Joystiq believes this is the new main character for Assassin's Creed 2. According to a tipster over there the image was up on the official Ubisoft boards briefly before being quickly pulled. Screw Attack has more details on the game which seem to confirm it is indeed within a renaissance setting, specifically 1476 Italy and you play as Ezio Auditore de Firenze, a nobleman from Florence, Italy. Rumors abound that you'll be able to pilot Da Vinci's flying machine and hang out with historical figures like Machiavelli (author of The Prince). I'm sure there'll be some, you know, fascinating assassinating as well.
The best news though is that there are apparently 16 mission types this time around. That's definitely an improvement on the three or four from the last game. I'll admit that as soon as I got to the third city and realized I was playing the same stuff over and over, I quickly abandoned the first game. Still, I can't not be excited about a sequel to the series, mostly because the world and climbing mechanics were so unique. If they can do something about the repetitive combat then I'll start to get really excited.
Now to take this news post on a tangent. Whoever can leave the best caption for our new friend Ezio by 5PM PST today in the comments to this post will get a free Giant Bomb Jeff t-shirt. If it's really good I'll find some goodies from the office to throw in as well. I'll announce the winner in this post and get your shipping info by private message. Let the contest commence!
It was a tough vote with so many submissions, but the team narrowed it down to a couple standouts. Eventually though we couldn't resist an appropriate Mortal Kombat joke.
iamcool388 - Yo FITTY, where mah Jazz Hands?
FallopianTube - I stole this dress from Jade Raymond!
yoshimitz707 - Hello. My Name Is Ezio Auditore de Firenz. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die.
pakx - As you can see, Michael Jackson's new look is, as ever, risky and colorful.
x52z - Assassin's Creed 2, starring Grammy winning musician Prince.
lind_dc - Your Mission: KILL THE MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER!
Matt Bodega - BARAKA WINS. FATALITY.