Game Reviews: Assassin’s Creed 2 and Borderlands

ASSASSIN’S CREED 2

One word: Yes. Get it now.

Whether you loved Assassin’s Creed or no, this one’s worth a look. The game is a noticeable improvement over the former, with all the features that made the original great and a host of new ones to add to the enjoyment. It’s a solo adventure, of course, but if that’s what you want, you’ll love every minute.

As sandbox games should be, the world is huge and beautifully rendered—a wonderful recreation of renaissance Italy. The world breathes and as you wander around, you truly feel the effort the designers put into making the environment—and its people—come alive. The story is tighter and more cohesive than the original and aided this time around by a terrific new character brimming with personality. Forget the mostly silent protagonist of the old. Character dominates the new guy, and it’s a great change of pace.

There’s tons of missions (and in much more variety than the first), weapons and stealth techniques to keep you entertained for hours on end, inside and out of the main plot. Plus: Double-assassinations. That’s all I need to say.

However, the game does begin to notably lose some of its glitz and glamor about half-way through, and the plot has a tendency to bog down after that point. I do wonder exactly why we have a sudden 10 year jump between missions (explained away by a 2 minute conversation with a fairly insignificant acquaintance of the protagonist–greatest. plot move. ever…not.), and also why the ever-so-delightfully hyped “flying machine” bits are restricted to ONE city for ONE mission, but despite these hindrances, the game still stands on its merits. Besides, I’m sure the 10 year gap has its purpose. *cough*DLC*cough*…see the “you greedy bastards” entry in your local encyclopedia. Also, the flying machine does now seem to have been met with some corrective measure–predictably, as I said, through the DLC. The first of the downloadable additions to the game (“The Battle for Forli”) now allows flight in new places, along with a new battle and additional plot, designed to extend playability for a few more hours. It’s a nice touch, really–it just should’ve been included with the game itself.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

BORDERLANDS

Despite coming out in October, this was one I hadn’t heard of until recently—but it definitely gets the thumbs-up.

A Sci-Fi trek through greedy bandits and mysterious alien structures, this game is all about the multiplayer. The playing time is decent and there’s a good variety of weapons. You’re given four unique and entertaining characters to choose between and a four player cooperative system to use them in. The art and style is also unique, adding some substance to an environment that could otherwise get admittedly boring (endless seas of sand can only be entertaining for so long, after all).

The story’s alright, but I wouldn’t get the game if that’s what you’re looking for. The same thing goes with the single player, except replace “alright” with “boring.” There’s just nothing there—it’s slow and you’ll tire of it quickly. Words also cannot begin to describe how downright pathetic the ending is.

Still, it’s a good game to rent for a few nights, and if you want a quality multiplayer game than it certainly meets my buy endorsement. Like I said, though, if solo’s what you want, stay far, far away. And remember: I warned you about the ending.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

~ by Chris G. on January 31, 2010.

2 Responses to “Game Reviews: Assassin’s Creed 2 and Borderlands”

  1. Good reviews. Assassin’s Creed 2 is one of my favorites. Borderland’s should arrive in the next couple days. Thanks for the warning about the ending.

    • Thanks! Always good to hear people are enjoying what they’re reading…and even reading, for that matter.

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