Too busy to devote 12+ hours a day to your gaming habit? Here's a review that's sensitive to your needs: Short and focused on just the things that a busy gamer like you really needs to know.
Reviewed On: Xbox 360. Also available for PlayStation 3.
In a Nutshell: A set of six fast-paced missions that comprise the lost Sequence 12 of the Assassin's Creed II storyline. And by lost, I mean the developers didn't finish it in time to cram it into the original game (or that's their story, anyway). For context, the finale, in which you have fun storming the ultimate castle, is Sequence 14 and there's another DLC pack coming in February that fills in the also absent Sequence 13.
As the title implies, this missing memory takes place in Forli: the less developed, less fun area of the game. It compensates by bringing back everyone's favorite homicidal hottie, Catarina Sforza. While she's clearly burning for Ezio to show her his big sword, she also has kind of a bad track record with the menfolk. (Good night, Ezio. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning...)
You'll spend a fun-filled hour (or two, if you fall a lot, which I do) running around doing favors for Catarina, by which I mean killing guards, then killing more guards and then just to break things up, running across a field and then, yes, you guessed it - killing some guards. There's also more flying.
Oh, there are no new achievements or trophies, so don't get excited.
Learning Curve: Game play is exactly the same as ACII - if you've played the game, you'll be fine. Unless you've been playing a lot of another game (say, Borderlands) in which case you might want to fast travel home and brush up in the training area.
That said, I got the "No Hitter" achievement for taking down a bunch of guards without getting hit within the first 10 minutes of booting the game. An achievement I couldn't get when I was actually playing the main game. And trying. Hard. Guess button mashing can have its benefits.
The Save Game: Same as before. You'll get periodic mid-mission saves, and a save after every completed mission. Quit to the main menu before shutting down to ensure your progress is saved.
Family Factor: Lots of killing but little blood, a few bad words and you will definitely see London and France courtesy of Catarina, albeit swathed in the finest cotton available in the 1400s. It's a very brief flash, so to speak.
Buy or Skip? It really depends on how much you enjoy the game. The missions are easy, but it doesn't really fill in any major storylines. It's just a way to extend the game for a few bucks. Did I mention there aren't any new achievements or trophies?
On a Personal Note: I was excited about the DLC when it was first announced as I was still steeped in the game. Having beat and walked away from AC II at the end of 2009, I was less rabid when it actually arrived. I'm glad I played it, and I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to revisit the world. Having two people in the house who will (eventually) play through made the (admittedly inexpensive) $4 cost easier to swallow.
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