Assassin's Creed II is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the second major installment in the Assassin's Creed series, a sequel to 2007's Assassin's Creed, and the first chapter in the Ezio trilogy. The game was first released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November 2009, and was later made available on Microsoft Windows in March 2010 and OS X in October 2010. Several minor game related features could be redeemed on Uplay and three downloadable expansion packs were released on Xbox Live. The plot is set in a fictional history setting and follows the centuries-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace with free will, and the Knights Templars, who desire peace through control. The framing story is set in the 21st century and follows Desmond Miles as he relives the genetic memories of his ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze. The main narrative takes place at the height of the Renaissance in Italy during the 15th and early 16th century. Players can explore Florence, Venice, Tuscany and Forlì as they guide Ezio on a quest for vengeance against those responsible for betraying his family. The primary focus is to utilize the player's combat and stealth abilities, as Desmond begins to uncover the mysteries left behind by an ancient race known as the First Civilization in the hope of ending the conflict between the Assassins and Templars. Using a newly updated Anvil game engine, Assassin's Creed II began development shortly after the release of Assassin's Creed. The game received critical acclaim from video game publications, with praise directed towards its Renaissance setting, narrative, characters, map design and visuals, as well as improvements from its predecessor. It was the biggest selling game of 2009–2010 and has sold more than 9 million copies. It is considered to be one of the best games ever made, and it popularized the Assassin's Creed franchise. The PC version was met with some criticism in relation to the digital rights management system and, thus had the always-online DRM permanently removed. The game spawned a follow-up, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and its direct sequel, Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Remastered versions of all three games were released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 15, 2016 as part of The Ezio Collection.
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