I never finished the first Assassin's Creed since the story wasn't compelling enough to keep me ploughing through the repetitive gameplay. So I must ask myself, why did I pre-order the sequel without even checking any reviews?
The thing with AC1 was that it showed promise with its amazing open world and fun free running. I enjoyed the atmosphere so much that even if AC2 would not have any better story or game content, it would have to be incredible to experience 15th century Italy AC-style.
After completing AC2 (yes, I actually finished this one) I can say that I was right. The atmosphere was once again fantastic. And as I was pleased to find out, there have been many improvements to almost every aspect of the game - including the storytelling. My biggest relief was that Ezio doesn't engage into as lengthy and pointless and ever so boring tea time discussions with his victims as Altair did. He does still speak to them (unfortunately) but this time it's much more tolerable. Honestly, I could rant all day about how annoying the "You killed me but you don't see the truth" -speeches in AC1 were. Arrggh!
AC2 is still far from perfect but definitely an improvement. All in all, a good game.
+ Beautiful Italy
+ You can swim (and dive in from rooftops, yippee!)
+ Puzzles (from subject 16)
+ A lot to do...
- ...of which only 60-70% is interesting
- Damn those Hollywood-cliches for making into these games
- You still can't skip the cutscenes :(