You could, though your choices in 1 will impact 2 & 3. I.e did you kill off the Rachni etc. Moving a full renegade\pargon character between 1 & 2 also gives you a starting bonus depending on which track you took.
First things first. This AIN'T an expansion game. It's absolutely a game in it's own right. IMO, the storyline is way better than AC2, and that's freakin' saying something! You've obviously read my thoughts on it, but I can't get over how good the game was, not just gameplay, which was awesome, but story and characters. The characters develop, and you're going to see Ezio become more developed than you could imagine I won't say any more about it and ruin anything for you, but there are moments of genuine emotion in the game.
The gameplay though, wow. Just wow. SO much variety. And having a troupe of assassins to use strategically is something that just gives this game a huge edge over AC2.
Like I said mate, GOTY for mine, by an absolute mile. I'm jealous of you having it to come! Enjoy
Hey mate, the reference to Winty in the Arrogance thread is a Collingwood board "in house joke" really, we have named a monthly award after him where the worst opposition posters in regards to Collingwood are voted upon by an esteemed panel, rather funny award actually.