Assassin’s Creed II equally lean, but definitely more mean

As you may already know, Assassin’s Creed II‘s Ezio will possess a few new skills his crusades-era predecessor did not, including the ability to swim and, thanks to Leonardo da Vinci’s Ornithopter, the gift of flight. But it’s not just his newfound mastery of the elements that make him a bigger badass, it’s his blood-soaked backstory.

According to Kotaku, who got to tour the virtual streets of Venice with the game’s executive producer Jade Raymond, Ezio Auditore De Firenze’s viciousness stems from some serious family issues – namely, the murder of his father and brothers at the hands of the fellow Italian nobles they once called friends, an act that forced his mother and sisters into hiding and himself down a rather unorthodox, but surprisingly satisfying career path that could grant him the vengeance he desperately desires.

“In Assassin’s Creed, people had one strategy, like ‘I always run away,’ or ‘I always stop and fight,'” said Raymond, who promises that the sequel will not only feature more assassinations, but require more varied strategies in order to pull them off without raising alarm. Though the guards will be smarter and tougher, Ezio will be able to blend in with any crowd, stash dead bodies in hay stacks or prop them up on benches Weekend At Bernie‘s style.

There also won’t be any “endless chases,” with the alarm zone limited to a specific area, denoted on the player’s mini map a la Grand Theft Auto – escaping the zone will take you off the authorities radar, both literally and figuratively. As for the game itself, we can only hope it remains on game release radar for this November.