Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Top Ten Games of the Outgoing Generation - #10 - Assassin's Creed 2

The first Assassin's Creed had been a major disappointment failing to live up to a brilliant marketing strategy.  But there had been promise, lots of promise.  With the sequel Ubisoft went to renaissance Italy and had a field day.

Everything that's come since in the series has stemmed from the glorious open world free running of this game, but what really made Assassin's Creed 2 sing was a lead character it was easy to invest in.  Ezio begins the game as a young care free rich boy.  He's already scaling walls but it's not until his father and brothers are hung and he becomes an Assassin, seeking revenge and justice for his family, that you really start to like him.

You take Ezio across two massive open world cities, a couple of towns and the Italian countryside.  It's a huge game to get lost in, brilliantly realised and full of stuff to do.  Discovery is key here.  Often the best areas are tucked away in seemingly inaccessible buildings or vaults.  You'll scale dizzying heights just to unlock a piece of the map and then dive off into a bale of hay far below, chase a thief over rooftops and get your equipment upgraded by your mate Leonardo Da  Vinci.  It's full of imagination, looks brilliant and put the series properly on the map.

Ezio's first tale spawned two sequels and while the series stubbornly refused to get rid of it's modern day premise (the game's actual protagonist is reliving the memories of his ancestors) this game in particular isn't damaged by it.  In fact it's ending sequence positively revelled in the madness of it all.
Ezio will go down as one of gamings greats characters.  The third game's muted Connor never really had a chance.  Over to you Edward Kenway.