I only got around to playing Assassin’s Creed 2 after having played its sequel and going going back in franchise history was an interesting experience. AC2 features the same familiar core gameplay of its successor, albeit sometimes in slightly less polished form, but without a lot of the ancilliary systems that later broadened the experience and added side activities such as Brotherhood recruitement and the Borgia Towers for taking control of Rome.
In that regard AC2 presents itself as a more linear, but also more focussed experience compared to most of its sequels, which isn’t a bad thing.
The game also features some of the greatest locations: While Rome was beautifully realized in AC:B, Florence, Venice, Forli and Monteriggioni offer more variety, and Venice is of course one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Even though AC2 doesn’t stand up to the breadth and polish of later franchise installments, it’s still a lot of fun and shouldn’t be missed, if only because it marks the beginning of the fantastic Ezio trilogy.