Assassin's Creed II - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Assassin's Creed II
PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rated: "M" for Mature



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

I hated Assassin’s Creed. With a passion.

I know others seemed to have loved it, but Ubisoft’s 2006 title sticks out as one of my least favorite games of all time.  The controls were awkward, the story made no sense and the game was just flat out boring. More than anything else though, I think I hated Assassin’s Creed because of how poorly they failed to execute a great concept. My hatred as it seemed was born through sheer disappointment.

So you can understand why I approached Assassin’s Creed 2 with a fair amount of skepticism.  Could the company fix the many problems with the first game enough for me to change my mind on the series? The answer is both yes and no. While many of the game’s quirks and annoyances are still in place, Ubisoft manages to deliver on their ideas and concepts in a much more satisfying way this go round.

You’d believe that the Assassin’s Creed 2 story revolves around a murder for hire in the age of the renaissance – and you’d be wrong…errr…sort of. The second game in the series continues the story of Desmond Miles, a corporate prisoner who for reasons unbeknownst to him is being forced to re-live the events of his ancestor’s life through experimental technology. Yes it’s weird, but somehow Ubisoft manages to make it engaging enough to want to play through. Oh and Kristen Bell is there and that makes everything alright.

"...the game’s combat mechanic, it’s clunky and hard to manage..."

 
   

You’ll spend much of the game as Ezio, a privileged yet some would say spoiled youth from Renaissance era Italy. After his world is forever changed as the result of a political plot that leaves his brother and father dead, Ezio vows revenge.  Under the guidance of your uncle Mario (who by the way, is introduced in one of the most awkward video game nods in recent memory), you’ll take out the regime that ruined your life.

When the gameplay of Assassin’s Creed 2 works, it does so amazingly, but when it falters – it’s a god awful mess. Take for instance the game’s combat mechanic, it’s clunky and hard to manage, but when you play the game as the developers intended, through plotted attacks and stealth, the experience is much more satisfying.  There’s no right way to go about these missions, and that perhaps is part of the true allure of Assassin’s Creed 2 – you get to approach the game how you’d like. I, for example, loved to cause a commotion in one end of the map and then sneakily go about my objectives on the other end.

Another area of the game that’s been dramatically improved is the free running aspect. In the original, I couldn’t help but feel like running through rooftops and alleyways were more of a burden than a feature but here I actually loved doing it. Part of the reason is that the system is so much more intuitive this time around. Ezio will make smart jumps and unless you command him to do otherwise will always continue in a fluid motion. It’s extremely cool to put a string of running and jumping moves together all to finish it off with a leap of faith (a risky jump off a high platform). One thing I didn’t like however was that the guards were just as quick to jump on the roofs as I am. How is this an advantage for me if my opponents can do it just like I can?

"...the world here seemed much smaller than most."

 
   

Another thing I didn’t like was that the world in Assassin’s Creed 2 felt very small, especially early in the game. Now I know that sandbox style games frequently use the tactic of keeping a portion of the map off limits until later in the game, but the world here seemed much smaller than most. Perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that much of the map looks all too familiar to have any landmarks to differentiate from the rest of the world.

My biggest disappointment in the game though was just how few of the annoyances Ubisoft has changed. The controls still suck (you’ll control Ezio much like a puppet, and yes it’s just as awkwardly complicated as you’d think) and the animations still tend to be bit on the crude side. There’s no online element – nor is there a local multiplayer. We were promised the world with the first game, how come we don’t have half of it the second go-round?

Assassin’s Creed 2 is not a great game, but it is miles ahead of its predecessor. If you loved the first one, you’re going to find much to like here, but if you’re like me, you’re still going to be left disappointed after finishing Ezio’s quest.  Assassin’s Creed 2 may be the next step towards a great series but sadly, it’s not enough. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Reset Notoriety, Add Money, Medicine, Bullets, Add Time to Timer

One of the most annoying parts of Assassin’s Creed 2 is the game’s notoriety system - -at least in the early parts of the game. If you do something and the guards take notice, it’s almost impossible to move around town unnoticed. Enter the reset notoriety cheat found in the Cheat Happens trainer. It helps loads to get around the game and it’s just one of the many cool features found in this trainer.

You’ll also have access to cool features like adding money, medicine and health along with the ability to add bullets. Another really cool part of the trainer is the ability to add time to the timer in many of the race themed missions.

 

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