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Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Review

December 03 2010


Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Review
by Lodur

Game: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Genre: Third-person action-adventure, open world
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Annecy (multiplayer)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox360, Microsoft Windows, OnLive
Mode(s) Singleplayer, multiplayer
Raiting(s)
ACB: MA15+
BBFC: 15
ESRB: M
PEGI: 16+

Be warned, this review will contain spoilers for the game Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Assasin’s Creed II was the follow-up to Ubisoft’s smash hit, Assassin’s Creed; a game of intrigue, stealth, action, adventure and an open world. The sequel in the series provided graphical boosts, intense story, tight action sequences and great platforming. What was very surprising for a game of its type, it contained a very well thought out story that combined factual historical data with the vivid imagination of the creators.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood returns you to the world that was established for us in AC2. We are once again ported back to the time of the renaissance in Italy, and once again we are in the shoes of master assassin Ezio. All of the same action elements are there, and the story is just as rich and diverse.

One interesting thing to note about this game is the speed with which it was released. AC: Brotherhood comes to us less than a year after AC2 was released. Most games in a series have closer to two years between releases, with exceptions being the many sport franchise games available.  With such a tight timetable of release, one would expect the quality of the game to decline. Players initially excited at the announcement of the new game became slightly skeptical of such a rapid release, and dubbed it AC2.5. Honestly that is an accurate description of the game when you boil it down and simplify it, but in this series that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Brotherhood takes the game and world created for ACII and adds a plethora of new environments with historical land marks like the Pantheon in Rome. It has a story that not only compliments that set in ACII, but in truth may actually surpass it, raising the story telling bar for this game series. On top of this, the game also comes jam packed with an interesting multiplayer option.

The story picks up directly where it left off in ACII. When I say it picks up directly where it left off, I quite literally mean directly at the point in which the story of AC2 ended. If you haven’t played ACII yet, it is highly recommended, but not necessary, that you do so before playing this next installment in the series. 

Ezio returns home knowing that his quest for revenge is complete, with the added bonus of a fulfilling self-discovery and familial revelations. While attempting to decide what to do next with his life, what is the consequences of his choices in ACII catch up to him, leading to his home coming under siege by Cesare Borgia. What at first seems to be a campaign of revenge against Ezio and his family turns out to be a dual plot.

On top of revenge, Borgia is looking for the Apple of Eden. Borgia succeedes in invading the villa, and leaves with the Apple. After a short recovery time, and liberal use of healers, Ezio heads to Rome to avenge the attack, get back his golden Apple, and kill Borgia. Upon entering Rome, Ezio sees that Borgia has started to gather mass amounts of land, and subsequently power, in Rome. The people are suffering under the view of Borgia. Realizing the extent of Borgia’s power, Ezio decides that he will need help reclaiming the massive city of Rome from Borgia and his forces. He begins to recruit citizens into the Assassin’s Guild in an attempt to help free Rome from the influence of Borgia, and get his Apple back.

While Ezio is the “main character” of the story, the game focuses quite a bit on Desmond, the descendant of Ezio. In ACII it was very easy to forget about Desmond, as the game really all took place inside of the Animus. Brotherhood gives Desmond some assassin-like stages, and helps to flesh out his personality as he grows into the assassin his ancestors would be proud of. It smacks of a setup for a future release that focuses more on Desmond than time in the Animus. The story is a lot more focused than in ACII and while many may consider it too linear, it adds a sort of clarity of purpose for Ezio throughout the game. It was very well written and compelling, and throughout the game I found myself pulled into the plot right up until the very end.

Brotherhood continues the tradition of a sandbox world and allows you to roam through the entire “world” of Rome. Free running allows a player to climb buildings, jump gaps and perform amazing feats of agility. In ACII it was decided that money flowed too freely and that it was too easy to be able to purchase every upgrade and item in the game. In Brotherhood, they have corrected this problem. While dedicated players can still work towards that cap, it makes those upgrades and purchases mean more now.

The game is a spectacular addition to the series, and is quite solid. It has a large amount of content in mini games, quests, story, rich environments and a very well thought out multiplayer system. Brotherhood successfully picks up and carries the torch hefted in ACII. The game is immersive, polished and quite fun. Fans of the series will love this game, and newcomers to the series will have quite a bit to look forward to.

This is not Assassin’s Creed 3 because that has already been announced; instead this is AC2.5. It plays more like an expansion pack to the second game, but does so incredibly well. I would say that Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a must play this year, and well worth the time and money investment.

Screenshots

ac-b-001 ac-b-002 ac-b-003 ac-b-004 ac-b-005 ac-b-006 cover

Filed under: NewsReviewsPS3Xbox 360Action

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Comments


Samodean's avatar
Samodean 10:48am, 12/05/2010

The best description I’ve seen of this game is from a message board: “After playing Brotherhood, I’m calling it ‘Assassin’s Creed 2’ and the previous game ‘Assassin’s Dreed 1.5.’ It’s that good.”

Thus far, I’d agree, and I’m only on Sequence 3.

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