Assassins's Creed 2 was extremely well-received on the PS3 and X360, numbering amongst the stand-out titles of 2009. It's no surprise then that Ubisoft would want to strike while the iron is still hot, and capitalise on the popularity of the franchise. Assassin's Creed 2: Discovery [App Store] is their (somewhat late) answer to that, but does it do justice to its bigger brother?

The Assassin's Creed universe is undoubtedly one of the more unique intellectual properties to hit the gaming world, and offers a rich source of story and background to draw from. The iPhone off-shoot of Assassin's Creed 2, as in the console version, focuses on the protagonist Ezio and his battle against the Templars throughout Italy and Spain. The story operates as an aside to that of the console storyline, and follows Ezio as he tracks down another threat to the Assassins; a hunt that takes him across the seas to Spain.

Assassin's Creed 2: Discovery is essentially a 2D platformer that employs the Assassin's formula of deception, agility and deadly force. There are a few types of missions to complete in Assassin's Creed 2: Discovery; some which require stealth, where being discovered too many times will see you caught; others that throw Ezio into an acrobatic chase sequence; and those where Ezio must simply reach a predefined target. At the end of each level you are (quite ruthlessly) graded for the time you have taken and kills made, and awarded synch points which can then be used to unlock a number of "animus hacks", such as hard mode and a number of cheats.

Ezio is controlled by a left and right slider dictating his walk/run speed and a number of context-sensitive thumb-buttons to control his aerial and combat abilities. Ezio has two speeds of movement: a stealthy creep and an all-out sprint; the latter of which is responsible for some concerns with Assassin's Creed 2: Discovery.

In the first few missions the high speed at which Ezio runs simply means a few important leaps are missed, requiring you to traverse to the top of the level again, resulting in heavy hits to your time score. This would be fine if we were playing a Sonic-of-old where such speed is encouraged by the level design, but when the chase missions begin Ezio's blazing speed will see you unwittingly running into guards, falling over blind jumps into deadly pits, or scaling walls when you intend to drop down them -- failing the mission time and time again until you have memorized the level in its entirety. One of our early frustrations with the game was a lack of clear goals at the start of each mission, resulting in some excessive trial and error as you learn about the different types of levels.

Despite it being a 2D platformer, the levels are crafted in 3D, and the attention to detail in both the levels themselves and the characters that populate them is outstanding. The animations, particularly the many 'kill' and counter animations that Ezio performs, are terrifically life-like and a delight to watch; easily some of the best we've seen on the platform to date. The combat mechanics are simple but effective, utilising two buttons to attack and counter in order to dispatch your foes. In fact, if the game didn't tie you so strictly to a timer in many levels, the combat itself may have presented a more enjoyable distraction, rather than something to be avoided.

Assassin's Creed 2: Discovery features 8 memory blocks (read: missions), each comprising a few different sequences. There is a solid amount of content on offer here. While there are some things in Assassin's Creed II that make the game feel like it could have been left in the oven a little bit longer, it's still easily one of the better platformers on the App Store. Be forewarned that the performance on the 3G is rather lackluster, but the game is a visual treat on the 3GS and has a few enhancements (graphics, audio, extras) over the DS version.

App Store Link: Assassin's Creed 2: Discovery, $9.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • William

    FINALLY ITS OUT!!! should i get this or should i get verrduct on call of duty zombies?

    • geoff

      you should get assassins creed instead of CoD zzomibes, if you want a good shooter with guys coming at ya get battlebears. better value for the same type of gameplay.

      • sk8erdude50

        i say get the new cod map, its cheaper and might last longer depending on how much you like cod. Thats what im doing too, and i hated battle bears btw.

  • William

    FINALLY ITS OUT!!! should i get this or should i get verrduct on call of duty zombies?

    • geoff

      you should get assassins creed instead of CoD zzomibes, if you want a good shooter with guys coming at ya get battlebears. better value for the same type of gameplay.

      • sk8erdude50

        i say get the new cod map, its cheaper and might last longer depending on how much you like cod. Thats what im doing too, and i hated battle bears btw.

  • Denny

    "Assassins's Creed 2 was extremely well-received on the consoles and PC"

    ... AC2 isn't out for the PC until March of this year.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Windburn

      Right you are! Ninja fix-em-up incoming :)

      Goes to show how much love my PC is getting these days...it's more or less just a glorified type-writer now!

  • Denny

    "Assassins's Creed 2 was extremely well-received on the consoles and PC"

    ... AC2 isn't out for the PC until March of this year.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Windburn

      Right you are! Ninja fix-em-up incoming :)

      Goes to show how much love my PC is getting these days...it's more or less just a glorified type-writer now!

  • DeInit

    For the premium price it comes at, and the extra delay, it sounds not very promising.

    • DreamPod

      Premium Price makes it not very promising? It's an improved version of a $35 Nintendo DS game with more levels and achievements and stuff, for only $10.

  • DeInit

    For the premium price it comes at, and the extra delay, it sounds not very promising.

    • DreamPod

      Premium Price makes it not very promising? It's an improved version of a $35 Nintendo DS game with more levels and achievements and stuff, for only $10.

  • Lea

    Assassin's Creed 2 is a phenomenal looking platformer -- I can't wait to buy this myself. TA's earlier preview sold me. Great franchise, awesome close up assassinations, plus you get more stuff than in the ($30) DS version, I'd happily pay $10 for this!!!

  • Lea

    Assassin's Creed 2 is a phenomenal looking platformer -- I can't wait to buy this myself. TA's earlier preview sold me. Great franchise, awesome close up assassinations, plus you get more stuff than in the ($30) DS version, I'd happily pay $10 for this!!!

  • ChrisF

    Wow! This looks great!

    I haven't been a huge fan of platformers, but with the 'unlockables', this looks like A LOT of innovation and effort has been put in. I'm low on iTunes credit, so I think I'll go 'try before you buy', though by the looks of it I'll end up buying it anyway >.>

  • ChrisF

    Wow! This looks great!

    I haven't been a huge fan of platformers, but with the 'unlockables', this looks like A LOT of innovation and effort has been put in. I'm low on iTunes credit, so I think I'll go 'try before you buy', though by the looks of it I'll end up buying it anyway >.>

  • Symbolist

    The challenge of mastering the horrible controls makes this innovative game more immersive, I guess?

  • Symbolist

    The challenge of mastering the horrible controls makes this innovative game more immersive, I guess?

  • Ender

    Stunning!

  • Ender

    Stunning!

  • MysteryBiro

    Looks nice, but doesn't look all that good a game to me. The running is far too fast for the visible range. Just running into walls and enemies looks highly annoying.

  • MysteryBiro

    Looks nice, but doesn't look all that good a game to me. The running is far too fast for the visible range. Just running into walls and enemies looks highly annoying.

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore | taptoplay.de

    Brr. Only English. Fail.

    • DreamPod

      Only English? When you first start the game it comes up with a page full of languages to choose from.

    • Kira

      learn english then, or make you own game..

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore | taptoplay.de

    Brr. Only English. Fail.

    • DreamPod

      Only English? When you first start the game it comes up with a page full of languages to choose from.

    • Kira

      learn english then, or make you own game..

  • Lucas

    I dont know if you already saw this...But in this page of Mirror's Edge for iPhone its coming soon in Spring, 2010 http://www.ea.com/games/mirrors-edge-iphone Thanks

  • Lucas

    I dont know if you already saw this...But in this page of Mirror's Edge for iPhone its coming soon in Spring, 2010 http://www.ea.com/games/mirrors-edge-iphone Thanks

  • JOhn

    I was one of the lucky guys to buy it in the first couple of hours, and I'd recommend it!!

  • JOhn

    I was one of the lucky guys to buy it in the first couple of hours, and I'd recommend it!!

  • Yetea

    Am I the only one that notices how rigid and characterless all these freelance reviews are? I'm not trying to insult you guys, but it feels like I'm watching people either too limited or too scared to actually be insisive - they just read like a generic play-by-play, lengthened artifically just to appear more authoritve.

    • Symbolist

      Your problem is, Windburn just wrote the truth. Sometimes reality hurts.

    • Yetea

      I haven't even played the game, as it happens! The review reads like a play-by-play of things I had already gleaned from, say, two screen shots when it was first shown.

      Indeed, the review wasn't even particularly cutting in any sense, so I really wonder what reality it is you're living in to make that comment!

    • Sticktron

      More of a "description" than a review.

  • Yetea

    Am I the only one that notices how rigid and characterless all these freelance reviews are? I'm not trying to insult you guys, but it feels like I'm watching people either too limited or too scared to actually be insisive - they just read like a generic play-by-play, lengthened artifically just to appear more authoritve.

    • Symbolist

      Your problem is, Windburn just wrote the truth. Sometimes reality hurts.

    • Yetea

      I haven't even played the game, as it happens! The review reads like a play-by-play of things I had already gleaned from, say, two screen shots when it was first shown.

      Indeed, the review wasn't even particularly cutting in any sense, so I really wonder what reality it is you're living in to make that comment!

    • Sticktron

      More of a "description" than a review.

  • assassin

    This game is crap.

  • assassin

    This game is crap.

  • Jeff

    should have let gameloft port it... They can easily make it run smooth on iphone 3g...

    • chris

      only problem with gameloft they do not update there software.. even minor bugs.. only if its really broken will they even bother.

      chris.

  • Jeff

    should have let gameloft port it... They can easily make it run smooth on iphone 3g...

    • chris

      only problem with gameloft they do not update there software.. even minor bugs.. only if its really broken will they even bother.

      chris.

  • omg

    i wonder what the minor changes are that it required 2/3 weeks to rerelease? there are many buggy apps on the app store that dont need to be pulled, they usually just get updated.

  • omg

    i wonder what the minor changes are that it required 2/3 weeks to rerelease? there are many buggy apps on the app store that dont need to be pulled, they usually just get updated.

  • Nemo

    Am I the only one who's annoyed by the terrible voiceacting? I mean the console version had one of the best voiceacting I've ever heard from western actors. It's really a shame that the iPhone version doesn't have the same cast. As a huge fan of AC2 I could have bought this just for the story but I almost started crying when I watched that video.

    I've only played the lite version of the first iPhone AC but it seemed so much better than this one.

  • Nemo

    Am I the only one who's annoyed by the terrible voiceacting? I mean the console version had one of the best voiceacting I've ever heard from western actors. It's really a shame that the iPhone version doesn't have the same cast. As a huge fan of AC2 I could have bought this just for the story but I almost started crying when I watched that video.

    I've only played the lite version of the first iPhone AC but it seemed so much better than this one.

  • DeInit

    DreamPod, I'm talking about iPhone prices. I'm not a stranger to 10$ games (and more expensive apps, as well), but you misunderstood: considering the price and the delayed release, one would've expected the reported kinks to have been ironed out. It didn't happen.

  • DeInit

    DreamPod, I\'m talking about iPhone prices. I\'m not a stranger to 10$ games (and more expensive apps, as well), but you misunderstood: considering the price and the delayed release, one would\'ve expected the reported kinks to have been ironed out. It didn\'t happen.

  • JunioR

    I know they did well but its a petty that the character is walking on a line.

  • JunioR

    I know they did well but its a petty that the character is walking on a line.

  • newbatthis

    Think I'll skip on this one. Even though it's a direct port of the DS version (with slightly better graphics), this game has not garnered nearly as much critical acclaim as GTA: CW on the DS. For now I think I'll stick to AC on my Xbox360.

  • newbatthis

    Think I'll skip on this one. Even though it's a direct port of the DS version (with slightly better graphics), this game has not garnered nearly as much critical acclaim as GTA: CW on the DS. For now I think I'll stick to AC on my Xbox360.

  • Wythesyn

    I'll save my money for Mirror's Edge Thank You.

    • Kingkong

      Pretty good game. I don't think it's outstanding in any way, although I appreciate the detail to the characters, and the close-up kills. It's a nice adventure/platforming game that will keep you busy for quite a while. The stealth missions are kind of annoying for me, but maybe it's because I'm not too good at it.

  • Wythesyn

    I'll save my money for Mirror's Edge Thank You.

    • Kingkong

      Pretty good game. I don't think it's outstanding in any way, although I appreciate the detail to the characters, and the close-up kills. It's a nice adventure/platforming game that will keep you busy for quite a while. The stealth missions are kind of annoying for me, but maybe it's because I'm not too good at it.

  • http://www.thug.com Ron-Ron

    This says all I need to know ---- In fact, if the game didn't tie you so strictly to a timer in many levels, the combat itself may have presented a more enjoyable distraction, rather than something to be avoided.

  • http://www.thug.com Ron-Ron

    This says all I need to know ---- In fact, if the game didn't tie you so strictly to a timer in many levels, the combat itself may have presented a more enjoyable distraction, rather than something to be avoided.

  • Gut

    the game is not worth $10 it is ok and fun but not nearly enough there to make it worth the money. It is only a sidescroller and i actually prefered the original one and even that wasnt all that great.

  • Gut

    the game is not worth $10 it is ok and fun but not nearly enough there to make it worth the money. It is only a sidescroller and i actually prefered the original one and even that wasnt all that great.

  • Esqalade

    Save yourself a lot of time and money and buy the first AC for iPhone instead. This one is some sort of Sonic the Hedgehog meets Canabalt port that leaves you wanting oh so much more. From someone who has unlocked like 48 of 50 achievements on the Xbox360 version I wanted this to be so much better. I found the first AC for iPhone at least 10x more enjoyable than this POS. Seriously. You will thank me later.

  • Esqalade

    Save yourself a lot of time and money and buy the first AC for iPhone instead. This one is some sort of Sonic the Hedgehog meets Canabalt port that leaves you wanting oh so much more. From someone who has unlocked like 48 of 50 achievements on the Xbox360 version I wanted this to be so much better. I found the first AC for iPhone at least 10x more enjoyable than this POS. Seriously. You will thank me later.

  • araczynski

    hmmm, looking mighty attractive at 2.99 now :)

  • araczynski

    hmmm, looking mighty attractive at 2.99 now :)

  • bobooot

    anyone know how successful the mission "chase the thief" in Barcelona? thank you

    • Stas

      well, I'm the one who couldn't accomplish it before and did not find the answer...
      There is one door in the middle of the level, you probably waiting for a thief to open that door and then trying to get to the end of the level faster than the thief.
      instead of that you should get to a roof by a wall located to the left side from the door. In that way you can be faster than him.

      • pc

        at the last wall to climb you have to back jump twice in order to get to the roof of the building, afterwards you easily outrun the thief.

  • bobooot

    anyone know how successful the mission "chase the thief" in Barcelona? thank you

  • Someone

    This game sucks! do not buy it! Tge controls are horrible and it's impossible to beat one of the missions! Don't waste your money! But the first ones great!

  • Someone

    This game sucks! do not buy it! Tge controls are horrible and it's impossible to beat one of the missions! Don't waste your money! But the first ones great!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ehtesham6242 Ehtesham Ur Rehman

    nice game