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When I got home from my vacation at the end of March, my lovely wife had Assassin's Creed 2 for the Xbox 360 waiting for me. Unfortunately, our TV problems meant I couldn't play it for a little while. When I finally did sit down for it, though, I was in pure heaven. This is an awesome game.I had really enjoyed the first game, where you played an assassin during one of the Crusades. The historical detail was wonderful, with a story intricately woven in with the real history. Assassin's Creed 2 takes place in Italy during the late 15th century. You play as Ezio, a young man from an Italian family that gets caught up in the political struggles on the Italian peninsula during this time period. Your father betrayed and executed, you vow revenge on his killers, using the skills acquired both from family heirlooms as well as friends of your father. While your mission starts out as one of revenge, you soon discover that there is something much bigger going on, something that's carried forward from the Crusades, or maybe even from the beginning of time.The conceit of the game is that this war between the Templars and the Assassins has been going on for centuries, and even now is still going on. You are also Desmond, a descendant of both Altair (from the first game) as well as Ezio. Through a technology called "The Animus," you are reliving these memories, learning the skills, and trying to stay one step ahead of the modern day Templars.Unlike the first game, which had way too many modern-day sequences, you only play Desmond a couple of times, and at the beginning and end of the game. The rest of the time, you're in Italy, and the game designers have made this stay extremely inviting (if also quite violent).
I've been a fan of Bioware's role-playing video games for a long time now, ever sinceBaldur's Gate came out on the PC many years ago. Any Star Wars fans who didn't enjoy the two Knights of the Old Republic games probably don't like video games at all. Of course, their signature creation is Mass Effect and this year's Mass Effect 2.So when I saw that they had another RPG out even before Mass Effect 2, I knew I had to give it a try.This review has been a *long* time coming, because this game is *huge*. This is not a game that you play for 10-15 hours and then take the disc out and never try again. No, for me it was 65 hours later, and I even started it again a couple of times (for achievement purposes mostly). I was immersed in this world for a couple of hours a night most of the week, and even longer on weekends. That being said, while Dragon Age: Origins has all the same rich detail and juicy RPG goodness of most Bioware games, I was not as impressed this time around. It became a slog to get through in the middle part of the game, and the final confrontation is just incredibly hard.
In this day and age where the Call of Duty franchise is all the rage, I had pretty much ignored the first Bad Company title. I have to admit that I was a Call of Duty fanboy and just didn't really think I would have as much fun with the other franchise.