Assassin's Creed 2 Review

We present the full, edited together Review of Assassin's Creed 2. At the end is a final score. Click to read the whole article. 

The Look - Score: 10

When you think of Assassin's Creed, perhaps the Look isn't the first thing you think of. Sure, they all look pretty but I, personally, always think of the awesome gameplay of the games. And the fact I waited so long to start playing them. But, in fact, looking at Rogue and Unity (coming out later this year) they are stunning. They're beautiful and somehow even this game, released now a while ago still holds up when I play it now, in 2014. Saying that, it can't compete with a game like Skyrim (I use that simply because we have that review for you to look at) because the game is predominantly set in a city or town environment. Obviously I can't mark the game down for this, that would be stupid, but it gives a different outlook for the player, and actually makes this review a lot harder to write!

Looking at the above screenshot, although it looks nice, everything looks a little flat. To be honest, I'm not sure what to do here. Obviously I'm writing this review years after the game was first released, so I can't really review it properly anyway from a graphics perspective, so I'm going to have to review it as though I was back in 2009 at this moment.

I hadn't actually realised how old this game was. Looking at it you would imagine it could have come out in 2011 or 2012, but 2009? Wow, this game looks amazing for that! Looking at the intricacies of the scenery in the Towns that you visit, from the conviently places ledges and strangely jutting out pieces of wood, the purpose of which nobody in the game world knows, to the boats, the landing stages on the rivers and the landscapes (where there are landscapes). 


In Skyrim I complained about the trees looking rubbish, here they look anything but that - the trees are worthy of today! (They must be very pleased!)

The Gameplay - Score: 9

If it was hard to review the Look of Assassin's Creed 2, this is so much easier. When you think Assassin's Creed you think combat, running around on rooftops and (surprise, surprise) assassinating people. So, lets begin with the combat. As you start the game, you begin simply with your fists, no sword, no spikey things that come out of your sleeves - you're not even an Assassin at the beginning of the game! This means you're dropped in slow. Which I liked, simply because I had never played an AC game before, so I had to get used to the combat - and lets face it, it's a completely different style to most games: certainly any others that I've played before. Being dropped in like this means its all the more satisfying when you first get the sword, and when you visit Leonardo Da Vinci and he constructs the spikey things (seriously, do they have a proper name?!?). Your first kill with them is so smooth and easy - its actually slightly scary. Obviously as you progress in the game, your weapons get more advanced, and new ways to kill emerge. Something else I feel is great, is that you are actually taught how to do things like that. Most games just tell you the control pattern and assume that you can carry it out well. But in AC you are made to show that you can do it, not that you could....possibly.

At the beginning of the game getting around is a blast, but as things move along it gets annoying having to get around these huge cities, especially when you're more limited about going up on the roof-tops and if, like me, you try to avoid unnecessary kills (I soon completely "forgot" about that though...). I also find that being forced to find groups to travel around with, so you didn't get spotted by the guards, not only pointless, but extremely tedious and something which I tried to avoid doing by having 0 notoriety in each Town or City. I find this is good practise, and means you have no nasty surprises if you have to re-visit somewhere.

Quest's or Memories as they are known in AC 2 are something that are constant. You always have something to be getting on with. Whether this be Assassinating someone, or simply finding some more codex pages or the Assassin's seals for Altair's armor: these are always good fun, and normally present a fun challenge to work out - that isn't too hard, but still makes you think and keeps you alert.

The Features - Score: 7

I really really love the music in Assassin's Creed 2. Not so much that I look it up and listen to the OST on YouTube, but enough to appreciate it when I hear it in the game. There always seems to be music as well, and (like some games) I haven't got bored of it whilst doing stuff. In some games I find that there is so much to do that music is repeated so often that you hear it over, and over and over again with little change, but here there is enough (or it has been arranged) so that you keep hearing "new" music. The trigger's for different types of music are great as well, and really fit well with the situation.

I can't talk too much about what the UI is like in the game from a PC point of view, because I don't use PC controls when I play it; I use my Xbox PC Controller simply because it's easier to do everything. In most games I would never do this, but this (and Dark Souls) are my exceptions. But, from what I've seen they wouldn't be too bad to play with a mouse - it may get a little annoying after a while, but I can see that eventually the player would get used to it.


The AI in AC2 seems to be OK. It's neither the best ever (you don't find people going round, doing their own thing), nor the worst. You get the feeling that the NPC's daily lives are very scripted. This isn't helped by the fact the developers were forced to make sure there were enough groups of people walking around, so that you could easily walk between them without getting caught by guards. As I have mentions before, I don't like that part of the game at all.

I also think I should mention that I have found that after cut-scenes if I wasn't in the exact place where the cut-scene was before it started, I would be moved there afterwards. I don't know if this is good or bad. On one hand it means that at least the cut-scene doesn't show you in a place you're not, then keep you there - but ideally it would move the character in the cut-scene to where you stopped before.

Was It Fun? - Score: 10

I'm racking my brain trying to think of something that wasn't fun in Assassin's Creed 2 (we won't get started on the moving around with a group of people thing again!) Honestly what would you not find fun about running around over rooftops, assassinating people and a rich and generous storyline that continues to get better and better? If you've played the recent AC games (Black Flag for example) but haven't tried the earlier entries in the series, then I urge you to pick up a copy on Steam or for your console ASAP, it really is worth the money: however much you spend.

If you want a game that lets you run free, do (pretty much) whatever you want, kill whoever you want with some awesome weapons then this is perfect for you. Don't want to play as an Assassin? Then watch out for AC: Rogue coming November 11th, that should be really good fun - you get to play as a Templar!

I always found that the problem with Assassin's Creed games was that, for a long time (for me at least) they sounded like Call Of Duty. Not in the sense that they were FPS games, but that they were released every year (sometimes more than one in a year) and they were one of the only game series' that showed adverts on UK TV. As did CoD. Maybe that was just me being stupid, but to a younger me they seemed like similar experiences. What changed my mind? There was an advert a few years ago with an Assassin (don't ask me which one it was, I couldn't tell you) and it showed the story progressing really nicely, it was all going great. Then there was an Assassination. That was awesome. That changed my mind. Suddenly I wanted to pick up a copy. Of course, it wouldn't be until summer this year that I did, but still; the power of advertising strikes again.


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