Monday, 26 March 2012

Assassin's Creed II - An Introduction

I apologise for all the words, in normal service I won't need to explain nearly as much.

Assassin's Creed II

Backstory (AC Spoilers AHOY!)

Assassin's Creed II was released towards the end of 2009 to great reviews and by February 2010 it had sold 9 million copies. As the name suggests, it is a sequel of 2007's Assassin's Creed. The story revolves around Desmond Miles and his ancestors, whose memories he can access through a machine called the Animus. In the first game, Desmond is forced to live through the memories of Altair by a man called Warren Vidic. Vidic works for a company called Abstergo. Working with him is Lucy Stillman, who is voiced by Kristen Bell, who you may know as "Veronica Mars" or "Sarah Marshall". The Altair segments are set during the Third Crusade. Altair is a member of the Assassin's Brotherhood, and his targets are all members of the Knight Templars, setting the big "war" between the two factions that would continue into later games. The object of both of these factions is to obtain Pieces of Eden, artifacts with the power of mind control. Eventually Altair has to kill his leader who was a Templar in disguise who was in possession of one of these artifacts. Altair claims it, it projects a map of Earth, Abstergo is actually a Templar company looking for these Pieces of Eden, the map shows them where they are. Desmond was going to be killed, but is saved by Lucy who is actually an Assassin, Desmond starts retaining some of Altair's skills and "see's" the previous Animus subject's projections of the world ending in 2012. The writers of this game clearly went to the same school of plot twists as Hideo Kojima. That all sets up nicely for the next game.

The last thing you see in the game...'cept the XboxWorld logo. Unless they are secretly Templars...

Which I almost didn't play because I didn't like Assassin's Creed. I thought it was a great concept, but I gave up half way through, it just got very repetitive and dull. I had to be convinced by a friend to play AC2, and I'm glad he did. Despite only getting half-way through, that was enough time to realise that everything had been improved. Then I forgot about it. For two years. Eventually, I decided to watch someone play Assassin's Creed and then picked AC2 up again in the summer, got to roughly the same point as I did before. Then I forgot about it. For eight months. Or more specifically, since three days ago. Now, it's time for me to FINALLY complete this game.

So Far...

This will be the only game I'll ever jump into half-way through. The reason I've done this is because I simply want to play it, and also I have Brotherhood just sitting there gathering dust and I feel I need to play it before it raises some sort of dust army to kill me and take this golden apple I found. (oh, the most common PE in the game, at least so far, is an apple. SYMBOLISM). ANYWAY, I'll try to sum up the story but I'll try not to go too much into spoiler town as I did up above there.

Lucy saves you from Abstergo, takes you to secret Assassin hideout, introduces two new associates: Rebecca; a "cool, yeah, radical" kind of girl who is in charge of keeping their own form of Animus running, and Shaun, your stereotypical snarky Brit who does databasing and research (he is voiced by Danny Wallace, who's a rather famous funny guy/author in Britain). This time it's Renaissance Italy and you play Ezio Auditore, who is much more likeable than Altair in every way. Long story short, his family gets betrayed, his dad was an Assassin, Ezio follows in his footsteps, kills a bunch of Templars connected with his families murder, befriends Leonardo da Vinci (aka, one of the best supporting characters in any game ever), fled to Venice where we're now helping the Thieves to kill some old guy. That's it in a nutshell. Oh, and that guy who wrote all those symbols up there? Subject Sixteen (Seventeen being Desmond). He seems to be living in the Animus now, revealing 'The Truth'. I think I'll talk about that when I'm done with it. Although you've most likely have played it already, I'm very wary about giving spoilers away to games I already like. I'll wait for the proper Review for that.

Our hero, Ezio Auditore, if his beheading went terribly wrong...

The Plan

Each day starting from tomorrow will have a little write-up, explaining how far I've progressed (which might be low-to-nothing on days I have to work) and then accompanying them will be more interesting stuff. Most of the posts will be about something related to the game, though not necessarily about the game either. These posts will focus on specific voice actors, writers, game companies, real events talked about in the game, soundtrack etc. So, look forward to that, I guess if you want.

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