Assassin’s Creed burst on to our screens late 2007 and boosted amazing reviews for its intriguing story, amazing visuals and a massive world, spanning all the way from Jerusalem to Damascus. Yet it still fell short of what gamers really wanted, with repetitive missions and tedious flag hunting, so, when Assassin’s Creed 2 was announced gamers rejoiced and they won’t be disappointed.
Assassin’s Creed 2 will continue on from where Assassin’s Creed left off, you’ll continue to assume the command of Desmond, who can get in touch with his ancestors by using his DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) in a machine known as an Animus. Many of you will remember Lucy from the first title and she will be making a return in AC2 to monitor your statistics and give you helpful insights.
This time around you won’t be playing as Altair, a feared master assassin, instead you play a young noble Florentine during the Italian Renaissance. His name is Ezio Auditore Di Firenze. Ezio didn’t start out as an assassin, but earlier events in the game would mean a young man’s quest for vengeance would have to be put aside for a bigger conspiracy and exact revenge on the mighty Grimaldi family.
Every noble non-assassin needs a side kick and who better than the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci a Polymath, Scientist, Mathematician, and an Inventor among other things. Leonardo the inventor came up with many ingenious ideas, one Ubisoft believed he created just for Ezio Auditore Di Firenze – the Flying Machine. In a live demo shown at E3 2009 you see Ezio climb to the top of a massively tall building and take command of Da Vinvi’s hang glider, which Ezio uses to take his enemies by surprise, for no one had ever seen such a contraption. Obviously you’ll need to keep your altitude and you can do this by using fire on platforms, which will give your hang glider not only altitude but speed to gain access to your target building, which is only accessible via the roof. Leonardo will also provide you with new weapon upgrades and gadgets along the way.
Once on the roof of the mansion, Ezio finds himself confronted with a guard who he quickly dispatches with a fatal blow to the head using one of his mechanical daggers. He then proceeded across the roof where two guards were patrolling; Ezio runs up and for the first time seen in Assassins Creed slammed the cold steel of two hidden daggers in to each of their throats, sending blood squirting and bodies dropping. Another move that returns from AC1 is Jade Raymond’s favourite - The Leap of Faith, which Ezio performs with expert precision to land on a cart full of hay. But, even this won’t hide you from the guards gaze, who thanks to the new artificial intelligence tells him to check the cart, unfortunately for him Ezio is awaiting this guard's move and quickly stabs his enemy in the stomach and drags his body into the cart.
Assassins Creed has always been about performing beautiful movie-like counter-attacks, and AC2 is no exception. Altair was very good with his hidden dagger and sword, a true warrior. Ezio is a true assassin and is very good with his hands, he can use them to disarm his enemy and use their weapon against themselves, and with 30 weapons in total (plus 6 more if you sync up the PSP Assassin's Creed title) this is sure to be an amazing experience. Assassin’s Creed has many moments of 'ouch', where you would break an arm in half or dislocate a knee cap. Ubisoft wanted to expand on this, for example; when Ezio is using an Axe and slams it into an enemies head it’ll become stuck and you’ll have to prise it away from the dead man’s skull. (lovely)
Ezio will now have to escape, as you may think killing off the head of a gang isn’t going to go down well with his goons. Altair has to run, jump and climb to safety to evade his pursuers, Ezio has something more ingenious up his sleeve too – a Smoke Bomb, which once dispatched you can take advantage of and run past blinded enemies. This time around you’ll be able to use the ocean to your advantage, as yes Ezio can swim, well it's Venice right? After the demo had ended, it left us gasping for more.
Assassin’s Creed 2 will feature three (3) living breathing cities;
Another new feature to go along with the already impressive list, is Notoriety, everything you do from helping a friend or executing an assassination order, the town's folk will speak among themselves about your actions. While this is a cool feature it can also hinder your missions, so you will need to be on your tippy-toes and be wary of everything and everyone around you.
The developers goal was simple, to give players the “diversity” to do what they want, when they want, how they want, I believe Ubisoft have achieved this goal “Giving players options in every aspect of the game” and with over 200 missions and new side quests, the mundane duties of Altair’s outing is out the window.
Assassin’s Creed 2 will launch this Novemeber 17th 2009 for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstaion 3.