previous game and whether intentional or not, it hammers in the massive advance that the last two years have allowed. As soon as you get hold of Desmond, you can feel the change in sensitivity and smoothness the new animation and controls bring. Combat feels better too, unarmed attacks now feel like they should, and the inclusion of blocking with your fists is a godsend. After a brief (and not unsatisfying) escape from Abstergo, an intro to your new team and a few conversations and a look at the new Animus. We are catapulted back in time to relive the memories of a 15th century Florentine nobleman, Ezio Auditore Da Firenze. The game throws you right into the thick of things with a brilliant introduction to the new (and unrestricted, yes, you Desmond!) combat, the new parkour system and the stunning beauty of an Italian city in the thick of the Renaissance era. It’s now that you realise that this isn’t just a world to run around in. It’s a world to EXPLORE. Everything from houses and stands, to churches and landmarks just beg to be climbed. After more dialogue and a few ‘go here, get this, come back’ quests. We finally don the robes of the Assassin. Heavily modified to suit the tone and style of the game. And we finally get a sword! As soon as the game puts steel in your hand, everything changes. The fantastic fist-fighting from earlier pales in comparison to the elegant brutality of the weapon based combat. All the skills from the last game are back, and the counter kills are more bloody and brilliant than ever. Slicing and dicing guards like giant Christmas turkeys.
Obvious as it is, I’m a massive fan of the series. The gameplay and story of this game have won it a place on my shelf, and even in my heart, for years to come.
The GOTY edition as available for about £10 now, so if you haven’t played it. Do. You’re missing out.
Nothing is true.. Everything is permitted..