After one year, the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed series returns with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. For those who have yet to experience the series, Desmond Miles, a descendant of those who swore their loyalty to the Assassin Order, was kidnapped by Abstergo Industries, who follow the way of the Templars.
The Templars and the Assassins have been at war for centuries, up until the current year. Desmond was forced to use the Animus, a machine developed by Abstergo to “relive” his ancestors’ lives through his DNA. The Templars had one goal, to control humanity and create peace by using the Pieces of Eden. The Assassins on the other hand, are against the Templars and refuse to allow them to control the world.
During this game, we continue with the life of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, set in the 1500’s. The game begins by Desmond summing up what happened during the previous games. The actual gameplay starts where it left off in AC2. Ezio is in the vault and you and your uncle Mario try to escape. You must run, climb, and kill in order to survive. After killing the guards and running through the city of Rome, you end climbing to the top of a tower, as a short cut scene takes place, and Ezio and Mario then take “a leap of faith.” After returning to Monteriggioni, Ezio seems to be trouble free, but very soon a new enemy will rise.
After the attack on Monteriggioni, Ezio returns to Rome to fight the Borgia and the Templars in hope of retrieving the Apple that was taken by Cesare Borgia. At this time, you find yourself helping people who are suffering under the hands of the Borgia. By destroying the Borgian towers you free the land that it occupied and open shops, returning life back to the city.
After completing a few memories in the game, you begin to recruit Assassins to fight against the Borgia. By helping citizens out, in return they will join you in the fight. Your new recruits are there to help you kill any guards that stand in your way. In order for your Assassins to increase in skill, you must send them to complete contracts, and by completing their missions you will be able to upgrade their weapons and armour. Your Assassins come in handy, and help you in any mission with the push of a button.
This game is very similar to Assassin’s Creed 2, but adds new features as well. You are able to do offensive attacks now instead of always having to counter enemies, you are able to ride a horse around the city, and there are new moves and weapons such as the crossbow. The game also includes many side missions as well, such as assassin contracts, destroying Leonardo’s machines, or searching for a key to get armour.
Most importantly is the online multiplayer. This is the first time that Assassin’s Creed will have multiplayer and Ubisoft did a pretty good job with it. At times, it reminds me of CoD multiplayer, except it takes place during the Renaissance. It involves killing and escaping your target, use of abilities such as disguise (which changes your appearance to confuse your enemies), or spring boost (gives you a boost in order to escape or to kill). You choose from many different characters who all have different weapons and moves. You also have a compass at the bottom which you must use in order to find your target.
Players are able to choose from 4 game modes: Wanted, Advanced Wanted, Manhunt, and Alliance. During Wanted and Advanced Wanted, the player must hunt their target while escaping from their pursuer. You must use all the skills that you learn from the story mode, including blending, and using the crowd to your advantage.
Manhunt is where there are two teams, each with 4 players. In one round you become the hunter and the other you become the hunted. You must blend with the crown and look for suspicious behaviour to locate and escape your target.
Alliance is the same as Manhunt but it is with 3 teams of 2 players. You and your partner must help each other throughout each round to either find your kill or to escape your killer.
Overall, this game is a great addition to the AC series and fans of Assassin’s Creed will be very happy with it. The story mode will have gamers playing for hours, going though the main story and all the side missions. You have the freedom to explore Rome and brutally kill as many guards as you please.
The addition of the assassin recruits becomes addictive and you will want to spend most of your time sending your assassins on missions and improving their skills. The cut scenes and dialogue make the story more interesting and the use of Italian enhances the script in various moments. The use of different religions, and historic figures such as Leonardo Da Vinci make the story compelling and will leave fans wanting more.
Towards the middle of the game it may start to get repetitive, whether it’s assassinating your target, or escorting someone to safety, the problem of repetitiveness, found in the previous games, does rear its ugly head. Nevertheless, the way you execute the missions helps differentiate things enough to ensure players will continue on.
The graphics could be better but the scenery still looks amazing, and it makes Rome a thrill to explore. The soundtrack is amazing and makes you feel the emotions present during that time. The use of music throughout the game makes players feel the excitement and fearlessness that Ezio experiences.
Multiplayer is a great addition but will eventually seem recurring as you constantly hide and kill, once again the game displays problems of repetitiveness. Despite its flaws, this game continues the uniqueness of the series and will leave seasoned fans and new players happy with it.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is another great entry into the franchise and has tons of great gameplay to sink your teeth into.