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on November 13, 2011
Bought this game recently so didn't really have the chance to play the entire game; but I wanted to confirm that the DRM has an option to "FORCE OFFLINE" play; thus removing the "MUST BE ONLINE" DRM. Also, "ONLINE SAVED GAMES" is now optional as you can save games on your computer. You still have to "activate" the game online [only once], but other than that the DRMs are gone [as long as you click the "Offline Mode" and "Uncheck Online saves"; I disconnected my internet from my laptop to verify and AC:II still ran.

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
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on February 3, 2016
I'd say the first game is the worst game I've ever played in my life. You can play the first level and every level after that is the same. Extremely repetitive. So I bought the second game because my fellow peers said this game is great. "ITS THE BEST GAME EVER!!!", they said.... So I bought it. Had problems with Ubisoft... No problem no problem I'll get over it. I played this game for 1 hour. The controls were horrendous... Then they said, "Why don't you use a controller ya dum dum?" Well if I were to use a gosh darn controller, I'd buy a Nintendo Gamercube and play console games. But I was willing to play a little more. Within the next hour, I uninstalled the game and trashed the disc. It was the same game as the first one. Pointless and repetitive missions.
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on December 28, 2013
I was hesitant to buy this game because of the DRM, but did so after it was patched out. Installation was aggravating but other than that, the game works great offline. I did not realize that I had to go through so much just to play a game. I do want to say that the game does support the 360 controller and that it also comes with the DLC. It runs great and since the DRM is gone, I can save games on my computer, and do not have to worry about the internet going out and losing progress.
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on May 19, 2014
Turning 'owning' into leasing"

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.
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on August 24, 2010
AC2 brought about the same kind of gameplay with very minor changes. It's about twice as long as the first game, with a routine of combing the cities for whatever is left in them, including the eagle feathers, which are basically hard to find gimmick items like flags in the previous game. Finding the feathers unlocks some features, which unfortunately are too negligible to make up for the time wasted. Locations of the feathers are not indicated on the map, which means that finding the whole one hundred of them is the hardest task in this game. You can still climb towers to unlock viewpoints and covered areas on the map as well as points of interest and merchants.

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.
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on June 19, 2011
Ubisoft is certainly tempting the patience of many a PC gamer with their new always-online DRM, and it's bound to hit calamity somewhere down the line. That's why I was happy to see AC2 at such a low price; because that's what I think any game with such restrictive DRM is worth.

As a guy who was pretty disappointed with the original Assassin's Creed, it was interesting to see that AC2 had expanded on almost every thing that made the original frustrating; no more continual interruptions of the present-day animus conversations, less linear mission structure, stronger characters (Ezio is nowhere near the unsocial jerk Altair was), and not only better combat, but better stealth features. Items like the money toss, groups for distraction, and poison work very well to make stealthy gameplay (when possible) interesting. There's plenty to do in Ezio's world apart from following the missions, and as such, even when recently I started diving into more main missions, it's still taken me a long time to get close to the end of the game (and I'm not even sure I'm that close yet)

I would have bought this game at $50 if it had provided a solid demo of its great accomplishments to prospective buyers, and not included such invasive DRM, but at $7.50, it's certainly more than a fair price.
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on June 17, 2015
You do need an Internet connection to play the game, which is no big deal for me personally. But I am disappointed in how slow this game is... very slow. I have a Windows 8 laptop, an okay one at that. It's not designed for heavy gaming, but it's not a crappy piece of work either. Assassin's Creed 1 ran absolutely fine for me, but this game is just too slow. The sound is way ahead of what's going on, because it takes so long for the graphics to load.

In conclusion, if you have a bulky gaming computer and access to Internet, you will enjoy this game. Otherwise, this purchase is not for you.
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on January 29, 2011
The game in and of itself is fantastic. If you like stealth games, random brawls, tons of collectibles, an engaging storyline and rather well-adjusted game mechanics, you will love this game too (along with a dash of history for you historian gamers!). However, for reasons beyond my ken, Ubisoft has gone overboard on the anti-piracy procedures. To actually play the game, you have to create a special account with Ubisoft and maintain a constant, preferably high-speed connection to the internet if you want your stabby-stabby fun.For most, this may not be an issue, but where I am, web connectivity is sketchy or even non-existent at times. Ubisoft should just do what other game companies do, and realize that their game is going to get pirated one way or another, that's the way the world is. So, just roll with the unfairness of it all, and let me play my game with or without the world wide web. As for price, at $27 for a best-selling game that's not even a year old? That is unheard of! In a good way. I personally have only ran into two minor defects, sometimes Ezio is sometimes slow to turn after a jump, causing you to literally climb the walls when you are trying to run and grab a ledge in a different direction than you are facing. The other was one case of causing an archer to span inside a chimney. I hurriedly assassinated him, picked his pocket and dumped him over the edge of the roof, so this mishap was more entertaining than irritating. But yes, the drm is a pain, but if you can bear with that, you will have the most fun you've ever had in 16th century Italy...unless you are playing this on a console that is.
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on January 22, 2012
DRM aside, this is a great game. I never liked the original game, it was just too boring. The developers changed a lot and I really enjoy it now. The story hooked me from the beginning which is something that doesn't happen a lot for me (Mass Effect and ME 2 were the only others). I play games for the story and graphics. For a game that is from 2009, this has great graphics. It also has tons of game play and action to keep you from getting bored. It plays well on my machine but some of my stuff is dated (ie - Q6600 CPU, 8800GTX GPU). I would recommend this game to anyone.
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on October 17, 2014
This game is super awesome! I loved the first one, but the things to do in that were limited. But the game play in this is amazing! There is WAY more to do in this then the first! The only problem was that it took 2 days to download! And I had to set up a stupid Uplay account that also took a while! What's the point of being connected to the internet when Its a single player game? I don't get it, But the point is, it plays amazing, and I love it!
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