Home > Gaming > Assassin’s Creed 2: Ending Impressions (Minor Spoilers)

Assassin’s Creed 2: Ending Impressions (Minor Spoilers)


So if AC2 has two wrist blades...will AC3 have one coming out..nevermind.

Buongiorno everyone.  We’ve come to the end of another venture into Desmond’s DNA memory and boy what a ride.  Overall the game was an enjoyable experience, but it comes along with a lot of the issues that the first one held. 

Story:  The game picks up right where the first one left off which was a heck of a cliffhanger in the original.  We’re quickly thrown into action as Desmond must escape the Templar facility and seek shelter with fellow Assassins.  There we find that they have their own animus and throw Desmond right into the past again.  Here is where the plot takes it’s course a bit differently.  The original game seemed a lot more focused on the mystery of the facility and how Altair came to be important and what everyone was after.  You would jump back and forth from the future to the past as more and more details unfolded.  In AC2 you very very rarely come out of the animus.  This leads to the plot revolving entirely around our new hero Ezio as he seeks vengeance against some people who conspired against his family.  The entire game plays out around this and the mysteries of the first game rarely come up until the end.  Actually if you don’t spend your time looking for the hidden glyphs or codices you can actually go through 95% of the game without the plot having anything to do with the mysteries of the first game.  This is actually a problem I had with the overall story.  I try to keep my thoughts as spoiler free as possible, so this may be hard to word.  The game takes a drastic turn in plot near the end of the game and the focus turns from the main plot to one revolving entirely around the mysteries that the people in the future are trying to figure out.  Even Ezio has no idea what’s going on at certain points.  I see how Ubisoft was trying to pull a “A-ha. The plot was actually this the whole time!” in an attempt to be clever, but when you never focus on the “mystery” plot in the game it just falls flat.  I felt more cheated, as in I felt the plot up till now was all pointless and had no meaning.  This reduces a lot of meaning to the game when a vast majority of the story was robbed of its meaning.  The game itself has another huge cliffhanger ending that I believe Desmond himself put best as the screen goes black and he hollers “What…The…Fuck!”  As the credits roll.  Luckily the game keeps going through there and you continue playing through the credits, but I just wanna say that it was incredibly annoying to try and play a game as fountains of words come pouring across the screen.  Seriously Ubisoft.  Just let us finish the game and then watch the credits.

Gameplay: If you played Assassin’s Creed then you won’t be too shocked by the gameplay.  You have more of the same free-running, climbing, wrist-blade stabbity action.  It follows the open-world formula of mini-events like races, assassination contracts, and things of that ilk.  Additional elements this time around include a lot of weapons to choose from and the addition of a second wrist blade.  They took the really fluid combat that I loved from the first game and transferred it over well.  You can also now recruit certain groups of NPC’s to follow you and provide distractions by sending them to guards to seduce(courtesans) or fight(mercenaries).  It’s also much easier to escape from being chased now with the ability to hide in any crowd and the ability to use smoke bombs later in the game.  All these additions to combat are really interesting, but I rarely found need to use any of it.  I’d say 98% of the situations were solvable by walking up and dual-wrist blade assassinating two guards and usually a third that had a delayed reaction and just fighting the rest.  Rarely did I even feel a need to draw a sword and instead just countered and parried with the wrist blade weapons.  Overall if there’s one big change to the gameplay I would say it’s that the game is much much easier.  To be honest, the game difficulty lied with Ezio himself who would sometimes decide to jump off in random directions or off ledges because sprint/jump work as the same button and if you don’t release it at the right moment you’ll send Ezio off into the wild blue yonder.  The greatest nemesis in the game though was this guy…

The Greatest Enemy In the Game

 Sorry about the quality of the image, but he can’t be found in screenshots even though this little pest is EVERYWHERE!  The problem comes with these crate-carrying NPCs just being all over the place and in some missions are clearly purposefully spawned directly in your path in bunches.  Why is this an issue? Well if you so much as come within two feet of them you have “bumped into them” which will make them drop their crate at which point every guard in a 100 yard radius will be alerted and on your ass.  You may think you can avoid them, but they take the most random walking paths sometimes and are just out to get you like some kind of UPS homing missile.  Get it? UPS…carry boxes…SHUT UP!

Music: Not much to say about the music aside from the fact that it often times felt more at home in a documentary about UFO encounters than the Renaissance.  The music was just cheesily spooky/mysterious sometimes.  Overall nice, but forgettable.

Characters:  Ezio is a much stronger character than Altair was I feel.  He has a lot more personality and charisma, and the same holds true for the majority of NPC’s that you meet in the game.  None of them are real deep in substance, but enjoyable at the end.

 Final Thought: If you liked the first one, you’ll like this one.  If you haven’t played the first one I don’t recommend getting this because the end result of the game is entirely driven by the first.  Overall the game felt more like work to get to the actual story that was hidden from you through the majority of the game.  At least it was fun work and there’s just something about dual-wrist blade stabby stabs that is fun.

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  1. Michael Bonner
    December 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Good review in general. I agree with most of the things, especially the stupid box carriers…. They are never there until you don’t want them to be. The only thing I did not agree with is that Ezio was a better character than Altiär. I think that Ezio had a stronger personality, but Altiär’s character and personality played better for an assassin. He was more quiet, reserved, more observant, and could probably kick Ezios ass in a fight. Overall awesome game though! Entertaning review! Thanx master zombie

  2. Coldy
    February 13, 2010 at 4:10 am

    I have to say, I agree and was looking in this review for the fact that this game has been made 100x easier than the first. Seriously, AC1 was one of the most challening and hair-ripping experiences near the end of the game I ever experienced. Especially since I had rented it and was trying to beat it on a deadline. Man was that game insanely difficult at the fights in the last few chapters, it was back to the old NES days of difficulty, but this also made it so much more rewarding when I finally beat it. Holy crap it was just *barely* that I survived. And then in this game, there was absolutely no challenge, not a single boss, nothing which u couldnt just pound the crap out of with sword, knife, or blades until their health dropped down. Even the end boss battle(s) I just had 20 throwing knives on me, and when I couldnt seem to damage him by attacking, countering, or grabbing, I just threw about 10 knives into him real fast and he was down. hah.

    Seriously, the end sequences of Assassins Creed 1, you had to go through rigorous battles with dozens of super-hard soldiers, all using meelee sword combat, and it was soooo damn intense. I dont recall having all this health as you got in this game either, you health was very limited in that. Here you have 20x 10 bars since you can heal yourself over and over with your medicine pouch. Essentially Ubisoft listened to all the crying whiners from the difficulty of the first game, and created another very simple game which you almost cannot die or fail in. The only challenge was some of the chase sequences where you really had to be on your game and know your controller, to keep after the suspects you were chasing before they got too far ahead and you desynched. There were even too few sequences of that I feel, most were optional, not part of the main story.
    One thing I did enjoy is the tomb hunting, especially the large church interiors you had to scale to the rooftops usually. Very good use of the free climbing of the game. Now my only hope is in the 3rd game they make it a bit more challenging again, since I dont recall seeing a difficulty setting at the start of the game, its only got ONE difficulty level. It has to be a bit more challenging than this was, at a level somewhere between the 1st and 2nd game’s. Also, I dearly and truly hope in the 3rd game, at least a good portion of it will take place in the future world, after Desmond finally discovers whats left of the secrets in the Animus, to wake up and finally go after Abstergo in the present world. Yes, Im talking about free running and climbing around in the future New York city the game takes place in. Oh, I can only hope and wish. 50% change they wont do it though. And it will probably take place again in the past, with a short ending sequence in the present, and then I will *sigh* :/

  3. Coldy
    February 13, 2010 at 4:18 am

    “Essentially Ubisoft listened to all the crying whiners from the difficulty of the first game, and created another very simple game which you almost cannot die or fail in”

    Sorry I feel I need to explain this. What I meant was simply that most games today on console are so easy, its basically like doing a run-through where you cannot die. The only reason for playng games lately seems to be to uncover the story as you go, and not to actually have a challenging experience as was custom in the past. And when it comes to games which have very poor stories (many), then what are you really left with? A mindless playthrough experience, which you could have youtube’d instead. The latest Prince of Persia comes to mind, as well as Bionic Commando. Almost no challenge involved, just playing through it like a video, to get the story. Im hoping games make a return to difficulty sometime soon, back to the Nintendo days I say! some games on there was so difficult, they seemed almost impossible to beat. How bout the first Batman game, anyone? Anyone actually managed to beat that thing? It was insane! Even after ridiculous hours spent, I only got to the Joker once, and could never kill him ;O

    • February 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      I’d say that games have kind of taken a split. Most mainstream games tend to favor making sure that people are able to beat them without problem, but there are a number of games each year that seem to purely exist to torment us with their difficulty. The most recent ones as of late are Demon’s Souls (PS3), Ninja Gaiden II (XBox360, PS3), and actually Onechanbara (360, Wii). Onechanbara actually had a fantastic moment of ludicrous difficulty. I spent a good 3-4 hours and two separate sessions working on beating one of the bosses. I finally managed to defeat her, and then she went to phase two where she split into 8 clones that all attack you at the same time and you can only hurt the real one who you can only tell is real because now and then she laughs. That was just cruel.

      • Coldy
        February 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm

        I owned Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2 on xbox, got farther in 1 than 2, i will admit, they are purposefully too difficult, harder than almost all NES games I played back then. Or maybe its that Im older now and cant keep up with the reaction time like I could back then. NG2 is a bit easier than NG1 though, I never made it past mission 4 or 5 in NG1, but just the fact you have to do the whole level over when you die, sigh. I do approve of difficult games, as long as they have at least a few checkpoints during a long mission. NG gives you 1 checkpoint I think mid-way. Also FPS games tend to be easier, its these 3rd person action games (I guess thats what Demon Souls and NG is?), but those are the ones which can be crazy difficult. Although Far Cry 1 was reallly insane even on medium mode, I remember trying to kill the mutant boss guy for at least 1 hour straight. Then I played the game once on Hard, oh man, just finishing each level was a miracle. And I had to cheat by the boss mutant, he was simply impossible :/
        Still one of the best FPS games Ive played! Much better than Crysis

      • February 14, 2010 at 2:58 am

        If you want a really good and challenging FPS game I would suggest Serious Sam. They just re-made it in HD and it’s still as fantastic as ever. There really isn’t much plot and instead they favor outlandish enemies and tons and tons of guys on screen at a time. It’s a riot to play and it’s definitely worth looking into.

      • Coldy
        February 14, 2010 at 5:45 am

        Good call, I played it actually, with 4 player coop. It was very difficult indeed, we died a lot and kept respawning over and over, we should not have chosen hard mode.

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