Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 70 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
  1. 92
    The experience is layered, unique, and shows an incredible attention to detail. This is one case where the sequel has triumphed over the original by catching the gameplay up to the already excellent visuals. No matter what your preconceptions are about Assassin's Creed II, the game is well worth your time and money.
  2. Assassin's Creed II is what you'd want an action sequel to be: bigger, better, and more beautiful.
  3. Assassin's Creed II is more than a great sequel because it does things the first game couldn't even hope to accomplish. There are tons of surprises in store, so if you enjoyed the original – or even if you only kind of liked it – this is one of those sequels that absolutely must be played.
  4. Assassin's Creed II is greatly improved over its predecessor. At the same time, it doesn't mess with what made the game so attractive to fans in the first place. The varied and refined gameplay along with the engaging story makes this title a must-buy for any serious gamer.
  5. Assassin’s Creed II is a complex, mature, and engaging journey from beginning to end. It stands as a benchmark for design that combines innovative ideas with tried-and-true techniques to create one of the great games of this generation.
  6. 100
    Fantastic narrative aside, the most important thing to know about AC2 is that it won't make you want to throw your controller through your TV like the first game did.
  7. Ubisoft Montreal has never been afraid to try new things, but after a few missteps with games like last year's Prince of Persia, perhaps the bravest thing it could have done with Assassin's Creed II was simply to make a classic open-world adventure, filled to the brim with things you want to do and the narrative motivation to continue doing them. The fact it's done so suggests we really should trust the studio when it says it's taken its lesson, and fills me with hope for the third game in the trilogy. In the meantime, we not only have the Assassin's Creed game we'd hoped for in the first place to play with, but one of the best open-world games of the year.
  8. 100
    Few games so deftly balance the contrasting qualities achieved here. It's at once both epic and intimate, earnest and lighthearted. The scale of it is truly magnificent, but often its largest and most moving moments come from the smallest and most carefully composed scenes. [Jan 2010, p.62]
  9. It's a fantastic follow-up, probably one of the best sequels you'll ever play, one that actually takes the complaints of the first game and improves upon them tenfold.
  10. Assassin's Creed was easily one of my favorite games of the last decade, and I love the sequel even more. It has managed to improve on almost every aspect of the game, despite missing a couple of obvious and unfortunate mistakes. This side trip to Italy is a truly fantastic vacation and worth every dollar, euro, or gold Florin.
  11. 91
    AC2 is everything a sequel ought to be: An improvement on the original in nearly every way. Perhaps more impressively, it actually has me interested to see where the series goes from here -- something I wouldn't have expected after I slogged my way through the original. Anyone who enjoyed the first game will definitely like AC2, but the real accomplishment is that people who didn't enjoy it will likely have a good time, too.
  12. The mix of action and intrigue results in one of the most compelling games of the year. [Winter 2009, p.76]
  13. A huge improvement over the first game, Assassin’s Creed II offers up an enormous, beautiful open world that’s easy to get lost in, an epic storyline and all the fun that comes from creatively killing villains and tearing across 15th-century rooftops at ridiculous speeds.
  14. Assassin's Creed II is not only a welcomed tribute to Italy, but also a videogame that has improved almost everything from the previous game. Graphically beautiful, with a great story, a lot of things to do and some cool ideas (like Auditore's Mansion), the last game from Ubisoft is finally a compelling game, that everyone should at least give a try. Obviously there are many things that still need to be improved, like AI and combat system, but as far as we can tell, the game is a must buy even for his gameplay, apart from the surroundings.
  15. The bottom line here is that Assassin’s Creed 2 is one of the best games of this year or any other, period. The first game was great in its own right and this one is better in almost every way. Even the finale is brilliant in how it provides a satisfying conclusion to this chapter while dropping huge bombshells that demand the series continue. This is a gamer’s game from start to finish, and if you don’t like it you might need to consider a new hobby.
  16. With a more complete story, much more varied gameplay and the same virtues than the original, Ezio's adventures in the Renaissance will captivate everyone this time.
  17. Assassin’s Creed 2 isn’t perfect – the controls continue to requite a bit more fine tuning but it’s also impossible to deny that the sequel improves upon the original in almost every conceivable way.
  18. Certainly, Ubisoft Montreal has succeeded in welding a game to what once felt like a proof of concept, and without overshadowing its many strengths. Much devolves into mere stuff – one sword is much like another; a painting’s easily bought and just fills a hole in the wall – and once the story is over there’s little reason to replay it. At the end of it all, though, you’re left with that setting, those cities, and Ezio, and they lend the experience a substance that endures.
  19. 96
    I admit the first 30 minutes of the game feel really slow and disappointing, but once you move past that it easily becomes one of the best games I have played this year.
  20. High praise for taking what felt like an idea in Assassin’s Creed and turned it into one of the year’s most ambitious and enjoyable games.
  21. The storyline is intricate, there's depth beyond the main quest, the presentation is wonderful, and the action is incredible at times. We've had some stunning single-player experiences this year, and Ubisoft has given us another gem to add to the list.
  22. Assassin’s Creed II is a gem, a truly masterpiece. Developing a new economic system, and bringing more attention to combats, notoriety and context-script, Ubisoft achieves an awesome and epic experience. This sequel is far better than the first one.
  23. Assassin's Creed II delivers a great story driven experience. Solving most of the problems of its predecessor, this accomplished sequel offers compelling action, beautiful environments and a great plethora of well written characters. A must have for every action-adventure fan with a taste for history, and one of the best games of this fall.
  24. This game has clearly been the result of a tremendously talented development team listening to feedback and giving gamers what they wanted - namely more variety and more depth.
  25. The story makes the game. Above all other things, Assassin's Creed 2 keeps you in the game through the fate of Ezio. The gameplay is much the same as in the first part and so it is not the reinvention we hoped it would be.
  26. Assassin's Creed 2 is miles away form the first chapter. It's a whole new game, different in many aspects. The main quest is involving and nice to play, and the number of side mission and extra activities is impressive (and all of them are fun to play). The setting is peculiar and unique, and the panoramic views are sharp and, somehow, magic.
  27. 90
    Ezio is the evolution of Altaïr. The game shows improvement and keeps you fascinated because it offers enough variation. The graphical performance is high and the sound is just fine. This game just simply can't be missing from your collection!
  28. Assassin's Creed 2 has more variety than its prequel, and it's a great gaming experience. Despite a graphics engine which is good but that no longer represents the cutting edge, the real difference is now the storyline and the gameplay. Ubisoft has listened to what people were asking for, and we are now in front of what Assassin's Creed was supposed to be.
  29. Assassin's Creed 2 is an excellent game. It's impressive to climb a massive cathedral from which you can overlook the entire city. The game surpasses the original game in almost every aspect, but the flawed AI and weak ending hold it back from becoming what we hoped for. It's still a beautiful adventure from the very beginning until the end.
  30. Assassin’s Creed II has plenty of fixes and additions, but the story can drag, and the sense of awe that the parkour provided two years ago is muted. Yet new mission types, freedom from a linear quest, added depth, and a stronger historical bent fortify the overall experience. There’s still no other game quite like it, and whether you dismissed the first game or absolutely loved it, this is one creed worth taking.
  31. [Games are] about delivering a world that you want to invest your time in, full of characters you can have an emotional connection with, and Assassin's Creed II does that almost perfectly. [Dec 2009, p.102]
  32. Two years later, Assassin's Creed tries again to make real those promises from Ubisoft, and prove itself as a better game than it was. The truth is that, despite the Renaissance setting, the vivid locations and the historical landmarks, the new features added don't really improve the sequel: the same repetitive mechanics remain, as well as a flawed enemy AI, a rough combat system and moments of frustration coming from issues with the camera and the control response in the platform sections. Assassin's Creed II is still a good game but far from the masterpiece Ubisoft has been promising.
  33. 89
    An improvement on the original in just about every way. [Christmas 2009, p.62]
  34. Perhaps the ultimate testimony is the fact that it left us longing for another sequel, something the original certainly never achieved.
  35. Altair’s adventures compared to Ezio’s feels more like a demo... Middle age GTA absorbs you with all its elements, the same as Florence catches you with its beauty. [Dec 2009]
  36. I couldn’t be more pleased at the progress that Ubi Montreal made and the completely unabashed way they took the criticism to heart of the first AC. They’ve lovingly crafted a set of gameplay systems that not only improved on their first entry, but also rendered it completely obsolete. The game learned from its mistakes the first time around and fought its way back to the top of the pile.
  37. Not only an unreservedly brilliant and compelling follow-up, but one of the finest games we’ve ever played. Boasting a suitably grand soundtrack, majestic aesthetics and masterful level design, Assassin’s Creed II is everything we could have ever wished for and so much more. Forget Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed II is without a doubt this year’s biggest and best.
  38. The storyline is excellent, the voice acting and effects are excellent, the size, scope and detail of the environment is both a pleasure to behold and downright thrilling, interacting with everyone around you is an impressive experience, and the plethora of gameplay additions are much appreciated.
  39. The Italian countryside was a perfect fit in both design and gameplay and many of the new features should keep fans entertained for quite a while. You simply could not have asked for a better addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
  40. Overall Superb action and a smart, well-rounded story - a perfect sequel.
  41. 100
    ACII so satisfyingly delivers upon every aspect first laid out in its prequel, as well as many new gameplay elements and non-gameplay additions that transcend the medium, that it is difficult to offer anything but praise for this superb title.
  42. In short, Assassin’s Creed 2 is the game that the original should have been
  43. There are few games that can make us feel that we truly entered in the story, making us want to solve the plot as soon as possible. Assassin's Creed II is a game that has come to kill.
  44. Assassin’s Creed II is a worthy successor of one the most intriguing new franchises we have seen in a long time.
  45. Assassin’s Creed II is one of those few games that manage to be both intimate and epic.
  46. A thrilling action adventure, with plenty of varied tasks, more variable combat, engaging characters and it all taking place in some of the most beautiful locations ever recreated in a videogame. What's not to like.
  47. I was cautiously hopeful about the sequel to Assassin's Creed. I had been hopeful about the original, but ended up frustrated halfway through. This time around Ubisoft really hit their target (no pun intended) as they've done what most companies don't do anymore; they improved upon almost all elements of the gameplay for their sequel.
  48. The repetitive gameplay of the predecessor is replaced with varied missions and an interesting main plot. One of the greatest game worlds ever with a lot of content and likeable characters makes it easy to ignore some technical and control issues.
  49. The sequel has arguably changed for the better in just about every conceivable way...Assassin's Creed II truly offers an experience like no other, one that mixes history and brutality to sheer perfection. And it's absolutely massive. [Holiday 2009, p.38]
  50. To say the least, Assassin’s Creed II is a disappointment – not because it’s bad, but because we were promised so much more. Everything Ubisoft claimed they were changing has stayed the same, and what little new touches they’ve included fail to impact in the long run.
  51. You can easily put over 20 hours into Assassin’s Creed 2, the story is intriguing and starting to evolve and gameplay feels solid.
  52. After the first game turned out to not be as good as expected, the interest in a sequel waned, but AC2 did a great job of redeeming itself and with any luck those who were turned off by the original will at least give the sequel a try, because it truly is a greatly improved game.
  53. But this isn't a reinvention, it's a refinement. Assassin's Creed II offers, fundamentally, the same kinds of thrills as its predecessor--leaping from rooftop to rooftop with surefooted ease, appearing out of nowhere to kill your target with a quick blade, then vanishing effortlessly into a crowd. It's just been expanded, streamlined, and overhauled in ways that bring it closer to grace and make it a much easier game to recommend.
  54. In short, this sequel is a worthy heir. If Assassin’s Creed II was a cart full of hay, and the process of buying it represented an epic leap of faith from a tower, we would have no hesitation in telling you to dive right in. Hell, we’d push your arse into it. [Christmas 2009, p.90]
  55. Forget Jerusalem and forget Altaïr. Ezio's adventure in Renaissance Italy is better in every aspect! Both Florence and Venice are enormous living cities with an fantastic atmosphere, and even the smaller cities are wonderful to walk and climb through. There is only one big rotten apple: Italy's wonderful capital city Rome is the smallest location in the entire game.
  56. Just about every issue from the first game has not only been addressed, but almost entirely eliminated.
  57. Despite some frustrating combat moments, Assassin's Creed II secures its place among 2009's finest and is sure to keep you entertained well into the New Year.
  58. Ubisoft has finally realized its darling dream by creating a world where substance and style go together. Virtual tours of Florence, Venice and Tuscany are as captivating as the main story. For once in a way, “open-ended” doesn’t translate to “boring”, “lifeless” or “empty”. The height takes your breath away every time Ezio scales a tall building; the excellent animation makes up for annoying bugs and quirky gameplay conventions. Yes, the final boss fight is borderline silly, but it’s just a smudged line on a last page of a thrilling novel.
  59. It’s very darn close to perfection.
  60. 100
    Assassin's Creed 2 manages to surpass its predecessor in almost every way.
  61. It’s a flawed work of art, but a work of art nonetheless.
  62. 92
    The first part was a kind of repetitive, but in this part the gameplay isn’t repetitive and a lot better. Visually it looks stunning and the voice-acting and music is brilliant. Another game that can be put on the list of best games of 2009.
  63. Ezio has no problem beating Altair's efforts. On the technical side there might be some problems, but Assassin's Creed II is one of the best open world games out there.
  64. A huge improvement over the original, every element has been looked at and worked on making it a joy to play. Another must have top title.
  65. 88
    AC2 is a dramatically better game than its parent. It takes itself far less seriously, it's identified what was fun and thrown out what wasn't, and it's built upon a core free-running structure that's forever spectacular and thrilling. A little sadly, its fundamental concept and structure has been seriously overshadowed by the slicker likes of Mirror's Edge (in some ways) and Arkham Asylum (in a whole lot of ways).
  66. 88
    It is not, however, a flawless experience by any means – and we think the series' finest hour is still coming – but for fans of the original, it's the step forward we were rooting for and just tempting enough for new players to savour.
  67. 90
    The first Assassin’s Creed had a bold, brilliant concept; the sequel delivers the execution.
  68. Assassin's Creed II is such an improvement compared to its predecessor that it feels like a completely new game, rather than just a sequel. The varied missions really shine and the narrative is very effective, in all it's Forrest Gump-esque glory. Despite the quite slow start, Ezios adventures in beautiful Florence and Venice both look and feel amazing, and are well worth experiencing to the very end.
  69. 80
    However tighter its act, however convincingly it integrates player-imposed logic with a pulsing, subversively organic 15th century milieu, Assassin’s Creed 2 feels a little vacant. The second game in the series is palpably its best, but it trades too heavily on prior successes and introduces comparatively little of actual worth.
  70. While overtly similar to its predecessor, this is far and away a better game. The dearth of content which made the first game so frustratingly repetitive has been remedied and Assassin's Creed 2 is jam-packed with fun stuff to do. Renaissance Italy has never been this engrossing before.
User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 898 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 187
  1. Jan 28, 2011
    9
    This is a great historic adventure game filled to the brim with brilliant combat both armed and unarmed, great stealthy kills and most important of all it has a gripping, intense, exciting story! Why a 9 if its that good? Well, for the simple reason that you'll start killing guards, even when you don't feel like playing, the counter move is maybe a little to overpowered an when you jump into the water the guards stop following you. If only it had a little bit more of artificial intelligence, Assassin's Creed II, would be an extremely excellent game.
    But other than that the spectacular free-running, the great combat system and the well voice-acted story turn into one of the best games on PS3 and a definitely enhanced version of Assassin's Creed. A must play for every serious gamer who owns a PS3.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 2, 2010
    10
    Probably the best game i've played, ever. The story is interesting and complex, the gameplay is brilliant (fixed every bad thing from the first game) and the graphics make you feel like you're really in 1500 and in Italy. Amazing. Full Review »
  3. Aug 25, 2010
    9
    Assassin's Creed 2 is an example of how to improve on pretty much everything from the first iteration (Assassin's Creed). The game looks excellent and the design is still as impeccable as the original game. The game-play mirrors the original greatly and this is not a bad thing. The audio design is top notch as you feel that you really are in these events that are taking place. The story is quite engrossing and is bolstered by side quests that actually relate back to the main storyline. If you found yourself finding that the original was a little repetitive but enjoyed the story then you will love the sequel as it retains the strong story elements and makes the game a lot more varied and interesting. Full Review »