Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
One of the first games I bought after I got my X360 was Assassin’s Creed II. For hours I was Ezio Auditore, a man who after the murder of his father and brothers pledged to take revenge for the injustice that was done to his family. Long story short: a great game that made me long for more.
Unfortunately we got a PS3 review copy, but thanks to brotherly love, a friend of mine loaned my a PS3 so I could still check it out!
Brotherhood continues after AC2. Desmond needs to flee for the modern templars and Ezio gets a divine warning about the medieval version that’s chasing him. Desmond and a small crew that hacked the Animus to a safer place while Ezio thinks the adventure is done for him. However, both do end up at the same place, eventhough with 500 years difference between them; Monteriggioni, Ezio’s base in Brotherhood’s predecessor.
This doesn’t mean they’ve got nothing to do. Desmond constantly gets hunted by Abstergo in the present and Ezio’s Monteriggioni is brutally attacked in the past. Cesare Borgia, son of Rodrigo, one of the conspirators in AC2, wants revenge for the death of his father and the quiet town has to suffer for that. Five minutes and all the blood, sweat and tears that were shed in AC2 are for nothing. Life sometimes isn’t fair!
Time to go to Rome and kick some major ass! The Borgia are the present rulers and they’re suppressing the people, have closed down the shops and have a horde of soldiers constantly parading around. The city is divided into twelve districts with each one having a general and a tower. And you, you get to bash them to give a major blow to the Borgia’s control. You free different areas, get to open your favorite shops again and, most important: you don’t get attacked by pretentious soldiers every two minutes.
Another innovation is that you’re not alone this time. For each tower you bring down (not necessary, but does come in handy) you get to train a new assassin. This one can be controlled remotely and sent off to the enemy so you can sit back and enjoy the spectacle. Admitted: a nice option for those that don’t like getting their hands dirty, but the hardcore assassins will prefer to finish the job themselves. As time progresses, your new employees also gain experience, making them even more efficient.
One of your better allies from AC2, Leonardo Da Vinci, is also back. He was pushed by the Borgia’s to make war gear so that you’re forced to destroy the prototypes and plans. Just to make sure no medieval tank passes by and makes thing difficult all the time. Of course, before you thrash the weapons you get to try them out yourself.
Qua standard weapons in the game you can again count on a crossbow, a gun and your familiar arsenal of knives and swords. Also a drive-by is possible as contrary to the previous game you can now head into town on your horse and slash some enemies that way.
As said before, the place to be is Rome. During AC2 we already saw this wonderful city pass by and in Brotherhood it’s “orgasmically” big and beautiful. The gameplay catapults you back to medieval Rome with the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum Romanum, … a man would wish to be born earlier for less!
In this incredibly well made setting your missions also have undergone some minor adjustments: for a full synchronisation you now get additional goals like “don’t fall in the water”, “loose maximum 2 blocks of your health”, “complete the mission in less than eight minutes” and more stuff like that. A nice additional challenge to avoid repetition.
Except for some small glitches there’s actually little negative to be said about AC Brotherhood. Admitted, if you’ve completed the previous games you may expect a bit more from Brotherhood, or find the game lacking some innovation. The devs don’t stray away from the well-known formula but all in all there’s no reason to not call Brotherhood a “top title”. The adrenaline and excitement of a medieval assassin who needs to take on an obscure organisation that wants to dominate the world; something tells me that this remains a great concept for a game. The brilliant and more varied gameplay that comes with it only strengthen that feeling.
The multiplayer Ubisoft added is very good to say the least. In four different modes you take on fellow assassins online and everyone gets a different player as target. You need to make sure to kill yours without getting noticed. although the different modes are pretty similar and things look repetitive, they do manage to entertain for quite a while and bring a breath of fresh air to this series.
Every gamer that respects himself should get Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Only for this game alone already you should consider getting a PS3 or X360. Of course there are some beauty errors, but it does show that the plans for annual Assassin’s Creed games might work. The only problem we can see is that Ubi has to fulfill the ever-growing expectations, but with Brotherhood at least they’ve already succeeded in that!