Assassin's Creed 2, As It Should Be

Image: ModDB

Until Black Flag, Ezio's first adventure was considered to be the best the Assassin's Creed series had to offer. It's gotten a remaster of late, although that hasn't stopped some fans from giving Assassin's Creed 2 a 2017 remake of their own.

Simply titled "Assassin's Creed 2 Overhaul", the mod is a complete graphical rework of Assassin's Creed 2. It's not fully finished yet, but the work is already pretty promising, and the final release will improve the 2009 game's draw distance, lighting, textures, interiors, environments, quality of foliage, particle effects and more.

Image: ModDB

What's especially interesting about the mod is that it was first released last year as an alpha, only to be panned. The feedback was so severe that creator hecumarine actually took the alpha version offline, only to spend a year remaking the mod from scratch. "I examined all the textures again and corrected all the flaws I could, remaking the textures from the previously released version again," they wrote.

The end result is certainly keeping with the Italian spirit of Assassin's Creed 2, so far at least:

Image: ModDB
Image: ModDB

The reworked Overhaul mod weighs in at just under 67mb and can be downloaded here. The current version includes a wider colour palette, new particles, retextured environments for Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and Venice, as well as improvements on the clothes and facial textures for key characters.


    67MB? That seems awfully small.

      The final release will probably be a fair bit bigger, but it's also worth remembering how old AC2 is. AC2's install size was only 5.8GB or thereabouts (at launch, anyway).

        Ah, missed the part where it wasn't finished yet.

    Until Black Flag, Ezio's first adventure was considered to be the best the Assassin's Creed series had to offer.

    I'd argue that it still is, given that the ship combat was overly tedious, and the modern day in 4 was kind of lacking.

      I loved the ship combat, and I'm definitely not alone going off reviews from the time.

      Altair > Ezio

        AC revelations Altair > AC Altair. Was nice to hear him without an American accent.

      I might be on my own here, but i thought black flag wasn't only the best AC game, its actually just an amazing game. It felt like a great pirate game and we don't have many of them. Exploring different islands with great scenery and finding actual treasure suited an AC game perfectly for all the collectible stuff they love to add. It was the first and only AC game i got 100% for.

      The ship controlling actually wasn't too bad, its a ship after all. No tight turns, sluggish controls, sounds about right to me.

    the only thing that came close to beating AC2 was Brotherhood and the next best thing that came close was Unity. there i said it. no in seriousness though, i only picked up Unity last year to play it for the first time and its all patched and nice and they unlocked a hole bunch of stuff that you used to need some weird in game currency to unlock. i havnt played syndicate, but im told its very good. and i believe im also in amongst a small group of people that enjoyed AC3.

      I actually enjoyed AC3 apart from (a) the mopey protagonist and (b) the bait and switch with Haytham. Unity wasn't bad after the technical issues were (semi) sorted. But I'd definitely put AC2 as number one followed by Black Flag and then Brotherhood.

      Syndicate was...okay. I personally haven't liked it as the AC franchise has got closer and closer to the modern day in terms of the main setting.

      I'm cautiously optimistic for Origins though. I dig the more RPG-esque feel, initial impressions seem good and I hope the extra year off has helped Ubi.

      Last edited 04/07/17 4:54 pm

      Unity is probably the best looking AC game so far (Syndicate was a slight step back, in my opionion), I wouldn't rate it that highly.

      Yes, it's good that they removed the need to play the mobile app in order to unlock things in the main game, but you've still got an in-game economy and upgrade system that seems to be tuned to sell microtransactions (which weren't removed). The top level gear is stupidly expensive, and there is no single best gear upgrade, so there's lots of stuff for you to buy. They also removed the ability to steal an enemy's weapon, so you can't just kill a high level guard to get a decent weapon.

      The combat felt less smooth than other games, and the enemies required a lot of strikes to take down. This was until I realised just how badly smoke bombs broke the combat system, letting me complete high level missions right at the start.

        For me, Unity has the best combat of the entire AC series. (Syndicate removed both the weight, and dramatically increased the animation speed, which makes it very unsatisfying, personally.)

        I disagree that the game is tuned for microtransactions. The gear is definitely fed to you over time, and you do need to choose your purchases from among a large selection. But the differences are in play style: Opting for more health, stealth, damage etc. Just playing the game normally nets plenty of money. I have never been tempted to purchase anything, and I am not someone who likes to invest hours in a game doing busy work. I'm talking your average play through. If you add to that doing cafe missions and upgrades near the beginning of the game, you have even more money to splash on gear.

        The combat is definitely different from previous AC games, but I also found it substantially more satisfying. Enemies only require a lot of strikes to take down if you're facing enemies of a higher level than your gear (which normal play won't have you doing). And if you want to branch off, it's easily countered by purchasing a new weapon in a higher tier. If you want the game to feel closer to the old ones, save all of your money for a top tier sword and you can take out all but the highest level enemies in a single shot. However I enjoyed being slightly underpowered, so I held off on sword upgrades until higher level enemies were the regulars.

        All of that being said, you can still not enjoy the game of course! Just thought I'd weigh in and say that I don't think the game is skewed towards purchases. But yes, smoke bombs make for a good way to take out high level enemies if you're struggling, in a rush, or want to get all of the cafe missions done for that cash, hehe.

        Last edited 05/07/17 11:51 am

          From memory, it was the cafe missions I used the smoke bombs to complete early, yeah.

          As for my assertion that the game economy was tuned towards selling microtransactions, the prices were only one part of that. The other points were the lack of an ability to pick up weapons, and the fact that every weapon and piece of armour in the game was available to purchase right from the start of the game. In other AC games, I'd buy incrementally better gear as the game went on. In Unity, I'd end up skipping as many gear levels as I could, since I could see the high prices of the top level gear right away.

          I had fun with the game, and there was a lot to like: the recreation of Paris land marks, the fact that you'd pretty much never see two guards standing together that looked identical, the massively improved movement animations, the ability to quickly climb downwards, etc. But I'm not going to ignore the flaws.

            Fair enough! Where you felt the game was tuned towards microtransactions, I never felt that. So I'd say these 'flaws' aren't something I am ignoring, but a highlight of our different preferences for how to handle gear tiers?

            I certainly skipped levels of some equipment, but not of others. I liked being able to choose between whether to purchase a really expensive chest armor, or a cheaper hood and belt. Seeing the whole catalogue was actually a positive for me, I was a big fan of the Unity gear system. But different strokes for different folks!

            What I will say, is that while Unity is my favourite AC, I do sometimes miss the climbing puzzles of older AC games. The new, fluid climbing is great, but what has gone away is the challenge of climbing (for better and worse).

      I too enjoyed AC3 for the most part, apart from the overly long tutorial that went on forever (and then doubled in length when it switched characters).

      Conner wasn't the most likeable protagonist but he still had a better personality than Altair, who had about as much personality as a potato sack with a face drawn on it.

      As someone burned by unity cause over hyped fanboi got the best of me. When it worked it was awesome. Ac3 I loved alot more on my second play through. Coming in post patch launch shitstorm is nice.

        yeah i remember really wanting to get Unity leading up to its release but not preordering or anything because i couldnt afford it at the time. then when it came out reading the disaster that was all the bugs and unpolished gameplay and graphics issues and everything.
        then last year sometime, friends and i saw it was co-op and so i went to EB and picked up a few copies for $9 each.

        im so glad it did as it's easily near the top of my favourite AC games. it very much felt like an AC2 game in terms of story and character. and AC2 and Brotherhood and revelations i guess are my favourites.

          I dont remember much of the story, and its the first AC I haven't gone back and replayed, along with Syndicate. Now I have a better computer would probably run better. But Ive been holding out replaying an AC to help it feel fresher for this years game.

    One day I bought the first 3 AC games on Xbox360 because they were like 7 dollars each at EB.
    I got 20 mins into the first one and about 10 mins into the second before throwing them in the bin. Most dull and gameplay-devoid experience in recent memory. I simply can't understand how these games are so popular.

      They are still very playable. I suppise it makes a difference as to whether you were playing the from the beginning like i did or not. Having said that i only played unity for the first time last year and loved it. Your gameplay complaints sound either due to a lack of knowing how to play the game, or your taste in games not being for that style. But meh its each to their own.

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