The original Assassin's Creed, released in 2007, was one of the most anticipated video games in recent times, but that anticipation was soon scuppered with a game that did not meet expectations. Repetition was cited as one of the main low points of a game which visually was absolutely breathtaking but playability was lacking. Ubisoft soon took these comments on board and more recently Assassin's Creed II has been released. A direct sequel to the first game, players once again follow Desmond Miles on his trail through his ancestors using the 'Animus' machine, this time in the form of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, located in Italy in the 15th century, replacing the previous character of Altair. Ezio is part of a very close family but when his father and brothers are murdered by a traitor he must become an assassin and bring justice to those who have betrayed his family. The game keeps with the traditional third person perspective in the gameplay and once again the locations, this time within Italy, are truly breathtaking, especially when climbing high up buildings and structures such as churches, cathedrals and strongholds. This is one feature of the game which has remained from the beginning and rivals any game in terms of attention to detail, truly spectacularly designed levels await the player, the views never ceasing to amaze no matter how many times you play the game. But what of gameplay? Well, the repetition of the original has now been truly vanquished, with a much improved storyline, some additional side missions and a fully revamped free-running system making the process ten times better and more appealing. Even the little things in the game are of great advantage, such as newly upgradeable weapons and the ability to hire courtesans or followers to help distract enemies, these are all welcome additions which also add more reality to the game. With very little in the way of glitches or frame rate issues, the game flows almost perfectly when playing and it is very difficult not to see the vast improvement on the original as you begin to play the game more and more. With some instantly memorable presentation, a gripping storyline and enough missions to keep you going for a long time Assassin's Creed II is worth every penny and is a sure fire hit for those who enjoy an action adventure game fuelled with a good story. Massively better than the original and leading the way for the next Assassin's Creed game, this is one not to be missed!