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Late to the Party: Assassin's Creed II

On 08/20/2013 at 02:01 PM by Ranger1

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Seems like I'm always one of the last people to play a game. Mostly because I don't have the disposable income to buy games when they release. By the time I get around to playing a lot of games, most of my friends have been done with them for a couple of years. So I decided to start a blog series called Late to the Party so that I can rave about games that everyone else played years ago.

I recently got a free digital download of Assassin's Creed II through whatever Microsoft is calling their free games for being a gold member program. I never got around to getting it before because I'm kinda OCD and have to play things in order, and I got bogged down in the first Assassin's Creed. I wanted so badly to love that game, but the boring, repetitive nature of the missions made playing work instead of fun. And it was such a beautiful game. One of my favorite gaming moments was cresting a hill and seeing Damascus spread out below me. What a view! Anyway, not finishing the first game kept me from even buying the second game. On my last day off, I fired up Tomb Raider to see if I could finish off the main story and then go back and find all the stuff I missed earlier. After getting my ass kicked repeatedly by waves and waves of Storm Guard, I gave up in frustration and went looking for something else to play. An lo! On my hard drive was Assassin's Creed II. "Hmm...I'll just check it out for a few minutes" I told myself. Six and a half hours later, the phone rings and it's Jason reminding me I was supposed to pick him up from 15 minutes ago. Oops! What can I say, I was lost in Renaissance Italy, lol.

I'm not going to go into details about graphics, what got fixed, etc. I'm late to the party, these things have already been discussed. What grabbed me was the story and that missions are now fun (for the most part - races still annoy the crap out of me). And it's another absolutely beautiful game, full of little touches that some people probably never even notice, like the butterfly flying from flower clump to flower clump outside the walls of your stronghold. My favorite part is climbing to the viewpoints, though. I'm scared of heights in real life and I've always been a little envious of one of my youngest cousins, who is a born climber and does parkour. 

It's now several days later from when I started this. I've spent more time exploring Renaissance Italy, getting lost in the game and staying up way too late into the night when I should be sleeping. The immersive nature of AC II reminds me of why I game: to become part of the story, to explore places I can never go in real life and do things I never would dream of doing, to take part in a story that makes me feel like I have an influence in the events as they unfold.




08/20/2013 at 02:11 PM

I am really late. I have never played any of them. I have watched [people play them though.


08/20/2013 at 02:13 PM

The first one is gorgeous, real eye candy, but the gameplay is horrible. I wanted so badly to like it. The second one is fantastic! If you get the chance, you should grab it.


08/20/2013 at 02:14 PM

I want to get all of them, even the one for the Vita. Just my backlog is so


08/20/2013 at 02:26 PM

I can relate to that!!!

Chris Yarger Community Manager

08/20/2013 at 02:40 PM

The second one is my favorite, and Ezio is probably one of my favorite characters of all-time. It's really awesome whenever you play the other games with him (Brotherhood and Revelations) and you're able to watch him transform from a snobby and cocky 17 year old (AC2) to an aging yet humbled man who's beginning to realize his limitations (AC: Revelations). His overall transformation and development is amazing, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


08/20/2013 at 02:47 PM

Oh, I'm having fun with it all right! It has the right mix of elements for me: exploration (and being rewarded for exploring), a good, solid story, fun gameplay that is easily picked up, combat that isn't the main focus of the game, and it's so very, very pretty. Normally, I don't go all ga-ga over graphics in a game, but the AC games are so absolutely gorgeous.

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/20/2013 at 02:45 PM

Yeah, I realize now it was actually the first one that bored the crap out of me when I played it at a friend's house. He was downloading this one last I visited. I would not mind traveling to Italy. 


08/20/2013 at 02:48 PM

Like I said, I really wanted to like the first one, but it was the same three missions over and over and over again ad nauseum. But it was so very, very pretty!

Super Step Contributing Writer

08/20/2013 at 02:54 PM

I didn't even get through three missions, I just kind of wandered and killed things. 


08/20/2013 at 03:01 PM

I think I may have gotten through the first two thirds of the game, but it was such a slog to get that far. I do want to finish it some day just for the story, though.


08/20/2013 at 03:40 PM

I guess I missed out on whenever Microsoft was offering the free download for this. No big deal though because I have no space on my hard-drive! I will pick it for PS3 eventually.

And yeah, I'm skipping the first one. The general consenus' has always seemed to be 'it gets boring.'


08/20/2013 at 04:01 PM

Like I said, one of my most memorable visual moments in a game was from the first AC game. If you can find it for wicked cheap, try it out. It's a gorgeous game, and it's worth exploring the environments and climbing the viewpoints. And I really do want to see where the story takes me. But the second one is so much better.

Casey Curran Staff Writer

08/20/2013 at 06:08 PM

Despite my hatred for AC3 and anything that comes after it, I still love AC2. It's not a perfect game, but it is a great game. Unfortunately unlike 1-2 where they improved the things I wanted to, instead of doing the same from 2-3 they made everything worse.


08/21/2013 at 09:48 AM

I have no experience with 3, other than my nephew loved it. It  won't be a purchase here in my tiny abode for a long while, as I am under a self-imposed "no game purchases" moritorium due to budgetary reasons and a huge backlog.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/20/2013 at 07:14 PM

Hmmm, I want to play this!   I'm late to the party too, but I have beer! 

Really though, my brother played the first one and I missed out on the franchise, but the settings of these games always fill me with hope that they will be great games.  From what I understand this second on is probably the best. 


08/21/2013 at 09:50 AM

Like I said before, if you can find the first one for cheap, it's worth playing because it's such a beautiful game. Just play it in very small chunks, because the missions are mind-numbingly all the same. The second one had me up until 3 AM this morning.

Cary Woodham

08/20/2013 at 07:21 PM

My brother Jeff reviewed Assassin's Creed 3 for me.  He hated it when I watched him play it because I made him pet every animal he passed by.  You could even feed them, your character just summoned bread and scattered it on the ground.  We called it 'hand bread.'

I also liked how you could jump off a 10 story building into a little pile of hay and be okay.


08/21/2013 at 09:51 AM

Ooh! You can pet the animals?! Cool! And the jumping off the huge buildings is one of the best part sof the game.


08/20/2013 at 07:24 PM

This is going to sound really eff'd up, and it is. My favorite thing to do in Assassin's Creed 2 is to toss gold out into groups of civilians, making them swarm around into a group going crazy trying to pick up all the gold, and then poisoning a guard into killing them all.

I always make sure there's a couple guards around so that they can be right next to the civilians. On a side not it's hilarious how they say, "Money, money! I hear money!" in their Italian accents lol. So once they're all grouped together and the people are scavenging for coins on the ground, I walk up to one of the nearby guards I mentioned, and I use the poison blade on him. He starts stumbling around and after a few seconds the poison will make him berserk and he will pull out his weapon slashing wildly at anything nearby. By the end there's a whole bunch of commoners lying around dying and the guard drops dead finally from the poison, it's fricken crazy. I love doing that.


08/21/2013 at 09:53 AM

And now I have to try that! 


08/20/2013 at 09:01 PM

Like several of the chaps on here, I am very late to the party and haven't played any of them. I have the first one and the free copy of the second (woot woot!), so I don't have an excuse lol. But first I need to play Mirror's Edge!


08/21/2013 at 09:53 AM

Mirror's Edge never really interested me, but have fun!


08/21/2013 at 07:30 PM

Well it's the Backloggers Anonymous game right now and I actually have it, but they're starting to talk about it and I haven't touched it yet Surprised


08/20/2013 at 09:51 PM

Your not the only one, I have yet to play any of these games yet. I have only had my PS3 for just a little over a year so just about every game I have people have already played years ago.


08/21/2013 at 09:55 AM

At least you're only playing catch-up with one system. I was a PC gamer until I got a Genesis in 1993, and then nothing for another 11 years. I'm going to be catching up for the rest of my life!


08/21/2013 at 10:29 AM

Wow, yeah you proabaly got me beat, lol. Thing is I wish I could say that my backlog is only PS3 games but it stretches across the Wii, Gamecube, PS2, PS1, and SNES. But that probably goes for lot of people on this site.


08/21/2013 at 10:45 AM

The way I always look at it is that we will be set if the industry ever crashes again Wink


08/21/2013 at 02:03 AM

I started to get interested in AC when III came out and there were ship battles. I picked up ACI and now II because I want to try them all out eventually.

I love that title "Late to the Party". 


08/21/2013 at 10:02 AM

I followed the first AC excitedly through its whole development. I was excited about the setting, the story, being able to do all kinds of exciting stuff. And then came the reality. To be honest, it's not a horrible game, it just had been so built-up to seem so much better than it really was. When you check it out, play one chapter at a time and then go do something else, because all the missions are exactly the same. The second one is what I'd hoped the first one would be, just a later time period.


08/21/2013 at 03:06 PM

When I get to it, I'm going to look up a guide and follow it. 

I remember playing the demo of AC 1 and thinking the game was all about stealth, and I get frustrated with stealth games. But, I was always thinking that I should try it anyway. I hope to get to it soon to really experience those locations standing on the top of a church steeple or something.


08/21/2013 at 02:49 PM

I still need to beat the first one....even though it doesnt follow into the second one. But still I am a weird gamer where I need to try to at least play them in order.


08/21/2013 at 03:15 PM

It does follow into the second one, though, which is why I'll have to go back and see what I missed.


08/21/2013 at 06:25 PM

I loved this game. Maybe the most improved sequel I have played. Definitely my favorite in the series. I love the various cities you get to explore. Each city is of course detailed and beautiful, but also each one has its own unique style, architecture and design. Makes each new area you go to feel really fresh. I like the hidden tombs a lot as well. Glad you got a chance to jump into this game and are enjoying it so much.


08/21/2013 at 11:32 PM

Improved by leaps and bounds over the first one. I was very excited about going to Venice and seeing what they did with it. Jason wanted to see it, too, but unfortunately he had to leave before I decided to leave Forli for Venice.

Patrick Kijek Contributing Writer

08/23/2013 at 01:46 AM

Once you make this jump, it makes the whole series worth it. What a story, although most of it was kept secret from me. I have no idea what's true (the secret societies are probably reading this)!


08/23/2013 at 10:13 AM

I am having so much fun with this game! I want to play 3, too, mostly because of the setting. And I want to know where the story is headed.


08/25/2013 at 02:10 PM

I'm kind of the same way myself. didn't get around to playing the first one but I was told you really don't need to play it to get into ACII. I wish I cold've tried out more myself but my system broke on me so I'm out of luck.

I thought about doing a similar game blog series too on games I'm behind on. thanks for the idea.

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