A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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What's it about?
If you ever needed proof video game sequels are often better than their predecessor (er, unlike Hollywood), consider ASSASSIN'S CREED II, Ubisoft Montreal's ambitious sequel that had more than 250 developers working on the title for three years. Unlike 2007's Assassin's Creed, where you relive the role of a skilled assassin in the Middle East during the time of the Third Crusade, this new adventure drops you in Italy during the Renaissance. You play as young noble Ezio, whose sense of adventure turns to a thirst for vengeance. Along the way you'll also meet a young Leonardo Da Vinci, a family friend, and test out his wild contraptions including a flying machine that helps Ezio take to the skies.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether violence in a game like Assassin's Creed II -- against humans -- is worse than games that have you kill zombies (such as the Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead series) or aliens (as in Halo or Gears of War). That is, does it matter who the victims are? Why or why not?
Families can also discuss whether a game that takes place in an historical setting such as the Italian Renaissance helps remove the player from reality (as opposed to games that take place during a contemporary time and familiar place, like Grand Theft Auto IV).
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