You’ve just been offered 1100 soldini (currency of Florence, Italy during the 1500s) to murder someone what do you do? Kill them of course. Why do this you ask? Because if you don’t get this money you can’t help fund your true creed as an assassin. Murder, thieves, betrayal and espionage are just some of the re-occurring themes of my absolute favorite video game, Assassin’s Creed II. This game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal in 2009 and it starts off exactly where part one left off.
With out revealing too many spoilers, Assassin’s Creed II is really two stories spanning through history and bloodlines. The primary back-story is there’s an apocalyptic worldwide event that happens in the year 2012 and it’s so bad that Africa is gone completely and Mexico has closed its boarders to American refugees. You start playing as Desmond Miles in the year 2012 and he’s been kidnapped by a company called Abstergo. Abstergo is holding Miles as they think he’s the key to finding “a piece of Eden.” Desmond comes from a long line of assassins dating back beyond 1,100 AD. Abstergo uses a machine called the “Animus” to probe Desmond’s DNA which allows him to mentally go back in time and re-live his ancestors’ lives. Abstergo hopes Desmond’s mind and ancestor’s past will reveal the current location of the “piece of Eden” and other secrets from Desmond’s family.
Once the “Animus” starts going through Desmond’s blood, you the player, get taken back to Italy 1400 AD where you then play as Ezio Auditore de Firenze, Desmond’s Italian ancestor. I absolutely love the realism and the way this game plays. This game plays in third person view meaning you view the game world from behind the game characters’ body. You can do almost anything in this game when not on a mission. You can buy items to spruce up your Villa and you can take various side missions such as robbing villagers, delivering messages, running races both on and off horseback and inquiring important information anyway you can get it.
I love the amount of free roaming game play I can do, I can walk, jump across rooftops, horseback ride, swim or even boat ride anywhere I want. This is a lot like the free roaming game play found in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series and it makes the game seem more real to the players. There are also very accurate historical references all over the game. The famous buildings, people, artwork and even major events that happen in the game all actually happened in real life as well. (Where was this game when I was taking world history in HS?). A lot of research time was put into making the background to this game. I also love that as I play as Desmond’s ancestor Ezio in the past, I actually get missions from Leonardo Da Vinci himself!
The only two peeves I have about this game are the side quests to find certain items (such as those darn feathers!) to unlock more storyline and the multiplayer features or lack there of. It takes a tremendous amount of time and patience (that I lack) in order to find all the items from the side quests. Also, there is no multiplayer mode for this game. But Ubisoft was smart, they knew fans would want some multiplayer capabilities so they made a sequel to this game, not part three in the series but an extension to Assassin’s Creed II called Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood. This game can be played as a single player but it’s largely for multiplayer communities and features the same characters from Assassin’s Creed II and then some. Ezio now leads a team of assassin’s and you, with the help of your friends, can be a part of history.