Image via WikipediaAssassin's Creed II (3D) mobile is a fun little action number that's very similar to Prince of Persia (3D), considering that it's from the same publisher: Gameloft. The action this time is just as interesting, and this time the writers linked in more historical figures, such as the Medicis, Da Vinci, and more. The 3D engine this time allows more acrobatic moves, and a bit side-game. What's more there are also dramatic "kill moves" that shows you graphically of your special kills. The result is a good button pusher, if a bit on the mature subject side.
You are Eeio, whose family was wrongly put to death in a conspiracy. After discovering you are descendents of a cult of assassins, and you got the training, you befriended some of the best thinkers in Italy, who will help you get revenge on those who had wronged your family. Your first stop is to remove the judge that sent your family to death. He is in central square overseeing some more executions... and you will be helped by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci, who had hidden one of his flying wings for your getaway.
The actual game itself is a mix of Prince-of-Persia like blade combat that has attack vs. block, then jumping / climbing ledges, jumping from pole to pole, jumping off rooftops and bouncing off "trampolines", and so on while you collect "gems", which also tell you the path you should be taking.
The action is 2D, but looks 3D-ish, similar to the first Transformers game (the movie adaptation tie-in). There's jumping, there's climbing, and the parallax scrolling is very good. The combat is fine, though blocking is a bit "unexplained".
The problem is in the minigames. Most minigames are simple. The first minigame involves taking the flying machine out of the city, and that means flying down this gauntlet of of a canal, with obstacles, people jumping off bridges trying to get to you, archers below trying to shoot you, and you need to fly over the fires to gain altitude, as well as "kick" the archers off their boats and platforms, without being shot down or crash. The second minigame is "avoid the light", and that's easily done s you're prompted on what you need to do. However, the third minigame, where you're supposed to use the dancers for cover, is completely unexplained, and thus, impossible to complete without some spoilers.
There are three difficulty levels to choose from, if you really need that much more of an arcade challenge. I found the easy difficulty challenging enough so far. You have to finish the easy difficulty in order to unlock the "hard" difficulty.
The graphics, already stated, are 3D, and looks gorgeous. However, as a result the control's responsiveness suffered somewhat. There are occasions where I pressed a key and nothing happened. It is quite annoying.
All in all, Assasin's II 3D manage to infuse the game with a new and improved look, and it's absolutely great. The different game elements are challenging. However, the minigames are a bit obtuse, and the keys are somehow less responsive. The overall result is good, but not quite "hall of fame" material.
Overall rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Looks great, lots of interesting activities, kill cams
Cons: Feels like a clone Prince of Persia 3D, with improved camera angles, unexplained minigames, mature subject
Verdict: Give it a try, if just for the looks
HINT: To finish the "user dancers as cover", imagine the guard is to your right, off the screen. Keep the dancer between you and the guard. When two pairs of dancers overlap, run toward the "right" and take cover behind the other pair. Then use them as cover again. Use the "gems" as a rough guide to where you need to move, but always stay in cover. When you're at last set of dancers, and very close to the guard, stick the them like glue, until you're at the far side of the courtyard. Then you can make a run for it, follow the gems up the ramp.
HINT: "ambush" the guards with the hay wagon by moving the wagon, but NOT when they're looking. As soon as they go "past" the wagon, go "right". Then you can "suck him in" when they come close the next time. In the other variant that you can't kill anybody, wait until one is off screen and move in smaller increments so neither can see your wagon move. Takes a bit of patience, but that's the way it goes.
HINT: Flying wing sequences are tough, and the trick is you need to periodically seek the torch, or kick off some of those poor defenders and toss them into the canal. Both will gain you altitude, and you need altitude to get speed. Without speed, your flight is finished. Climbing also cuts your speed. In later levels, beware of kamikaze jumpers that try to jump on your wings, either zig-zag to avoid them (cut your speed), or use rapid W presses to spin them off.
HINT: In the final battle, the objective is to find those "torchable areas" on the boat, put your crosshair over it, and press W so you can "dive bomb" it, thus setting that portion on fire. Of course, you need to do this while dodging fire arrows and a net-caster. Once you got like 4-5 of those done, and Borga is pushed to the bow of the boat, put the crosshair on him, press W, and get the finale.