The sequel beats the hell out of the first game. Here's why.
November 5, 2009 - The first Assassin's Creed received plenty of praise, but it also spawned a very vocal fan base who let the world know what they felt was missing from the game. Well we have some good news for people who like to complain on the internet: the developers listen. Assassin's Creed II adds a lot of features to the formula, and we've distilled the best of them. And for even more info on Assassin's Creed II check out our latest video feature by clicking below.
You Can SwimOne of the most contested gameplay elements in ACI was Altair's inability to keep his head above water. Jumping into a lake resulted in an instant death. What type of Assassin can't swim?
Not only can Ezio go for a dip, the ability to interact with water leads to complete new avenues for gameplay. Players can duck under water to hide from pursuing enemies, double tapping the jump button over water results in a dive, as cool looking as a leap of faith. Ezio can also stealthily assassinate a victim from the edge of a ledge, making the canals in Venice the perfect deadly hiding place. The ability to swim is something of a nod to the fans, but Ezio can also pilot a gondola and as we've seen from the trailers, fly. In short, it's going to be difficult to complain about things this assassin can't do.
The Notoriety SystemIt was a common problem in Assassin's Creed I: You're walking along and for some reason the guards start harassing you at every turn. You trip over a begger trying to escape, your robes are mussed, and nobody's happy.
Next to Ezio's health meter there's a red ring that indicates his notoriety. As you break the law, this meter fills up and guards become more suspicious. Now that guards have visible awareness meters as well, you'll always know when and why Ezio is being hunted. You can lower notoriety by ripping down wanted posters, bribing officials, or assassinating corrupt officials. If you need a parallel, think of this meter like the stars in Grand Theft Auto. Only in Assassin's Creed, you have the ability to wipe out your infamy with the stab of your blade.
Fast TravelIn Assassin's Creed I riding through the Holy Land on the back of a mighty stead seemed like a good idea, until you realized that every trip between cities required an extended trot through peasantville.
Sure, you can ride a horse through the mountains if you'd like, but there are also travel stations located throughout the city that will whisk you away to the far corners of Italy. Not only can you quickly jump between towns, but you can also pick the side of a city where you'd like to arrive. With so many collectibles, the option to jump between locals comes in handy. You'll also love the quick travel option considering the next new feature…
You Own a TownIn the first game, Altair would drop by his master's headquarters from time to time. Here he could participate in some light combat training and engage in lengthy philosophical conversations. Ho-hum.
This time Ezio owns an entire villa, complete with a brothel, blacksmith, art dealer, and church. Ezio works with an architect to rebuild the town from a crumbling mess. Investing in the town not only changes the buildings, but the citizens become more wealthy and the sun shines more brightly on the newly constructed architecture. You'll also receive a discount at merchants you've invested in. The villa is also where Ezio can buy new combat moves, like the ability to wield a two-handed axe, and store his collected treasures.
You Can Do This
As you can see, Ezio is hitting a guard in the head with giant mace. Assassin's Creed II has a ton of weapons, each with their own unique qualities and animations. Not only can you save up enough gold to purchase a weapon as devastating as what's illustrated above, but you can also disarm heavily armored guards and turn their giant battleaxes against them.
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