Assassin’s Creed 2 was my favorite game last year, so I was pretty excited to dig into the first downloadable episode. One hour later it was over and I had once again seen all there is to see in the game. The Battle of Forli, the first of two planned expansions, has its moments but they will be over before you know it. Assassin’s Creed 2 doesn’t allow us to replay story missions, so once you’ve finished the DLC there’s no going back. It’s still a very fun game, though, and four dollars isn’t going to break the bank. As long as you keep your expectations in check you’ll enjoy your return to Renaissance Italy psp games.
The Battle of Forli is set towards the end of Assassin’s Creed 2, just after Ezio joins the order of assassins. Remember Caterina Sforza, the woman you met briefly on your way to Venice. She takes center stage here and it’s great to spend more time with this strong female character. As the episode opens Forli is under attack and Ezio must help defend Caterina’s city and family. The situation becomes even more serious when Ezio realizes the whole attack may have been a distraction in order to get to the Piece of Eden. The story and voice work are still very good, but there are a couple instances of lazy presentation. While the city is under attack, for example, all of the merchants are oblivious to the onslaught and are still happily hawking their wares, trying to get you to stop and shop. Now is not the time to dye my clothes, dude!
For the first few missions you’ll be escorting Caterina around the city, battling hordes of enemies in order to keep her safe. The second half gets back into the good ol’ stealth stuff, which I found to be the stronger part of this episode. There are a couple interesting twists to the story and a few gaps in the main plot are filled in but it ends rather anti-climactically. After finishing a routine mission Rebecca (the Animus operator) tells you the data is corrupted and the fun is over. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion, I guess.
The Battle of Forli is built out of existing Assassin’s Creed II components: that means no new locations, enemies, or weapons. There aren’t even new achievements or trophies to earn. It does open a “special mission,” however, that grants you access to Da Vinci’s flying machine whenever you like. This gives you a second chance at getting that achievement/trophy for kicking a guard while flying. But really, we shouldn’t have to pay four bucks to take another crack at an achievement.
The first expansion for Assassin’s Creed II is a little underwhelming, but there is short-lived fun to be had with it. There is only around an hour of gameplay included, but the four dollar price tag is also easy on your wallet. Fans can expect a nice mix of combat and stealth gameplay in The Battle of Forli. While you won’t visit any new locations, Caterina Sforza is a strong addition to the cast. This battle may be more of a skirmish, but it’s enjoyable while it lasts.