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Assassin’s Creed II is taking the concept of change to its extreme by introducing a new protagonist, Ezio Auditore, replacing previous protagonist Altair. Unlike Altair, who already started out as an assassin,  Assassin’s Creed II allows you to relive large parts of Ezio’s life: focusing on the time he spent with his family, chronicling his journey towards becoming an assassin and taking his revenge on the individuals who have wronged him. In many ways, Assassin’s Creed II, soon to be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, can be considered another start to the franchise thanks to the additional changes it is bringing along with Ezio.

There seems to be an improvement to combat in the new itteration of the series. Altair was limited to only a few weapons and only a few combat moves; at the end of the game, the combat was very similar to the combat at the beginning, making it less fun and more of a chore the more you played. Assassin’s Creed II allows Ezio to select from over 20 weapons, with each weapon having its own statistics, such as speed and strength, offering multiple combat styles to be used. Also new was the ability to disarm the weapons from your enemies, allowing you to kill them instantly.

Additional changes include improvements to the environment. Ezio can purchase shops, allowing him to receive a daily income which is necessary to upgrade his weapons and armor. Ezio also has the ability to upgrade his manor and locate numerous collectibles scattered throughout the city.

A new major change is the addition of multiplayer; players could become the hunter or the hunted as you either sought to eliminate your opponent or avoid detection.  Fans of the series and veterans alike would do well not to let Assassin’s Creed II sneak away.

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