Mingle in the Crowd
The society of riff raff you can interact with has also changed within the cities. You no longer have to synch up with a group of monks to get past sections of the guards because you have the freedom to hire your own groups to help you out. There are thieves and mercenaries you can hire who are excellent to fighting along side you, or detracting the guards by stealing their loot. For the more seductive gamers, you can hire courtesans (prostitutes) to use as moving cover, or to lure guards away from their post.

Besides interacting with these new groups you can easily fall into a crowd and become lost within them, like you are synched up. This feel allows Ezio to hide quicker, feeling more natural. Lastly, you also have the option of throwing around some coins on the ground to watch the beggars and even the guards cower to the ground to pick up your loot. Even though I really didn't think about these game mechanics too much when thinking about Assassin's Creed II, but its seems like a logical progression to make, and one that is hopefully expanded upon further in the future.

It was Lost, Now its Found
Collecting has been a big part of the first Assassin’s Creed and this follows through with the second. The flags are gone away with and in their place are 100 feathers that you can collect along with codex pages that Leonardo decrypts, seals to unlock a special suit of armour, hidden glyphs, statuettes of Roman gods, and countless treasure chests scatted all over the world. Each collectable is worth finding, and you will likely be addicted to snatching features or looting all the treasure chests. Unlike other games that seem to be tacking things on for no other reason than to extending gameplay time, Assassin’s feels like a natural progression and having more things to collect while you scale the buildings in each city is a good thing.

The most interesting addition in all of these collectable's is the seals and the hidden glyphs. The seals are located in tombs that can be found in each major city. These tombs are made up like small side-quests and will have you platforming like Prince of Persia while you use your assassin skills on unwilling guards. Finding all the seals gives a nice reward that you won’t mind going underground for.

The hidden glyphs is a totally different situation as they unlock a new section of Assassin’s called “The Truth”. The truth goes into the lore of a former Animus user describes a subject numbered 16. It seems 16 has stumbled upon a huge conspiracy plot and his hidden data throughout the worlds in the Animus. When you find these special glyphs and use your Eagle Vision it prompts a number of strange-yet interesting puzzles you can solve to unlocks a small movie clip. Each clip is no more than a few sections and is divided into 20 sections. What’s behind all this, what is the truth? For those answers, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Another new addition to Assassin's Creed 2 is the ability to renovating your own villa by putting your hard earned loot into such things as improving the merchants, or opening new businesses like a brothel, mines, and military barracks. By developing your own city you will not only earn cash every 20minutes, but you can also get some considerable discounts at your own stores from 5 - 15%. In your villa, you will also have a little assassin cove with paintings of the people you have killed along with rooms to display your items such as armour, paintings, and codex pages. It’s all quite elaborate and a nice incentive to keep playing.

Extracurricular Activities
Assassin’s Creed II is a big game and all these activities will likely keep you going strong along with the main story. In one solid play-through, and I didn’t do everything I clocked in a good 18hrs which means the game can last even longer depending on how much you want to do. These activities include assassination contracts, finding all the viewpoints, treasure chests, courier missions and more. Honestly, if you added up everything you can do in Assassin’s Creed II you are looking at nearly 200 missions. This doesn't even factor in the additional DLC that will be coming, or the new Uplay functionality which is still in Beta.

Assassin’s Creed II is a worthy successor of one the most intriguing new franchises, we have seen in a long time. In its highly anticipated sequel Ubisoft Montreal took their own leap-of-faith and listened to the critics and fans by addressing the flaws that plagued the first game. Assassin’s Creed II will please all the fans of the original and likely seduce a whole new audience who couldn’t get into the repetitive nature of the first game. When you connect everything Assassin’s Creed II has going for it, you have one great game that not only delivers on the gameplay front but also follows through with an engaging storyline. Assassin's Creed II is a great game and one of the years best action adventure titles. Now that Ubisoft Montreal has proven that Assassin’s has what it takes to be a viable series in modern gaming, we can hardly wait until they announce Assassin's Creed III.

Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 11.26.09

  • Lots more to do behind each Assassinations
  • Game flow has been quickened and diversified
  • Combat is better with more variety in moves and weapons
  • Lots of gear that is all upgradeable
  • Story elements are top-notch and intelligent
  • Solid graphics with an outstanding level of detail
  • Voice talent is excellent, one of the best of the year
  • Impressive musical score
  • Scale and scope of the cities are impressive
  • Lots and lots of collectibles to keep you busy
  • "The Truth" provides some interesting puzzles
  • New game modes like Tomb Raiding are a bonus
  • Assassin’s Creed the Sim-Villa edition
  • Take that Altair, Ezio can swim!
  • Auto-climbing can still miscalculate
  • Minor graphical glitches with lots of screen tearing
  • Some features from the first game are gone

Similar Games: AC: Revelations (8.0) | AC: Brotherhood (8.8) | Assassin's Creed (9.5)


Assassin's Creed II


Ubisoft Montreal


US Release
November '09


PS3, X360

1 player
5.1 surround
HDTV 720p
D/L content