Assassins Creed 2 presents as a typical over the shoulder button mash combat game mixed with lashings of lame free running / parkour and horrible polygon graphics. The kicker is, youre an escapee from some mental home where they run experiments using a freaky virtual reality system that appears to insert people into the time line reliving history. On escaping, for no apparent reason (see: tl;dr cut scene I vagued out during) youre roped into doing the very same for a break away group of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back up team drop outs.
There is however a reasonable RPG side to it, far from as expansive as the historical cities through which you play, brawling and swashbuckling your way to infamy. You can purchase new weapons and armour, albeit at a trickle feed of restriction raises as you progress.
You encounter various quest givers, and have run ins with guards depending on your notoriety (which you can lower by assassinating critics, bribing pages, or ripping down your wanted posters) and the overall feel is very GTA sandbox with better graphics and a less complex RPG aspect.
You do, however, look shit hot in your fathers assassin robes and can customize your looks with armour upgrades and dyeing your robes, although such customisation is horribly limited (four colour schemes in total, boo!) but still, your character does look pretty cool no matter what he wears.
Theres a lot of collect this and that, hidden treasure and mini quests in it. There is also the macro economics of running your uncles garrison, a small walled city a short horse ride from Florence. Upgrading and refurbishing buildings from banks to brothels, sponsoring and developing arts and medicine, all of which ups the net worth of the town and subsequently the income generated, assumedly, from taxation which you get a percentage off every 20 minutes.
The economcs, overall, is uninspired. A chest plate can set you back 10,000 florens, whereas upgrading the bank costs 3,000. I dunno, I think building a bank would cost a bit more than a bit or reinforced leather. I might be wrong.
All in all its an addictive and immersive little game. Far cry from what critics make it out to be. However it lacks zombies.