As reported last week here on The Flickcast, during Sony’s E3 Press Conference, the company announced that in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed II game the main character, Ezio, will be making hits during the Italian Renaissance. But unlike the first game, you won’t be going in to this on your own. You’ll have allies aiding you, teaching you and providing useful tools along the way.
The most important of these allies is the famed Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the greatest artists and thinkers of his time. As already demonstrated during Sony’s press conference, Ezio will have access to some of Da Vinci’s greatest inventions to help advance his cause. One prime example of this in the use of Da Vinci’s well known “flying machine”.
Now you might wonder why someone like Leonardo Da Vinci would associate himself with a killer. The answer to that lies in the essence of who Leonardo was. He was a futurist. He thought about what would be coming lifetimes ahead of him, as seen by many of his inventions that were the basis of many current technological marvels. In the first Assassin’s Creed, the assassin Altair worked for a guild that only assassinated those who deserved it. They put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few in their eyes.
It’s reasonable to assume that whatever association Ezio has to an assassin’s guild in the sequel would have similar beliefs. If Da Vinci felt like Ezio and his associates were doing something for the greater good, it’d be reasonable to assume that a forward thinker like Leonardo could actively participate in their campaign to bring down these tyrants without ever being the one to directly end another man’s life.
But if Da Vinci didn’t want to be the one “pulling the trigger” himself, he could provide some of his greatest inventions to the cause. While many of them were never fully realized in our world, the team at Ubisoft Montreal will be limited only by their imagination of what they can do with some of Da Vinci’s greatest ideas. While none of these have even been hinted at or confirmed, here are a few examples of just what Da Vinci could be bringing to the Assassin’s Creed world.
The Armored Car – Ezio will likely need to find new ways to make his way through crowds of people in Assassin’s Creed II, as well as crowds of soldiers to get to his targets. Instead of being held back by a well trained body guard force while his target flees, Ezio may need to take a more direct approach. The armored car was Da Vinci’s renaissance equivalent of a tank. Able to withstand punishment while making its way to a target, Ezio could barrel through these body guards to get to the corrupt merchant he has been designated to kill.
Though it loses some of the finesse often seen by these skilled assassins, it has been stated that Ezio, unlike Altair, is learning to become an assassin as the game progresses. He is not already an expert at his craft. Ezio may just work on the mentality of getting the job done, no matter how lacking he is in subtlety.
The Igniting Device (Lighter) – In addition to using the smoke bomb as seen in the E3 footage (not one of Da Vinci’s inventions), Ezio does not need to be dependent on larger inventions. Some fortresses may be impenetrable for any man from the outside. The solution, using the igniting device, Ezio is able to reach his hand and the object through tight windows and set curtains and other such objects inside the house ablaze.
Rather than callously throwing torches through a window and getting himself caught, Ezio can sneak long the outer walls, lighting as he goes until his target is forced to run from the house fearing for his life and giving Ezio a perfect target.
Scuba Gear and the Fast Ramming Boat – With Ezio overcoming his ancestor Altair’s fear of water that meant for a reload after the nimble assassin slipped in to the drink in the first game, Assassin’s Creed II opens up new levels of depth involving water based targets and gameplay. In addition to being a hiding spot for the novice assassin, Da Vinci’s creations of Scuba gear and a boat designed to take out others by ramming them could both come strongly in to play, especially considering the water filled area of the game already shown.
Whether it’s going underwater to disrupt the balance of a building much like Ocean’s 12 or sending a target swimming for his life by disabling his ship with the ramming boat, both could lead to some new and interesting scenarios not yet seen in this style game before.
The Ornithopter Flying Machine and the Parachute – With water being a new frontier for the series, it seems fitting that the air would be fair game too. After seeing the winged Flying Machine in action, it conjured images of how Da Vinci’s famed ornithopter, the inspiration to the helicopter, could be utilized in this game.
One of the final targets could see how many of his associates had been killed by Ezio and decides the best way is to hold himself up in a tower that cannot be accessed except by the roof, but makes it too high for the winged flying machine to reach and surrounds the lower levels with archers so climbing isn’t an option.
Da Vinci suggests to Ezio to use the ornithopter to fly higher than the archers could reach and parachute down to the roof. With the chaos on the streets from the crashed ornithopter after Ezio has abandoned ship, no one notices him slowly, quietly descending to the roof to claim his prize.
Obviously, all of this is speculation but these are just some ideas inspired by the thought of having inventions of one of history’s greatest minds at play in Assassin’s Creed II. Please, comment with your thoughts on what you’d like to see used.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to the great guys on the PC Gamer podcast team whose discussion inspired this article. Thanks guys.