Looking forward to Assassin’s Creed III: a review of the ACII: Trilogy.
With the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III this fall I wanted to sum up what I thought were some awesome/n’awesome (not awesome) aspects of the Assassin’s Creed II: Trilogy (II, Brotherhood, and Revelations).
While I did play the Assassin’s Creed briefly, I never took the time to play through the original until after I had played II and brotherhood, so ACII was my first real introduction to the series. Overall, I found it very easy to gauge elite to weak here.
Assassin’s Creed II > Revelations > Brotherhood. That’s just my opinion.
Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed II is a great game. It improved the gameplay issues with the original and the development of Ezio’s character is so engrossing that I literally played this game for a solid week straight, enjoying the immersive qualities of the game while drinking wine IRL (because it wasn’t the type of game for beer ) For that 1 week period I was in 15th century Italy, creating a name for myself, becoming the prophesied Assassin and restoring balance to the universe. The monetary system was not unlike our own modern day system. Early investments in things like art, business, and history would prove to give increasing returns on your funds, so much so that by the end of the main story arc I was getting a reasonable income which allowed me to run around and, comfortably but not excessively, purchase all that I had missed due to my pinch-pennying throughout the game. Overall the game felt new, fresh, and I enjoyed it immensely for its originality, then came brotherhood.
I vaguely remember playing this game, the only redeeming value of this was the online gameplay, which has been replaced/updated by the release of Revelations. The monetary system was cut down to a grind with million dollar purchases only improving your income by a few hundred dollars. When I finished this game I had many things to do but I didn’t know which was the priority, the mini-quests or the money. This change annoyed me because it felt so perfectly balanced in ACII and having to rebuild from scratch each game took me out of the immersion the previous game had… we’re talking about a man who single-handedly created 3 separate (the ones we know about anyways) empires over the course of a few years each. The gameplay and mission quests were very similar with all the same final perks like cool armor and weapons and such. Overall, it was like DLC for ACII, adding little to the overall story or the evolution of the series. I will give it one thing, the introduction of being able to summon Assassins to do your bidding was a great addition to the game and made for a greater feeling of being a fierce leader with deadly minions.
I mean, ok, getting excessive. When I heard there was another one coming out I was hoping to move on to Desmond’s story more. This was actually the opposite of that in some ways and exactly that in a few others. Overall, nothing really happens to Desmond but we are filled in on the background of his character. It’s great for that, I guess, but I never really cared so much about it and the amount we do get could’ve been revealed in his own game (which may never happen). But Revelations does improve on the storytelling, I actually remember what happened in the game more vividly and it was nice to know how Altair and Ezio spent their final days. Of course, there exists the same gameplay issues as Brotherhood with the grinding monetary, no real changes to gameplay (minus the hook-blade and what that entails) and we’re in a singular huge city the whole game again.
In summary, we didn’t really need the other two games, they were impressive in a sort of mass produced AAA game sort of way but they didn’t really add to the overall quality of the series aside from the minor additions. Assassin’s Creed II is the superior of all of the Assassin’s Creed games so far and this is the one that Assassin’s Creed III needs to beat. So here are the things I hope they choose to do:
- The ACII monetary system. Don’t make it a grind like Brotherhood and Revelations, it’s not the focus of the game but it begins to frustrate when it makes more sense to leave the game on for a couple hours to run an errand so your bank account will be full when you return (so you can buy a single monument? Frack!)
- All new assassination system: From what I’ve seen, that’s what they are doing. The environments, assassinations, timeline, all of these things have been done so many times before that creating a fresh take will be a challenge. Fortunately, we can always go back and play ACII, we don’t need it to be the same, I can adjust to a new time period’s style of death dealing.
- The animus: Personally, I’m getting a bit tired of the whole animus thing; I wonder how feeble Desmond must be getting while strapped into that thing all hours of the day. It will take some clever writing to tie in this new game and the continued need to relive past lives. Honestly, I was hoping the 3rd game would be a modern day Assassin’s Creed, Desmond building an Empire in New York from what he had learned from Ezio. Doing takedowns from a motorcycle (or would he just use a Sniper Rifle?)
- Resolve the story in one game: I highly doubt they will do this, I’m guessing in a couple years I’ll be writing an article about the ACIII: Trilogy just like this one. If they keep topping themselves, which they’ve failed to do with the ACII Trilogy, then fine but pumping out game after game tires out the character’s story, especially when it gets to the “Old Snake” point. Fracking Old Snake.
- Multiplayer Campaign: I’ve been destroying my enemies online with my buddies by my side for the past year now and it’s been great. We almost never lose at Capture the flag and the other games are interesting in their own way too. It would be great to be able to explore and take down our enemies in the story-mode as well and other than some issues with main char/supporting characters, I don’t see what the problem would be. Would probably end up needing independent consoles though.
~Game wisely, game often!