Players "relive" the life of an assassin during the Italian Renaissance in this open-world action adventure game. The goal is to exact revenge upon conspirators who have framed and executed loved ones; the goal is to be accomplished through assassination. As players roam the crowded streets of Florence, Italy, they can creep through catacombs and corridors, undertake diverse side-missions, and tail-and-assassinate all manner of human targets—politicians, Templar soldiers, conspirators. Players can also brawl with family rivals or engage in sword fights with Templar soldiers, but in most cases, they use stealth techniques to complete the mission; for example, players can sneak up on enemies from behind and kill them with hidden daggers, poisoned daggers, spring-activated blades, and swords. When blades connect, blood shoots out in a fountain-like manner as targets groan or scream. These stealth-kills are sometimes depicted close-up and are somewhat graphic: the camera follows the "herky-jerky" thrusts of the blade; the player hears a distinctly "wet" flesh-impact sound. The most graphic depictions of violence occur during cinematic cutscenes (the following two scenes do not involve players' character): A businessman, crawling away from a Templar leader, gets pinned to the ground by a sword through his neck; a young nobleman is ambushed by rivals, begs for mercy, then gets stabbed multiple times in the chest amid screams of "Muori! Mouri! Mouri!" [Die! Die! Die!]. A short live-action movie (i.e., not animated) is included with the game. During a dramatic sword fight, an enemy's throat gets slashed—exposing a wide gash in his neck—as the body flails in front of the camera. The spurts and sprays of blood that accompany some of the stabbing attacks can be intense.
The game contains strong sexual overtones. During one "seduction mini-game," players are able to press buttons to kiss a woman and remove her dress; with the woman's back facing the camera, the two characters lower to bed and blow out a candle. Some scenes take place inside brothels, though no nudity or sexual acts are depicted. The dialogue contains the following sexual references: "So the whip or the paddle today?" and "Does your wife know about your page-boy fantasies, Captain?" Character backstories, narrated through still-frame vignettes, explain how villains and historical figures achieved their notoriety; some biographies include references to adultery, sodomy, prostitution, and rape (e.g., "Caterina was captured and sent to Rodrigo Borgia . . . who kept her imprisoned for a year and is rumored to have raped her alongside his son."). One cutscene depicts a man and a woman wearing translucent, flesh-toned bodysuits as they flee from danger. The digitized lighting effects, the glow from their futuristic suits, obscure most of the details, though outlines of breasts and buttocks are partially discernable (i.e., not definitively nudity). Consumers may also wish to know that the game contains strong profanity, both in English and Italian (e.g., "f**k," "sh*t," c*zzo," and "m*rda"); the most explicit instance occurs when a man frantically describes a "vision"—"I'm at the opera . . . the soprano is so beautiful . . . I'm in bed with her, she cries as I f**k her."