...I've been trained to make beats that would make a billy goat puke.


Grand Theft Auto - Florence

Usually I get so psyched about game sequels. Unlike movies, games have the unique opportunity of upgrading a franchise rather than ruining it. When a studio makes a sequel to a good movie, they run the chance of taking a closed and independent storyline and adding something unnecessary to it. When a studio makes a sequel to a game, they can review the original game, other games of the same genre, and create something new and innovative that makes fans of the original rejoice. Case in point, the Metal Gear franchise. Each new installation feels like a Metal Gear game, and adds so much to the story, the features, the controls, etc. without being apologetic and catering to industry expectations. Kojima and company ran with their vision and created a product so refined that, although it doesn't appeal to everyone, fans of the series are hard pressed to find a better game.
Several years ago, a game called Assassin's Creed was released. It's a stealth-action game that highlights a historically accurate (for videogames) conflict between the mystical Assassin (Hashasheen) clan and the Knight Templars in 1191. It received a decent reception, lacking greatness due to what some people would describe as flaws. Here is a list of the complaints that I saw the most of:
  1. Repetitiveness. People complained that elements of the game were repetitive, such as side-missions and assassinations. I never thought of these as repetitive, because you could approach these things from different angles, and they furthered a very interesting plot.
  2. No upgrades. People complained that throughout the game, the player could never upgrade his skills or weapons. This complaint was the most confusing to me, because you do upgrade your skills and weapons after every assassination. I really don't know where anyone got this impression of never upgrading.
  3. Horrible interaction in "Desmond Mode." People complained a lot about the gameplay when the character takes control of Desmond Miles, a descendant of the assassin that you control for the rest of the game. When I played, it was one of my favorite parts of the game, incorporating oldschool point-and-click adventure gameplay that allows the player to immerse themselves even further into the game's storyline.
Now, I'm guessing that Ubisoft decided to address these points in the new installment of the series, Assassin's Creed 2. It's a normal reaction to criticism, but here's where I COME IN.
The problem I'm having with this new game isn't that it's a bad game. It looks fun, it looks good, the design is great, the new features are well rounded, but to me, it doesn't feel like a spiritual successor to the original game. In Assassin's Creed 2, you play as Ezio, a jerkass rich douchebag kid who ruins Terracotta while gallivanting around town with his douchebag rich friends getting in fights. In the story, Ezio's dad gets imprisoned by mysterious forces, giving Ezio the opportunity to steal his dad's shit and pretend to be awesome. I've watched about 200 hours of gameplay, and I haven't seen any other aspects of the story, so I'm not sure what the rest of the game is about.
I have, however, seen plenty of cooool new features! There's the ability to dye your clothes, buy different weapons, steal money from dead people, upgrade your pad, beat up cheating husbands, hire whores, outrun the fuzz by first evading their line-of-sight and then maneuvering your way out of a circular area displayed on your map- wait.
I think the guys at Ubisoft got mixed up halfway through the game and thought they were supposed to make the next GTA.

Oh well. I still have high hopes for Assassin's Creed 3!

PS: Here are a few other bones that I had fresh for picking.
  • Assassin's Creed: Freerunning abilities cheapened by the guard's abilities to do the same. Assassin's Creed 2: Freerunning abilities have absolutely nothing to do with being an assassin, totally ruined by having the ability solely because you're a rich kid with no respect for other people's property.
  • Lucy Stillman, perfect portrayal of the "cute girl at work/slutty idiot at home" paradox that I've always despised:
  • Assassin's Creed 1 side missions, relevant to story, apparently too repetitive. Assassin's Creed 2 side missions, totally irrelevant, can't continue game until completed, about five billion of them to do, apparently JUST RIGHT.


  1. Anonymous26.11.10

    your an idiot, this is the worst review ever.

  2. 1) *You're
    2) Good job being about a year late.
    3) This isn't a review so much as it is a rant about homogenization that's been occurring in the mainstream gaming community.
    4) U mad?