After the release of Episode 2 Betrayal; I have now completed it so here is the review.
The opening basically covers the events of the previous episode; recapping everything. Although one thing that was not mentioned last time; which should have been, is that Benedict Arnold told you to seek out Benjamin Franklin. This was forgotten about as the actual play through was a couple of weeks back.
|Washington talking to a caged Connor|
With the recap finished Connor wakes up in a cell, with one lone guard reciting about King Washington over and over and scratching a symbol into the table he is sat at. At this point Washington, Franklin and Putnam walk in as he explains to Washington that he has caught you; which is a big surprise to Washington to see you alive. He asks that you and the savage in the next cell be prepared for beheading and leaves; whilst Connor activates his Wolf Cloak to trick the guards into thinking he has escaped, allowing them to open his cell and for him to kill them.
|Connor learns that his friend Kanen'to:kon is alive!|
As he leaves a familiar voice is and he sees it is his friend Kanen'to:kon; who for those who have played Assassin's Creed III was killed by COnnor, he is happy to see Connor alive and the start their escape; allowing Connor to pick his equipment back up. Kanen'to:kon notices the strange jug that Connor just reobtained; to which he explains it to be the tea from the great willow; Kanen'to:kon decides that he is going to drink it but Connor will not allow it and explains the risks, that if he does hen he may lose a piece of himself. Connor removes it and decides to drink it onve more; going on another spirit walk; where he connects to the spirit of the Eagle. With this new power; Connor is able to assassinate all the guards in the area; whilst Franklin spots this and flee's.
|Connor fusing with the spirit of the Eagle|
Connor and Kanen'to:kon escape the area properly only to see Franklin calling guards onto them. He then chases down Franklin and tries to assassiante him; whilst his friend deals with the Blue Coats. But something is different this time; it goes to the usual screen of Connor looking over the dying body of who he has assassinated but this time Benjamin Franklin begins to explain he is now free of the control he was under and that he feels remorse for what he has done, but none of it was his doing.
|Washington appears in the Animus data as Connor overlooks Franklin's body|
At this point Washington enters the area (the sort of animus loading screen area) and attacks Connor. Using the power of the Wolf and Eagle, Connor is able to get a few strikes on Washington before he disappears and the area starts to erase.
|Large image of Washington appears|
With his Eagle powers Connor flies to different platforms where large images of his mother and Washington are shouting at him. Washington saying he will die like his mother and never escape; whereas his mother shouts that she is disappointed with him for drinking the tea and regrets ever having him.
|Connor meets Samuel Adams again|
Connor awakens on the street with Kanen'to:kon looking over him; confused as what had just happened and Franklin gone as well. Kanen'to:kon introduces Connor to Samuel Adams who has been leading another rebellion against the rise of King Washington. They take Connor back to their base where some Red Coat soldiers are waiting; they begin to explain that Washington's power is increasing and they need to take down Franklin but are unsure where to find him. Connor volunteers that he will go out and find him as Adams points him in the direction of a local tavern where they sometimes pick up information.
|Franklin talking to the general|
Connor travels to the tavern and overhears a conversation about a letter from Washington to Franklin and to meet him at the docks. Connor tails the guy and reads the letter for himself to find exactly where this meeting is taking place; before putting the letter back. Arriving at the destination he kills two sentinels who are sat up in prime positions to shoot if needed. Connor overhears Franklin and a general talking and being given another letter that explains that; Franklin has been demoted and Putnam is now in charge of Boston. Franklin who is rather shocked and upset about this demands that the general show him respect or he will go to King Washington himself; to which the general explains that Washington has returned to New York.
|Connor hits Franklin with an arrow as he tries to escape|
This is all Connor needs to hear as he shoots an arrow at Franklin; only for him to grab the general and it kill him instead. Connor shoots another arrow that penetrates Franklins left shoulder and begins to chase down the wounded man; he catches him and pulls the arrow out as Franklin comes to his senses yet again. Explaining that Washington had control over him and he wants to atone for his atrocities as Connor leads him as if he is going to shoot him. Connor decides after hearing what Franklin had to say; that he would take him to Adams and he can decide what to do with him.
|Franklin pleads to Adams for him to spare his life|
Adams is far from happy to see that Franklin is still breathing and asks for him to be shot; Franklin pleads with his old friend that he has now seen sense and wants to help. Adams doesn't believe it but Connor states that the only way they can get to Washington is with Franklins help; reluctantly Adams agrees and they come up with a plan to storm Washington's fortress in New York; whilst his guard is down, but in order to get in they will need a specific key that Franklin can make with the correct metal that a local Blacksmith has. At the same time Samuel Adams and Kanen'to:kon lead the red coats to New York to get the surprise on him anyway and hope that Connor will arrive soon with the key
Connor goes and retrieves it with much difficulty as the blacksmith had made horseshoes out of it; but he managed to take the horse and get it back. Franklin states in order to make the key he needs the design he created to forge it perfectly and explains he gave it to a soldier to look after in case anything should happen to him.
|Connor learns that his friends have been killed|
Connor goes off to another tavern to find the soldier with the design; who reveals that Adams and his men are already dead and were ambushed on their way through Boston Neck. Not believing this Connor kills the Blue Coats in the tavern, takes the design and goes to investigate; where he finds clues that show that Adams, Kanen'to:kon and the soldiers are all dead.
|Putnam beating Samuel Adams with the handle of a Flintlock|
A cut scene is shown where Putnam appeared and had them all shot and even used Kanen'to:kon's own Tomahawk against him. Returning to the base he explains to Franklin that they are all dead and they need to get out of there; but the only exit is by sea. Franklin tells Connor he knows a man who can help and asks him to steal a blue coat uniform for him as he is too well known.
|Connor, Franklin and Faulkner discussing the plan to get the Aquila untied|
Connor later returns with the uniform and escorts Franklin to Mr.Faulkner; the captain of the Aquila; who is drunk and on hard times; Connor tells him that they need the ship and that he will get it untied from the docks for him, if he can get together a crew quickly.
Killing off snipers and untying the boat from the dock; Connor, Faulkner and the crew manage to escape to the Aquila with great difficulty. The crew swim to the boat whilst Connor holds off as many Blue Coats as possible, with some cannon support from the Aquila as more crew mates get on board. Connor tries to escape himself only for Putnam to appear holding a gun to a wounded Kanen'to:kon; but Connor has none of it as he uses his eagle powers to kill Putnam before he can pull the trigger.
|The Death of Putnam|
As he dies; he also states that Washington had control over him but that it wasn't all his doing. The apple just brings out the evil in people that is buried deep down inside of them. Connor and Kanen'to:kon escape to the Aquila and set sail for New York city; where a large fortress awaits them as they near land. End of Episode 2.
|Connor and Kanen'to:kon look on at New York and Washingto's Pyramid|
The gameplay as before is pretty much exactly the same as episode 1; but now you are in Boston. The main problem that was had with it is because Boston being a cramped city full of Blue Coats; it was really difficult to get around or do anything quickly, even with the new Eagle power. There are many chests that need unlocking and just so many troops that need killing, not that its overly a bad thing as its fun to kill in AC. But you could be there for at least 20/25 minutes killing Blue Coats because more and more of them would just appear; you could use your powers to get away such as the Wolf Cloak but if you accidentaly walked into someone or assassinated someone and touched the person next you; you would decloak automatically. This wasn't a major issue in episode 1; however in this episode it was because a lot of the missions were about not getting detected at all.
As mentioned; there are many chests throughout the whole of Boston and again the lucid memory artifacts; which once obtained show more memories from back in AC3. As well as unlocking a new event that helps explain things a bit better; but we will go into that in a moment.
For side missions, they are the same; attack the convoy, give food to civilians, save civilians from wolves; but there is an extra one of save civilians from blue coats. The attack the convoy and give food ones; appear pretty commonly throughout the whole of Boston; but the wolves and blue coat side missions only appeared in 1 area; rather than doing 2/4 different missions. The same one respawned after a certain amount of time.
|Random broken models|
There were a number of glitches in this episode as well; there were a couple in the episode 1 too but only stuff like floating branches etc. In this; after using the Eagle power the controls messed up quite badly and Connor just did what he wanted; which ended up getting desynchronised. The other and more funny glitch was random broken models could be seen throughout Boston; these weren't even low poly models they were just completely broken, no textures, no distinct features, vertices broken and not welded together. Although this can easily be solved with a patch; the more you played the more they appeared.
Now back onto the Lucid Memory that is unlocked; Washington has apparently been looking for Connor all over and fears he is in danger. He explains that he is having dreams of being back at Martha's Vineyard with his love; but there is more to them, they are telling him to do things; terrible things and that Connor is in them. Connor is rather confused by this; Washington then proceeds to pull out an Apple of Eden and says he believes this is the culprit behind his dark nightmares. The cut scene ends there; but adds so much to what is going on with the story, it could be that these episodes are actually Washington's dreams that he is explaining or Connor has somehow ended up inside the dreams due to the power of the apple or that Connor is having dreams of his own. So much to find out and look forward to in Episode 3!
|Washington explaining to Connor about the Dreams|
Unlike in episode 1; there is only one new mechanic to speak of in episode 2. The Eagle power that was mentioned earlier.
This power allows Connor to briefly turn himself into an Eagle and fly to different points that are indicated by a winged cursor, if timed right and the camera is facing in the right direction he can stay in the eagle form and travel further than he normally would; but only if the winged cursor is shown.
|Connor reverting back from Eagle Form|
Also if the player holds Triangle on the ps3 controller or Y on the Xbox controller; near some enemies; he turns into the Eagle, flies at them and reverts to air assassinate them. Which is an interesting way of doing it; and also comes in very handy.
Like the wolf cloak, the more its used the more health is depleted; but due to it not lasting as long as the Wolf Cloak it only takes a small amount of health away for a short time.
As fun as this power was to use; it could be a pain to use as well, sometimes using it would mess up and instead of landing on the area you wanted him to land on, Connor would just fall the ground because something was in his way.
As fun as this episode was story wise; the gameplay and glitches kind of put it back a bit; being unable to just explore without having to fight waves upon waves of Blue Coats was a bit annoying. But as stated the story more than made up for this and the random model glitch as very amusing.
Story Score - 8.5 - A great way to introduce some characters you wouldn't expect to see; like Kanen'to:kon and Mr.Faulkner as they weren't expected to in. The Story again is rather quick due to its episodic nature but manages to keep the player enthralled again. The only downside would be the quick death of Putnam right at the end; it did build it up throughout the episode but not in the usual way.
Gameplay Score - 7.5 - The new mechanics with the Eagle power were quite fun to use and helped get around the city quickly, but the amount of Blue Coats charging around and glitches brings this score down quite a bit.
Overall Score - 8