Assassins creed series was pretty swell some years back, not that its bad now, but still it was really really good for its first few games and assassin’s creed 2 is probably best game in this celebrated series. Long before it became the annual rehashed game series on the lines of Call of Duty, when developers actually were given a decent window to develop a game, they came up with Assassins Creed 2. In 2007 when Assassins Creed was launched as a fresh new IP, immediate parallels with Prince of Persia were drawn which was true to a certain extent but Assassins Creed still managed to bring that freshness in a gaming sphere dominated by FPS shooters and strategy games. In this cool new IP, gamers finally got a stealth based open world which actually had some decent stealth mechanisms but at the same time gave you the freedom to attack head on if you wanted to. It didn’t punished you from doing things differently which was something really missing from most of the games in this genre.
Assassins Creed did pretty well for Ubisoft to invest in a sequel which resulted in 2009’s mesmerising Assassins Creed, a game which made this series what it is today. It introduced us to one of the most iconic video game heroes in Ezio Auditore Da Firenze better known as just Ezio. He instantly became a cult hero as most gamers found him much more charming and better personified than Assassins Creed 1’s Altair who was pretty decent too. Assassins creed 2 is the story of his origin, his parent’s betrayal from those they trusted, his discovering him being an Assassin, learning the ways of an Assassin and finally extracting revenge from those who wronged his family. In process he ends up being hailed as one of the greatest assassins of all time as is mentioned in almost all of the next games.
After seeing the murder of his father and 2 brothers due to the false testimony of their close family friends, Ezio sets out on finding the truth which leads him through the various cities of Italy wherein he encounters various interesting characters who help him in his journey from a teenage boy to one of the greatest assassins of all time. This game spawned two more standalone Ezio sequels in Assassins Creed Brotherhood and Assassins Creed Revelations. Ubisoft made sure to milk Ezio as much as they could and created a number of mobile, PSP and Wii games on Ezio’s character arc.
Gameplay wise Assassins Creed 2 was an improvement on its predecessor on almost all aspects. Running and climbing felt way nor better and stealth aspect was improved upon. Combat system was improved and all those useless and buggy pick pocketing missions were done with. You now could take on dozens of enemies if you wanted to due to introduction of block and attack tactics or you could easily blend in the crowd and lose your foes. Anyway, you had the absolute freedom to approach anu way you wanted and this really showed during final segment of missions wherein we have to take out some important targets and there is no one set way of killing your target. Those are the missions which elevated this game from the rest and made it so enjoyable and fresh.
Game looked beautiful on all platforms and the attention to details really showed in almost all the missions. Game also introduced the double dagger system which has then been used in almost all of the next games. Voice acting was is top notch, exactly what you expect of AAA games these days. Sound effects were also high quality and the time which was given to developers showed in the end product unlike the absolute ridiculous release of the latest game in the series, Assassins Creed Unity which had me angry for days seeing the state in which it was released. Even after multiple patches the game remained unplayable and I had to smash my heads for 4 days till I could play it and that too in medium graphics settings when my machine was perfectly capable of running it on highest settings.
It wasn’t that Assassins Creed 2 was free from any controversy. This was the first and perhaps the only game in which Ubisoft made its PC gamers suffer through its ridiculous DRM which required gamers to be connected to Ubi servers all the time. This didn’t go down well with gamers as well as the critics who blasted Ubisoft for punishing its paying customers when those who pirate the game were not bound with any such restriction although it took some time for pirates to crack the game. But fortunately Ubisoft learnt from this and all other Ubisoft games which followed were free from this DRM but still required one time online activation which is still acceptable. If this experiment had been successful, iam pretty sure all succeeding Ubisoft PC games would ve been subjecting to this horrendous DRM and other blood sucking companies like EA and Activision would have taken no time to introduce such a mechanism in their games. Hopefully we all were saved from that atrocity.
Assassins creed 2 is a landmark game in modern gaming history and should be given the respect it deserves. A lot of gamers don’t give it the respect it deserves due to the inferior sequels it prompted but that doesn’t change how good this game is. Don’t be like those snobby and elite like those gamers who would hate on everything just cause its mainstream. Assassins is a game which should be played by everyone having slightest of interest in open world games. I pretty much have this in the top 10 games I have ever played and pretty sure you too will rate it as well once you play it in the manner it should be played.