I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now, for it has become one of my favorite games. Today I’ll be writing a riveting Assassin’s Creed II review!
This was the first Assassin’s Creed game that got me hooked with the series. I played the PS4 remaster, which is always nice, and that started me down the path of playing each Assassin’s Creed game. I’ve yet to play some of them, for which I’m not gonna write a review until I’ve played it. So chances are if I’ve written a review for it, I have played it.
Now let me tell you about a game called Assassin’s Creed II.
“Always follow The Creed.”
The game was first released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November 2009, and was later made available on Microsoft Windows in March 2010 and OS X in October 2010. The remastered version of the game was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 15, 2016 (the one I played!)
Gameplay is open world sandbox and is from a third-person perspective. The player can control the camera, allowing for 360° views of their surroundings. The game allows the player to freely roam within several locations of late fifteenth century Italy such as Venice, Florence, Monteriggioni, Forlì, San Gimignano, Rome (The Vatican only) and the Tuscan countryside.
Assassination is the name of the game.
In terms of fighting, the game features a sort of locked in type of combat, where you are in combat mode until you run away from the area. Standard stuff. You can also block, counter, and grab enemies, and perform different types of executions. A lot of varieties in weapons and armor as well.
You can also run away from enemies through parkour, which is really awesome. Climb up walls, jump for beam to beam, cross ropes, cross archs, swing! You can even hide from designated hiding spots to avoid enemies!
But it isn’t called Assassin’s Creed without some assassinations, right?
The assassinations were great, and can be done differently, depending on your position. You can assassinate from above, assassinate while sitting down, assassinate from behind, assassinate from a hiding place, it’s endless!
The game also has a database wherein it describes the different people and landmarks you encounter, as well as certain puzzles that you can solve to dive deeper into the centuries-old war between the Assassins and the Templars. Really great stuff.
The Leap Of Faith, the Assassins’ trademark jump, is ever so present in this game as well.
And Eagle Vision, another of the Assassins’ trademark abilities, is available for Ezio. Use it to see through walls, see through smoke, determine who is friend or foe, and many more!
Plot, plot, plot
The plot is set in a fictional history setting and continues the centuries-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace with free will, and the Knights Templars, who desire order through control.
The modern day story, set in the 21st century, follows Desmond Miles as he relives the genetic memories of his ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze (the greatest and sexiest assassin ever) by accessing it through the Animus. You’re basically playing a game, within another game.
The main narrative takes place at the height of the Renaissance in Italy during the 15th and early 16th century. Players can explore Florence, Venice, Tuscany and Forlì as they guide Ezio on a quest for vengeance against those responsible for betraying his family.
The primary focus of the game is to utilize your combat and stealth abilities, as Desmond begins to uncover the mysteries left behind by an ancient race known as the First Civilization (Isu) in hopes of ending the conflict between the Assassins and Templars.
But we all know that didn’t happen.
Oh Wonderful 15th Century Italia!
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the game takes place in 15th century Italy, at the peak of the Renaissance. You will be able to explore 5 different locales, pictured below:
You will also see famous landmarks that are accurately designed like their real world counterpart, including their historical significance. Some of the landmarks you can see are the St Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, the Little Canal, the Rialto Bridge, Santa Maria del Fiore, the Sistine Chapel, Santa Croce, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, and Santa Maria Novella.
I would like to visit these places one day and compare them to how the game rendered them. I would probably feel like an Assassin.
Besides the locations, you will also encounter the different notable personalities of the time period, such as Leonardo da Vinci, and Niccolo Machiavelli. Even though the story is mostly fictional, several references are made to what these characters did in reality, such as Leonardo’s inventions and paintings.
The main antagonist is Rodrigo Borgia (another fellow who existed in reality), a large man who will stop at nothing to make sure the Templars’ plan of world order is fulfilled. There’s a lot of twists in this game that will allude to real life. You’ll be shocked, legitimately. Really nice storytelling.
The protagonist of the 15th century story is Ezio Auditore da Firenze, which roughly translates to “Ezio Auditore from Florence”, or “Ezio, Listener from Florence”. What a sexy name.
Unlike most of the Assassins featured in the series, Ezio was not born into the order. Instead, he was born into a wealthy family. Ezio was a handsome devil, and a womanizer. He was living the good, rich life. Until something happened that would change his life forever.
Long story short (I don’t want to be a spoiler even though this game is 11 years old), Ezio’s father was an Assassin, and his friend, who was a Templar, betrayed them, and had Ezio’s father and younger brother executed by hanging. Harsh.
This sets Ezio on a path of what was supposed to be revenge for his family, to something even deeper. His story is one of the best protagonist stories ever told, from being someone who who was carefree and living the good life, to a man hell bent on revenge, to a wise, old soul that becomes a legend. And he’s still sexy while doing it.
Ezio is widely regarded as one of the most efficient Assassins to have ever lived. When comparing him to other protagonists, most fans would choose Ezio. Whether it be skill or looks. That’s because during the course of the story, players will really have to learn the ways of the Assassin, from the fighting, to the wall climbing, and to the assassinating. This is what made Ezio so relatable with players.
No wonder he is considered the face of the Assasin’s Creed franchise.
“Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.”
There’s a reason why this game is considered one of the best video games ever made. The only minor downside though, at least for me, is the controls, although this is somewhat easier to manage as you practice with it.
All in all the game is so much fun. It’s probably the longer Assassin’s Creed game out there, if we’re judging story-wise only. Really fun to play, there’s so much to do, so much to see, so much to climb, so much to kill, so much to steal, so much to buy, so much to collect, so much to– you get the picture.
Graphics are decent for its time, the remaster’s pretty good as well, gameplay is superb, the assassinations are always a treat to watch. Weapons are plenty in this game, there’s a lot of varieties of swords, daggers, and tools to help you with your assassinations.
Ezio’s story continues with two more games, and I’ll be reviewing them soon!
Fancy some assassinating?
Buy this game through G2A! They’re legit, trust me. 😉
Or get them on Amazon!
What did you think of this game? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this post! Thank you for reading!