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Assassin's Creed II: First details

Ubisoft's massive sequel officially heads to 15th century Venice...

The first proper details on Assassin's Creed II have emerged, following the release of an official teaser trailer earlier this week.

The second game, which is said to be the brain child of an astonishing 240 development staff at Ubisoft Montreal, takes place in 15th century Venice where one of modern day man Desmond's ancient relatives is once again going around stabbing people.

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New weapons, smarter AI, a refined mission structure (thank goodness) and even a crazy Leonardo Di Vinci flying machine are promised for the follow up, the new issues of US mag Game Informer reveals.

See the full list of changes, courtesy of NeoGAF, below:

- 1476, warring families, corrupted clergy, political intrigue, warring city-states.
- Assassination and executions are common in those days.
- Post plague era, modern science begins, etc., (basically, a resume of what the Renaissance era was like).
- Assassins and Templars continue their struggle.
- Venice and its waterways, Florence and its huge monuments.
- There is an illustration of San Gimignano's towers, and it speaks of the Tuscany country side. Another illustration shows some boats in Venice's canals.
- Saint Mark's Basilica. The Grand Canal, The Little Canal, Rialto Bridge, are shown (screenshots compared to real-life shots)
- Patrice Désilets says Altair was only in the middle of the "timeline", but now you live through the memories of a new ancestor to Desmond.
- Da Vinci is an ally to Ezio's family. He is like Q in James Bond. Machiavelli teaches you "tactics".
- "We know that he (Ezio) does end up alone and on a quest for vengeance". Learns to become an Assassin.
- Ezio can dive into the water in Venice, hide underwater as long as he can hold his breath, etc.
- You can pull guards in the water to assassinate them.
- Taller buildings. You can use a new leap maneuver to climb faster.
- More varied "hiding places"
- Ezio's infamy grows if makes too much commotion, making people more suspicious. If you become notorious, new missions appear (example: assassinate the witnesses, bribe people, get rid of wanted posters), so you can lower your notorious level if you want.
- Ezio can disarm enemies and use their weapons against them.
- Dozens of weapons with their own special moves (pike allows you to knock many enemies off their feet, dagger allows you to do an escape kill of some sort, etc.), can fight without weapons too and do things like throw dirt in an enemy's eyes because sometimes you don't have a weapon (except for the hidden blade and throwing knives), even heabutts! Désilets says that at the end you should become so good with the double hidde blades that you will use them over any weapons. A hammer is shown, a club too, and some blades and an axe.
- Game is made to address concerns people had with AC1, while staying true to its core. Biggest need was "more variety". AC2 no longer uses the AC1 gameplay loop structure (bureau, info, assassination).
- Ezio can use boats to move through the canals (in an example of mission variety, Ezio goes to see an informant but they are attacked and you must defend her as you make your way to a boat, then use it to get her to safety). Sometimes those different mission types are mixed together in one mission (example; mission starts as a simple delivery, but ends up as a chase, and finally a kill).
- A picture is shown of different enemy types. One is really big and fully armored. Each enemy type have their own attitudes and weaknesses. Enemies evolve as the game progresses (first encounter in the game will feel different than later ones). Agile dagger wielders can freerun like Ezio (following him more easily). The big dudes are more deadly in close combat. Spear wielders will look for you moreso, like in hiding places. You can kill enemies from the hiding places (picture shows Ezio grabbing a nearby soldier with his hand on his mouth, emerging from a bay hale chariot).
- Templars and Assassins are "underground, behind the events, pulling strings".
- Day and night cycle.
- Different kinds of objects to find but that actually give you something in return.

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