Author: Oliver Bowden
Release Date: 2/23/2010
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
The Good: Sticks close to the script, you really feel like you’re in the game
The Bad: Takes a lot of the game out, relies too much on the script, secondary characters aren’t developed enough, rushed in spots
Assassin’s Creed is one of those games that is really tricky to put into book form and it didn’t quite get pulled off right here in Oliver Bowden’s adaptation of the second game. Assassin’s Creed has two parts: One is a science fiction story where a man named Desmond Miles is captured by a secret government organization and stuck in an Animus machine to unlock the DNA of his ancestors and find the Pieces of Eden. The second part is whatever time period Desmond is throw in and in this case, he is Ezio Auditore de’ Firenze in 1476 Italy.
The book completely cuts out the science fiction part of the game and just concentrates on what’s going on in the Animus, but dismisses this as well. This may be great for people who don’t like the science fiction side of Assassin’s Creed, but fans will miss this. Bowden also relies to heavily on the script of the game to drive the book, and rarely do you get to be inside the minds of the characters as much as you’d like to be. He rarely delves further than the games do and this is disappointing.
A lot of the secondary characters are built upon very well and you never feel for them except for Ezio. You always feel the other characters are just add-ons and not really important in the story. All of this is just more evidence that Bowden relied too heavily on the script. The book does include the story pieces from the DLC Bonfire of the Vanities and Battle for Forli, so you get some of that included that wasn’t in the original game.
The bits of Italian is nice, but most readers who didn’t play the game won’t realize that this was because the Animus 2.0 had bugs in it that couldn’t translate all of it into English for Desmond. There is, however, a nice dictionary at the back of the book that translates all the Italian phrases for you.
All in all the book is great for fans and nonfans, but fans will be more disappointed than nonfans will be. The book just takes too much away from the game and doesn’t add anything back. It’s a decent read and feels rushed in spots, but there are better video game novels out there for sure.