6. Assassin’s Creed 2
“Requiescat In Pace”. If you struggled to read that, don’t worry, Assassin’s Creed II came out almost seven years ago and I still can’t say it correctly on my first attempt.
However, what Assassin’s Creed II lacks in words that are easy to pronounce, it more than makes up for in its fast, free-flowing combat, traversal, and its beautifully realised Renaissance Italian open-world setting. Playing as main protagonist Ezio Auditore da Firenze, players run, jump, climb and stab their way through several fifteenth century Italian towns such as Florence and Venice. With a revenge tale that is well-paced and executed, with help from terrific voice-acting and delivery, the game spectacularly renders beautiful interpretations of the aforementioned Italian cities.
Additionally, its focus on Renaissance culture and lifestyle also has to be applauded. The game’s architecture, weaponry and even art and music is in keeping with its setting. Assassin’s Creed II is an outstanding game with an historical setting that is one of the most memorable in recent memory.
If you enjoy playing the Assassin’s Creed series, you might want to check out the Assassin’s Creed movie coming out later this year.
5. Mafia 2
Gangsters have always been a fascination of mine. Perhaps it speaks poorly of my character that I find violence, betrayal and illegal activities so interesting, but nobody can deny that it makes for a great video-game.
Mafia 2 encompasses just such things and weaves a compelling story that grips the player’s attention until the very end. Set during the 1940s and 1950s, Mafia 2 takes place within the fictional Empire Bay and follows Vito Scaletta and his attempts to climb through the ranks of the Mafia crime families. Aside from its engrossing narrative, if there’s something that the game gets spot on, it’s certainly its ambience and backdrop. The game’s world feels authentically mid-twentieth century and there’s a sense that the American Dream is there for the taking. From advertisements on billboards, to the way that the cars handle, everything appears to have been hand-crafted in order to add to the illusion that you’re existing in an American city during the aftermath of the Second World War.
With its highly-anticipated sequel, Mafia 3 due to come out this October, you should definitely check this one out.