Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery takes players through an untold chapter from the Assassin’s Creed II console storyline utilizing the unique strengths of the Nintendo DS platform. In this new adventure, Ezio travels to Spain to rescue fellow assassins being held under the guise of the Inquisition, only to uncover a Templar plot to sail west and discover the New World. The game takes platforming into the next generation with an emphasis on exhilarating speed and breathtaking acrobatics. The in-game animations provide players with a true visceral experience and the intuitive controls enable players to easily execute assassinations and nimbly navigate obstacles reaching daredevil speeds. Nintendo DSi owners will be able to take pictures of themselves and put them directly into the game as “WANTED!” posters.
-Exceptional melee, with the simplistic counter/block system working better here in free flowing individual levels than it ever did in the main series’ huge sandboxes
-Exceptional stealth. The problem of side-scrolling foresight is solved with a stealth pose and viewfinder, giving the player all the necessary information to proceed at all times. Hiding locations are well implemented (i.e hay piles).
-Exceptional parkour. Maybe even ‘and this is bold’ the best in the series. Thanks to Griptonites 3D engine (Web of Shadows) Ezio’s animation is nothing short of stunning, with satisfying weight and momentum playing a key role in every action.
-Gameplay variety. 3 Mission archetypes: Stealth(Detection level), Chase (High speed parkour) and Standard (Sandbox). Every level offers multiple paths, with the higher route usually requiring parkour skill and the lower ones more crowded with enemy patrols. Ramps are high risk, requiring Ezio to leap at a roofs edge while sprinting in order to avoid death, this makes parkour all the more engaging should the player ‘choose’ the high road.
-Brilliant graphics. I can’t stress this enough, Griptonites 3D DS engine is a work of art, this might be primarily a sidescroller but the character models, textures, architecture and backdrops look better than anything in Bloodlines.
-High replayability. Again, a series trademark, ‘synchronisation’ works better here than it ever did in the main series, with exciting individual levels where objectives compliment truncated sessions and provide incentive for mastery.
-Exceptional voice acting. This took me by surprise, it’s one thing for the game to look so good but with the inclusion of such high standard VO it really comes together to create the feeling of a home console experience on the go, refreshingly altered only by a perspective change (ala the Tony Hawk games GBA) and some favourable changes to formula.