|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Griptonite Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
With such ease of movement, it's tempting to just zip through levels at breakneck speed and enjoy the thrill of the risk. This isn't always the best course of action. The lack of a map and a limited field of view really puts a damper on any attempts to be overly reckless. Spoil sport. Jumping from platform-to-platform at high speed tends to be a leap of faith, since you may land safely on the other side or fall to your death. Either way, you can't really see what's coming up, which is problematic to say the least. What the bottom screen does display is an arrow to indicate where enemies are in relation to your location and the direction they're facing. This is somewhat helpful but nowhere nearly as handy as a full terrain map would be.
It should go without saying that Discovery is a game about being an assassin. As such, there are lots of ways to kill your enemies, and all of them involve deliciously gratuitous violence. Even without blood splatter, taking out enemies using a myriad of stealth kills is a huge draw. Sneaking up on your victim lets you enact some truly horrendous ways of eviscerating them, and the camera zooms-in to give you a front row seat of the nefarious acts. Some of the more impressive assassinations involve pulling an arrow out of an archer's bow and jabbing it into his neck, using your sword to forklift a soldier into the air by jabbing him upward through his gut, and jumping up on to a guy's shoulders to thrust your blade down into his head. Needless to say, these and the many other fun instant kills are tremendously effective. Though Ezio also has some decent blocking abilities, counter-attacks, and straightforward swordsmanship skills, they're pretty useless against more than one foe at a time.
In many ways Assassin's Creed II: Discovery is big step up from its predecessor, and Griptonite's high energy, action-heavy approach is one that will sit well with many fans of the series. The downside is the overabundance of platforming stabby-stabbery tends to grow repetitive before long, and the trial-and-error nature of the level design is enough to make some players grow tired of the experience prematurely. Even so, Discovery is a tight game that dishes up a few solid hours of intense 15th century cutthroat adventure.
CCC Staff Contributor