Reader Review: Assassin's Creed II

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Kieron does, as he leaps off a rooftop and stabs two men in the neck.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD or Blu-ray releases.

This review was submitted by Kieron Laine. If you’ve played Assassin's Creed II, or just want to ask Kieron more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Assassin's Creed II (360, PS3)

How do you create the perfect videogame sequel? You listen to the gamers. That's exactly what Ubisoft Montreal has done with the sequel to the hotly debated Assassin's Creed. Nearly every issue with the original game has been addressed here, especially the lack of variety and content in the missions and cities that make up the game.


There is SO much to do!: Seriously, this game is packed with stuff to do. There's the main story missions, then side missions like races, assassination contracts and beating up people, then there's treasure and feathers to find, viewpoints to scale, a whole money system with tonnes of armour and weapons to buy, a small village to run, and even Tomb Raider/Prince of Persia style tombs to explore! I played for a good solid week and finished the game, but still have so many more things to find!

Ezio > Altair: Altair was OK in a stoic, I'm-a-badass-because-I-have-no-emotion kind of way, but Ezio is way cooler. A suave, quick-tongued Italian playboy, Ezio provides some great dialogue, and it's easy to empathise with his story of revenge against those that took his family from him.


"It must be a drunken wager or something": Honestly, I must have heard this line 1000 times by now. The first game had some pretty repetitive dialogue from its citizens and NPCs, and while the sequel is slightly better, there's still a tonne of repeated phrases here. It's nothing game breaking, but still an annoyance that should have been fixed.

No, I said jump left!: It comes with the freedom and fluidity of movement in the game, as well as the slightly convoluted control scheme, but it's still pretty frustrating to fall to your death because Ezio went the opposite way to what you wanted him to. Thankfully, he has a few more moves now, so this kind of thing happens a little less than in the first game.

There's probably so much more I could say about Assassin's Creed II, if I had more than 300 words, but it really is an amazing experience, and fans/haters of the first game alike would do well to check it out.

Reviewed by: Kieron Laine

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    I'm really impressed with just how much more enjoyable this game is than the first. They've balanced freedom and storyline quite nicely, and, among other things, pickpocketing has given you a reason to travel on the ground, as opposed to just cruising the rooftops and missing out on half the spectacular cities they've crafted. I can honestly say I'll be playing this title for some time to come.

    Absolutely agree with this review. Developers take note: THIS is how a great sequel is made.

    The narrative is deep and engaging, the gameplay is varied and always driven by the story, and the game keeps opening up - it seems to be getting bigger as I play!

    AC2 is game of the year for me so far.

    Totally. One of the few games I've come into with pretty high expectations (I quite liked the first, flawed as it was) that still managed to exceed them.

    Also, it must be mentioned that Uplay is awesome, and kudos to Ubisoft for giving us free stuff that other publishers would make us pay for in DLC!

    I'm enjoying it, but I've got to ask why, in this day and age I can't save a game?
    Automatic saving is great, but if I need sleep I should be able to walk away.

    And how come you can't skip cutscenes?
    If I die, repeatedly... I'm subjected to the same lead in scene again and again... and the conversations with my sister, or the architect.
    I read faster than they speak, so why can't we skip to the next line?

      I'm pretty sure that the game saves on Exit, it may suggest that any progress won't be saved, but everytime that I have quit the game... I've always returned to where I was upto in the game... :/

      On the subject of the game, will agree that the game is a huge improvement on the original game. There is no doubt about that.

      I'm still playing it, 14hrs through and only at Sequence 7/8... but there are a few things that are annoying me.

      Movement is one, where you need to be dead on in where you want to go, otherwise you will miss the grab, or you'll skew off target and at times off a roof, when you weren't pushing that way.

      The main thing though, is still the Combat. I'm sorry, but it's laughable... the targeting system needs work, but the combat is stale and boring. Finding 2 things are happening, running upto an enemy even if they know I'm there and knife them straight away. Or if it's a larger scale fight, Hold Block and Counter, that's it.

      There are the bigger enemies which you can't block with a weapon in hand, but simply holster, Bare Hands Block and Counter.

      Finding that I'm not using the Poison, Small Weapons, Throwing Knives, Smoke Bombs, etc... They need to address this and maybe look to make a true beat-em up system, or something like the new Batman : AA freeflow system...

    @James - yeah, the cutscene thing could get annoying. Thankfully I only failed a couple times through the game. And if I really have to save I just pickpocket someone or change towns or something easy like that. Don't quote me on the pickpocket bit though, I can't remember if that works =P

    dyde is kieron your real name? I want to try this game out.

    Ummm.. yes it is =]

    im going to go against the grain with this, but im just not all that impressed. I loved the first game and when i play this i can see its a much better game then the first one... But for some reason im just not that engaged into it. I dont like Ezio as much as Altair for one. But i can oly play the game in hourly stints before i get bored.

    Its a great game, but it isnt amazing.

    (goes back to play uncharted)

    I disliked the ability to carry around 15-20 healing items that you can use instantly without risk. It took a lot of the challenge out of the game especially when you end up with such massive health pools.

    If they limited the number of healing items you can carry a bit more, it may have been more of a challenge. But the only time I died was when the freerunning did something silly and I lept to my death.

    All that aside, I still enjoyed the game, completed it in about 15-20 hours without doing side missions. I got all the assasins tombs, weapons and viewpoints but didnt go for the optional side missions or feathers.

    This is easily Game of the Year on 360

    I have finished it and the ending left me frothing for more,

    AC2 has me wanting AC3 so much its now my most anticipated game.

    They learnt from Rockstar a lot but who cares, Grand Theft Italy is awesome.

    The start of the game is a complete what the f moment with the baby but so is the ending where ... just play it ;)

      I agree, this is definately Game of the Year.

      This takes Modern Warfare 2 and drives 2 Hidden Blades into its face and the suavely blends back into the crowd and departs the scene with no-one the wiser.

      The first one was a solid game that suffered a bit from lack of imagination in terms of things to do.

      This one is a masterpiece, a Renaissance in the Assassins Creed franchise one might say, but yeah...

      Its the Game of the Year.

    I loved the first game.And completed it twice.
    This game blows the first game away.The graphics are amazing.The story is amazing.And the game play is brilliant.
    The only thing i noticed that was a little odd,is the fact that Ezio never never eats.And he never sleeps.
    Unless i am missing that bit in the game.I have never seen him have the need to eat or sleep.
    I also can't seem to get this Uplay thing happening.I start to connect to the UBISOFT server...then nothing happens.

    @mr tibbs

    Even though there is a night/day cycle, most of the story within each sequence to revolve around a single day or a few days. Then you get all the years inbetween sequences. So he probably eats or sleeps inbetween bits of story or something lol

    Oh, and Uplay takes FOREVER to load up for me. Just be patient I guess. It is still in Beta after all

      He munches down some hay every time he leaps off a viewpoint...

        Haha! I was going to say pigeon..

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