Assassin’s Creed 2 Review

New century, same creed. Our take on the PS3 version of Ubisoft Montreal’s ornate Renaissance action epic.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, November 17, 2009

One of the secret "Batman-like" linear bits Lambert told us about.

One of the secret "Batman-like" linear bits Lambert told us about.

Despite its tepid entertainment value, swordplay remains a crucial stress-release valve whenever the roof-hopping and mob-infiltration grow stale. The all-conquering counter-kill has been de-fanged, with armored or more agile foes able to block it or retaliate in kind, and there’s an eyewatering new selection of scripted finishing moves, throws and disarms. Fighting is still a grind, though, when you’re surrounded by multiple specimens of one enemy type, and the grander battles that attend on the presence of ready-for-hire mercenaries and thieves are a confusing mash-fest, the AI getting its wires somewhat crossed in the press of bodies.

The option to buy new weapons and armor lends spice to the proceedings, but the effects are rarely more than visual and statistical: a mace handles much like a sword, and a stiletto much like a run-of-the-mill dagger. Similar things might be said of the in-game economy at large, which centres on an upgradeable villa and township Ezio takes possession of after his family’s escape from Florence.

Pimp my ride.

Pimp my ride.

Oil paintings of your victims deck the villa’s halls, together with any passable facsimiles of real-life artworks you might have purchased in your travels. The town is chock-a-block with dilapidated businesses like brothels and blacksmiths, revived with a cash injection or two, and you can lease properties to swell the population.

It’s a good laugh for half an hour, redolent of the lightweight sim-management games which find a ready following on Facebook, but almost completely peripheral, and no competition in any case for the personality-crammed house-keeping antics of Fable II. It’s hard not to wish the developer had given the requisite time and energy over to greater mission depth and variety: this is, or should be, a game about assassination, not treating the local bank to a new coat of paint.

However tighter its act, however convincingly it integrates player-imposed logic with a pulsing, subversively organic 15th century milieu, Assassin’s Creed 2 feels a little vacant. The second game in the series is palpably its best, but it trades too heavily on prior successes and introduces comparatively little of actual worth. Despite the poise and purposefulness of the core mechanics, it’s an experiment, tending very noticeably towards a sequel – a sequel in which Ubisoft Montreal can once again sweep out the dross, hone the worthwhile bits and, just perhaps, finally deliver the utterly remarkable experience we were promised back in 2007.

8 out of 10

7 Responses to “Assassin’s Creed 2 Review”

  1. GotChewZ says:

    Man, I thought Gametrailers review was the worst, but at least they gave it a fair score. In this case, the reviewer should be fired and I am glad, I actually never visit this no-name-website.

    “The second game in the series is palpably its best, but it trades too heavily on prior successes and introduces comparatively little of actual worth.” – Ah, WHAT? Excuse me Mister, but I sure hope you’ve played a few games in your life, because otherwise, it sound to me like you have no idea, what you are talking about gaming-wise.

    Man, shame on me, to waste my time even posting on this site. Never again.

  2. Rade Jaymond says:

    No-name website? That’s funny I’m pretty sure it says Video Games Daily up there!?

    Edge magazine gave it 8 as well.

    It’s not the end of the world.

  3. I don’t understand the commenters. I have Turkish Online Computer Magazine Website ( and I see some of these types of people there… If you are not agree with the reviewer, you can say it in “human-style”. We are all humans, homo sapiens, what wrong with you?

    • ezio auditore says:

      figures. if its not ninja gaiden or some other gook game its not good enough for these fagtards. this game kicks ass, its waaaay better than the original. an 8 isnt good enough goddamn it!

  4. ys says:

    Nothing wrong with the review. I also get that feeling actually with a few newer games. For some reason they can feel vacant despite the fact that the world looks detailed.

  5. I admit, I have not came to this website in a very long time. nevertheless it absolutely was yet another joy to see your fantastic content.


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