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Assassin’s Creed 2 EP4: An Assassin Is (Not) You!

By Josh
on Saturday Sep 24, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

And a bonus episode for the weekend since we started this week late. We should be back to our regular schedule next week.

Comments (154)

  1. Aldowyn says:

    Whoah Saturday episode! FIRST FOR ME!

    Hmm. I actually don’t have much to say, though I’m looking forward to seeing how many times Josh can troll the game (the ending, lol…)

    I said this yesterday, but the combat gets a lot better when you can do a ton of fancy stuff. And there was NO way you were supposed to get the axe – you countered one of the big dudes (you weren’t countering much that fight…), and that usually ends with you throwing the axe in his gut, but you got hit, interrupting it – and giving you a GIANT AXE.

    I wonder what would have happened if you killed everyone?

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      Actually, I’ve tried this once – namely not killing the Brutes, but just everyone else – they have new guards come from off-screen (As in, from outside the courtyard down another road.). This has the effect of not letting it be winnable, although the Brutes alone are meant as a subtle hint that maybe, maybe Ezio should run away.

      That said, you shouldn’t be able to have gotten that axe at that point – I think you could’ve picked up the sword of one of the dead guys -, so maybe the Brutes don’t respawn?

      And if it did glitch enough, I imagine the game would just register you as “Anonymous”, and proceed to the next sequence.

  2. X2-Eliah says:

    This is an appropriate time for *gigglesqueeee*.

    Hm. As for there not being a good zorro game.. Well. Zorro is kind of a lame character, methinks. Not sure if people would want to play as him.

  3. onFyre says:

    That was a bit of a weird ending.

    On the subject of endings, I liked it better when the credits are at the end of the episode, like you did last season. The cast descriptions are funny, but only the first time.

    • Aldowyn says:

      Unless they’re one of the REALLY spectacular ones, which happen upon occasion :P

    • sab says:

      I second this. I will watch the credits at the end once a week, and I’d rather not do the fidgetty seeking. Plus it helps against the abrupt feeling that I have to deal with on top of the feeling of having to wait a few more days until my next fix.

    • Sumanai says:

      On the subject of endings, this is the fourth episode of the first week. When is this complaining going to end? Assuming they’re going to change it, it still would take until the next week to see it. And I’m pretty sure everyone on the Spoiler Warning crew know about the horror of having opening credits around the fifteenth complaint.

    • Museli says:

      I vaguely recall a comment, either from Shamus or from someone else who writes for The Escapist at times, about it being beneficial for video creators to have the vid viewed right up to the end, possibly for advertising purposes or similar. If this is generally considered to be good practise in the world of video makers, then it makes sense to put the credits at the start. I wish I could find the article I’m referencing, but it was a couple of years ago that I read it.

  4. Vect says:

    Nice Evangelion reference.

    Which reminds me: The guy who voices Ezio in the Japanese version is the guy who voices Domon Kashuu of G Gundam/Sosuke Sagara of Full Metal Panic.

  5. Exetera says:

    Erm. Why is Ezio being such a pansy here? The correct response, after whatever-his-name-is lied, would have been to march onto the platform immediately and stab everybody lacking the surname Auditore. Shouting at him won’t fix anything. The only advantage Ezio could possibly have had was speed, and he squandered it.

    • JPH says:

      As it turns out, not every protagonist is a total badass 100% of the time.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        I know, right? Josh kept pushing buttons and nothing awesome happened :(

      • Jakale says:

        What? People can actually be stunned into inaction by the betrayal of a long time family friend? What is this plausible stuff doing in my consequence-free murder simulator? I demand an immediate T-rex to ride so I can save my family in an awesome manner.

        Ah, this game and its love of Wink wink nudge nudge quest names.

        • Exetera says:

          Except, he doesn’t seem to show any particular sign of being “stunned into inaction;” he watches his family get killed, then proceeds to shout at people and bash at armored guards for about five minutes solid. Maybe I would have gotten more emotional impact out of the scene if Josh weren’t playing…

    • Otters34 says:

      Besides, the ones at fault aren’t Ezio, but the scriptwriters. They couldn’t think of a way to have Ezio be there and have the player be in control without requiring some way of keeping them from getting to the platform. So they just took away control of Ezio from the player instead. Same reason it’s not really those Quarian’s faults in ME2 for not just running from the mech instead of standing in the open and pointlessly shooting at it.

      • There was an entire bustling crowd of people in front of him, and you saw the moment he was spotted the guards were told to kill him. He would’ve gotten noticed before he went to the stage, and there was nothing stopping them just hanging the family there as soon as they saw someone approaching with murderous intent.

    • ehlijen says:

      Maybe it’s just Desmond bleeding through into Ezio? He’s got inaction to spare :P

  6. The assassin’s outfit get’s more extravagant each time too. Altair’s armor is ridiculous. The default outfit in Brotherhood is only slightly less so, but then you get Brutus’ armor and you look like a bear, as you can see here.

  7. Methermeneus says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why they hung Petrucchio, too. Maybe they were just freaked out by the rape eyes.

    I know you were partially trolling on the history of the word “assassin,” but history may have trolled us as well: Some people claim the etymology relating the word to “hashish” was a misunderstanding by foreign traders that was then perpetuated by the order’s political opponents. According to Amin Maalouf (as quoted on the Wikipedia page for the order of Assassins), “The truth is different. According to texts that have come down to us from Alamut, Hassan-i Sabbah liked to call his disciples Asasiyun, meaning people who are faithful to the Asās, meaning ‘foundation’ of the faith. This is the word, misunderstood by foreign travelers, that seemed similar to ‘hashish.'”

    Also, fun fact: the Arabic word “hashish” (هشيش) also means “grass.” As in, that’s the word that would be used for your lawn in Arabic. I don’t know whether or not it’s a coincidence that “grass” is also slang for marijuana in English.

    • Pete says:

      It gets mentioned in the final bossfight. Apparently it was the big bad sending a message to his enemies about how big and bad he is.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “I'm still trying to figure out why they hung Petrucchio, too.”

      You dont want the kid to grow up and seek revenge.Its common practice to completely wipe out a family of political prisoners.What Id want to know is why they let your mother and sister go.

      • They couldn’t find them and wanted to get the hanging done quickly. Later on he’ll escort them out of the city and the guards absolutely will try kill them.

      • ehlijen says:

        They knew as women, they’d never be able to break through the glass ceiling of the revenge business? It is set before women’s rights movements…

        I mean, look at the quests they’ve done:
        -carry a box for mum
        -tell off sister’s bad bf for being a bad bf

        They haven’t been portrayed as particularly empowered. Not unempowered either, I guess. And also, could just be ‘the protagonist has to do it’-itis.

        Anyway, my point was, I guess a woman’s revenge just wasn’t feard by those guys. Probably should have been, but then where’d our fetch 100 feather quest go?

        • Peter H. Coffin says:

          They knew as women, they'd never be able to break through the glass ceiling of the revenge business? It is set before women's rights movements…

          Lucrezia Borgia b. 1480. Essentially contemporary for this setting. More people remember her for her revenging than remember her father and he was a fockin’ POPE.

    • Wtrmute says:

      It’s not just coincidence: the Hashish from Hashashin means not just any drug, but specifically Marijuana. So that joke of Rutskarn’s about “guards harshing my mellow” is probably more accurate than what he intended…

  8. guy says:

    So, the historical assassins were pretty much Reginald Cuftbert?

  9. What is cool with Assassin’s Creed 2 (not sure of 1), and you can hear this in one of the dev diaries if I recall correctly… Is that any architectural or structural part that protrudes by 2 inches or more can be grabbed or climbed.

    So effectively this means that if something looks climbable it probably is.
    It’s a shame you can’t do this in other games, imagine GTA with that kind of mobility for example!

    PS! This is also why there are a lot of climbing dead ends, which is actually realistic when you think about it.

  10. Sozac says:

    I don’t see why anyone would just youtube the cutscene for getting the feathers without putting any effort into it. Then there’s no value to it. I’d rather have a map to where all the feathers are and get the ingame cutscene. I did it myself though and I thought it was worth it in the end. It was really quite touching.

    • nerdpride says:

      Maybe that works for you. You might be able to think of how much this would mean for the mother-figure in the game while you’re finding all those feathers. But IMHO it really draws my attention into how annoying fetch-quests are. From there, I start listing a gripe about all the videogames there are, and how rare it is for me to find something that really clicks for me, how much more fun I could be having, and whine and angst and why does this woman need feathers anyway or why can’t Ezio bag a bird instead.

      I’d really rather say that videogames are wrong rather than think I have a problem.

      Also, I’m pretty sure that things have value unrelated to the amount of work we directly put in to getting them.

    • Eleion says:

      Actually, I just took Shamus’ advice and watched the videos for the feather collection quest and now I’m really glad I didn’t spend the time getting all of them. I would have been furious if I had slogged through all that for a single line of dialogue and a terrible item.

      To each his own, I suppose…

      • Raygereio says:

        Edit: I meant to reply to Sozac. I fail at the Interwebs.

        Yeah, I also collected all feathers both times I played AC2 with the aid of a map (I just really like climbing on top of things in this game and the feathers were my excuse for messing around) and cutscene with mother dearest was touching.

        But let’s reflect for a moment just how terrible the items you get are:
        By the time you have the 50 feathers for the hammer, you already have access to better weapons in the store. Not the mention the fact that the damned thing looks ugly as hell.
        The cape on the otherhand does look pretty nice, but it’s useless for two reasons:
        -it raises your infamy to 100% in all cities, causing all guards to immediatly pounce on you the momment they spot you. You’re effectively punished for wearing it.
        -by the time you have the 100 feathers you’re at the endgame, meaning without the missing-chapters-DLC (during which you’re not allowed to equip it!) you can wear it for roughly 15-20 minutes (and if I recall right then during the endgame there are moments where you probably don’t want to wear it due to there being stealth sections in combination with the above point).

  11. Milos says:

    Well maybe it’s unimaginable to you but not everyone will enjoy spending 10 hours meticulously combing through every city in the game doing something meaningless as tracking down collectables. Or you can save yourself some hours and look up the locations of the feathers, but in that case you’re cheating anyway so there shouldn’t be much difference in watching the cutscene from your browser instead of the game itself.

    I can only speak for myself, but I felt no drive whatsoever to try and find every feather. I didn’t look up the cutscene on the internet, but I can understand if someone wants to see it and says: fuck you, game, you’re not wasting hours of my life on something I don’t enjoy.

    Edit: this was in response to the above post but I failed at replying.

    • Sumanai says:

      I think you’re underestimating the psychological value of doing something yourself. Looking the locations up online only takes one part of the effort, since you still have to get there.

      Cheating/not cheating isn’t binary for all people. To some it’s a gradient.

  12. Museli says:

    When Ezio gave those documents to Traitor McEvilface, I was expecting Ruts to suggest that the document was an Assassin’s Screed, but alas, he missed it. I’m very disappointed in you, young man.

  13. Andrew says:

    Now I’m really curious. What happens if you straight-up murder all the guards there? Does Traitor McBackstab run for it? Does he endlessly summon more guards? Or does the game completely whiff it and keep telling you to run, while the big bad hides behind an invisible wall?

    • Raygereio says:

      While I’ve never tried it, I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to murder all the guards there as they just respawn.

    • Jakale says:

      I imagine the game would treat it like it does the other times you kill the guards of the area, that being “Hurray, no living guards can see or chase you, you’ve evaded them.”

    • Simon Buchan says:

      I’ve done it, but it was a while ago. If I remember right, Our Good Friend pretty much disapears as soon as the fight starts, and so you totally can kill all those guards – though I think you need to leave the area to finish the memory?

  14. Deadpool says:

    Shoulder cape hides the sword.

    I want to see the scene when you meet your father and goes “I told you to TAKE the contents of the chest, not WEAR them!”

  15. Eleion says:

    Mumbles doesn’t seem to be having the greatest time with this series. Usually it takes at least 10 hours before the cast starts making comments that sound both weary and annoyed!

    • Hush says:

      Obviously, Mumbles is trying to get revenge for when Shamus and co. tore Bioshock to shreds in front of her.

      What confuses me, though, is why she doesn’t use this as an excuse to dress up in a flamboyant costume, run around rooftops, and beat the tar out of people who piss her off. That’s what most people would do.

      Well, it’s what I’d do, at any rate…

    • Klay F. says:

      Yeah, its pretty obvious she dislikes the game from the constant nitpicks of frivolous things and/or common videogame tropes. Then again, it doesn’t help that Ruts hasn’t played the series and isn’t interested in it in the slightest, so he fills the time with puns instead of actually talking abut the game.

      Its weird how little actual discussion of the game is going on, being replaced by nitpicks of things that don’t matter.

      • JPH says:

        What bugs me is that an episode or two ago she directly contradicted herself. She complained about AC2’s combat, and then when Shamus brought up Arkham Asylum she said that game is “not about the combat.”

        Arkham Asylum is just as much about combat as Assassin’s Creed. Both of them have forced combat sections, and in both of them the combat isn’t really the game’s focus. That remark just made her sound really hypocritical.

        • Klay F. says:

          Or the fact that both Arkham Asylum and Ass Creed feature combat which is just mashing one button over and over again (at least it was on the PC). In all honesty, the only reason I would recommend playing Arkham Asylum is for the combat. It certainly wasn’t for the batshit ridiculous story or tedious Riddler fetch quests, both of which are also featured in Ass Creed.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            People really should stop calling it button mashing though.Button mashing means constantly pressing a button without any thought.In arkham asylum,however,you have to time the button presses.So what if its just one button,you still have to time it right.However,even saying that its just one button is also wrong,because you also have to pick the direction,because if you let bats pick any enemy,youll soon pick the wrong one and break the chain.

          • GiantRaven says:

            Eugh. A fantastically made Batman videogame deserved a better story than another Arkham breakout with a Loeb-esque parade of villains. It was just plain lazy.

            • Aulayan says:

              I dunno. Batman: Knightfall would be AMAZING … And would feature a parade of villains. (See it is possible.)

            • Deadpool says:

              To be fair, everything deserves to be less Loeb-esque…

              Also, just because Arkhan Assylum’s combat sucks TOO (and Mumbles’ enjoyment of Batman let’s her forgive it), doesn’t make the combat in THIS game any better or worse… She can have a blind spot for one game and still be completely right about another…

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I remember playing a zoro game on my comodore 64,some 15+ years ago.Indeed,why wasnt there a good one in the meantime?

    • X2-Eliah says:

      I guess zorro could work on Kinect/wii, with you always having to swipe out Z’s in the air.. Other than that, I don’t really see the appeal for a zorro game.

      For one – his character is quite poorly handled over the times, and at this point is little more than a joke, compared to the cultural powerhouse that is batman.
      Also, the scene and setting of zorro is really of very little interest to most people, as it doesn’t resonate well at all.. Add to this the fact that greatest associations to the Zorro’s setting comes from day-time endless ‘romantic’ tv novellas, which, frankly, are bad and should be killed with fire.

  17. Hitch says:

    I was at a movie this afternoon and they ran a trailer for the new Three Musketeers movie. The announcer has the line, “She was the greatest assassin of her time.” And we she Milla Jovovitch diving off a roof in the middle of Paris (no evidence of any water bellow her).

    So this diving off tall buildings is a typical activity of historical assassins?

  18. Like I said earlier, climbing/grasping something that protrude more than 2 inches is awesome and I wish other games would do that, even if just in a limited scale. (I hate chest high walls)

    What I forgot to also mention is that as you see in this Spoiler Warning, climbing on top of a lookout point gives a nice panorama, and it oddly gives you some sense of effort. Not only that but your map is expanded/updated.

    That is again something that annoyed me in the GTA games, if I can see the damn clothing store all the way down at the other end of the block…Why do I have to be almost on the sidewalk next to it before it appears on the map?

    Assassins Creed goes kinda too far the other way though as you map stuff you don’t really have line of sight to at all, but that’s less worse than refusing to map a location on the other side of the damn street like in GTA IV.

    It’s not like it’s difficult to do “line of sight” either.
    You can fake doing the ray tracing test by simply checking if the “store” front window/stuff in the window has been rendered or not.
    Alternatively if the sign of the store has been rendered then pop the darn location on the map… *sigh*

    As most might guess I hope, is that small things like that nags me in games.

    Also, think about this. in games (like GTA) when they do those nice “a while later” or “a few weeks later” or months or even years like with Assassin’s Creed. How come that Altair or Ezio or whatever do not know a single location next to the place they’ve lived for like years.

    GTA, Mafia, and many other open world games sin in this, after all you would expect that the place where your character “lives” you know the neighborhood right?

    GTA IV (and DLCs) do this, heck even GTA: San Andreas messed that up.

    Most people probably only “know” the nearest half hour circle around where they live, as kids it may be larger but as adults we’re far to busy.
    So it’s that half hour “walking” circle, plus routes (car/train/tram/bus/taxi/on foot) to and from work or shops, cafe’s or movie theater that you regularly go to.

    So you living map is a larger half hour walking range circle, with strands reaching out and many times strands are crossing strands, the strands end in smaller circles, but the circles can be about as large as the living circle, especially the leisure or work circle.

    Why the heck game devs keep forgetting to do something similar in games I have no idea,
    it always irked me that my character that grew up/lived in the city for many years has the same knowledge of the place as a tourist, in fact… a tourist probably would know more. *sigh*

    • Aldowyn says:

      You have line of sight to almost EVERYTHING on top of one of the towers.

      Doesn’t mean you can tell what it is, though.

    • silver Harloe says:

      “it always irked me that my character that grew up/lived in the city for many years has the same knowledge of the place as a tourist, in fact… a tourist probably would know more. *sigh*”

      at least AC kind hand-waves this in some sort of sense of vague plausibility – when you go up to the top of a tower it doesn’t say you’ve learned all the locations, it says you synced up some memories and loaded them into the computer back home.

      • Chuck says:

        To be fair, it was extremely rare for a citizen of an Italian city-state to walk beyond the bounds of their own neighborhood, nobles and patricians included.

        International merchants and sailors being an obvious exception.

    • Turgid Bolk says:

      I imagine it’s to give a sense of accomplishment, and also just a silly game mechanic that nobody’s thought to change. It’s all about the player. A lot of game mechanics don’t make much sense, but it’s a price paid for fun gameplay. Although this particular mechanic I wouldn’t mind changed, it would be like following the routes that someone else has blazed. Kind of interesting to see where they’ve gone.

      At least in (some?) GTAs they give you a street map to look at, so you’re not totally lost.

    • Sumanai says:

      “As most might guess I hope, is that small things like that nags me in games.”

      Well, it’s the small things that make or break games/movies/books/etc.

      From personal experience it’s not impossible to completely miss buildings that are on the way, or slightly off the way, from work. It’s all a matter of whether a person goes out of their way to check “what’s behind that corner”. But storytelling isn’t most of the time about realism, it’s about being believable. So they failed for you there.

  19. Mathias says:

    Of course the important distinction between the Hashashin in real-life and the ones portrayed in Assassin’s Creed is that in Assassin’s Creed they’re portrayed (especially in AC1) as people who are willing to take one life to save a thousand, regardless of whether he was a Crusader or a Muslim, whereas the hashashin served the muslim warlords during the Crusades.

    Also, that sequence from AC1 where the Grand Master has you and two others jump out from a really high place while yelling “SHOW THIS MAN WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE NO FEAR!”? That really happened.

  20. Airsoftslayer93 says:

    When i played this is was so invested in Ezio as a character that i didn’t actaully want to pick up the costume and wear it, i felt like the character would, i missed his previous carefree life, the only other game ive had the same kind of experiance with was red dead redemption.

  21. Ateius says:

    Oh man, the intercom. I hated that so much. Not only are there chunks of game time set aside where you have to be Boring Desmond in his Boring Plot, but now Boring Plot people are butting in to Fun Stab Time.

    “Hey there player! Were you immersed? Well SCREW YOU! I’m from the stupid meta-plot and I’m here to destroy the atmosphere of being in Renaissance Italy!”

    So much hate.

  22. Eljacko says:

    The distinctiveness of Ezio’s outfit is so ridiculously self-evident, it should have been obvious to the developers. Practically everyone in the gaming world can immediately recognize Ezio’s incredibly iconic, glaringly white, be-decorated costume. On a good day, to an inexperienced observer, he might be able to pass himself off as Altair, which is about as useful as something that’s completely useless.

  23. Florin-Vlad says:

    That jump on that lady looks like the textbook deffinition of “sexual predator”

  24. Gamer says:

    I cannot wait to see what you guys think of the notoriety system. Specifically, how wanted posters seem to be located in positions no ordinary person would possibly see.

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