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Exploring Assassin's Creed 2

Discussion in 'Games' started by Sheilawisz, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I haven't played AC3 yet so no spoilers! Lol. Also, even if you aren't getting Black Flag, I would definitely recommend getting Assassin's Creed 4: Freedom Cry. Originally it was DLC for Black Flag, but now you can get it as a standalone game. It's about Adewale, a former slave who becomes an Assassin and works to free slaves in the Caribbean. I know you weren't too keen on the Caribbean setting, but the slave trade narrative seems like it would have some of that gritty-ness you're looking for.
     
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  2. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    The slave trade was a very minor part of that story (in Black Flag). In fact, the story was really all over the place. I think where ACII was very plot line driven, most of Black Flag is just exploring on your own. You can explore the ship wrecks, go whaling, hunt and skin loads of animals like monkeys (I didn't hunt much either, because I didn't like the wasteful concept of leaving dead animals, skinned on the ground) and of course, sinking ships. I did a lot of that. I mean A LOT!!!

    I've maxed out my hunter symbols many times and it's sort of like a batting cage, I just sit there sinking stuff and more come along to die. Oh, and the forts. I loved hitting the forts. But again, none of that has anything to do with the relatively short and easy to beat plot. It's a little disappointing in that respect. I didn't really like the setting either, just for the record. Sailing was fun, but the islands were sort of shacks and people doing nothing, just lying around. Is that what the Caribbean was like? Poor people lying drunk in the sun? Not my idea of a good time. I'd rather be back in Venice.

    I didn't really try AC3. What happened was after the opening sequence int he opera house, you go to a guy who gives you some advice. He says, "Now that you have Altair's knowledge and Ezio's skills..." and I hit the power button because I'd never played AC1. I DIDN'T have Altair's knowledge! SO I bought that game and started playing it. My Xbox stopped working, so I was always planning to get another so I could keep playing, but now Phil posted a thing that they're releasing XBOX1 that will play games from 360...so I might have to get that, just so I can finish all my games I really want to play, but can't on the PS4.
     
  3. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    It's a much bigger part of the Freedom Cry expansion/DLC. It's the central plot element.
     
  4. Lunaairis

    Lunaairis Sage

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    Altair fought for the truth. A man who has nothing-who knows nothing- attempting to make a mark on the world.
     
  5. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Wait, I thought his whole thing was "Nothing is true, everything is permitted"? In fact, it's his overly broad interpretation of the "everything is permitted" part that gets Altair into trouble at the start of the game. If he believes nothing is true, how can he be fighting for truth?
     
  6. Lunaairis

    Lunaairis Sage

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    See it was him not paying attention to the first part, that is what gives him a broad interpretation of the second part. He begins to learn nothing is true, from being stabbed and coming back. The Apple sets off his curiosity and with that he begins to realise that everything he knows is not true... Nothing is true.

    SPOILERS

    For a man who has nothing beside this order. Can you imagine? Waking up one day and realizing that the reality you live in isn't real? He was in a child mindset before then. Thinking that he can do no wrong cause he's the best of the best and his life is to kill. The order an Arm and him the Blade.

    Of course he doesn't believe it . The First 3 assassination are him struggling with this. A merchant who terrorizes his employees, A doctor who doesn't heal, but tortures. A slaver who thinks he's right in selling slaves, thinks he is providing favours. They all think they are right in what they do.

    Altair begins to realize that, if they think they are right, is he wrong? is he wrong in thinking that what he is doing is right? He even tries to talk to the Rafq of Acre about it but is shut down by him. He can't talk to Malik because He knows he did Malik a wrong and there is nothing he can do to fix it.

    The second set of assassinations is him realizing no, there is in fact something wrong- he even goes to Al Mualim and demands to know what 'binds' these men. He thinks he is satisfied with the answer. But he quickly learns no, there is something more.

    Yet even the enemies of the order know more. Altair is again thrusted into discord about the ordeals. Listen to malik at the beginning of this and then jump to 3:20. listen to Majd Addin, Unknowingly He is describing Altair's situation.


    I like this whole mission cause its just a reflection of Altair's journey spat out by everyone. If he doesn't change his perspective he will have the same fate.

    Each of these men were meant to help the Templars But each were selfish and seeked to conquer the holy land for themselves. At the end of these missions Altair realizes his selfishnes at the beginning, but he is unsure how to change, he presents his findings to Al Mualim and is trusted with knowing the power of the Apple.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
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  7. Lunaairis

    Lunaairis Sage

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    The last 3 assassinations bring up the 'Nothing is true' again. Learning the ignorance of his ways, and again that everything he knows is not true. So he marches to Jerusalem, where his conversation with Malik expresses his change through his adventures. Malik takes notice.


    Maria pretending to be Robert is what sets him over the edge. He suspects that this all goes deeper, that Al Mualim is still keeping things from him like he has been this whole time. Instead of wielding the tenants like he always has, he goes to Asuf to stop the war before it begins to hear another side of this story. No longer a sheep of the creed, he wants to take charge of this worsening conflict. He tries to be a diplomat when he speaks to Richard. Willing to sacrifice himself for there to be peace. A complete change from the cold,selfish killer at the beginning.

    His whole conversation with Richard showing off his understanding of everything he's learned in this short time. He wants peace gained through individuality, not forced through war, fear, or control. So when he comes to Al Mualim and finds he has gone down a selfish road one that Altair has just escaped. Lets not forget to mention that Altair loved Al Mualim like a father, So he doesn't go in trying to kill him first ask questions later. No he goes in asking questions finding out just how corrupt the man has become.

    Altair was a selfish boy who at one point followed the creed blindly, killed because he was told to, sought honour when he needed none but turned it all around, and became selfless, learned the truth. Sought wisdom, diplomacy and Peace.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
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  8. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Thank you Luna, for presenting some of the facts that make us like Altair so much.

    I continue to play my Evil Altair games (Chase the Citizen, Throw the Citizen, Monster in the Hay, Jerusalem Madness and more) before starting it all over again one of these days, but I have also been playing with Ezio in Assassin's Creed 2 and I must say that I am enjoying the game a little better now.

    A positive change was that I discovered the ability to change the colors of Ezio's weird Assassin suit.

    There are several color styles to choose from, but I decided to give my Ezio a brown and green outfit that I think suits him very well. This has resulted in cooler looks for Ezio, like a unique character (instead of a silly looking dude) and I feel better playing with him at this point.

    I am also adapting to the very different atmosphere of this game, and can't wait to travel to Venice.

    There was this Assassination that I enjoyed a lot: The target was very afraid of Ezio, so he had isolated himself at the summit of a high tower. I found a way to climb to the top, where several Archers were standing guard. It was cool to grab the archers and just throw them to their deaths, and after that I climbed a little more to slay the target.

    My other favorite thing in the game so far is to steal one of those great axes used by the Armored Guards, carry it away (even though it cannot be equipped) find some trouble and use it to slash other guards viciously... Cool =)

    I might change the name of this thread to Exploring Assassin's Creed 2 very soon.
     
  9. Lunaairis

    Lunaairis Sage

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    Okay so that guy (he's in Tuscany right?) He's the only assassination I can remember from that game. The only reason I remember is because he is giving a speech. When I played I sat through his whole speech. It is something like 3 hours long.
     
  10. themomodbot

    themomodbot Acolyte

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    Ah, Assassin's Creed 2. The most epic and beautiful Assassin's Creed games.
    The story, character, graphic, and music all are memorable.
    Have been playing all of them in the past (AC 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations).
     
  11. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    After advancing a good deal into the Venice adventures, I have abandoned Assassin's Creed 2 definitely.

    The last part that I played is when Ezio must complete a series of tasks at the Venice Carnival, so he can earn a Mask in order to attend the festivities later. I found this part so pointless and stupid that it was finally too much for me: To hell with Ezio and his adventures, this is not an Assassin game at all.

    The same happened already to me with AC3 and AC Rogue.

    All of the magic, fierceness and power of the first Assassin's Creed is lost in the sequels. The original, Assassin-centric game was transformed into action and adventure games, in which everything is about earning money so you can spend it in countless ways and engaging into so many different little missions that have little or nothing to do with being an Assassin.

    I'll be selling AC2, and I am very happy that I never purchased the rest of Ezio's games.
     
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  12. Leo deSouza

    Leo deSouza Acolyte

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    I never liked this game.
     
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  13. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hello Leo, and first of all Welcome to Mythic Scribes!

    It's good to find some people that also think that AC2 is not actually a perfect jewel of a game. For me, it's a great game and very well made but it was completely different to the original concept and gameplay presented in the original Assassin's Creed.

    In the original AC we have a true Assassin, you do Assassin work and perform Assassin-y things, while in AC2 Ezio feels more like a swashbuckling hero and adventurer not too different to Link from the Zelda games. Actually AC2 feels very similar to a Zelda game, and the original You are a professional killer! concept was completely erased from the map.

    I have already complained too much about this, sorry for sounding negative...

    It's just that after playing and completing the original AC I was so deeply in love with the concept and the gameplay that I thought: Wow, and this is just the start! I am hooked to this series for the rest of my life and it will be incredible! And then AC2 turns out to be a completely different thing and I was like... Whhaaaat the hell happened here?!

    So yeah, sorry everyone for all of my ranting in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  14. DMThaane

    DMThaane Sage

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    I've seen this criticism before and I must admit I've never really understood it. For me, playing AC1 for the first time, Altair was a terrible assassin. More an incredibly enthusiastic murderer with terrible planning skills, little ability to improvise, and an extraordinarily overdeveloped ability to counter attacks. I'll admit there was more sense of planning, something that didn't return until Unity and Syndicate, but for me, at least, the only game where I've truly felt like an assassin is Dishonored.

    That said, AC2 is far from a perfect game. Those ridiculous cut scene quick time events, a few pacing and gameplay problems, forced camera angles during certain free running sequences that can induce rage quitting, and those damn moustache-twirling Templars. AC1 did a lot wrong, especially if you play the PC port, but at least the Templars believed in what they were doing. It took us three games to finally surpass AC1 Templars, although Haytham Kenway was completely worth it.
     
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  15. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hello DMThaane.

    Altair is indeed an incredibly enthusiastic murderer, obviously a very dangerous psychopath with very little ability to feel remorse, guilt or compassion for anybody. That's why he is a great Assassin from my point of view, because he is exactly what a real killer would be and not some kind of romantic hero like Ezio.

    I disagree with what you said about Altair being a terrible Assassin with little skills to plan and improvise.

    Assassin's Creed can be played in both ways: You can intentionally mess everything up and do it the wild way, or you can use stealth and careful planning in order to kill your target by surprise and then escape with little difficulty.

    In my first adventure with Altair I did mess many Assassinations up, and I would either get killed or barely escape with my life after a prolonged and unnecessary battle. In one of the Acre missions I dropped into the military meeting at the wrong moment, and I ended up fighting not only the target but also fifteen or so of his Knights!

    In another one (also in Acre) I had to chase my target through half of the city with twelve or so Knights dashing after me... And it ended up in yet another massive battle in which I killed them all and the target as well.

    However, in my second playthrough of the game I already had a better knowledge of the terrain, what would be the best ways to catch the target by surprise and how to get away safely, and I managed to perform excellent Assassinations without all the hassle and madness of my previous experiences.

    Yeah, only Haytham Kenway is as cool a Templar as the Templars of AC1, I love Haytham =)

    I'll try to find Dishonored, if you recommend it to me. Also, would you recommend AC Unity and Syndicate? I still do not have a Playstation 4 (I have a PS3) but I'll finally purchase it next month.
     
  16. DMThaane

    DMThaane Sage

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    Certainly there's a lot open to interpretation and some of it comes down to things like gameplay and story segregation (Altair probably didn't spend half his time counter attacking guards in alleyways) and necessary gameplay contrivances (poisoning a meal and than hearing about your target's death a week later is decent tradecraft but makes for a dull game) but part of Altair will always be that man who charged Robert de Sable and got one guy killed and another maimed. He's far too willing to go straight at his targets and than rely on his impressive skills as a killer to get him out of trouble. This happens with several of his targets regardless of approach. If Altair were a poorer fighter his tactics would pretty quickly get him killed. This doesn't necessarily make him a bad assassin but it does keep him from being the kind of assassin that left a poisoned cake on Saladin's chest as a warning without ever being detected. I've always had a fondness for the latter.


    This was pretty much my experience of my second playthrough. I was more thorough in scouting and formed more distinct plans that I successfully carried through about 80% of the time. That said, while my plan where mostly successful they weren't ideal as they were restricted too much by the limitations of the game (and, I could argue, the limitations of Altair's approach to his work) and didn't permit the ghost style tactics I prefer.

    Unity is... problematic. A classic example of a game released before it was finished and it butchers the French Revolution. I could honestly only recommend it to die hard AC fans who could enjoy it in spite of its many flaws. I played it through once, and once was enough, and while I'm sure it's possible to play that game stealthily I could never be bothered. I'd get hooked on a piece of furniture, or teleported up a building, or seen through a wall and then I'd just start shooting people in the face.

    Syndicate is Unity without most of the rough edges and, judging from your criticisms of ACII, could actually be a good buy. There's a greater focus on stealth, multiple ways to complete assassinations and some nice nods to ACI such as how they do the death conversations. There's also two protagonists, Jacob and Evie Fry, with Jacob being the fun brawler of the Ezio or Edward Kenway mould and Evie being more the stealthy professional, so there's some character variety there. Also while you don't need to complete the bonus objectives they almost always push towards a stealthy playstyle so I was able to nab them all on my first run through. Most gameplay videos focus on combat but there's a good stealth game there and I think the plot actually addresses some of your criticisms of Ezio's style over substance approach. There's some motion on the modern world plotline but its pretty easy to ignore if you're not into that part or do some catch up if you are.

    I honestly cannot be unbiased when it comes to Dishonored, I've put 175 hours into it, purchased copies for friends to get them hooked, and I'd honestly recommend the game to a hermit crab without even asking if it had a computer or console. That said, Dishonored is a very different game. It's first person, much more linear, with a more 'kinetic' feel and with the focus being on open play style instead of open world. You can move through like the horseman of death cutting down everyone in your path and feeding them to rats (literally) but you can also sneak through like a shadow, never being seen even by the targets you neutralise. There's actually an achievement for doing the latter. The story is a bit of a take it or leave it. I actually quite like it but I can understand why some people don't. Most gameplay videos are about exciting or creative ways to kill people but there should be some stealth ones out there if you want to try and get a deeper sense of it or decide if you want to wait for a sale. If you do get it, get the Game of the Year Edition. It barely costs more and the story DLC is easily worth it for gameplay alone.
     
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  17. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hi again Thaane, and thanks very much for your recommendations.

    I'll definitely get Dishonored, you have made me very curious about it. What you describe does sound like the kind of game that I would want to play to have a rest from Garden Warfare sometimes, and to unleash some fury and devastation in a safe manner. Also, thanks for warning me about AC Unity...

    I was considering to purchase Unity because the combat looks really great in Youtube videos, but I have already read too many reviews from players that complain about the endless glitches of an unfinished game. I'll get AC Syndicate instead, but that will have to wait at least three or four months after I get the PS4 itself, heh heh!

    Now, back to Altair:

    It's true that in part he will always be remembered as the idiot that messed up that mission at the start, but we needed the stupid and overconfident Altair so he could learn and grow during the adventure. For me it was incredibly satisfying to watch Altair learning and questioning his Master as time passed, and at the end he is a much wiser man.

    I have realized that a vast majority of players complained about the heavy use of Counterattacks in the combat of AC1, and it's true that they are a very important skill to learn well. The problem is that if you keep your guard up all the time waiting for the attack to counter it, the most skillful soldiers will simply break the guard and deliver a sword blow on Altair's head.

    Instead of using Counterattack all the time, I mastered the Combo Kills so I could combine them with the Counters and the Grabs. When you combine all of Altair's skills in combat then the battles are incredible, to the point that it became like a drug to me and I would attack large squadrons of guards and soldiers simply to have fun killing them all.

    Yes, it's true that with some of the Targets Altair is forced to get into a terrible fight, no matter how stealthy you play.

    Hey, do you know if there is official information about how tall Robert de Sable is? That character seemed to me at least a head taller than Altair, so I calculate that he is 2.04 meters tall at least.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  18. DMThaane

    DMThaane Sage

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    Hey, any copy of Dishonored I can flog is a win. I was one of the few fans the developer (Arkane Studios) picked up when it made Dark Messiah so I kind of want them to keep making games I enjoy.

    Certainly Altair undergoes some decent character development but it's interesting to note that he makes very similar mistakes against Robert de Sable, the slaver Talal, the Merchant King Abu'l Nuqoud, and the decoy Maria Thorpe. On each occasion he engages prematurely, without establishing control of the ground or the engagement, and hands the initiative over to his opponents who then botch the job of killing him. This is a pattern that continues throughout his growth as a person. He also does this against Robert de Sable at Arsuf and against Al Mualim but in both cases his hand is forced by circumstance.

    I think this is a key place where Altair and Ezio's tactics differ. Altair plans out an initial approach, goes straight for the target–often in a public way that makes a statement–and then fades away into the city. Its a decent playbook but it has its failings, particularly when the initial strike fails or when the attack is anticipated. Ezio, on the other hand, prefers a sort of shock and awe approach where he generates initial chaos and then out-adapts his opponents. Ezio's plans are more disruptive and work under just about any circumstances but they alert the target and are difficult to coordinate, with Ezio mostly making it up as he goes along.

    I'll admit that I've rarely experimented in combat in any Assassin's Creed game. I don't actually enjoy that kind of third person combo-focused combat so instead I try to win all my battles before they really have a chance to start. This approach exacerbates the flaws in Altair's style (and AC1 as a game) more than most of the others, I think, which is why I'm more critical of him as an assassin. This approach also failed in Unity which is why bullet to the face and skirmishing tactics became my main recourse in that game.

    I can't find anything official but Altair is listed at about 1.8 and Robert has some height on him so around 2 metres or slightly north seems a good bet. Problem is most images have him or Altair standing at angles or slightly stooped, making it hard to estimate.
     
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  19. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    A small warning about Dishonored: it can get a little repetitive, and doing things the stealthy way can be very difficult. The game almost punishes you for trying to avoid fights. I got fed up with it and quit a few missions in. Just be aware that the game will require patience. More patience than I had.
     
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  20. DMThaane

    DMThaane Sage

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    A trick I picked up back in the Baldur's Gate 2 days: when the gameplay starts feeling samey, do a save and just start killing everything around you with everything you've got. Reload once dead/successful. Nothing breaks up a long series of methodical stealth sections quite like a non-canon murder spree.

    That said, with the right powers and tactics you can waltz through a ghost playthrough of Dishonored.
     
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