Review: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

January 17, 2011


The BrotherhoodI love Christmas. It’s the one time as a poor student I can expect to get a blockbuster game and waste away the many hours of holiday time I have playing it. Thankfully my family got it right this year, didn’t get me Just Dance 2, and got me the new Assassin’s Creed.

Brotherhood, being the third game in the Assassin’s Creed series, puts you in to the role of two characters. Desmond, a present day Assassin fighting an on going war with other Assassin’s against the Templars, who is plugged in to the Animus, a machine which allows you to relive the memories of your ancestors. The other is Ezio, a 16th Century Renaissance Italian who’s memories you are reliving. The story of Brotherhood continues on from exactly where Assassin’s Creed 2 left off. Ezio has murdered the Pope and is fleeing the Vatican with the ancient relic “Apple of Eden”. After returning to his villa in Monteriggioni, Ezio is attacked by Cesare Borgia, son of the Pope. Who then kills your uncle and steals back the Apple. Brilliant. You set off to Rome to wipe the smug smile off his face.

For anyone unfamiliar with the control mechanics of this game; the idea of Ezio being your puppet is used. Triangle controls his head, Square attacks with your weapon hand, Circle uses your open hand to push or grab people, and X controls your feet. If you hold down R1 then you enter ‘High Profile’ mode. This basically means your actions are now more intense. X will now all you to free run across buildings and jump from rooftop to rooftop while Circle now allows you to barge people out of the way, useful when being chased by a dozen guards.


-You can explore famous landmarks such as the Colosseum.-

With the ability to explore the massive expanse which is Rome, a sandbox environment similar to the previous games (although much larger), Ezio can start to hunt down Cesare by completing a variety of missions which help you gain vital contacts to locating and working out how to assassinate him. Other people need to be assassinated in the mean time so there’s plenty of an opportunities to leap off buildings and slice open throats. Or if you prefer, poison them and let them die quietly.

Your arsenal has increased from the last game. As well as having access to your hidden blades within your wrists (yep, Ezio would make an awful magician), swords, daggers, smoke bombs and more you can also get a crossbow, an effective weapon for long range kills, and assassins. Wait, what? Assassins?! Yep. After the game has kicked in you can rescue citizens of Rome from bullying guards and recruit them in to your assassin’s guild. From here you can send them on missions across Europe where they’ll return with money, items and gain experience. When they’re not on missions you can call them with a tap of L1 and send them leaping on to guards from the shadows. Other new additions include the ability to ride your horse through the streets of Rome, compared to previous games where you could only ride in the countryside, horseback assassinations and chaining together kills during combat.

NeiiiiiiiighThere’s plenty of extras to explore within Brotherhood from the tedious task of collecting flags scattered across the town, to entering hidden crypts in search of treasures. These sections give you more of a platforming experience with exciting chases, some on horseback, and juicy rewards. Throughout Rome you’ll find massive towers erected by the Borgia. If you can assassinate the district leader then burn down the tower you’ll gain control of that territory of Rome. You can then invest money in renovating shops to start your own enterprise. After the money starts rolling in and you get discounts in shops it becomes very satisfying. Leonardo Da Vinci returns and pleads you to destroy the war machines he had to create for the Borgia. You get to test drive such creations as a tank and machine gun before destroying them. Quite in-depth, and very fun, missions considering they can be ignored completely.

However, not everything is fun and games in Brotherhood. A lot of this game feels like an expansion to Assassin’s Creed 2. There are many of the same characters, the game mechanics are fundamentally the same and you’ll be doing a lot the same stuff as before. I’m not complaining though, more of Assassin’s Creed 2 can only be a good thing. What this game does do very right though is how it advances the story of Desmond, although I don’t want to give anything away. But let me just say, most amazing ending to a game ever.

New to Assassin’s Creed is multiplayer. The first two games were singleplayer affairs only so this was a risky move by Ubisoft. And boy did it pay off. If anything the game is worth buying for solely the multiplayer alone. You take control as one of the Templars working for Abstergo Industries (the bad guys) and are inserted into an Animus training program. From here you do combat with other Templar agents.

The multiplayer works in a kind of Dog, Cat and Mouse sort of way. You are assigned a target to hunt down and kill within a map. Other NPCs look the same so you have to carefully track and hunt down your target, killing a civillian will result in the termination of your contract. Bummer. In the mean time though, you are being hunted by someone so you have to keep on your feet and aware that absolutely anyone could be about to kill you, even the person standing right next to you. Double bummer.

-Watch your back...-

You are given access to a bunch of gadgets and equipment you can use to help though. From a smoke bomb to the ability to morph the crowd around you to look identical to you, there is a gadget to match everyone’s play style. Most of these have to be unlocked as you level up your character by gaining experience by playing games. This will take a while though (I’m only level 26 myself) so don’t expect access to all of the greatest gadgets straight away. You’ve gotta work for it!

All in all Brotherhood is a hefty package loaded with content. There are an array of side missions to do in your spare time when you don’t want to advance the story and a fantastic and original multiplayer mode which is currently being updated with new maps and game modes for free. Woo! (Call Of Duty should maybe learn a thing or two from this, new content should NOT cost £11 a piece!) I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants more Assassin fun.




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