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Assassin’s Creed 2 is a great game by any measure, but the combat and fighting system takes some practice if you want to truly be an effective player. In this Assassin’s Creed 2 fighting guide, we’ll discuss techniques such as how to disarm, how to counter kill, how to assassinate, and more. This will be the first part in a series that makes up an Assassin’s Creed 2 walkthrough intended to offer hints and tips for players struggling through the most difficult parts of the game.
Note: Many of these techniques involve using a learned skill that you pick up in the game, so you won’t be able to do things like disarm enemies until it has been taught to Ezio.
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The biggest time-saver in all of Assassin’s Creed 2 is the ability to assassinate your opponents. These one-shot kills are quick and discreet, and there are some missions that even require you to quickly and quietly take down guards. Because it is such a power move, it takes some skill to learn how to properly assassinate your target. There are also different ways to go about it.
If you are dealing with a single enemy, just sneak up behind them and wait until the menu in the upper right of the screen shows ‘Assassinate’ next to the square. Once you get far enough in the game to carry two hidden blades, you can stand in between two guards and assassinate them both at the same time by stabbing them through the neck. You can even approach them head on if you make the attack quickly enough. Another way to assassinate is to use a counter kill move, which is discussed below.
Be very careful with the air assassinations, which is where you leap from a high point and pounce on an enemy. The targeting system in the game tends to jump to the closest person and sometimes while on rooftops your target will jump from a guard to an innocent citizen. When fighting large groups of soldiers, this move may not always work and you’ll get hammered if you jump down between them without making a successful hit.
(Image credit - Assassin's Creed Wiki)
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During combat, your opponent briefly opens themselves up for attack while they are taking a swing at you. This offers Ezio the ability to perform a ‘counter kill’ where he quickly lands a deadly strike while his opponent is attacking. If you can time it just right, this method will drop your opponent with one hit.
To perform a counter kill on the PS3, first press and hold L1 to lock onto your intended target. While still holding L1, press and hold R1. While holding down those two buttons, hit the square button just as your opponent is about to strike. The timing must be near perfect, so one thing you can do is rapidly hit the square button until you get a hit. It’s a bit sloppy, but it works pretty well.
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Disarm Your Opponent - Assassin's Creed 2 Walk through
If somebody comes after you with a sword, the best way to keep them from hitting you with that sword is to take it away from them. That makes perfect sense, right? In this game, you can disarm an enemy and then use their own weapons against them. Since they have nothing to fight back with, they will go down much easier than if you went into straightforward combat. Remember – you are an assassin. You don’t fight fair.
Before you can disarm an opponent, you must not be holding any weapons. The process for disarming is just like the counter kill move discussed on the previous page. You lock onto your target with L1, then press and hold R1 and wait for them to attack. Again, the timing is not easy to get down, so rapidly pressing the square Counter button will help. Once you disarm your opponent, you can use their weapon to attack them and they will be defenseless.
(Image credit - Assassin's Creed Wiki)
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Several parts of Assassin’s Creed 2 require you to sneak through busy city streets while both following a target and trying to avoid detection. The best way to do this is to hire help from local courtesans, mercenaries, and thieves. It will cost you, but at least on the PS3 there is a trophy you can earn for spending enough of your money on the courtesans.
One thing you can do to help take down a small group of soldiers is to distract them with courtesans by hiring the ladies and then sending them toward the enemy. While the men are busy mingling with the women, sneak around behind and assassinate them, or just keep walking. Another trick is to hire mercenaries to pick a fight with soldiers, then you can backstab them while they are busy with the mercenaries. Just watch out for the occasional guard that will lock on you as a target.
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Practice Makes for Perfect Assassinations
The most important aspect of this whole Assassin's Creed 2 walkthrough is for you to practice all of these moves as much as possisble. There are plenty of hapless guards just waiting for you to run through with your blade, so take your time to practice all of your combat skills on them. Not only will this allow you access to treasures and other items, but it will greatly help when faced down with the more difficult opponents. Don’t be tempted to slaughter innocent civilians, and keep an eye out for pickpockets. You can score lots of money from them, and nobody cares if you kill one. For an added bonus, toss their bodies off of rooftops and watch the people’s reaction below when he hits the ground.