After I had done everything that you had asked, completed every quest, collected every flag and everything else, I felt this sudden emptiness inside. We were still together and we were still in love but like any relationship, we had to spice up our “love life” so to speak. I quickly proceeded to check when the inevitable sequel would be released but as always, you were one step ahead of me. A sequel was already planned for release in November 2009 and so typical of you, you had thought of everything. You showed me beautiful HD images of Italy and Venice. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and the fact that it would be during the days of a festival just made it that more exciting. However, the consoles were set to get you first so I had to wait until March 2010 before I could see how beautiful you had become. I passed the time by trying to figure out the symbols that were painted by subject 16 and spent a lot of time on a wiki dedicated to you. Eventually, time passed and March crawled into view. Finally, our second Journey had begun.
It’s funny but when I picked you up at the store, I drove home slowly, unwrapped you gently, and installed you patiently. I was always ever so gentle with you and treated you the way I felt you should be treated. You did something though that I didn’t quite agree with. Somewhere, among your time not spent with me, your parents had begun to dabble in the online world, met other people and had other ideas. One of their ideas was to always be connected to the internet in order to travel to our beautiful locations. I was immediately taken by surprise at this because at the time I had no internet connection. How were we going to explore the arty world of Florence and Venice if I couldn’t get us online? Well, you know that story better than I do. I would not let such a thing as petty as the internet keep us a part. It’s actually quite humorous, using the internet to find a way to keep us offline and explore the Renaissance era. I found a way, by downloading a hacked piece of software that made your parents believe you were online when you weren’t. I remember the sensation of finally getting it to work. I spent a couple of hours trying to figure that out but it was completely worth it. When you finally loaded up, you led me through another worm hole, my destination being another sleeker Ubisoft logo. I waited patiently and then you showed me yet another pure white screen with Assassins Creed II, the word creed beautifully designed in red. I let you hover for a few moments and then just as before, you reminded me of why we were together and why the wait was worth it.
1486, Venice Italy,
A festival is taking place, fireworks dance in the night sky, couples skipping across bridges. All is well until an ominous presence in the form of a gondola comes into view. Two men, with grim expressions looking ahead. They both wear masks but the one is undoubtedly the master, wearing a full white mask covering his eyes and cheek bones, leaving his jaw revealed. The other wearing a black mask that just covers the eyes. We then see two woman making a deal with a mysterious person, who drops a pouch of coins into their hands. Carnivale is in full swing, a barrage of fireworks lighting up the evening sky, while masked men and woman dance merrily together enjoying the freedom that such festivities bring. The two men on the boat arrive with a group of soldiers. As they enter, two courtesans notice them. One of them approaches the group, and escorts the man wearing the mask that only covers the eyes away from the soldiers and into the thick of the crowd. They both start dancing, smiles on both of them. They both look up at the colored night sky as he spins around in a choreographed fashion. When he finally looks down again, the courtesan has disappeared. The man looks left and right, desperately trying to spot her. He turns around and suddenly a hooded man appears, striking him quickly. His vision blurs and time itself seems to have slowed down for him. Struggling to comprehend what has just happened, the man looks though the crowd hoping to catch the eyes of the man with the white mask. He succeeds. As their eyes meet his left hand reaches up to hold his throat as blood trickles out over it. The man with the black mask crumples over slowly revealing the Assassin, crouched, hidden blade revealed, ready to fight, behind him.
The man with the white mask order his soldiers to kill him. The Assassin leaps forward and punches one soldier, counter attacks another, steals a spear and stabs a different soldier, before finally giving a slight smirk to the soldier that was punched. The hooded Assassin drops the spear as he chases after the man with the white mask. The man runs frantically through the city, the Assassin not far behind. Jumping from gondola to gondola to the side of a building, making his way up. Keeping his target in sight the Assassin leaps from rooftop to rooftop, tiles dropping to the canal below under his feet. The man with the white mask reaches an archway leading into a courtyard shouting orders at a group of armored soldiers who are waiting patiently. The soldiers move up, guarding the one and only entry way, careful not to let themselves be exposed while they hide behind the walls. The man with the white mask catches his breath and moves to the entrance. In the distance, on top of a perch, the Assassin appears and drops down to street level, dust blown away around him as he lands. The man with the white mask starts antagonizing the Assassin, while he walks forward hidden blade drawn. The man with the white masks then mentions the Assassin’s mother which causes him to stop walking, disarm his hidden blade. As the taunts continue, the Assassin pulls a lever just underneath his wrist and you hear a mechanism loading. As the man with white mask finishes his threat the Assassin extends his left arm, palm up, aiming directly at his target. His right hand reaches over to his left wrist and then the sound of a gun shot echoes against the walls. Pigeons scatter at the noise. The man with the white mask falls back slowly, blood gushing out behind him covering his Templar badge in blood.
After seeing that, I knew we were going to have one hell of an adventure. You allowed me to play as Ezio Auditore Da Firenze, an Italian nobleman who’s destiny was far greater than he would ever fathom. I witnessed his birth and at this point I knew this was going to be something much more than what our first adventure entailed. You immediately instilled an emotional connection just by placing me right at the beginning of this mans life. I was with him every step of the way. From the conspiracy against his family, to learning about the assassins, meeting Uncle Mario, and making the discovery of The Ones Who Came Before. We shared the same emotional responses, from shock and sadness, to exhilaration and confusion and finally to accepting one’s destiny. But it wasn’t only Ezio’s character that I fell in love with, it was the whole world as well. Through you, I was able to meet Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the great minds of our time and I got to appreciate the brother that Ezio found in him. I got to see just how corrupt the world had become having a Templar assuming control of unimaginable power. I didn’t know it was possible but you managed to show me how much love and care your parents truly had. Everything was improved, the fight mechanics, the free running, the introduction of new weapons and upgraded ones like the dual blades and the pistol. The world was absolutely gorgeous and polished to near perfection and you managed to keep me invested in the world for months, littering the map with treasure chests to loot, feathers to collect, and contracts to complete. Not to mention the hidden glyphs embedded in the world around me.
You also allowed me to witness Desmond’s escape from Abstergo with the aide of Lucy Stillman and watch his training, taking place in what seemed to be an abandoned warehouse. Experiencing the bleeding effect and for the first time being worried about what it might do to his Psyche. I got to meet Shaun and Rebecca, without whom, this adventure would not have been able to take place. With the aide of Shaun, Desmond and I were able to hack glyphs and solve puzzles and hack the memories of Subject 16, revealing a disturbing revelation. Conspiracy’s aside, seeing the relationship between Desmond and Lucy grow made me feel like I was part of something wonderful despite the world gone to hell. With everything you managed to create, the one thing that stood out, that made me pay attention was the love that went into this world. You could see it from the view points, hear it in the sounds of swords clashing and most importantly I could feel it with every secret discovered.
We were all a family and the bond we shared was cemented for now and forever more.