At last, all memory sequences are complete. Was it worth the wait?
February 19, 2010 - If you're an Assassin's Creed II fan you probably downloaded the first additional episode, The Battle of Forli, right away when it was released January 28. And then an hour later you had beaten it. The second episode, The Bonfire of the Vanities, is in some ways more substantial – but it also feels more rushed. It takes about twice as long to play through and the missions are generally more fun, but the presentation is lacking and it's riddled with audio bugs. For Assassin's fans, though, this is a fun way to kill a couple hours.
Ezio returns to Florence to find it has been seized by one bad news priest and his nine lieutenants. Essentially, The Bonfire of the Vanities is nine assassination missions you can tackle in any order you choose. I really like the freedom we have in taking these jerks out. History buffs will be pleased to find this episode is loosely based around the historical event when supporters of the priest Girolamo Savonarola (Ezio's main enemy here) burned a bunch of stuff that was deemed sinful.
Bonfire isn't as polished as the original retail game was, though. You'll notice strange audio pops here and there, lip synching is sometimes off, and sound seems to be completely missing from a couple cut scenes. There also isn't any setup at the beginning. Whereas The Battle of Forli explained that a corrupted memory sequence had been fixed, when you fire up Bonfire you'll merely find new missions available.
Spring boards have been added to rooftops to add more variety to Ezio's free running. They don't have much effect on gameplay, but they're fun to mess around with. Also, there are new viewpoints to discover and templar lairs to run through. This episode is roughly twice as large as Battle of Forli, but unfortunately it still doesn't add new achievements or trophies. Closing Comments
I wouldn't call Bonfire of the Vanities a must play, but there are certainly worse ways Assassin's fans could spend four bucks and a couple hours. This is a fun little side story that lets us kill a few more bad guys in Renaissance Italy. The audio glitches are disappointing and more effort could have been put into presenting the story, but keep your expectations in check and you'll have a good time at this bonfire.
|out of 10||click here for ratings guide|
(out of 10 / not an average)