Assassin's Creed II: Beginner's strategy guide

Early on your good old uncle Mario will give you the run of his handsome villa. It starts off sparsely furnished and run-down but withcare and attention (and cash) it’ll look better in no time. And your investment will soon reap returns.

1) Once Ezio’s sister Claudia takes over the running of the house you'll be given access to an architect. He’ll help you make investments in the surrounding area, thus increasing your income (you’ll receive a payment every 20 minutes).

2) Investing in brothels, thieves’ dens and barracks will increase the town’s income and bring more allies in, too. Investing in a tailor will produce more shades of dye to colour your clothes with as well as gain you a discount. This is the case with most shops.

3) Invest in a broken down old well and you’ll increase the town’s income even more and you’ll also gain access to a handy secret passage which may itself contain some of that lovely loot.

4) Ta da! Once you’ve started investing in earnest, you’ll notice that your villa is starting to look a lot more attractive too. So much so that you may even be tempted to invest in some genuine Renaissance art. Now that looks more like it! These art collections aren't just for looks, though: they'll also increase your income significantly.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, make sure to check out our glyph and statuette, and feather and treasureguides.

Nov 24, 2009

Everything you need to find the signs, solve the puzzles and put the gods back in their place

Find every last scrap of hidden cash and eagle detritus in the game

Epic. Brutal. Educational? Get ready to experience the Renaissance by stabbing it in the face