Playing the first Assassin’s Creed was like going out with some very cute, bi-polar girl. She’s attractive, and crazy enough that the sex is amazing, but you have to watch out because her mood could change in the blink of an eye and next thing you know, you’re waking up in a bath of ice with a giant hole where your kidney used to be, just because you didn’t compliment her on her new shoes.
To strain this analogy even further, Assassin’s Creed 2, is like her cute, completely stable younger sister. She’s just as attractive as the older sister but, most importantly, she’s learned from all her older sister’s mistakes (Lesson number one: don’t be fucking insane). And yeah, the sex might be less wild/dangerous, but you know where you stand. It’s safe.
I loved Assassin’s Creed 2. It never had any real moments of standout genius in it, but at the same time, it never had me repeating the same six missions-types for five hours, unlike the first game. Instead, it had a continuous string of smaller, more diverse missions, which meant that you were constantly doing something new. One mission would begin right where the last one finished. You never had a chance to get bored, and you never really felt like turning the game off was an option. I’ll say this now: for me, Assassin’s Creed 2 did a better job of doling out missions than GTA IV.
In fact, I liked this game so much, I’m ploughing through it to make it the fourth game I’ll have gotten all 1000 achievement points on. At least, it would have been, except there’s one achievement — for kicking a guy while flying your little Hudson Hawk hang glider — that you could only get on one particular mission that you couldn’t replay. Of course, I didn’t know this when I played the mission, or else I would have kicked that little bollocks off his perch and gotten my achievement.
With the first batch of downloadable content for the game, titled The Battle of Forli, Ubisoft dropped a whole load of these flying machines into various parts in the levels, which means that people like me who missed the achievement first time around could finally get it.
Oh, and they threw a bit of a story around it too.
And here’s where I lost interest. The story in The Battle of Forli is bullshit. Total bullshit. The ‘dramatic’ climax has you fighting a metric fuckload of guards as you chase down the last remaining bad guy. I only bought this DLC to get the achievement, so at this stage, I cared so little about the story that I just ran past all the guards. It was like a Benny Hill sketch, me tearing through the Tuscan countryside with 50 sword-wielding soldiers chasing after me. All it was missing was a bit of Yakkety Sax. In the end, the bad guy reaches his pre-scripted “end” spot and turns around to fight me, at which point I smack him in the head with a hammer before he can even draw his sword. End of DLC.
The perfect end to a storyline I couldn’t have cared less about.
Update: I got the last of the 1000 achievement points this evening. As if you care.