Assassin’s Creed II lived up to its hype when it released in November 2009, providing gamers with an enjoyable storyline consisting of sufficient playtime to last players through the Christmas period , as they free-ran their way through missions and collected the one-hundred feathers scattered throughout renaissance Italy. Three months on and the first set of downloadable content has been released, titled: Battle of Forli.
Battle of Forli starts with Ezio, Niccoló Machiavelli, Leonardo Da Vinci and Mario Auditore agreeing that the recently-obtained Piece of Eden should be sealed away in the citadel in Forli. However, upon Ezio’s arrival to the city, the city’s ruler: Caterina Sforza informs Ezio that Forli has been occupied by the Orsi brothers – working for the Templars.
The downloadable content features six new missions, with each providing a fair bit of variety. Players start by escorting Caterina Sforza and Niccoló Machiavelli back into the city, battling it out against guards along the way. Other missions consist of having to find and regain Sforza’s kidnapped children, as well as some combat-heavy missions, requiring players to fight off huge numbers of guards.
One of the highlights to arise from the downloadable content is the incredible characters, whose personalities stand out throughout. Caterina Sforza’s sexual hints, including discussion of her breasts and her “instrument to make more” children, are very similar to those previously displayed by Ezio’s mother. Brother O’Callahan, a monk whose strong Irish accent stands out, also provides some comical laughter in the short scene in which he appears.
The closing scene within the downloadable content is very open-ended, suggesting that the further upcoming DLC will continue from where this one left off. Whilst this isn’t particularly a bad feature, gamers may feel a little cheated having to fork out the rather overpriced 320 Microsoft Points, for a title that doesn’t have high replayability.
Whereas the content is a great inclusion into the Assassin’s Creed II storyline, slotting into the unoccupied gap well, the missions can easily be completed within an hour. Initially, this doesn’t sound too bad; however, the DLC fails to bring anything new to the table – recycling old mission styles and objectives under the new storyline. Nevertheless, the addition of Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machine, available at any time within the city of Romagna, is one of the few pros to be taken from the rather weak content.
The first set of downloadable content for Assassin’s Creed II has proved somewhat disappointing. The lack of replayability and the short time it takes to complete the sequence will frustrate Assassin’s Creed II fans who were eagerly anticipating the Battle of Forli, however, for die-hard Creed II fans; this is a must-purchase.