I had borrowed this game from a friend for just under a week now. I'm a little ashamed to say that I have completed the main storyline already. However the first few minutes I didn't enjoy the game. I already found a non-repeatable glitch in the game that once I jumped towards a beam in order to land on it I seemed to 'magically' hit an invisible wall right after jumping, which caused me to fall to my death and feel like I sucked for a bit. Much later in the story I found myself attempting mounted combat, which you would think they would ensure worked correctly to include it. I found myself stuck in the jumping position on the horse's back with sword drawn and ready. Then I could no longer control the movement of my character or anything. The guards just ran around like headless chickens hacking at my horse shouting 'Where is he?' 'There he is!' a lot. The only solution was a console reset. Quite frustrating as it hadn't saved in a while and I certainly didn't want it to save whilst like that.
Some of the animations I found to be a little bellow the standard I was expecting, mainly in cut scenes where a weapon was in a characters hand but seemed to move independently from it. Still far better than I would manage though!
Now onto positives. The gameplay itself is much smoother and free flowing that the previous game, a great improvement is in the climbing. It no longer feels jerky whilst climbing up the side of a building. The storyline kept me far more amused than it's predecessor too with varied missions on it's way up to the main assassination of the memory. I admit that I didn't play the game to it's full extent. I left out most optional quests as I felt that as they were repetitive in the previous game that they would be the same in this version.
The combat is much improved and more free flowing. It is now actually possible to attack rather than relying on counters, which I found rather frustrating in the first one. The action sequences of being chased really made me feel as though I had to get away. Usually though I found myself trying to escape in a way that actually looked good for a bit more of a challenge. I occasionally found myself plummeting from a roof top as a result of this, but that's half the fun!
All in all I found it to be a great game. They also seem to have left it open for a sequel, however I have a slight feeling that it would be in present day. If it is I wonder if they would keep it sword based or whether it would go in the direction of Splinter Cell.