Assassin’s Creed II Tips & Tricks

We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help you work your way through the Renaissance wonderland that is Assassin’s Creed II.

Fight With Your Fists

There are a lot of really cool moves you can pull off when fighting the hordes of city guards and Templar Knights that roam the fair cities of Florence, Tuscany, Venice and their outlying smaller neighbors, but none is more fun than disarming an opponent of their weapon and turning it against them. It’s also, ironically, one of the safer ways to combat some of the more heavily armored and outfitted guards you’ll run in to. This technique is especially handy against the spear-wielding foes who can strike and bloc k from a distance.

You won’t initially have this skill, mind you, as you’ll have to earn it from training with your Uncle Mario’s guardsmen at the Villa in the Tuscan countryside. But once you have it, it’s an immeasurably useful skill, and fairly easy to do. While in combat, press down on the D-pad to use your fists, hold down the right trigger/bumper to defend yourself against attacks, then, as an enemy begins an attack, use your counter button. ¬†As opposed to the normal counter attempt Ezio would use to dispatch an enemy, you’ll instead be treated to him knocking the weapon from his attackers hands, at which point you can run him through as you see fit.

Invest Your Money

Upon arriving at the Villa and hooking up with Uncle “It’s a me-ah!” Mario, you’ll notice the place is a dump. You’ll learn from your sister, Claudia, that you can invest any money you have into fixing the entire town up, and creating an influx of money for you. It might sound a bit of a risky move, considering what things are like in the current world economy, but trust us on this one – it will be money well spent. But upgrading things like the town’s well, the bank, or investing in the several shops (doctors, blacksmiths, art sellers and tailors), you’ll not only increase the town’s worth, but increase its population. Better still, you’ll see an almost instantaneous return on your money.

Every twenty minutes you spend playing will net you gains on the money you invested in the town. As almost every missions earns you upwards of a thousand Florians (dollars) or more, and every twenty minutes gets you triple or more, you’ll be earning anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 an hour! When you’ve invested all the money you can into the town, you’ll not only get an achievement/trophy or two, but you’ll have enough money to buy all the weapons, upgrades and medicine you’ll need to take down just about anyone.

Set Your Sights on the Heights

Assassin’s Creed II is all about the view, what with its huge towers to climb and all, so why not put it to good use? You may have noticed those shiny red boxes with all the extra loot in them, or maybe you like the challenge of finding all 100 feathers for your mom? Well, climbing to the high points and using Eagle Vision (hold in the Y or Triangle button), and you’ll notice those glowing white items are a LOT easier to find. And maybe better than netting that achievement or trophy is your in-game reward – a pretty blue cape that lowers your notoriety in EVERY town.

Friends in Low Places

Yes, money can go a long way. It can buy you villas and weapons and even let you dye your clothes to blend in better, but it can also buy you friends. At any given moment, in any given city there are courtesans, mercenaries and thieves willing to help you out – for a price. And trust me – 150f is a good deal when you’re trying to be sneaky (like when you’re on those missions, following people around and not trying to get seen – they may be hidden blades, but they sure do attract attention!) For those times, I like to hook up with a lot of courtesans, happy enough to get paid to distract the milling guards, so you can sneak in to find a codex page, or distract them from what you’re really up to.

If you’re looking for more of a distraction on the run, try thieves – not only can they run on rooftops like you can, they’re also pretty good at keeping most everyone on the run while you do your dirty business. And if you’re getting a little pancaked by those huge brutes wearing armor, and you haven’t nailed the art of disarming them, why not hire some mercs? Who doesn’t like to get paid to fight? And best of all, all three groups will follow you around until to sic them on your foes, acting as a moving blend area to shield you from the prying interest of the guards.

Weapon Wheel of Death

If you’re an old school assassin, you’re probably used to having only four weapon types – your sword, your short blade, your hidden blade and your fists. Well, in the three hundred years or so that have passed since Altair graced the world of the Third Crusade, new inventions have come around, and if you’re not careful, you’ll apt to miss them. Take, for instance, the hallowed out second hidden blade you can fill with poison to make your enemies going into a fitful rage, attacking everyone around them (but you), before dying? Or maybe you need an easy getaway, but they aren’t any hay bales around? Did you remember that you carried smoke bombs with you?

Obviously there aren’t enough buttons on either the 360 or PS3 controller to cycle through the weapons, so don’t forget to use that right bumper to pull up your Weapon Wheel from time to time to do a little inventory check before you rush in battle again.

These are just a few tips, but we’re sure to conjure up more, so keep an eye out for our Assassin’s Creed II guide!

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