It occasionally does something stupid when free-running, almost like a panicked human might do, so it can be forgiven. For the most part itís a step up from Assassinís Creed and provides a suitable challenge in terms of combat and stealth, the guards are observant and they react to changes in their environment. Dead bodies can be used to draw their attention to a specific spot and trick them. In combat though, the various archetypes force you to adapt your strategy on the fly and they will use a variety of moves against you, team tactics and basically push you hard. Brutes will smash your defences and some of the other archetypes will use special moves such as vicious counters and their own and brutal combos. The city folk also have their own AI and may well call guards to their aid if they feel threatened by Ezioís actions.Sound
The clash of steel, the thud of feet on the wood or the crack of boots on tiles are all realised in this game, along with the sounds of city life, the wilderness and so on. Basically, the sound design provides a superb counterpoint to the graphical design and complements it perfectly. Itís flawless and the use of key notes to denote specific special objects such as hidden treasure chests and feathers for instance, even objectives.Music
Jesper Kyd returns to the helm for the soundtrack and yes, itís gorgeous. Jesper is a veteran game music composer and from his work on Hitman as well, it shows. He has composed a flowing and epic soundtrack that brings the world to life and counterpoints Ezioís story as it progresses.Voice and Dialogue
Turn the subtitles on if you want a lesson in Italian swear words and phrases. The voice work is exemplary with Nolan (Drake) North returning as Desmond Myles and other actors doing an excellent job with the very well written dialogue, the complete package is great and there are some highly humorous moments between the characters. My firm favourite is the portrayal of Leonardo himself, great work.Multiplayer
None, if youíre looking for some...I am afraid youíre all out of luck. AC2 is a delightful single player experience.Stabbity!
Ubisoft created a game that grabbed our attention the first time around, it was flawed but it was the platform that allowed them to build the game that it was meant to be. Assassinís Creed 2 is the game that deserves to be called sequel, it adds so much into the core gameplay, wraps it all in a tight control system and delivers a massive injection of fun to boot. Itís a huge game and whilst you can rush through the core story in a few days, you wonít get the best out of the game if you donít unlock all of the secrets Ė there are many rewards hidden in Assassinís Creed 2 and treasure/loot hunters will want to find them all.
Itís not without a few bugs, texture wise and a few issues here and there but for the most part, Assassinís Creed 2 stands as one of the best adventure driven swashbuckling epics Iíve had the pleasure to play on any platform, next to Uncharted 2. A flawless combat system combines with superb free running to deliver an epic story that twists and turns like a snake, dramatic, unexpected and most of all fun. Ezio might not be Altair but this new hero to don the eagle-hood, is perhaps more likeable and definitely more skilled.
Now I am definitely excited to see what they can do with the next game. Also, if youíre looking for a free-roaming GTA-style Batman game Eidos, hereís a hint, get Ubisoft to make it! Batman would be awesome with Altair/Ezioís free-running and this engine.
This is my Game of the Year, without a shadow of a doubt. Sorry Uncharted 2, but as much as I love you...Creed 2 has a massive dose of longevity in single player.