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Renaissance Italy is Your New Playground
on 23 February 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed Assassin's Creed - Directors Cut Edition (PC DVD) (AC1) and likewise enjoyed the second installment Assassins Creed II (AC2). The premise has not changed. There is a back story with a modern day guy reliving the life of his ancestor. This time it is Ezio Auditore, a nobleman's son in Florence Italy. Ezio is driven to the assassin's life by the murder of his father. I actually started playing the game before visiting Tuscany for the first time. It was fun seeing some of the sites in the game that I would soon visit in real life. The game also gives in game background about the history of certain buildings and people.
Comparing AC1 and AC2, AC2 seems to have more of a sandbox feel than the first one. In some ways, it reminded me of The Saboteur (PC DVD). There are numerous side missions and things to collect or do in each place. Some of the side missions are pretty vanilla and short, but the Assassin Tombs are more challenging. AC2 does not have the repetitive investigations that were part of AC1. If the side missions don't excite you, they can be skipped without affecting main plot. I think the hand to hand combat in the AC1 was more fun. AC2 allows you to use medicine in the game which makes dying in battle practically impossible. But AC2 has more weapon options and the extra features of the blade are cool. Money has also been added to the game. It allows you to purchase arms, armor, medicine, etc. This was kind of neat at the beginning of the game when your resources are limited, but as you progress in the game you'll have more money than you could ever spend.
The DRM has been modified. You can now change the settings in Uplay (UBSoft's online service) to allow you to play offline. The Cloud Save Synchronization (remote save) is now optional. For all those that passed on the game due to the DRM, it's safe to come and enjoy the game. I actually played and completed the game with Uplay active and did not have any issues playing either.
All in all, I think AC2 is an improvement. I look forward to continuing to play the series.