When Assassins Creed was released in 2007, no one had expected it would be the hit that it was. Although reviews for the game were moderate, the sales were high and millions of copies were sold worldwide. What would follow in the wake of its success was undoubtedly one of the greatest game sequels ever made. It was Assassins Creed 2.
The game starts not long after the first, with Desmond waiting in Abstergo when Lucy breaks in with blood on her cloths and breaks him out, fighting through several Abstergo guards. The two then go to an Assassin hideout where Lucy explains to Desmond that the Assassins are fighting a losing war against the Templers and plans on training Desmond as an Assassin. In order to do this she once again puts him in an Animus where he live through the life of Ezio Auditore, another of his Assassin ancestors. In this part of the story, much of Ezio's family is killed by Templers and this puts him on a lifelong mission fighting against them. This brings him all across Italy and gets him involved in various political battles over control of the Italian Cities and eventually a battle over the pieces of Eden.
The Game Play
While the first game suffered from repetitive game play this one did not. There are many different targets for Ezio to kill and each requires a different approach. Some require you to kill the target without being detected while others requires storming a stronghold and putting your blade in the targets throat.
In this game you are given money after each job and this can go to a number of things. Ezio is put in charge of repairing his Uncle's estate which costs money but also brings in income that you can use towards other things such as upgraded weapons and armor. You are also offered the ability to dye you cloths to different colors and to buy paintings in cities. Minor detail but still cool.
The game also offers a much larger arsenal of weapons and armor. In this game you have two hidden blades that can act as weapons in a fight rather than just being used to assassinate. Hidden poison blades are also available as is a primitive pistol. You are also able to buy axes and maces as opposed to just using a sword. The game also offers the ability to fight unarmed and the ability to disarm your opponents.
There are also two side missions of importance in this game. The first involves Ezio hunting for various Assassin Seals that unlocks the armor of Altair, probably the best armor in the game. The Second mission involves searching for markings throughout Italy that match the ones Desmond saw at the end of the first game. Finding these puts you into a decoding phase of the game that shows various people throughout the world during different time periods and using pieces of Eden.
There are so many characters in this game to speak of that talking about each would take up way too much time so I'll limit myself to the major ones. Ezio is an interesting character and it's not often you see a flawed protagonist in a video game. He tends to be a bit of an ass and often acts immature, especially when the game begins and it’s interesting to see how he develops and matures as the game progresses. Leonardo Da Vinci is Ezio's best friend in the game and is just hilarious. He deciphers all of the codex pages Ezio finds and builds a lot of the weapons he uses. He often comes off as being a bit of a mad scientist and is a great addition to the game. Desmond has little screen time in the game and doesn’t offer much to it and Lucy is now an emotional wreck due to the strain of the losing war against the Templers. The game also introduces us to the character of Shaun and Rebecca. Rebecca is in charge of the Animus and is your typical supportive “let’s get it done with a smile” character. Shaun is another Tech guy with an abrasive personality and more of a “you’re in my way, I'm trying to work” type character. All around the characters of this game were great.
All around this was a great game and one of, if not the, greatest video game squeals of all time. Assassins Creed: Brotherhood is due for release November 26th, and we can only hope it lives up to the example Assassins Creed II as set. It had great game play, great characters, and a great plot with ending that left you only saying these three words: What The Fuck!?