CVG, like many other Assassin's Creed II fans, would've gladly paid top dollar for a meaty, ambitious chunk of downloadable content for Ezio's Renaissance adventure. Unfortunately, Ubisoft's adopted the 'short and sweet' strategy for the sequel's first DLC add-on - and we're left wanting more.
At just under three quid Battle of Forli is definitely giving you your money's worth - only that's not very much. The add-on features six new memories during a missing sequence in the Romagna region, in which protagonist Ezio - fresh from obtaining a Piece of Eden - teams up with Machiavelli and Caterina Sforza to protect the town of Forli from an assault.
The attacking Orsi brothers are the two antagonists in the sequence and it's up to Ezio to both hold off their cronies from infiltrating the town, and keep the Apple of Eden from the brothers' hands.
The new story sequences are undoubtedly the best reason to download 'Forli. Fans will get to see what happened to Ezio after he was officially initiated into the Assassin's Creed, some missing scenes with Caterina (who only appeared briefly in the main story) and more interaction with the mysterious Apple.
Unfortunately, the "six" missions themselves - and we put "six" in quotation marks because really they're just a few missions split into sections - are disappointing. Almost immediately you're hastily rushed into the Orsi family's siege of Forli, which features a succession of some of Assassin's Creed II's most uninspired missions.
You'll escort Machiavelli and Caterina to Forli, kill some guards, watch a quick cut-scene, kill some more guards, run a quick scouting mission, kill some guards on a horse, run another scouting mission, assassinate some blokes in the middle... oh, and you can pilot Leonardo's flying machine across Romagna... for a laugh.
That's it. No Achievements or Trophies, no new Assassin's tombs, no fancy new swords.
The final product feels rushed and uninspired, and it's baffling that it has managed to take up over 600MB of disc space. Even the cut scenes and pacing of 'Forli feel like Ubisoft's been allocated a 30 minute slot on ITV and sped everything up to fit in the ad break.
We appreciate the budget price point, but in an age when developers like Valve and Epic are offering their fans entire map packs and game modes for free, Battle of Forli is severely lacking and disappointing.
The sequence ends directly where the next DLC pack, Bonfire of the Vanities will begin. It's due out next month, which leaves us wondering why Ubisoft didn't just combine the pair and release them for double the price. Because as a stand alone package Battle of Forli leaves us wanting so much more.
For avid Assassin's Creed fans filling in the story gap might be worth the £3 asking price, otherwise Battle of Forli is an ungenerous and forgettable add-on.
- Fills a story gap
- It's cheap
- Uninspired missions
- No Achievements, Trophies or items
- It's 40 minutes long