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About the product
- Explore the deadly, shadowed world of the assassin with new assassin Ezio
- Roam freely through the lush and dangerous world of Renaissance-era Italy
- Do whatever it takes to complete your missions in the game's all-new open world and mission structure
- Thrive in an environment rich with power, revenge and conspiracy
- Practice your assassin's art with all-new weapons and instruments created by Leonardo da Vinci
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Get ready to plunge into the lush and deadly world of the Italian Renaissance, an era of arts, riches and murderous conspiracy. Assassin's Creed II introduces you to Ezio, a new assassin carrying on the deadly lineage of his forebears. Confront an epic tale of power and corruption as you hone your assassin's art, wielding weapons and instruments designed by the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci himself in this gripping and deadly sequel.
In Assassin's Creed 2, you "relive" the life of an assassin during the Italian Renaissance in this open-world action adventure game. The goal is to exact revenge upon conspirators who have framed and executed loved ones; the goal is to be accomplished through assassination.
As players roam the crowded streets of Florence, Italy, they can creep through catacombs and corridors, undertake diverse side-missions, and tail-and-assassinate all manner of human targets-politicians, Templar soldiers, and conspirators. Players can also brawl with family rivals or engage in sword fights with Templar soldiers, but in most cases, they use stealth techniques to complete the mission; for example, players can sneak up on enemies from behind and kill them with hidden daggers, poisoned daggers, spring-activated blades, and swords.
When blades connect, blood shoots out in a fountain-like manner as targets groan or scream. These stealth-kills are sometimes depicted close-up and are somewhat graphic: the camera follows the "herky-jerky" thrusts of the blade; the player hears a distinctly "wet" flesh-impact sound. The most graphic depictions of violence occur during cinematic cut-scenes.
A short live-action movie (i.e., not animated) is included with the game. During a dramatic sword fight, an enemy's throat gets slashed-exposing a wide gash in his neck-as the body flails in front of the camera. The spurts and sprays of blood that accompany some of the stabbing attacks can be intense.
The world of the assassin is one cloaked in shadow and steeped in danger. Ensnared in a web of revenge and conspiracy, the assassin embraces power at its most elemental, acting as the dividing line between life and death. As an assassin confronted by perilous new challenges and difficult choices, what path will you choose?
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There was a recent update to "UPlay" [November/11, bundled software with AC:II] that removes the online requirement portion of the DRM.
If you were heldback by the DRM, no need to worry anymore!! AC:II is an awesome game :D
Tying games to some sort of server for activation is bad enough, but making them DEPENDENT on a server is horrible for the consumer. It takes away our rights (to play the game we paid for on our terms) and creates a system whereby you are simply LEASING a game. If at some point UBI Soft decides to take down their servers, you lose your game. They can take away your rights to play the game at any point in the future if they decided to. They have you by the cajones! If you give into this model, expect to never own any digital medium again; the makers of games, producers of music, and distributors of movies would love to see our current model of OWNING a physical copy of your game \ album \ movie replaced with a system where you only own the 'right' to access \ play that medium. It's their wet-dream to turn the current system of ownership on its head so they can re-sell you things endlessly as well as take them away from you at their discretion. As a consumer, it's important that we speak out against this by supporting DRM free games (Mass Effect II, Dragon Age, Fallout III, etc...) and DRM free music (buy it from Amazon!) and REFUSE to buy this junk with built in limitations and restrictions that SERVE NO PURPOSE.
There are 3 kinds of merchants: healers, blacksmiths, and art sellers.
You can earn and spend money, the renaissance Italy version of money I think although I don't remember it having any particular name. Speaking of money, there are many treasure chests located throughout the game, which can be sought after for the sake of, again, `finding them all' and some spare change, but the money is unfortunately in abundance long before all the treasure chests are found.
The story is quite lengthy and includes a number of revelations, either of personal, to the character, or other kind. It's a matter of personal preference whether the story and revelations are interesting or cliche, I personally liked it. At the beginning you're just a young guy in Florence, from a wealthy family albeit a borderline criminal by today's standards and freely running the streets.
The bad guys in the story unfortunately are bland and obvious to the point of looking thuggish and serving only as a target practice.
The grand story is told primarily through cut scenes and an additional CGI sequence, which is unlocked through deciphering various `glyphs' hidden in the game world. I'll come back to this in a moment.
Now, the idea of the revelation unlocked by finding the `glyphs' is a good one, it's the execution of this idea, which is terrible. After finding a glyph you're basically presented with a series of ugly puzzles on a black background completely unrelated to anything else in the game. They include some pictures from history, e.g. a photo of an atomic bomb explosion, a picture of a tank during WW2, as well as primitive Monty Python-style cut-paste animation. The puzzles themselves range from very easy to hard. The biggest travesty of all is that they take you out of the game thus breaking immersion... (there is a stupid `find the apple [of Eden?] in the picture' in half of those puzzles.
There is also another kind of `puzzle' in the game, the GOOD one.
They are Assassins' Tombs, which are the best part of this game, IMO. They are in a sense puzzles of physical nature in which you are required to get to a particularly hard-to-get and very remote location within a building or a dungeon. These locations contain items used to unlock something that I won't spoil here...
Trying to find your way up (or down) to progress in those is fun and most of the time more exciting than the repetitive and "impossible-to-die-in" combat.
Combat is repetitive and despite not being able to control your moves correctly most of the time very easy, just how it was in the original AC. There were very few additions if any compared to the original.
Regarding killing people, I could relate to being a mercenary assassin in the previous game. Here, they introduced the main character as someone who's killing out of vengeance and ridiculously enough the head count of his victims at the end of the game is many times higher than what the bad guys did (combined).
Cut scenes are sometimes interactive as in oftentimes during a scene you are prompted to press a button to perform an additional action like shaking hands, etc. those actions are irrelevant to the outcome of a particular sequence and can be disregarded. As a matter of fact I couldn't do any of them because you only have a few seconds to hit a button after you see a prompt, which together with the horrid control scheme for keyboard and mouse and my bad reflexes made it impossible.
While the countryside is very limited, city environments are beautiful and vast. For example imagine Venice at night, when there is a full moon over one of many canals there and you look up at it and an eerie music starts playing and your jaw literally drops. The cities are larger this time. Venice alone is probably as big as the original Damascus and Jerusalem put together and has more variety, too.
NPC related annoyances from the original game are here as well: when the guy is running through alleys or streets and runs into people most of the time he trips over and falls down but they don't. Basically he can climb and jump on the rooftops like Spiderman but dodging standing pedestrians while running, quite slowly at that, is beyond his abilities. Adding more "challenge" by hurting realism is a no-no in my book.
In the same vain, traveling on the ground is now preferable to running through the rooftops because the rooftop guards "agro" at much longer distance than the ground guards... and are on every roof now. When you're incognito, you can walk side by side with the ground guards without detection but you are always shot-on-sight by the roof guards.
Help (in-game prompts) for keyboard and mouse control scheme is nonexistent. In fact the prompts you see are for the controller, which makes it confusing if you're not using one.
P.S. It took me around 40 hrs to finish the game.