Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
Looking at the series as a whole, this has to have been one of my favourite Assassin's Creed games in terms of gameplay mechanics/direction. I've never been a fan of the modern-day / animus tripe, but setting that aside, this one's as good as they got.
What I liked:
- Graphically, just as beautiful as the other entries in the series.
- Great new stealth mechanics - this series has leaned away from stealth over time (and are now more action-oriented), so it's nice to see improvements in this area. I loved the new crowd-stealth system, as well as several other forms of subtle takedowns, dual hidden blades, poisons, and much more.
- Ezio is probably the most likeable character this series has seen thus far.
- The combat has been greatly refined; there are alternate weapons and sub-types, and you can now disarm enemies for a brutal kill. As always with this series, the combat is fluid, almost like a dance.
- A great many additions compared to the original in terms of weapons/items.
- They removed that horrendous old mission system where you had to complete at least three mundane, repetitive tasks before proceeding to a story-based objective.
- Italy is a far more beautiful place to explore. The rennaisance was captured well.
What I didn't like:
- It was a poor game-design choice to bind both the pickpocket and fast-walk functions to the same key. You are unable to fast-walk through a crowd unless you want to pick every single pocket on the way, drawing great attention to yourself.
- I have never, and am still not too fussed with the character of Desmond, or any of his activities. I still find it hard to feel truly immersed in the fictional-historical world the game has set when it has a tendency to pull me out of that world and into a far less interesting and unfitting modern one.
- Whilst the game's environments are far easier on the eye than in its' predecessor, there aren't any truly memorable locations. Take, for example, an open-world game like the Grand Theft Auto series. Traversing that world, you come to know a great many 'favourite spots', and your identification with these areas makes getting from A-B easier and more enjoyable. In the Assassin's Creed games, each building is as forgettable as the last, and as you mostly see things from the rooftops, this makes traversing the environment a bit dull and same-y after a while.
- Enemy AI is questionably bad, and incredibly easy to exploit.
Game Traits applied to Assassin's Creed II (PS3) by Fruitlewp