What We Know: I recently saw the game demoed at GamesCom, and I've already noted that Assassin’s Creed II is taking out one of the biggest problems I had with the original -- repetitive missions. Ubisoft is back with an all new demo showing the lengths Ubisoft is going to vary up the gameplay.
What’s New at TGS: The demo features a brand new mission in which Ezio has to take out a team of archers, and then complete a final assassination. As one who got completely burnt on the first game due to doing the same quest types and investigations over and over again, seeing a chunk of a level like this was quite refreshing. Tasked with dropping five archers perched upon rooftops, Ezio clears them out and lets imposters move into place to further the mission. Combat is greatly expanded, and not only did we witness Ezio scale buildings and then pull unsuspecting archers off their posts, but he can also use one as a shield before head slamming two enemies at once. However the coolest kill I saw was Ezio punching an archer, kicking him, breaking his arm, and then picking him up and throwing him off the building. Even though I liked the combat from the first game, Assassin’s Creed II’s combat is looking even more engrossing.
While in Assassin’s Creed you could hide among Priests, now you have two factions to choose from -- Courtesans and Thieves. Courtesans will tempt guards and woo them with their female charms, while thieves will follow you to the rooftops and help you battle enemies to allow you to get to your destination faster. We saw the Courtesans in action, and it was pretty fun to see Ezio send them off to sucker some guards while he slinked by.
What I Want to See: Even more variety! I really wanted to love the first title, but I got about two-thirds through the game and just couldn’t bear picking another freakin’ pocket, or listening in on a conversation. What do I want to do? Kill! When do I want to do it? A LOT! The last two demonstrations of the game have varied up missions quite a bit, and I hope Ubisoft’s promise of variety continues throughout the whole game. So far, I’m hopeful.