A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Needless to say, a game that has you play as an assassin doesn't necessarily send out the best message. Ezio, the main character, however, does see himself as a good person who places family and honor as a high priority, and believes he's rooting out evil and avenging those who have wronged him.
Positive Role Models
Ezio isn't a good role model because his profession requires him to kill other human beings.
Ease of Play
A bit of a learning curve, but players who have played other action-adventure hybrids should be able to pick up on the mechanics and control pretty easily.
Violence & Scariness
The main player becomes a skilled assassin in the game, and performs a number of kills on targets. Some are quite graphic, such as stabbing and slicing with twin blades, after sneaking up on unsuspecting victims. Blood gushes out of wounds, and wet slicing sounds add to the realism. Some cut scenes show particularly intense and disturbing deaths, such as one in which a blade penetrates a man's neck and pins him to the ground.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
While there is no nudity in the game, there is some suggestive imagery. Players can undress a woman as a part of a seduction mini-game that shows her bare back side and clothes falling to the floor if you "succeed." Some animated sequences also show women -- sometimes in brothels -- engaged in dialogue that refers to the act of sex. As well, character backstories refer to such things as adultery, sodomy, prostitution, rape, and "page-boy fantasies."
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The game contains swear words in both English and Italian. This includes "f--k" and "s--t", as well as hell and damn. These words aren't spoken often (as they are in a game like Grand Theft Auto IV) but they're in Assassin's Creed II. Italian profanity includes: "c-zzo" and "m-rda."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are scenes with families drinking wine, but nothing excessive.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Assassin's Creed II is very violent and definitely not for children. Players assume the role of a deadly assassin who uses weapons such as knives, swords, and daggers to kill human targets. Deaths -- both those resulting from the player character's actions and those in vivid cut scenes -- are shown in graphic detail. Blood spills from wounds and the action is sometimes slowed down for dramatic effect. While somewhat gratuitious, there is no gore, such as hacking off limbs and such. Parents should also be aware of some sexual imagery and references in dialogue (but no nudity) and some strong language can be heard during dialogue sequences, too.
Is It Any Good?
Yes, indeed, but as the name of the game suggests, parents need to be aware of the strong violence in Assassin's Creed II, as well as its sexual references and profanity (please read our breakout descriptions above). This epic story is played out over more than 100 missions, many of which are non-linear, and let you take advantage of the open-world -- and meticulously detailed -- environment, such as historically accurate buildings, city streets, and landmarks. With role-playing game-like skill upgrades, tens of thousands of lines of dialogue, and varied objectives to keep things fresh, Assassin's Creed II is well worth the price of admission.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.