Assassin's Creed II


Key events

Assassin's Creed is a series all about history - well, that and stabbing people in the neck. So, for the release of Origins, we thought we'd celebrate by delving into the history of the series. It's a lot less messy than doing the stabbing in the neck thing ourselves.

FeatureAssassin's Creed: the story so far

Everything is permitted.

There will likely never be a better entry point to Assassin's Creed than Origins, released today. A prequel set a thousand years before the events of Assassin's Creed 1, Origins can be enjoyed as your first experience of the series.

FeatureTracing the ancestry of Assassin's Creed, from Prince of Persia to the Holy Land

Assassin's Creed's origins: A chat with Patrice Désilets about building the tower.

If there are moments of serenity in the original Assassin's Creed, which turns 10 years old next month, they are surely to be found in the act of scaling towers - a way of pacing consumption of the landscape that has shaped almost every subsequent open world escapade, from Rocksteady's Batman Arkham games to the mighty Breath of the Wild. The city is a fading murmur beneath you, the cries of beggars and traders and the jingle of guard awareness icons whisked away by the wind. The occasional frustrations of shouldering through mobs or scrambling across uneven rooftops are forgotten. There is nothing but the scuffle of toes on masonry and the rattle of Altair's sword in its sheath.

Everybody knows bugs. There are funny ones and stupid ones. There are annoying ones and actually-damaging ones. But however they manifest themselves, bugs sit right between a game's maker and its player, a sudden manifestation of mistakes that have been made, a crack in the simulation, a bump right back down to Earth.

Assassin's Creed film review

Originally published last month for its initial US release, here's our review of the Assassin's Creed film - which is now showing in the UK.

Like his shiny set of Assassin blades, Michael Fassbender dual-wields the main roles in Assassin's Creed - those of present day thug Callum Lynch and Spanish Inquisition ancestor Aguilar. It means Fassbender is always the film's focus, the sharp end of its blade designed to ensure Ubisoft's biggest gaming series penetrates ever further into the public consciousness. But what a mess he's forced to make to try and get its point across.

Fans of the series should expect a whirlwind tour of the Assassin's Creed greatest hits - splendidly reconstructed historical settings, wall-running and roof-jumping fisticuffs, philosophical meanderings over a shiny Apple of Eden McGuffin - but all of the games' poorer traits make the leap to the big screen, too: weak characterisation, humourless exposition, and a story which exists simply to string one punch-up to the next.

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Assassin's Creed movie already getting a sequel - report

Assassin's Creed movie already getting a sequel - report

Michael Fassbender is on board for more.

The Assassin's Creed movie won't be out until 21st December, but it's reportedly already greenlit a sequel.

According to The Tracking Board, New Regency has already signed with producers Jean-Julien Baronnet from Ubisoft Motion Pictures, Frank Marshall through his Kennedy-Marshall Company, along with Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan through DMC Films.

It's not clear if Assassin's Creed co-stars Marion Cotillard or Jeremy Irons will return. The same goes for director Justin Kurzel. For that matter, it's not 100 per cent confirmed that Fassbender will star in the sequel, but the fact that he's co-producing it suggests he'll reprise the role.

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Ubisoft launches massive Steam sale

Ubisoft launches massive Steam sale

Clash of Heroes, Blood Dragon, Beyond Good & Evil reduced.

More than 80 Ubisoft titles have been reduced in a huge Steam sale, which is running from now until 24th February.

Cut-price games include downloadable gems such as Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (£1.99), Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (£7.79) and Rayman Origins (£6.49).

The first two Assassin's Creed games are £6.49, while more recent entries Brotherhood, Revelations and AC3 are £9.74.

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New Xbox 360 console redesign announced

New Xbox 360 console redesign announced

Xbox Live Gold now entitles you to two free game downloads per month.

As previously rumoured, Microsoft has just announced a new, sleeker version of the Xbox 360. It'll be available from today - at least in North America.

We'll check on European availability when all the hubbub has died down.

Microsoft also revealed a new offer for Xbox Live Gold subscribers - you'll now get two free game downloads per month, similar to Sony's existing PlayStation Plus service.

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First details on 2012's Assassin's Creed

First details on 2012's Assassin's Creed

Desmond's story to conclude next year.

The story kick-started by 2007's Assassin's Creed will be tied up before December 2012, with developer Ubisoft Montreal strongly suggesting that Desmond Miles' tale will conclude next year.

"In Assassin's Creed we set up a timeline with this whole end of the world plot of December 2012," Assassin's Creed: Revelation creative lead Alexandre Amacio told Eurogamer. "That's fast approaching, and the story we have to tell, we obviously need to do it before we arrive at that point."

Ubisoft Montreal has created four main games since the Assassin's Creed series debuted in 2007, and 2009's Assassin's Creed 2 has enjoyed two follow-ups in quick succession with last year's Brotherhood and the forthcoming Revelations.

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Ex-Assassin's Creed dev starts at THQ

Désilets to reveal new game on phone.

Ex-Assassin's Creed main man Patrice Désilets begins work for new employer THQ today – and will reveal his new game to core games boss Danny Bilson over the phone.

Ghost Recon/Ass Creed films coming?

Ubisoft wants to hear your thoughts.

Ubisoft is considering film versions of its Ghost Recon and Assassin's Creed franchises, so suggests a new customer survey from the French publisher.

Raymond: Animus lets Assassin's expand

Explains move beyond Third Crusade.

Assassin's Creed's Animus, the virtual reality machine that reads a subject's genetic memory and allows them to relive it as an ancestor, helped the phenomenally successful stab-em-up series to expand beyond the limits of the first game's setting.

Assassin's Creed 2011 confirmed

Assassin's Creed 2011 confirmed

Ubisoft backtracks on year-off promise.

There will be a new Assassin's Creed game in 2011, Ubisoft has confirmed, despite earlier promises that the series would be taking a year off.

Speaking at an investor call today, CEO Yves Guillemot revealed, "There will be something around Assassin's [next year]. That's all we can say."

No clarification was offered as to exactly what form the game might take, but CFO Alain Martinez said "Maybe after Christmas in January we'll be able to talk about what kind of product we have."

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PS Store discounts Creed II add-ons

Plus: £32 for WWE SmackDown on PSP.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - the one what did multiplayer - arrives next week, and Ubisoft is banging its drums by discounting AC2 downloadable content.

Ex-Assassin's Creed dev joins THQ

Patrice Désilets working on brand new game.

Ex-Assassin's Creed main man Patrice Désilets will join THQ in summer 2011 to form a new Montreal Studio focused on creating brand new games.

Digital FoundryDesigning Assassin's Creed II

230 new features, 200 design documents, 300 staff, no time for revisions. How did Ubisoft Montreal deliver?

"Let's say that you're faced with a game where you need to develop more than 230 features with the use of a production team of over 300 developers in a schedule that didn't allow any revision of your design, and that at the end, your game must be commercially successful and critically acclaimed. How do you do it? That's what I had to face with Assassin's Creed II."

Ubi offers DLC to compensate for DRM

But ACII Black Edition owners not happy.

Ubisoft is said to be offering compensation to gamers who experienced problems with its controversial digital rights management system.

ACII PC requires internet connection

Lose progress if disconnected.

The PC Gamer Blog has first-hand confirmation that the PC version of Assassin's Creed II features Ubisoft's controversial new anti-piracy system.

PC Assassin's II gets European date

System requirements offered up too.

Update: Ubisoft's confirmed a 5th March release date for the PC edition of Assassin's Creed II [and not Mass Effect 2, obviously. Idiot - Ed] in Europe. That means we get the game earlier than the US. Shh, don't brag.

WGA announces game writing nominees

WGA announces game writing nominees

Assassin's! Uncharted! Wolverine! etc.

The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2009 Videogame Writing awards.

As reported by Kotaku, those in the running include Assassin's Creed II (written by Corey May, Joshua Rubin and Jeffrey Yohalem) and Uncharted 2 (Amy Hennig).

Then there's Wet (Duppy Demetrius) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Marc Guggenheim). There may not be room for all the writers on the stage if Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 wins (written by Jesse Stern; additional Writing by Steve Fukuda; story by Todd Alderman, Steve Fukuda, Mackey McCandlish, Zied Rieke, Jesse Stern, Jason West; battlechatter dialogue by Sean Slayback).

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Assassin's Creed II's dad Patrice Desilets has confirmed that the Battle of Forli and Bonfire of the Vanities download packs due next year were originally meant to be in the main game.

Ubisoft details Assassin's Creed II DLC

Ubisoft details Assassin's Creed II DLC

Price and contents laid out.

Ubisoft has detailed the upcoming Assassin's Creed II downloadable content packs it announced just recently.

The first, the Battle of Forli, is due out in January for $3.99 and features six new memories. It focuses on Ezio's work to protect the town of Forli from the invading Orsi family, and fleshes out Caterina Sforza, who you encountered briefly in the main game just before you went off to Florence.

The second pack, the Bonfire of the Vanities, is due out for $4.99 in February, and unlocks a new area of Florence. Ezio has to liberate the city from Savonarola, who has taken it over thanks to an Apple of Eden.

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Assassin's Creed II sells 1.6m worldwide

Assassin's Creed II sells 1.6m worldwide

Ubisoft makes a killing.

Ubisoft has just announced that Assassin's Creed II sold 1.6m units worldwide in one week, according to "internal estimates".

That's 32 per cent better than the original Assassin's Creed, which is still the fastest-selling new IP that North America has ever seen.

The increase may be attributed to Assassin's Creed II being a much better game. Eurogamer scored the original Assassin's Creed 7/10 and gave the sequel 9/10.

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UK charts: Assassin's Creed II denied

Modern Warfare 2 still reigns supreme.

Neither Assassin's Creed II nor New Super Mario Bros. Wii have managed to displace Modern Warfare 2 at the top of the UK All-Formats chart, despite Activision's champion selling 86 per cent fewer copies during its second week on sale.

Digital FoundryThe World of Assassin's Creed II

Digital Foundry's latest time-lapse.

Ubisoft's terrific Assassin's Creed II launched just yesterday and it really is something extraordinary - a game so impressive it's more than worthy of some special treatment at the hands of Digital Foundry. As discussed in this week's Face-Off, one of the key improvements made to the original Assassin's Creed engine was the addition of a full day/night cycle, and we were eager to test that implementation.

Face-Off: Assassin's Creed II

This is the game I've been waiting for. While the original Assassin's Creed may have been short on variety, there's no denying the quality of the visuals and the immense possibilities of the openworld sandbox it presented to us. On Xbox 360, at least, it was a technological marvel that laid the foundations for a sequel that takes all the coding genius of the original and combines it with a gameplay package that exceeds expectations. While Modern Warfare 2 ranks as the multiplayer game of choice for console owners, it's Assassin's Creed II that offers the most complete package for those more enamoured with traditional single-player experience. Ubisoft Montreal has done good.

Assassin's Creed is a game that comes with a bit of history. Way back in Face-Off Round 6, the PS3 version was savaged for its hugely disappointing performance, general blurriness and the feeling that its development was treated almost like an afterthought compared to the more technically solid Xbox 360 game. Times have changed. The quality of Ubisoft's PS3 work has come on leaps and bounds (its penchant for mammoth mandatory installs aside) and the fact the quality level has been sustained across the entire company with its many and varied studios is all the more impressive.

With regards to Assassin's Creed II, the comparison video augers well, suggesting that slight blur aside, the graphical assets are indeed identical cross-platform. You can get a more in-depth view with the jam-packed 720p comparison gallery.

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ACII launches Uplay rewards system

ACII launches Uplay rewards system

Unlock in-game bonuses via website.

Ubisoft has announced that Assassin's Creed II is compatible with the beta version of Uplay, its upcoming loyalty and rewards system.

The beta focuses on the Uplay Win aspect of the service, where you collect units (don't call them achievements!) for doing certain things in the game. These can then be traded for rewards, including exclusive in-game content.

Alternatively, you can save them up and use them cross-game to unlock things in future Ubisoft titles like Splinter Cell: Conviction.

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Assassin's Creed II

Assassin's Creed II

Past master.

"Nothing is true," said Al Mualim. "Everything is permitted." The point of Assassin's Creed - apart from establishing a hugely successful new IP for Ubisoft - was to avoid taking the old man's words literally, and to begin with you may wish you'd done the same with the pre-release hype for the sequel.

For months we've been told that Assassin's Creed II will be much better because, not unlike Desmond Miles strapped to the curvy Animus machine, it will be defined by the lessons of its ancestor. Yet the sequel begins as messily as anything I can remember, as friendly lab-tech Lucy helps Desmond escape from the Abstergo facility where he's being held.

Abstergo, of course, is a futuristic front for the Templar Knights (do keep up), and she's busting him out so they can no longer use the Animus to ransack his genetic memories for the location of super-powerful objects called Pieces of Eden (seriously, keep up). Lucy and Desmond escape by running down corridors, doing clunky stealth and having an awful fight in a carpark. When they get where they're going, it turns out Lucy's fellow Assassins are rejects from Scooby Doo, who live in a snazzy loft conversion at a warehouse. And then they strap Desmond in an Animus anyway.

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ESRB: ACII has "seduction mini-game"

No it doesn't. Not really.

The American ESRB has posted its rating summary for Assassin's Creed II, drawing attention to a "seduction mini-game" among other things, some of which constitute minor spoilers.

Assassin's Creed II

Death in Venice.

Here's a sequel that takes precisely zero time to prove it's not simply a repeat of its forerunner. Remember all those super-long, super-serious conversations between unsmiling men? From the very off, Assassin's Creed II features gags, flirting and urgency. Even Desmond, the glowering buzzcut bloke whose ancestors' memories the Assassin's Creed games document, gets to grin, joke and make eyes at a lady. What, what, what? Light-heartedness in my gritty historical stealth game?

Assassin's Creed II

Variety show.

Some years back, I had a condition, which began to affect the way in which I lived. I know, I know, "get a blog", but bear with me. This was during university. Being a philosophy graduate, I had plenty of spare time. I also had a good friend, and fellow philosopher, with a "PlayStation", as it was those days, and a copy of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Given the choice of extracting a semblance of meaning from Kant or chucking Rodney Mullen around half-pipes and down stairwells, we often (read: always) took the later option.

PS3 250GB bundles priced, detailed

ACII! Uncharted 2! GT5! £299.99.

A trusted retail source has corroborated earlier reports and told Eurogamer that a 250GB PS3 Slim will arrive here as early as October, as part of three console-plus-game bundles.

Non-linearity may be everywhere these days (with the option of being everywhere else), but as inFamous suggested and Assassin's Creed II now hopes to prove, a bit of linearity goes a long way too. Sucker Punch's PS3 game had those underground bits where you collected new powers, and they were some of the best and most focused bits of the game. Ubisoft Montreal's second crack at Assassins-versus-Templars pulls the same trick, hiding self-contained, Prince of Persia-style platform levels around the open world, virtually none of which is obligatory, but each of which rewards you with a special metal seal, which together will add up to a great, unidentified reward.

Desmond sees "action" in Assassin's 2

Plus: Raymond coy about MGS easter egg.

Desmond, the man whose genetic recollections fuelled Altair's murderous rampage in Assassin's Creed, sounds like he will get to do a lot more than just stroll around an Abstergo prison cell and steal pens in the sequel.

Assassin's Creed 2 Euro date confirmed

Assassin's Creed 2 Euro date confirmed

Plus Ve-nice Black Edition box.

Ubisoft has told Eurogamer that Assassin's Creed 2 will launch on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 here on 20th November. The 17th November date announced at E3 was for the US.

The UK will also get an exclusive Black Edition of Assassin's Creed 2, which costs 70 English Queenpounds.

That's because the black, holographic box will be stuffed with goodies. Specifically, a 64-page leather-and-parchment-style "Conspiracy" development book; an Ezio figurine wearing "Master Assassin" garb; three in-game bonus quests promising to cover "the most prestigious moments" of the Italian Renaissance; the soundtrack by Jesper Kyd; and behind-the-scenes developer interviews.

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E3: Assassin's Creed 2 gets release date

E3: Assassin's Creed 2 gets release date

1486. No wait, that's when it's set.

Ubisoft has revealed the sequel to Assassin's Creed to will be out on 17th November.

It's set in 1486, according to a trailer which was played at Ubi's E3 press conference. It showed a group of men in masks going to a ball in Venice. One of them gets separated from his mates while dancing with a lady, and next thing you know he's keeling over with a very sore throat.

Altair replacement Ezio's to blame. A bit of kicking and stabbing ensues before Ezio is chased through the canals of Venice, ending up in St. Mark's Square. One of his pursuers appears unimpressed by the fact Ezio can produce a blade from his sleeve, but is less smug when he's shot by whatever's up the other one.

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Assassin's Creed 2 for "holiday 2009"

All current-gen formats, new teaser.

Ubisoft has announced that Assassin's Creed 2 will be released on "all current-generation platforms" during this "holiday", which usually means the period leading up to Christmas, as opposed to, say, that week I've booked off in May.

Assassin's Creed 2 detailed

Florence, Venice, da Vinci, flying...

Assassin's Creed is set in 15th-century Italy and stars a young nobleman-turned-assassin called Ezio Auditore de Firenze, according to the Game Informer preview teased last week.

I Am Alive delayed for "more work"

Out in financial 09/10 along with Red Steel 2, Assassin's 2, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon.

Ubisoft has delayed the release of I Am Alive until its next financial year, which runs from the start of April until the end of March 2010.