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Assassin’s Creed 2 Day#5: Ogni Collezione di Ogni Genere

Day 5 yields more Assassin’s Creed goodness, now in a much more directed assassination quest. It’s fun, although it turns out to be less assassination like than I wanted. And wow, there are a lot of collectibles in this game. I mean, just this session I add on two more goals to complete in addition to the main plot and the four other subgoals I currently have, not including Xbox Achievements and general equipment completism. Exactly how much time am I expected to play this thing? Spoilers within.

I left off waiting to get into Tuscany to kill Vieri, my next target. I have to follow Mario to the city, which I do. Once there, Mario tells me that I have to sneak in and open the gates to let them in. He gives me throwing knives to use to kill archers, but they are useless, since I have no way of aiming them that I know of, and thus I have no idea whether I’m going to hit or not when I use them. I instead run through with my dagger and kill my way to the gate. Once I open it, my guys run in and then weirdly back out before coming back inside — strange AI response, I guess. The next step is to kill some guards as distraction so Mario can get deeper in the city, and I do so. Combat is getting easier and more interesting.

Once I finish the distraction, I’m supposed to find Mario again, but I decide to take a second to get some viewpoints on the way. As I approach the first viewpoint, I find another glyph. 16 rants about how things don’t die — they are passed on. The puzzle this time is to find eden pieces in pictures I-Spy style.  This is easy once I know what I’m doing. I find  my passcode, but the video image this time is totally unclear. I go on to complete the two viewpoints I can find.

Eventually I catch up to a wounded guard who sends me off to a bigger fight alongside Mario’s troops. Along the way, I see Vieri talking to the other conspirators, who want to reunite the people behind the Templars. When I catch up with Mario, he then tells me to find Vieri. I do find him on the top of a parapet surrounded by guards. I don’t remember where my bracelet dagger is in the weapon interface, so I have to fight my way through all of the guards, which is  a little anti-climatic as a way to assassinate the guy. Nonetheless, I do kill the guards and then take out Vieri. Ezio CS demands information from Vieri as he’s dying , but he snarkily refuses to confess. At this point, Ezio lets out a truly impressive series of curses in Italian. Mario tells Ezio to show Vieri respect.  Ezio doesn’t want to,  but Mario replies that he does not want Ezio to become another Vieri and then gives Vieri last rites. That’s the end of the scene.

We cut back to the villa.  Mario is celebrating because without Vieri, Toscana will leave the villa alone for a while.  I tell Mario I’m going back to Firenze to kill all the Templars. I then read a letter I found on Vieri — turns out Vieri’s father thought him brash. I go find Mario who then shows me the codex wall, and tells me that the codices form a map to Eden. This is a reference to Assassin’s Creed 1 it seems.  Ezio CS agrees to take over his father’s quest, and explains that he needs Leo to decode the codices. Mario sends me off to find the four codices hidden in the villa itself. I do so, and that’s the end of sequence three.

There’s no scene transition with the end of the sequence. Instead, I stay in the villa and talk to Claudia. She’s upset because if she’s staying at the villa, she has to work, in her case as a bookkeeper. She tells me she needs money to repair the villa, and it turns out villa generates money over time from visitors based on how nice the villa is. I find this strange — it’s not a bad system, but why on earth would I want this kind of sim-economy gameplay in AC2? I then meet the architect. He needs money to actually do the repairs. I decide to try this system out a little and buy a new bank. Still, I don’t think I’m going to pay too much attention to this villa stuff.

I finally talk to Mario, who takes me to this crazy underground sanctuary for assassins in the basement.  The assassin from the last game (Altere?) had some sweet armor that locked down here, and the only way to get it is to find a series of crypts around the map. Oh yeah, and I have to get the armor to “fully synchronize with Ezio.” Really? Another collection quest? Exactly how many collectibles does this game need to feel like it’s got enough? Because I count, no fooling, SIX explicit different systems so far. I hope these dovetail somehow, because it would be ridiculous to be this completist.

Anyway, with this it’s back to Firenze, now in 1478. I go back to Leonardo finally, and he decodes the codices which teach me some cool assassination techniques to drop people from hay piles or rooftops or the like. My next step in to find The Fox, a thief in the mercato who can help me find my next target. I go to the mercato and get pickpocketed. I chase and tackle pickpocket, and when I do, he takes me to the Fox. The Fox is an arrogant jerk, but will help me out. Turns out I have to go to a merchant meeting on the waterfront to get some intel. I decide to take a second to do another viewpoint roundup before go on that quest. Viewpoints — GO!

On the way to my first viewpoint, I pass what seems to be a different assassin. WTF? I chase him, but I fail to catch him. He reappears repeatedly while  I viewpoint hunt, but I don’t ever catch him. I find a new glyph where 16 talks about already knowing how to hack. It’s another picture searching puzzle. This is a much more opaque challenge; there seems to be a clue in the title to where I’m supposed to look, but I’m frankly just guessing and clicking around the screen randomly.  That works well enough to get me a new passcode. There’s  more video of naked people, this time in the future.

I go on to get all the viewpoints, six in total, leaving only the one in the center of the city I can’t reach. I then get all of the remaining codices in Firenze: one with courtesans, and the other by throwing money to distract the guards, but the money wears off as I leaving and then have to run. Once I’m incognito again, I buy a painting and a couple treasure maps from a store. I also repair my stuff with a not-so-tiny sense of horror that I I actually have to do that in this game. Is this an RPG too? I like this game a lot lot, but I’m starting to get deeply worried about bloat. Anyway, I finally get to the next mission point and that’s where I call it a day.

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  1. Douglas Yee says

    You should be able to reach all the viewpoints in Firenze (I understand there are some viewpoints in Venezia you can’t reach until you get some kind of new charge-jump move). Some viewpoints you can’t climb directly; the trick is to climb the building next to it and jump over.

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