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Assassin’s Creed 2 Day#8: A Ciascuno Il Suo

Day 8 of Assassin’s Creed 2 is an ease back into the game, with a couple of assassination missions — one in the ultraviolent, one in the ultrasneaky.  I’m still pretty surprised by how open-ended the game is, and how many ways I can do any one mission I try. I also play around a lot with notoriety. Overall, it’s fun to be back. Spoilers within.

I pick up on the second of my set of assassination missions, this time after the archbishop Salviati. He’s holed himself up in a compound, and it was implied that I have to fight my way in, so I gather up the mercenaries I’ve been supplied and get on it. I have a feeling that I’m supposed to sneak over the wall somehow, but I was told this was a combat mission so I fight all twenty or so guys outside first. It’s probably pointless, but it’s fun to be a little bloody. It’s particularly interesting now that I’m starting to see the differences between the kinds of bad guys. For example, most guys are easily dispatched with a counter-attack when they strike. However, there’s a guy in heavy armor who is really hard and doesn’t fall for that one. I don’t know how to fight him at all except button mashing, which I’m sure is not the solution. I have no doubt there’s a strategy for that guy, and whatever it is, I’m happy it’s not the same old counter-attacking.

Two medicine bottles of healing and a score of dead guards later, I finally find a way to scale the building and get inside. Once inside, I have to find gate to let my guys in. I stealth around until I use my Eagle Vision to spot my target and then I find the gate entrance. It’s an interactive object, but when I finally stealth up to it after careful planning and patience, I forget which button to push to interact and hit A pointlessly. The guards are alerted  and I end up fighting most of them myself; I only come back to the gate once just the target and an armored guy are left. I finally remember that B opens gate, and when my boys rush in, I kill the target. As he dies, he tells me another fact about the Templar meetings — they only emerge only in darkness to meet with others.  Last rites, and the mission is over.

The only assassinations that are left are in Tuscany proper, so it’s time to go into the city. When I do get in, I’m way notorious and have to be very careful.  I notice there are a couple of codices in the city, and decide to take them before I do anything else. As in Firenze, the codices are inside rooms guarded by four guards at the entrance. For each codex, I end up using a different strategy. In the first one, I scale the building the codex is in, drop into the circle of guards killing two of them right away, and then sword fight my way through the remaining guards. Interestingly, as I battle the guards, the crowd seems to be on my side. Anyway, I kill them, casually walk in, and get my codex.

That worked so well that I decide to try it again in the second attack, but this time, I’m spotted on the roof and have to run as the guard chase me.  I get around a corner, scale a building, and I run around the roofs until I get back to the door. Lo, I distracted all the guards and it’s wide open. I casually walk in, and get my codex. However, as I’m walking out, the guards gather again at the door. Uh-oh. They don’t notice me yet, but they clearly will when I leave, and then I’m screwed. I walk out the door and am immediately sent into a truly fun chase.  There are guards all over the place, so just as I shake one guy, I pick up another. There’s a point when I run right into a hammer swing from an unseen guard ahead of me. There’s a point where I’m caught by a snoopy guard in a hay stack. There’s one guy pursuing me that I can’t outrun, and I only get away from him by climbing a building. It takes a minute long run followed by a roof dive into hay to finally get away.  It’s good stuff, and it points out the strength of this game.  Two different codices, two totally different gameplay methods of resolving them. Very nice.

Anyway, it’s time I got back to the plot, and so I find the closet mission guy. He tells me that Baroncelli (my next target) was imprisoned by Medici, but he escaped from prison and is hiding in this city.  They know he’s in a certain location, but I have to find him there. This seems pretty straightforward. I head to the area, marked in green on my map. When I get there, I use my Eagle Vision to find the target bathed in gold. I go back to normal vision, and  jump down into the square the target’s in. I quickly hide in crowd and wait patiently until he approaches. When he does, I step forward and kill him with my bracelet blade. As he dies, he tells me that the Templars gather at the church. A little running and a little climbing loses the guards, and that’s that. Easy-peasy.

Along the way, I have run into a couple of officials on the street. Killing officials reduces my notoriety, so by the end of this last mission, I’m basically incognito again. I decide to take advantage of that to take care of mundane business in Tuscana.  As I’m wandering the map, I notice an assassin’s tomb I previously missed, so seems like a good idea to catch that next.  Unfortunately, as soon as I get down there, I’m immediately notorious again. Oh well. This tomb is a combination: fight guards and climb. The fighting is easy; the climbing is puzzly. I get through one room after quickly dispatching guards and then running around for a couple minutes trying to find out how to get to the top of fence. At this point, jet lag starts to get me, and I call it a night.

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