Written by Jim Thomas Sunday, 21 February 2010 21:28
Nothing is better than a bonfire, unless it’s being flamed by a bunch of bra burning feminists, or in this case, religious zealots.
The newest downloadable content for Assassins Creed 2 focuses on the Bonfire of the Vanities that took place in Florence Italy. While these types of displays were somewhat common in the 15th and 16th centuries, one such happened to occur in Florence around the time that AC2 takes place, so it makes sense that a Piece of Eden had something to do with it.
Bonfire of the Vanities (memory sequence 13) takes place right where Battle of Forli left off. A monk by the name of Girolamo Savanarola has taken the “Piece of Eden” (apple) from Ezio, and is using its influential power to gain control of Florence in the Medici’s absence. Using the apple, Savanarola has coerced 9 centers of influence in Florence, using these people to control the citizens. To demonstrate his control, Savanarola has instituted a bonfire of vanities in order to cleanse the province of sin. Ezio’s job is to put a stop to Savanarola’s evil rule, but first he’ll have to take care of the aforementioned 9 henchmen.
Bonfire of the Vanities is much more enjoyable than the previous installment of DLC that was offered by Ubisoft. Instead of various escort missions as seen in Forli, this sequence will have Ezio doing what he does best, killing people. The memory’s structure gives you free roam in Flornce where nine assassination missions await. You are free to tackle them in whatever order you please. Each mission has a varying structure. Some ask you to kill the target without being seen, others have you chase down and eliminate your hit before they escape.
The missions in themselves are enjoyable, and offer enough variety so as not to bore. However the expansion is plagued with audio issues, which leads me to believe that the development process was rushed. Audio synching issues, dialogue spoken over one another, or completely absent altogether is commonplace for this 90 minute trip to Florence. I encountered issues during the end sequence in which the audio was completely off, so I missed most of the dialogue; however the images allow you to still understand what happens out of context.
In addition to the mission Ezio has apparently learned a new move called the sprint jump. Spring boards have been added to rooftops allowing Ezio to jump further. However this doesn’t really change the game play, and the boards are few and far between.
Audio problems aside, Battle of the Bonfires was enjoyable. However, the fact that no additional achievements were included, along with limited replayability (since you can’t replay AC2 missions without restarting the game) mean that only the most diehard Assassins Creed fan will be interested in this add-on. If you’re one of the few that needs 100% synch with Ezio this DLC is a must. However, if you’re just looking to kill an hour, you would be better served somewhere else.
7.6 / 10