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Assassin’s Creed II Initial Impressions

January 5, 2010

Now that I’ve finally gotten round to starting Assassin’s Creed II I have some impressions of the first hour and a half or so. Personally, I enjoyed the original game, well most of it. It had many apparant flaws and there were some majorly bad design choices but the groundwork was solid and it managed to be enjoyable for the most part. Despite only playing the sequel for an hour and a half so far, I already know that it has been much improved.

Everything has been improved and tightened to make it more consistently enjoyable. The mechanics all feel a lot more solid, even the polished platforming of the original has been improved by being even more fluid than before. Hand to hand combat has been completely overhauled and is now actually useful. Punches can be chained now, similar to the sword attacks and you are able to grapple opponents. Upon grappling you can use various other attacks which keeps the fist fights fun and fluid. Sword fighting is tighter now. I haven’t been able to use it much but counters and blocks seem a lot smoother. In fact, the whole combat system is a lot smoother.

The gameplay isn’t the only thing that has improved to a much higher standard. The plot is already very interesting and the narrative is better. Ubisoft deserve a lot of praise for this because the story and storytelling were superb before and were some of the highlights in the first Assassin’s Creed. It starts pretty much directly after the first game. This leads to more out-of-animus gameplay than the entire of the first game combined. Desmond now possesses the ability to run (Shocking, eh?) and is more than capable of kicking a bit of ass. This is one of the narrative aspects that have been improved to make the story flow better.

If you liked the first Assassin’s Creed then I’m positive you’ll love this. All of the best things from the original return but they have been improved and are accompanyed by more. However, even if you disliked the original then I still suggest taking a look because the chances are that Ubisoft have fixed all of your issues. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to play some more.

Note: I’m currently using my iPod Touch to write this so please excuse any issues there may be with the post.

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