Working towards something great ... I hope
First off let me start by saying this game is better than the first one by far. If you enjoyed the first one but thought it was lacking in content then don't worry this game is much more enjoyable than the first and seems like much less of a chore to get to the meat of the game, the assassinations. However, the game still has some significant shortcomings that I feel stop this game from being a 5 star game.
The best improvement of this game is without a doubt the combat, story, and the graphics. The new setting makes for a much more colorful game and just a joy to be in, whereas the first one it felt very dark and an almost depressing area. Here people are more alive and vibrant which just makes this city feel alive and just a joy to walk around in and see what people are doing. The combat feels more intense and with so many different animations with all of the different kinds of weapons it makes fighting enemies just more fun. It's more brutal and can almost make you wince every now and then, when you see a certain kill animation for the first time. There are just so many options in combat that it makes every encounter fun and exciting from the first to last. The story is greatly improved making you feel a connection towards Ezio compared to the first where you felt no real connection to Altair. There are so many improvements but as you play you slowly start to see there are still many short comings to this game.
Probably my biggest complaint of the game is the movement, now don't get me wrong Ezio moves better than Altair, he's faster, more agile and makes moving about the city a blast, but there are many times that i felt the game wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. Which given the amount of options that you are given when traveling the city, it's understandable, but still there are to many times where I felt that I didn't move the way i wanted to, and it did cause some frustration. Even still the movement is still great you'll have a blast moving from rooftop to rooftop killing random archers. Probably my only real complaint about the combat is the enemies, and this is that they don't explain how to fight some of the later enemies. The bigger guys with long axes, swords, or spears can't be countered by any sword, dagger or hammer. You need to have a spear, axe, or a long sword to do that which is obtained from the guards, so unless you where just carrying one on you at the time you need to disarm them or use your hidden blade. This is fine but the game never explained that so I found out the hard way. Also, while the story is improved and you feel a real justified reasoning to Ezio going from a care free life to becoming an assassin you still don't have a huge connection towards any of the characters. They don't do a great job of keeping you updated of who the guy you are assassination is and why you should care. Which makes you actions feel less important, and doesn't keep adding towards Ezio's hardship. Basically, he is trying to justify what has happened to his family but that feels like that is it, and after so many hours of gameplay you don't quite care as much. If they want this to be the primary reason of his actions then they need to keep fleshing that out because after a few hours in you slowly start to care less and less.
Which comes to why my title says I hope, you learn this early on in the game so this isn't a real spoiler, Desmond is living Ezio's life so he can learn his skills, "years of training, learned in a few days". This leads to the idea of the next Assassin's Creed to take place in modern society which is an odd way to go, because of use of guns. However they plan to go about the next one, whether they revisit ancient history or they are in modern times, I look forward to the next installment and have high hopes that they don't ruin the franchise if they do decide to go to modern times.
This game is a lot of fun and is great to own, there are just some things I wished they added or fixed up. The story is greatly improved but still lacks in the story telling, they just don't make you care as much, but they do raise many questions that will make you go out and get the next one as soon as possible. The movement could definitly be better but is still a great part of the game and just feels better than the first. I would have liked to seen a batman style side missions where you can just go into an arena and keep fighting enemies till your health reaches zero because the combat is just so good that I want just a place to keep fighting till I tire myself out. All of that aside there are a ton of story missions that will keep you busy for a long time, side missions that are varied and a lot of fun, and a bunch of things to collect. This game is a must play it just lacks major components to making it a 5 star game.