Assassin’s Creed II – Sequence 9

Assassin’s Creed II is widely regarded as the best Assassin’s Creed game. And I love Assassin’s Creed II, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of awesome things about it. But there are also quite a few flaws that it gets away with, in my opinion, and having repeatedly argued about these topics with a number of people over a certain course of time, decided to make a small blog mini-series. I’ll start with Sequence 9. Spoilers to those who haven’t played the game.

The Carnevale is like an Assassin’s Creed II‘s version of Assassin’s Creed III‘s Declaration of Independence… in a sense that it’s something that the developers really wanted in the game due to the time period and location (because it’s iconic), even to the detriment of the game and/or plot.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of the Carnevale. A little breather with mini-games and fun in Venice. But by Odin’s beard is the way it’s put into Assassin’s Creed II is so contrived.

So, we start the sequence in Venice, there is a new Templar Doge in town, and Ezio has to kill him. This Doge, however, constantly sits in the Palazzo Ducale (a building that can’t be climbed), so, obviously getting in the Palazzo by asking Leonardo to build another flying machine to swoop in from above like we did a few missions before that is not an option. This is sarcasm, by the way.

However, Marco Barbarigo (the new Doge) still has to do his duties to the people and can’t miss the Carnevale, therefore he is throwing a private party. Killing him on the way to the party never occurred to anybody even though we know exactly from which point of the city he’ll leave, so the characters decide to do the dark deed at the party itself. Alright, infiltrate the party and assassinate the Doge, fair enough.

But! Our new ally, Sister Teodora, – owner of a brothel in Venice, says that the only way to get into that party without causing a ruckus is if you have a Golden Mask. And you can’t forge a Golden Mask, because they’re NUMBERED. Now, I’m not sure what the logistics are behind a numbered mask and how does that matter, but we’ll go with it. Let’s steal a Golden Mask from a guest! Nope, we’re not going to do it, Sister Teodora tells us to win it at the Carnevale.

So we go through all the Carnevale games to win the mask. But in the end we don’t get it, because the Templars cheat and give said mask to Dante Moro (a Templar bodyguard). Who then goes to the party. So we have to steal the mask from him. WHY STEALING IT COULDN’T BE PLAN A?! (just wait until somebody wins the games and steal the Mask) More than that, we CAN’T kill Dante, because then the party would be cancelled (even though cellphones didn’t exist back then) and the Doge would run back to hide in the Palazzo (which we could, ahem, fly to using Leonardo’s inventions, so it’s not that big of a setback really). But alright. We steal and put on the Golden Mask and go the Doge’s party. And here’s the best part.

a) The only person wearing the Golden Mask at the party is us.
b) Dante Moro arrives later with the guards to search for us (by the way, why we couldn’t knock him out in a fist fight before stealing the mask if we’ve beaten him to a pulp at the Carnivale already?), the only person with the Golden Mask, meaning that the whole point of acquiring the mask to stay incognito is now moot.
c) Get this, Teodora and her courtesans are at the party. WITHOUT MASKS. And in the party itself we use the cover of the courtesans as we do in Assassin’s Creed II all the time (for those who don’t know, it’s one of the game mechanics to stay incognito). Screw stealing the Golden Mask as plan A, why using courtesans couldn’t be plan A? Thanks for your help, Sister Teodora, why you couldn’t just say, “Hey, Ezio, we can totally find a way to get into the party and will help you?”
d) And the final kicker. The party happens near the water. And the Doge stays on a ship at the water. You know what that means? We didn’t need to infiltrate the party in the first place, because doing a little swim would’ve been enough to get to the target unnoticed.

This whole sequence is so contrived, and there’s constantly something that makes everything we’ve done previously pointless, and, honestly, that’s never good.

There’s no reason why the Assassination mission couldn’t be more open. The whole subplot with the Golden Mask has absolutely no use. The reason to not kill Dante (who’s one of our targets as well) doesn’t make sense. The whole sequence could’ve been made into one single mission and make much more sense.

So, yeah. Thoughts and comments are welcome. Hope you’ve enjoyed the post, and please don’t mistake my intentions or attitude towards Assassin’s Creed II – I enjoy the game immensely.

Posted on November 1, 2013, in Game Design and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Excellent post. Personally, I felt that many of the Sequences in Assassin’s Creed 2 felt like filler, as you pointed out in your other post. I’d really like to see you deconstruct the other sequences in Venice, and also maybe the sequences in Brotherhood and Revelations.

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