Assassin's Creed II: Bonfire of the Vanities (PS3) - Review
19 February 2010
Excerpt: Bonfire of the Vanities is the second downloadable expansion to Assassin’s Creed II. It picks up the story from where the first expansion (Battle of Forlì) left off, and fills the hole in the story between Ezio’s losing of the Apple of Eden in the first expansion, and Memory Sequence 14 (the final sequence) of Assassin’s Creed II, where Ezio travels to the Vatican for his final quest.
Summary: Parents need to know that this game deals with themes of death and the supernatural, and characters will interact with the ghosts of people who have died in the game. The game assumes that upon death souls travel to netherworld realms that are reflections of human attitudes toward death. There is fantasy violence against the denizens of the netherworld, and "folk" creatures are collected by ripping their souls or "ids" out of their bodies.
Excerpt: Folklore is the Playstation 3’s first, first-party developed Role-playing game, and it shows. It’s unfortunate but true. There are some very rusty edges underneath all the High Def gleam. But moreover it’s just plain weird! The game takes place within a rural village in Ireland called Doolin, which could pretty much be compared to towns like Sleepy Hallow (you know before the bad guy shows up).
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: If it wasn't for the relatively fun combat that forms the bulk of the gameplay in Folklore I would have been much more harsh on this game. There's so much in the game design that seems a decade behind the best games that are showing up on the new systems. But the combat is interesting and there is enough depth that you can forget many of the flaws that surround it. The game doesn't live up to its potential, but it's worth taking a look anyway.
Excerpt: There’s something about Folklore that we’re confused about. When it was initially announced, a mixture of fear and loathing speared through our hearts upon noting the developers – Game Republic, responsible for the offensive-to-the-senses dirge that was Genji: Days of the Blade.
Excerpt: A murder in the village of the dead! Writers comment: I can not promise that this review will be spoiler free so if you do not wish to have anything ruined before playing this game please do not read on, otherwise enjoy having the game spoiled! 10 Second Sniplet: Playing this game is fun for many reasons but one of the biggest is this… you get to drag out enemy souls (ids) using the SIXAXIS motion control!
Pros: Over 100 monsters to find and harvest, Excellent story sequences using 3d comic book styles, Beautiful graphics and worlds, Excellent monster design, Downloadable Content
Conclusion: What comes of all this is a reasonably uniquely paced game in that investigating top-side, while fighting and navigating in the Netherworld, gives the adventure a somewhat wet and dry charm. Investigating, however, feels like a redundant exercise given you’re really only walking from point A to B, and while you’re supposedly ‘exploring’, anything you can actually interact with is immediately made attention of, everything else is just dressing.
Pros: Excellent CG and good voice-acting, Interesting concept and good use of Celtic lore, One of the better Sixaxis control uses yet
Cons: Not enough interaction with the game-world, Difference between gameplay in the Netherworld and real world a bit too different, Not nearly as much depth as there could have been