Are you experienced?

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Dec 192010

My review of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has gone up at GameCritics, but in case you don’t want to bother, the summary is that Brotherhood is great and you should get it. It’s not great like War and Peace is great. Brotherhood completely squanders all the awesome things you could do thematically with the horrible Papacy of Alexander VI and instead uses that as a backdrop for more of its tediously silly techno-conspiracy mumbo-jumbo. And, it’s not great like Saint Peter’s Basilica is great, because its poor design choices and occasionally slapdash construction deny it any real feel of majesty. Brotherhood [Read more…]

Oct 072010

If you believe Metacritic, Assassin’s Creed II is a major improvement over its predecessor. The Metascore jumped 10 points between games, which would seem to suggest it solves a major problem, or at least a good number of smaller ones. I played the games out of order, going through Ezio Auditore’s adventures in the sequel before I experienced Altaïr’s adventure in the original Assassin’s Creed. I can clearly see some areas where the latter game improved on the former, but I wouldn’t say that the quality was dramatically greater. In some ways, it felt like the series lost as much [Read more…]

Jan 152010

I think it’s fair to say that one of the things Assassin’s Creed II is about is immersion. The fiction of the game concerns a completely immersive virtual world reconstructed from one character’s DNA, which allows him to inhabit the bodies of his ancestors. The game world itself is constructed to resemble, with startling fidelity, famous locations in Italy. The game also adopts a 3rd-person open-world approach that produces at least a competent illusion of player agency in the game world. Genuine player immersion is, at least with present technology, an unreachable goal, and so of course Assassin’s Creed II [Read more…]