Tag Archives: Assassin’s Creed 2

The rest is up to me, Assassin’s Creed II

gd assassins creed 2 final thoughts

It’s a little weird to be completing Assassin’s Creed II in 2015 when there are now a bajillion more entries in the series, some of which are universally praised and others, such as Assassin’s Creed III, are pretty much loathed. My storied history for this series created by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs has been playing Assassin’s Creed, then skipping right to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and now finally go back to see Assassin’s Creed II‘s lengthy credits roll. I’ve been dabbling at the game piecemeal over the last few months, but was driven to see it off my “still playing” list since getting wind of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag being a freebie for Xbox 360 users at the end of this month. Frustratingly, that means I’ll be skipping two more games in the “as released by Ubisoft” timeline, but neither of them sound highly recommended.

Anyways, Assassin’s Creed II–it’s pretty good. It’s definitely better than the original Assassin’s Creed game, though I fuzzily remember very little from that original outing save for frustrating climbing, annoying collectibles, and repetitive missions. Hey, wait. Some of that junk is still here in this one. Hmm, I guess it is the other elements that make the game stand a few rooftops higher, such as more nuanced and engaging combat, better climbing mechanics, and building up your home base with shops, paintings, and loot to earn some sweet coin. Plus, the locations you visit are more interesting to explore, and stabbing dudes from on a horse is never boring though I still prefer smoke bombing and making a hasty exit.

I won’t really go into too much story stuff, as the story in the Assassin’s Creed series–both in and outside the Animus–has never really interested me. I’m more into the exploring and climbing of buildings and running from rooftop to rooftop, with the occasional cool-looking assassination. Naturally, I did all the tombs as fast as I could, as the platforming puzzles, while frustrating and unclear in spots, are really the most enjoyable aspect to me. I will always hate tailing missions and chase missions, which thankfully only made up a small portion of the game. I prefer going from point A to point B and stabbing a dude in the neck, and I’m sorry if that concerns you. At least now I understand why it felt like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood picked up immediately after the conclusion of the previous game–that’s because it did.

Alas, come the end, I only found…42 of 100 feathers. I will not be going back to find the remainder of the flags. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood spoiled me with its ability to purchase maps of flag locations–though I still never went out and grabbed them all–but here you have only your ears and eyes to guide you on your collecting path. They tinkle and sparkle, but that’s not enough. No thanks. That means I will also miss out on the Auditore cape, which is unlocked for finding all the feathers. One last task for me to handle before deleting the game from my Xbox 360’s hard-drive is finding the remainder of the hidden symbols on select buildings, and I suspect I might grab a feather or two along the way, but not enough to finish the side quest.

Lastly, I do enjoy end credits sequences where you, the player, are still involved in some way. One standout favorite is shooting asteroids with developers’ faces and names on them in Vanquish to add to your final score tally. While not as cool as that, the end credits sequence in Assassin’s Creed II has you running around as Desmond outside the Animus as he and others try to escape the modern-day Templars. It’s more of the same from the main gameplay, but it is fun to see the names of the game’s creators scroll by as you punch, counter, and run from danger.

Well, I’ll be back to my assassinating ways very soon once Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag becomes free for Gold users at the end of April. Until then, the rest is up to me.

Bang! Splash! Kaboom! Boom!

Despite the bulk of activities in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, I can easily name my favorite quests. And that’s pretty bold of me, considering I’ve not yet completed the game and am only around DNA Sequence 5, meaning I’ve not experienced everything there is to experience just yet. I mean, who knows…maybe Ezio is tasked with assassinating some distant relative of Julius Caesar. That’d be cool. Et tu, Brute? But it matters not! For Leonardo da Vinci is in da house!

That’s right. The da Vinci, that very dude that painted Mona Lisa and invented things like the hang glider and thought about many-a-things and inspired Dan Brown to write a really hokey novel. I guess he was also in Assassin’s Creed II, but I skipped that game and went right on to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Right now, the Borgia soldiers are forcing da Vinci to create war machines for them, and the famed Florentine painter seeks out Ezio’s help in destroying these devices. Glad to be of service!

Bang! (20G): Destroy the Machine Gun.

Splash! (20G): Destroy the Naval Cannon.

Kaboom! (20G): Destroy the Tank.

Boom! (20G): Destroy the Bomber.

I will, for the sake of Grinding Down‘s dear readers, not reveal too much about each mission da Vinci gives to Ezio to destroy one of his inventions, but man-oh-man-oh-man. They are fun. I think part of the reason they’re so enjoyable is because you’re taken away to a new location, stripped of your recruited assassins’ help, and forced to really think about how you move about the land. For each mission, being spotted by a guard is an instant desynch. This taught me how to assassinate while hanging from a ledge more, as well as the potent power of smoke bombs and the crossbow. On main storyline missions, I’d either rush in for the kill or just summon an arrow storm and sit back to watch all the mayhem. Each da Vinci mission is threefold: (1) find the war machine’s blueprints without being detected, (2) locate the war machine, and (3) use said war machine against its makers to show them who is boss. The last part of each mission is very cinematic, especially the one for destroying the machine gun. Pew pew pew! Sorry, horsies!

Ezio’s reward, besides bringing the Borgia movement down a notch, for destroying all of da Vinci’s war machines is another invention from the man of the hour: a parachute. I’ve yet to try it out, but I imagine it’ll be great for silent, death-from-above assassinations. However, I’m sad that there’s no more da Vinci missions left. Guess it’s back to burning Borgia towers and unearthing treasures for Ezio…

Overheard this convo in GameStop last night

Before hitting up Quiznos for a delicious sammich last night, I browsed through the GameStop next door for a few minutes. So many DS games, so many that I want to play and experience. I left the store empty-handed, but not before overhearing the following conversation:

Customer: How’s Modern Warfare 2?
Cashier dude: Fucking sick. Shit’s like…fuck, man. Sick.
Customer: Yeah? Sweet.
Cashier dude: But I gotta be honest with you. Assassin’s Creed II is killing it. I didn’t think it would, but it’s killing it.
Customer: You’re lying.
Cashier dude: It’s good, man. They fixed it. Like ten people traded in Warfare today for it.
Customer: Oh. Is it sick?
Cashier dude: No, I’m fine.
Customer: No, the game.
Cashier dude: Oh, yeah? Warfare‘s sick.


That said, despite having some qualms with Assassin’s Creed, my interest in Assassin’s Creed II is growing. If only it wasn’t $59.99 though. Money, you do not make things easy.

The Top Five Sequels I’m Not Interested In

What? My second list already?

Yes, people. This is what chaos looks like. Enjoy this list of game titles with the number 2 at the end…

5. Left 4 Dead 2


I’m no good at shooters. I’m just as no good at horror games where the littlest of things make me jump. Hence, I was never meant to excel at shooting frenetic zombies, and this sequel looks to be more of the same.

4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2


Oh hey, look! Another shooter where you shoot things…just like you did in that first game where you shot things!

3. Bioshock 2


I’m still late to the party when it concerns Bioshock, which is a story-driven adventure, a solo game, all about immersion. Seems like the sequel is adding in multiplayer…why? Because that’s what people demand now in every game? Seems forced.

2. Mass Effect 2


I’ll admit that I greatly enjoyed Mass Effect though I’ve only been able to play through it once despite its design for multiple run-throughs. Truthfully, the storyline isn’t that captivating nor does it differ terribly based on who I play as and how I play them. That’s pretty much going to be the same with Mass Effect 2 and rumor has it Shepherd is biting it in this murky middle. Meh.

1. Assassin’s Creed 2


Repetition, repetition, repetition. Good for learning a new language, horrible for a videogame. And this is something that Assassin’s Creed suffered from greatly. Switching scenery might fool me at first, and giving Altair the power to, y’know, swim is nice, but I get the feeling that this one will not have learned from its mistakes and will just be more climbing, more running, and more stealth kills. Plus, I’m still totally bitter about the first game’s “ending”…

And there you have it. Feel free to argue, but it’s pointless. These are games I’m not interested in; your wants and desires will surely vary.