Axe-Based Chops: Assassin’s Creed II Trailer

By John Walker on September 4th, 2009 at 1:07 am.

Is it a Batman? Is it a Superman?! Wait, no, it's some guy from the future or past or something.

A new Assassin’s Creed 2 trailer, once it gets past its, “Look, a bit like The Da Vinci Code which is a book and film you know!” tedium, shows off some of the melee combat in the game. Which looks mighty meaty. Of course, mighty meaty melee combat is going to be all rather put in the shade as a result of Batman. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Dark Broody Knight’s amazingly visceral fisticuffs will have the same effect on action games as the Persian Prince’s introduction of reversing time: make everything else feel like it’s missing something important.

It certainly looks good. Things appear more involved than the original, with slightly more intricate use of the scenery, and coo, look, a Da Vinci-style flying machine. And while the music couldn’t seem more at odds with everything on screen if it were two old men blowing into either end of a hosepipe while a third slaps seaweed against an upturned bucket, I found it a rather pleasing accompaniment.

The game is due to appear toward the end of November.

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59 Comments »

  1. pleasenjoi says:

    Justice mos def was an odd choice of music.

  2. Vinraith says:

    This looks quite promising. I have to say that I quite enjoyed the first game, both because of the excellent free-run platforming and the general “unstoppable killing machine” sense of the combat. More of the same with a larger world and deeper combat would be a day one purchase for me.

  3. Serenegoose says:

    That was some hot music. I’m glad the environments seem quite similar to assassins creed 1 (this is the first I’ve watched of assassins creed 2) because I want them to focus on other bits of the game now, because the environments of the first were perfect. Renaissancing them up a bit would work fine – but more sidequests, depth and plot would really make the game fly.

  4. Vinraith says:

    Yes, I’d approve strongly of a greater variety of activities (which I understand was a design priority for 2). An open world is only valuable if the player is given a fair bit of choice in what to do and how to do it. In a case like this, where just running from place to place is sheer joy, the more variety the better.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Mister Walker, it is well past your bedtime! Go to bed or i will have to disipline you.

    Need to actually install the first game. I have it right here!

  6. Tyrone Slothrop says:

    I was entirely disappointed by Assassin’s Creed, I wanted to love that game but it was nothing more than a shallow collection of mini-games in a wonderfully rendered setting (though also itself somewhat shallow). Its repetitiveness stopped me playing for many months before I had any urge to see if there was any interesting developments with Desmond; erm, no.

    It also annoys me how rather than fulfil on the promise of the Desmond-sequences, they purposely left it to another game. They were actually my favourite parts of the rather dismal affair and despite requiring an impossible suspension of disbelief regarding a couple of plot devices, the nature of performing progressive subtle attempts at subterfuge was very compelling in my estimation.

    I also detested the fact that in spite of being a ‘sandbox’-touted and promoted affair, the missions themselves were terribly linear and controlled. The fact you could not move outside of an invisible cube during a lot events was just shameful for a game ostensibly about freedom.

    There’s a lot of be fixed, fundamentally the structure of the missions have to allow for more user-freedom and control, the change-log seems to address these concerns in a superficial manner (“let’s throw in more mini games and permutations”) but it has the potential to be a masterpiece, though I doubt it.

    In summation; Assassin’s Creed Engine + Assets + Hitman’s gameplay = Masterpiece.

  7. fearian says:

    hahahaha, what!? Despite reading your post, I still thought I left itunes running or something for about 10 seconds. Who’s idea was that?!

  8. fearian says:

    Man nothing says renaissance like the dirty bassline of some french electro.

  9. linfosoma says:

    OK, this has nothing to do with Assassin’s Creed 2 (which looks great BTW) but you need to check this mod:

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/steam-racers

    It’s brillant!

  10. Wizumer says:

    Your comments made me laugh out loud Mr. Walker. I also thought it was an odd choice, but a good one. It feels sort of ‘glam’ enough for Venice at the time as well.

    Really hope this game is as good as the first had the potential to be, if that makes any sense.

    It’s late.

  11. Hoernchen says:

    So.. where is Tom Hanks ?

  12. Stabby says:

    Now with MORE JADE RAYMOND

    PS What’s wrong with slapping buckets with seaweed

  13. Ybfelix says:

    Is French Revolution still a sensitive topic in France(Where Ubi is)? If next AC title going to set in it that would interesting. “Accidentally” push some guy into the guillotine :D besides, a rather fitting backdrop for AC.

    A little bad for me that in AC1 most of protagonist’s strikes and counters, while looking nice, are canned animations that only require a single button push; and open fighting is a very important aspect of Assassin’s Creed despite the name. Now that while neither DMC combo master nor Ninja Gaiden masochist, but I do believe the game would benefit from a little more input than basic rhythem mashing.

  14. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t too excited by the prospect of AC 1, but then the lady bought it for me, and it really surprised me.

    I’ll definately pick up the sequel, the combat looks a blast.

    And yeah, weir choice of soundtrack, but I forgive it because I love Justice.

  15. Alexander says:

    Took me a bit of searching to find the particular piece of music based on the first commenter. The band is called Justice, song is called Genesis.

    I’m really digging it. This trailer introduced me to a new artist. How cool.

  16. Naurgul says:

    Eh, I liked the other trailer, the one with the the ball, way better. This one was just kewl music and badass hitting of people (the words “kewl” and “badass” are interchangeable in this context). It even reminded me of that dreadful Dragon Age trailer at some point. Oh, and the beginning definitely reminded me of the Da Vinci Code, which probably didn’t help me seeing this in a positive way. Oh well, it’s just a trailer.

  17. army of none says:

    Soundtrack threw me off at first, but then it got to the badassery (or is it proper form to say “badassitude”?) and just made me want the game more.

  18. solipsistnation says:

    I just realized that I’m looking forward to about 3 games this holiday game-flood season, and this is one of them. I think that’s kind of sad.

    The ridiculous electro soundtrack doesn’t really help this trailer much. It’s cool, I guess, but in context it is very silly.

  19. Jti says:

    Anyone else think that the character movement was a bit… Gay? Odd? Something didn’t fit. Maybe it’s the arm movement. Music didn’t help either.

  20. Hümmelgümpf says:

    Wait, did I miss the part when combat in Arkham Asylum suddenly became good? Even River City Ransom is infinitely superior, and that game was released 20 years ago.

  21. LostSoviet says:

    It shows that you guys are across the pond. The music was originally used in a Cadillac commercial in the US. Apparently, someone referred to Ezio as “the Cadillac of Renaissance warriors,” which led to this.

    Found it first on Shacknews, thought I’d contribute.

  22. qrter says:

    I don’t understand why the soundtrack of this trailer would surprise anyone – it’s a trailer, it only exists to sell something, hence its use of terrible music the makers think kids think is cool.

  23. Rinox says:

    @Jti

    Hey, the game is set in Italy. Renessaince Italy. What did you expect? ;-)

    Loved the trailer, but can’t say I dig the music quite as much as most here. It felt completely disconnected and reminded me of Dragon Age Five-o at times. Can’t wait for the game though.

  24. toni says:

    batman doesn’t kill his enemies. the comparison doesn’t work imo. but both games are “one button” does all + “gadget” games, so

  25. Ashurbanipal says:

    Remember the trailer for the first one had Unkle’s Lonely Souls. Both are surprising choice, but I think they work quite well when they’re so well-choreographed.

  26. Captain Bland says:

    So is he missing two fingers now? I hope they keep lopping them off as the series goes on.

  27. Ian says:

    Hopefully this time you’ll be able to save and exit without requiring 54,981 mouse/button clicks.

  28. MonkeyMonster says:

    Woo hoo – what a way to start a friday morning at work with a nice trailer with funky tunes. Did like the first and played it to death tbh – only annoying feature was you couldn’t go back and kill the templars you hadn’t found to get the ol “I’ve got all the gits” award. Looking forward to it.

  29. Ybfelix says:

    @Captain Bland: Actually his fingers are all intact as seen here. Techologies save your ring finger!

  30. Xercies says:

    I do think that if this improves on the reptiveness of the first game it could be a great game since the first city in Assassins creed was pretty good, had a lot of fun bandying about on rooftops and fighting dudes…but then it just got boring since it was just doing the same thing over and over again.

  31. Premium User Badge

    Fede says:

    “1486, Venice, Italy”
    But the first city they show isn’t Venice but Florence!

    (compare the panorama at 21″ in the video with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_over_florence_1.jpg)

  32. Chaz says:

    Despite the fact that AC1 was fairly shallow, I really enjoyed it and its one of my favourite games, so obviously I’m very much looking forward to this one.

    A bit disappointed with that video though, as despite the age verification, the buckets of blood that should have been flying around the screen during the fights, were quite conspicuous by their absence.

  33. Gap Gen says:

    “And while the music couldn’t seem more at odds with everything on screen if it were two old men blowing into either end of a hosepipe while a third slaps seaweed against an upturned bucket,”

    Isn’t that how Renaissance music works?

  34. Larington says:

    Yeah, the limited number of mission types made the first game very formulaic, it was still great for playing in few hour doses but not for playing half a day or more at a time at which point you’d notice the repetition in its high level mission design.

    None-the-less, I rather enjoyed the first and I’m quite looking forward to the sequel, partly because I want to see how they’ve evolved the formula since the first one.

  35. Rinox says:

    I just remembered the endless fight against a group of 1545 templars, which would take ages with the block/attack mouse fighting.

    But more than that I remember the Big Evil Templar man challenging me to a ‘duel’. Which then turned out to mean “fight my entire army first while I watch, and when you’re done with that you fight a group of elite templars, and when you’re done with THAT you can fight me. In a duel.”

  36. Andy M says:

    Please can we just forget that Dan Brown exists now? It would be a terrible thing for Da Vinci to be permanently associated with him, even if that *was* the marketing department’s devious reasoning.

    Also, I personally don’t mind it when people mix things up with music a bit, so long as it isn’t like that hilarious Dragon Age trailer. Just going out of theme isn’t so bad, and to be honest I thought it was quite a nice change.

    As for the game, it looks fantastic. Unfortunately the first Assassin’s Creed has proven preview-based assessments to be entirely useless.

  37. neems says:

    Was the preposterous flying machine coming under anti-aircraft fire, or did I just imagine that?

  38. H says:

    That trailer was all well and good, but I think it’s missing the smoke machine for such an obvious pop video.

    I still think it’ll be a good game but let’s hope it’s not a linear run like the first proved to be. It has so much potential.

  39. Starky says:

    @Neems
    It is getting shot at by fireworks.

  40. Guy says:

    Without wanting to be too cruel to our continental cousins- its a game made by French-types. Therefore it looks gorgeous, has all the best tunes and has the depth of an ant’s bath. ;)

  41. beefchief says:

    the flying machine is supposed to be lent to you by da vinci (i think).

  42. GuiSim says:

    Just to make sure everyone knows, this game is made in Montreal by Ubisoft-Montreal.

    Sure, we’re French Canadians.. but it’s like comparing people in the US to British english.. they’re quite different.

  43. msarge says:

    Oh man I loved Tyrone Slothrop’s above idea of Assassin’s Creed + Hitman gameplay. But yeah, if the fighting isn’t one the most boring things I’ve ever done like it was in the first game, this might be worthwhile.

  44. Ravenger says:

    The first game was stunning to look at. My wife asked if I was watching a DVD when I was playing it.

    It was essentially an engine in search of gameplay though. Far Cry 2 was very similar in that respect.

    A Thief game in that engine by ex-Looking Glass people would be my idea of gaming heaven.

  45. Funky Badger says:

    Hümmelgümpf: The comabat in Batman: AA is magnificent, clearly the best of its type. In fact, Batman: AA is the game AssCreed 1 should have been.

  46. Funky Badger says:

    Larington: exactly; AssCreed 1 was great for about 40 minutes at a time, run around a lot, stab up some evil templars and then your tea’s done kind of thing.

  47. disperse says:

    Clearly, they’re going to have a lot of guards standing in pairs in order to show off the new “double-kill” move.

  48. Ybfelix says:

    @disperse: ha ha nice
    Yes, developers are generally losing the courage of making something nice but then refrain from highlighting it, even if subtlety demands.

  49. Heliocentric says:

    The actual combat in all hitman games is a roast turd. The ai seem smart before being alerted, but after being alerted the just run at you and the gun play is unsatisfying. Even things like human shields can’t make shooting people who are shooting back fun in hitman when they just run straight at you with all the sophistication of a pacman ghost. Combat in thief i enjoyed, but it clearly wasn’t actually “good”. The best combat in stealth games tend to be combat games with stealth as a tacked on option. Has anyone ever managed both well?

  50. Vinraith says:

    In fairness, there were a lot of guards standing in pairs in the original as well (despite the absence of double wrist blades).