- Release date(s): November 20, 2009
Platforms: Playstation 3 & Xbox 360
Developer(s): Ubisoft Montreal
Lucy returns to Desmond and helps him to escape from Abstergo. She takes him to a shelter of the Assassins and introduces him to Shaun Hastings, a historian, and Rebecca Crane, who offers them technical support. Desmond then gets access to an improved version of the Animus and crawls into the skin of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young nobleman of the late 15th century in Florence.
Ezio’s father and brothers are executed on the orders of a corrupt official of the Templars. He and his mother and sister leave to hide in a villa in Monteriggioni. The villa is owned by his uncle Mario, and Ezio is trained in the following years to become an Assassin. Ezio and Mario discover that Rodrigo Borgia was the figurehead of a number of Templars, who were all complicit in the execution of his family. With the help of allies such as Leonardo da Vinci, Ezio assassinates the Templars one by one. He learns that Borgia acquired the apple. Ezio defeats Borgia and acquires possession of the Apple, while Brogia flees. Ezio is then initiated into the Brotherhood.
Ten years later, Borgia has become Pope Alexander VI. Borgia used the influence of the church to strengthen the Templars. Ezio decides to infiltrate the Vatican and confront Borgia. Once there, he discovers that the Pope’s Staff is also a part of Eden. After Ezio defeats Borgia, he spared his life, and then uses both the apple as the staff to reveal a room full of old technology. He is then approached by a hologram of a humanoid woman who calls herself Minerva. She speaks through Ezio directly against Desmond. Minerva explains that her society existed before humanity and that a major disaster had wiped out almost all of their civilization. They also warn that this kind of event will occur once again and that the fate of humanity lies in Desmond’s hands. After this discovery Desmond and his allies discover that their hiding place was discovered by Abstergo and decide to flee.
Similar to the first game in the series, Assassin’s Creed II is set in historic versions of Venice, Florence, Forlì, San Gimignano and the Tuscan countryside. The game includes events from this period as part of the story. Missions are divided into main story missions (which are subdivided into memory sequences reflect the events of Ezio’s life) and side missions that can be performed at any time. This mission structure also comes back in the other games of the series. The villa in Monteriggioni offers a number of features that can be extended by paying money for upgrades to the surrounding buildings or by purchasing artworks, weapons and costumes for the villa. By rebuilding buildings and buying artworks; the villla will generate money for the player. The height of this amount is affected by the upgrades and the purchase of these items. In addition there are a number of additional missions, such as finding secret assassin stamps and searching for hidden signs left behind by “subject 16”, a former user of the Animus. These characters hint at the nature of Minerva’s society.
The Add On’s of this game were released within a year and expanded the story arch. These stories lead up to the start of the next installment.