Thrust into the world of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, you begin the game as the son of a nobleman, who is double crossed and hung along with Ezio's brother. Once this pivotal moment in the game occurs, the action shifts to you discovering more about your heritage - you hail from a long line of assassins - and learning the skills of the trade by training on the streets of 15th century Italy. While much of the controls from the first game remain intact, there are a number of new additions including the ability to swim and apply Eagle Vision, a view mode that highlights enemies and points of interest, in a third-person rather than first-person perspective.
You also have a much larger number of weapons at your disposal. The hidden blade that Altair sported in Assassin's Creed is back, only this time there are two for you to master, making for some daring stealth kills. Ezio can target multiple enemies below him from rooftops or beams. Other new additions to the arsenal include poison blades, a miniature pistol, swords, cutlasses, maces, axes, spears and deadly daggers.
You also have a number of new fighting abilities including the ability to disarm opponents, steal their weapons and perform brutal attacks when you have enemies in a grapple hold. Blending into the crowds and hiding from guards is now much more diverse too: simply step into a group of people and use them to bypass guard patrols or get close to a target for assassination. Weapons can be upgraded by filling your pockets with cash found on downed opponents, stealing from civilians or by searching for loot boxes strewn around the huge map.