“Stay your blade, be invisible…honour the creed!”

Assassin’s Creed II makes major improvements upon the first game in the series (AC), by providing players with more variety in missions; with practically 200 missions to boot. The combat system’s been tweaked, with new style assassinations ranging from “air”, “ledge” and “haystack”, while blending takes on new shapes with the aid of female escorts who seductively distract guards for a handsome fee. Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad, descendant of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young nobleman who becomes an assassin after his father’s betrayal and murder. Desmond Miles remains the focus of an upgraded machine; the “Animus” 2.0., and still seems unable to decipher the “bleeding effect” of his genetic code.

One thing I find useful in AC2 is the new “Fast Travel Station”, which places you at any major point of destination for a small fee. The game now features an economy system, allowing you to acquire larger amounts of income based upon investing money towards renovations for the city. Tailor shops offer dyeing services, enabling color configuration of Ezio’s attire. This feature is distinct from most games I’ve played, with the changes of color even appearing during in-game cut scenes; something I’ve yet to see take place in any other game. “Art Merchents” sell paintings made during the Italian Renaissance which give clues about the “Apple of Eden”, and feathers are found atop buildings that are then placed in a chest, comforting Ezio’s mother.

The “Leap of Faith” is always exciting to do, but it could be time to add a new variation to this unique AC action. The new weapons are wonderful, and the game itself is visually detailed; displaying alluring and lush graphics with deep brooding sounds provided by Jesper Kyd. There are “Assassination Tombs” which individually contain a combined total of “six seals” that unlock a hidden mystery through Altaïr’s accoutrements. Despite these advancements, the game still seems somewhat repetitive in its presentation albeit much more diverse in its choice of assignments. The biggest blunder that this series continues to suffer from is that the artificial intelligence of the non-player characters (NPCs) is incredibly unintelligent. That being said, there is more than enough potential for this action-adventure stealth trilogy to end on a high note, with its last installment (perhaps) that’s yet released, Assassin’s Creed III.

Score: 9/10

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