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assassins vs templars
on 5 April 2012
"My name is Desmond Miles. I'm a prisoner of war ... a war I never knew existed, waged by two groups I never thought were real - Templars and Assassins."
At the end of Assassin's Creed we left Desmond Miles still in the hands of Abstergo, a rescue attempt having failed. His time in the Animus has also had a strange effect on him, it has enabled him to use the "eagle vision" that his ancestor Altair had used and as he watches Dr Warren Vidic and his assistant Lucy Stillman walk away Vidic has a red aura - enemies show in red.
Desmond must try to escape from Asbergo before they decide he is of no further use to them (like his 16 predecessors), but before be can think of what to do Lucy returns and puts him back into the animus and we witness the birth of Ezio Auditore Da Firenze. Ezio will be Desmond's new animus alter-ego, and Renaissance Italy will be his play-ground.
One of the best things about the AC games, for me, is the freedom-to-roam game play. You play the game at your pace and you can travel anywhere within the map (providing you have completed the necessary steps to open the area).
There are a number of mini side games - all available as you:
- villa statues - first of the collectables - collect all eight and place on their stands to receive hidden treasure along with a trophy "myth maker"
- glyphs - find the glyphs, solve the puzzles and discover what subject 16 left behind
- feathers - collect all 100 feathers and receive a special gift from Ezio's mother (if you collect and return more than 50 feathers you will receive a gift from Ezio's uncle)
- codex pages - to see what Altar did once he had the apple of eden
- seals - raid the Assassin's tombs and recover the 6 seals to get Altair's armour.
- paintings - purchase the latest and famous artworks and decorate the Villa Monteriggioni
- collect all the treasures and gain a trophy
There are many trophies to collect, for example "street cleaner" hide bodies in the piles of hay, and so on, and after a while you will receive the "street cleaner" trophy. Some of these trophies are automatic (you get them for completing a chapter of Ezio's life), some are easier to discover than others. I doubt I have discovered them all.
The controls are extremely natural to use (I'm a beginner at this game playing so the controls had to be easy to handle and they were).
With the "Platinum Edition" you receive the downloadable areas (DLC) as standard on the disc, meaning that you can use them without having to spend the extra money for a download. These are: "Battle for Forli", "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "Templar Lairs".
Remember to repair "Monteriggioni" to increase Ezio's income and allow him to purchase upgrades for armour and weaponry faster, as well as throwing coins to distract enemies, and bribe heralds. You need to return to the Villa and speak to Claudia in order to get your income and this can be a bit-of-a-bind when you are doing something else and keep getting the on-screen reminders that your income has reached the maximum.
When I played the Resident Evil games (on the Wii and more recently on PS3) I didn't think any other game franchise would be able to captivate me as much - that was until I started playing Assassin's Creed. Once I started playing AC I was hooked, not just by the game play but by the story too.
Assassin's Creed 2 has taken that further than I thought possible. I like the new avatar character of Ezio and the Renaissance period. I know an amount that period and it is interesting to see how they have linked it all together.
It is a superb game. One that has built on AC with both game play and story rather than regurgitating the same game play, or completely altering the game play that it is known for.