Retrospective: Assassin’s Creed II Black Edition unboxing

Assassin's Creed
Enter Ezio!

I’m just putting the finishing touches to my documented unboxing of the Assassin’s Creed III Freedom Edition. A few years ago I did a similar thing for the Assassin’s Creed II Black Edition which came with a rather cool statue of Ezio Auditore. The article was originally published on the Game Console pages of New Zealand’s

As a primer for my AC3 Freedom Edition unboxing I’ve reproduced the original article below.


Whilst I’ve been playing a review copy of Assassin’s Creed II for the best part of a week now (look out for my review in an upcoming issue of Game Console), I picked up my copy of the Assassin’s Creed 2 “Black Edition” on Friday. I don’t want to give too much away, but a week’s worth of AC2 was enough to get me excited about parting with $170 for the limited edition.

So, hot on the heels of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition the other week, here is a write-up on the latest addition to my increasing pile of gaming tat.

the paackage
The whole Assassin’s Creed II Black Edition

In their sexy boxes, the White and Black Editions of Assassin’s Creed II gives Ubisoft another way of steaming money from the fanboys. Of the two I chose the Black Edition ‘cos it had more exclusive content and I reckoned that the black clad Ezio figurine would look cooler than the write one.

The Black Edition comes in very stylish executive packaging, similar to over-expensive duty free wine. I’m sad to say the loving attention and care on display did not extend to the contents of the package.

The black attired figurine of the games protagonist, Ezio, was simply stuffed in the box. Whilst his delicate hands were neatly wrapping with a protective tape, the poor fellow had been rattling around banging his head against the side of the box until I opened him up. Without going into the boring details, it looked as though there had been a bit of a hiccup with the packaging design, making life difficult for the folks that had to insert Ezio figures into at least 17,754 (being the number of my Black Edition) of these boxes. I can understand why they resorted to throwing them in.

The aforementioned packaging malfunction means that my Ezio figure has bit of a bend blade, which I’m sure will straighten out in time. The figure is quite a nice piece and with the Black Edition only $50 over the RRP of the standard edition, it makes the package pretty good value if you are into collectable sci-fi and fantasy figures.

The finely-detailed Ezio statue

The only actual game play addition included in Black Edition is a code that unlocks three exclusive areas, Santa Maria Del Frari, Palazzo Medici and the Arsenal Shipyard. I haven’t found these areas yet, so I can’t tell you if it is a big deal or not. I’m in two minds about these sorts of incentives, call me a cynic, but it seems that they cut chunks of the game out to offer these bits of “exclusive content” in the special packs. I believe everybody should be able to play the whole game.

The Black Edition also includes one of those little hardback “art” books that are fast becoming a staple feature of these special editions game. The provocatively titled “Conspiracy Book” is just a collection of nicely laid out pieces of pre-production art interspersed with commentary by the creative director and script-writer.


The art book
The beautiful art book.


Also included is a DVD featuring some trailers, two developer diaries and the soundtrack. Why only two of the six diaries? It’s a bit tight if you ask me.

The best bit of the whole pack is the game itself, Assassin Creed II. This is the game that the first one should have been. I’ll leave it there.

At the end of the day, like most of these collectors’ editions, you can take it or leave it. At worst it is just a load of mass produced rubbish packaged up to coax the fans out of more money, at best the special editions complement and celebrate a finely crafted game.

VicBStard is the gaming handle of regular Game Console contributor Darren Price, who is a sucker for anything with “Collectors’ Edition” written on it. He can be found online as VicBStard UK on Xbox Live and as VicBStard on PSN. If Web 2.0 is your sort of thing, you can follow his dull,sporadic and badly written tweets on Twitter.

An edited version of this review originally appeared on the Game Console pages of