I'm normally a hardcore fan of shooters, but Assassin's Creed 2 intrigued me. I picked it up curious and came away thrilled.
First off the story relies too much on the "carrot on the stick" ploy, but the voice acting and complete backstory helps pick up the slack. The gameplay is the real meat of the game; the free running is smooth, incredibly lifelike, and incredibly satisfying as you jump across the sloping rooftops of Venice. The combat is, unfortunately, a little on the soft side. The enemies are moronic but agressive enough for you to actually pay attention, and gives you plenty of oppurtunity to experiment with the plethora of moves, weapons, and gear that you unlock throughout the course of the game. The economic system in the form of the villa is a nice touch as well, and the side missions, while lacking variety, are nonetheless entertaining. The presentation is phenomenal; while texture popping is a problem, being able to scale Renaissance era cathedrals, weave through lifelike Venice and Florence, and meet historical figures like Niccolo Machiavelli and Rodrigo Borgia (i.e. Pope Alexander VI) never gets old.
Anyone who's looking for something original in gaming should definitely look into Assassins Creed 2. It has its problems, but at the end of the day, its attention to detail and unique brand of gameplay are what will keep you engrossed in the game. Nothing is true, everything is permitted. :)
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