When the team at Ubisoft came to create the sequel to their new IP, Assassin’s Creed – they made notes. A LOT of notes. Every criticism and gripe was included, from (they claimed) fan forums right up to the top gaming sites. And boy did it show. Every facet of the game was picked clean and reworked or built on: many new features were added, from an economy to new weapons and a ton of new moves – an entirely new world was open to explore. Italy was overflowing with nuance, character and quality content – so much so that it almost felt like an entirely new game at times. And so Assassin’s Creed 2 became one of the most awesome and captivating open world gaming experiences of this generation.

Don’t get me wrong, Assassin’s Creed 3 is still a pretty sweet game; it has a gorgeous new frontier, a very strong central storyline that features some stellar voice work, and yes those naval missions induced more than one boyish fist-pump from this gamer. But along the way, it seems that some of the best lessons learned from AC 1 have been forgotten (or just plain ignored). It needs to be said these things by no means make AC3 a terrible game – they’re not game breakers by a long shot – far from it, as it hits more than it misses for sure. Some of them are quibbles, some of them may even be nitpicking to other gamers, but for me AC2 captured the tone, the setting, the character and the sheer fun of being an assassin – which is what Creed is all about.

So here’s 10 things that made AC2 so awesome five years ago… which AC 3 could and should have learned a few more lessons from…

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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012