Rob B sums up the Assassin's Creed II experienceThe following reviews are from members of our community here at HEXUS.gaming and are therefore the opinions of the individual writers, not necessarily the views of the HEXUS team.
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Version reviewed: PS3
Reviewer: Rob B
On the surface AC II is a very good looking game, there is freedom to do whatever you'd like & plenty of side quests to complete however delve a little deeper & things don't look so rosy.
Firstly I have a big issue with the first few hours of the game, you run around doing very similar missions (kill so & so, go to point A, go to point B) with very little guidance. It drags on for far to long before suddenly giving you training on things you probably worked out yourself a long time ago (how to pickpocket, blending in etc)
By the time you've got under half way into the game you can be pretty much unstoppable if you've collected enough Florins to buy upgrades, after this point money ceases to be an issue & the game throws it at you far too quickly meaning you never need to worry about having enough to buy your latest Sword/armour/etc
This leads me onto the concept of your base of operations, the Villa. This is presented initially as a crumbly old Villa in need of repair, as you earn cash you build it up, upgrade it & can purchase paintings to increase it's value which in turn increase the amount of income it generates for you. Simple acts such as collecting feathers or buying upgrades for Ezio also increase its value. By a certain point early in the game you are earning more than you can possibly spend & the sense of achievement quickly dwindles.
The missions, although engaging at first soon become very repetitive. This isn’t to say they are bad, just that there is not enough variation on them basic themes of Assassinate/Go here/Collect items. Most of your time will be spent running from point A to point B to start the next mission, this can be frustrating when you end one mission in the company of an NPC then have to run halfway across the map to see the same person to start the next one. There are plenty of sides missions such as Races/Assassinations/Fights/Glyphs & Feathers (the latter two being the only ones to actually provide advancement to the story albeit non-essential) & you could spend hours completing all of these.
The AI isn’t the best I’ve seen. Some enemies spot you a mile away while others don’t always seem to care that you’ve just killed their comrades standing near to them. After a while they also become repetitive & easy to kill once you work out how to do it, I rarely used any other weapon apart from the hidden blades & secondary sword even with the more armoured varieties and escaping an alert is far to easy.
Running across rooftops & the free-running moves are fun & I didn’t get tired of those as the citys are pretty big & there is always something new to clamber over. The mechanics are ok if not great, sometimes a simple jump can end in you falling to the ground or your character seems to want to climb onto walls/ladders even if you didn’t ask him to but these are minor annoyances.
Overall it’s a good but not great game. The graphics and textures are well presented & the citys are beautifully crafted. The main story is engaging & does contain some half-decent plot lines however there is repetition in both this and the side missions which could annoy some people. The AI is flaky & provides no more of a challenge as the game progresses.
One to take your time with.