Assassin's Creed II - Xbox 360

Game Description: Desmond returns to the Animus memory table and revisits the story of another assassin ancestor, Ezio. Assassin's Creed II takes place in Venice, Italy during the time of the Italian Renaissance, and features gameplay involving Leonard Da Vinci's inventions, boats in the city's famed canals, and more elaborate assassinations.
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Assassin's Creed II GamesCom 2009 Preview

Assassin's Creed II GamesCom 2009 Preview

By Andrew Pfister - Posted Aug 21, 2009

"This is the game I wanted the first time."

That's pretty much all I could think about during my Assassin's Creed II demo today at GamesCom. Creative drector Patrice Desilets gave us a 30-minute run-through of some brand new content that wasn't at E3. Unlike that demo, what we saw today wasn't a pre-packaged sampler platter of the game's features, it was the real deal in action.


We started with Ezio surveying the city of Firenze (Florence) at dusk. With a quick jump down into a cushioning haystack, we were walking among the citizens. Desilets took this opportunity to show off the new pick pocketing system. Instead of creepily (and obviously) stalking behind the target as you did in the first game, all you have to do now is hold down the Pickpocket button and bump into your victim. Your wallet will be credited with the score, no fuss & no muss -- unless you try it against someone who is paying more attention, then you'll get the guards called. You can also now blend in with any group of pedestrians, not just monks, and you have to actively stay close to your group as they move to avoid suspicion.

The money that you successfully stole can be used to heal yourself at a merchant cart, as well as purchase apothecary items like medicine and poison. Poison can be applied to your blades and used as means of quiet, undetectable assassination, as we saw with one particularly awesome side mission. Ezio received message via carrier pigeon that he was to kill a wealthy local, but he must do so without being seen. (Many of ACII's side missions will feature such requirements.) Only problem is that the target is accompanied by a bodyguard. So Desilets waited until the duo stopped near a crowd of people, before walking behind the guard and giving him a quick poke of Ezio's poisoned blade. The stricken guard went berzerk, waved his spear around and caught the merchant in the gut, doing the dirty work for him. And just for fun, he threw some spare change from his wallet towards some bystanders, some of which who bent down to pick it up only to receive the guard's spinning blade in their faces.

That was just the first part of the demo, highlighting improvements to the mission structure (there isn't one anymore, at least not in terms of Assassin's Creed's "investigate, assassinate" repetition), interface improvements (you can now use Ezio's eagle vision without having to go into first-person view, yay!), and combat (you can step around more freely, take guards as human shields, and be attacked by multiple enemies at once).


The second part of the demo was the new concept saved for this GamesCom reveal. Further spicing up the overall entree are new secret locations scattered about the game's Italian landscape. What we saw in Firenze were underground catacombs that were built like Prince of Persia-style obstacle courses for Ezio to leap and bound through. In fact, Desilets used the phrase "like Prince of Persia" to describe it. He wouldn't say just how many of these locations existed in the game, but he did say somewhere around "4-5 hours" worth of content. You don't have to do them, but you can collect seals at the end of each location to get an unspecified reward.

He then ended our demo by making Ezio leap into a nearby canal, and he managed to survive and swim with no problems. Like I said up top, this is looking like the game I wanted the first time.

Comments are Closed

  • camaro72toy

    Wow,that's all I can say,very impressive.
    I want to know alot more about the swimming aspect.
    Can you swim under water? deep under water? will there be underground places like caves or holes to swim through? (like I was over expecting in GTA 4),
    will there be hidden objects to find under water?

    Also,more on the flying aspect,is it just a one time deal,or can you fly alot during the game?( I'm expecting to fly ALOT ).

    Posted: September 6, 2009 10:57 AM
  • deathangel484

    even though the missions of the first game got extremely repetitive, the story line was epic and should have been played through to the end just to be seen. I just took breaks every time i got bored of missions to make the game more interesting. The sequel looks to be all that it is hyped up to be and more. I'm a huge CoD fan, but I'm putting off buying MW2 until after i get Assassin's Creed 2. Can't wait until November, but hopefully ODST will hold me over long enough.

    Posted: August 29, 2009 4:22 PM
  • bigal584

    this game is gonna be great and hopefully they will have a demo for this game

    Posted: August 24, 2009 11:45 AM
  • autocrat86

    The last one was not crap, just very nearly so. The gameplay was repetitive, and after the first 3 or 4 assinations, you could pretty much put down the controller, because that was the whole game. I hope they gave it some diversity this time. Don't get me wrong, the first one had some great ideas. They just didnt make up for the repitition. I grew bored awfully fast with the game, and traded it in to gamestop to buy oblivion goty edition. From the trailer, though it looks like they came through. I'll still rent before I buy, though.

    Posted: August 24, 2009 9:24 AM
  • hoof_hearted4

    well honestly besides the graphics and the unique gameplay, AC was reallt bad. i mean i still havent gotten past the second third of the game cause i cant handle doing the same missions AGAIN i mean ya the graphics were amazing, and the concept was unique and the open world go to anything u see was mind blowing but all that just seems to fall apart when ur slugging through the game because it got boring after the first two cities. even the fact that i was going to get new weapons didnt keep me going and idk but i really dont feel like searching and open ended world for 100+ hard to find because there are so many nooks and crannies king's flags and whatnot, even if it was for a trophie, which it wasnt cause there were no trophies...

    Posted: August 21, 2009 11:31 PM
  • EdSabre

    I hate it when people talk about the first one like its crap. Just because they are improving alot of things in the sequel, doesnt mean you need to constantly point out the original's shortcomings. Assassin's Creed was a beautiful game that has left it's mark in video game history and it successor is merely following in it's glorious footsteps.

    Cant wait for this, Game of the Year without a doubt. :)

    Posted: August 21, 2009 10:54 PM
  • junipe

    im really exited for this game. assassins creed was the first game i got for my 360and i still love it. and this game looks like the next game ill be playing for a year straight : ). im just glad ill have brutal legend to hold me over for that last month of "its almost here anticipation"

    Posted: August 21, 2009 8:20 PM
  • 100percentgood

    yeah, i had so many problems with the first one its not even funny. hopefully they fixed it all.

    the voice acting alone was so terrible i thought i was playing a ps1 game... *shudders*

    this is shaping up to be exactly as andrew described, exactly what i expected from the first game.

    hopefully, it goes beyond that, though. this is supposed to be a sequel. not a fixing-of-everything-that-was- bad-in-the-first-one release.

    Posted: August 21, 2009 8:08 PM
  • bigboss_777



    Posted: August 21, 2009 6:43 PM
  • gl3bm

    i am looking forward to this!!!!!!!!!!! Have the special edition preordered

    Posted: August 21, 2009 5:57 PM
  • Iantyne

    assassin's creed one was great, i don't get why you all are bringing it down. in my opinion it is one of the top ten best games for the 360.

    Posted: August 21, 2009 5:06 PM
  • Dredgon

    Looks sick, can't wait, have the Master Assassin's Edition pre-ordered!

    Posted: August 21, 2009 5:02 PM
  • zimmy91

    idk im still wondering if the content will be worth it this time they really put me down with the first one i rent then decide from there

    Posted: August 21, 2009 4:50 PM
  • Philapathy

    "silent assassinations", YES! That's the part that pissed me off the most in the first AC, you always had to get up close and personal. That and the fact all the guards took the same wall-climbing/roof-hopping lessons the assassins did, dunno if they fixed that.

    Posted: August 21, 2009 4:04 PM
  • loco91

    you gotta keep in mind that AC was one of the 1st true next gen games so standards werent that high

    Posted: August 21, 2009 3:38 PM
  • BlackandWhiteReviews

    already got my preorder in for the white edition... nice!

    Posted: August 21, 2009 2:36 PM
  • cmdluke

    awesome. can't wait. totally agree that this is the game it should have been the first time.

    Posted: August 21, 2009 1:01 PM