Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Review
PS3, Xbox 360, PC
November 16, 2010
- Geoff Barry
More Than Just An Expansion
In Ubisoft’s third installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, we follow Ezio’s adventure further against the Borgia in Rome. As the first game in the series to be an expansion, normally we’d expect a bit of a drop off. However, Brotherhood delivers with new gameplay, an award winning multiplayer experience, and an impressive turn of events in the storyline. The most impressive new feature is the combo system that was introduced to the fighting engine.
While most of us moaned and groaned when we had to take on a group of enemies in previous AC titles, Brotherhood finally fixed the flaw. I was able to swiftly slice my way through a group of enemies. The only concern I had was the fact that I still had to wait to counter in order to get my combo-chain going. It’s as if Ezio’s only a great swordsman when he gets attacked first. If he goes for the first kill, he’s denied and it’s impossible to get a combo going that way. Still, it was a great improvement to the gameplay, and is easily 10 times more efficient than AC I and II.
I was still able to crawl through dungeons and discover secrets, as well as burn down Borgia towers, but another new aspect of the game was training assassins. A symbol would pop up on the map letting me know that a civilian was battling some Borgia guards, and if I decided to check it out I could rescue the civilian and draft them into the Assassin’s Brotherhood. From there I could send them on various missions to other countries and level them up to Master Assassin. Where this benefitted was if I got in trouble, or wanted to take out a group of guards discreetly, I could either call my assassins in to help me in battle, or to use their bow and arrows and take out the guards silently. It was a very rewarding experience that delivered in the aspect of feeling like Ezio and I ran the Creed, and not just Ezio and the storyline.
Graphics and voice acting is at a new high in the series, and compares much to the Uncharted series in terms of detail. It’s without question that Rome was a great choice for the next setting. Although there aren’t different cities to travel to, and at times Rome seems to be too large to travel conveniently, it’s still a very gorgeous landscape with more historical landmarks. I was never bored and always had something to do in Brotherhood. Leonardo Da Vinci had multiple in-depth memories, as well as plenty of courtesan, thief, and mercenary missions to tackle. There were plenty of flags and feathers to collect, and land to purchase. I often spent time ignoring the main storyline in order to concentrate on the secondary memories. Rebuilding Rome was a treat.
After defeating the long, and very deep storyline I decided to tackle the online feature. It had the same concept of the main game, as I was thrown in with up to seven other players and I was expected to find my target and kill them anyway possible. More XP was earned for stealth kills, and being able to escape from my attackers boosted my score. A better score would give me a better chance to level up and unlock new abilities, perks, and streaks. The multiplayer experience was rewarding, and proved that games other than FPS’s can carry strong online play.
There’s plenty of DLC available for purchase, including a mission involving Leonardo Da Vinci, and some new map packs. You could easily have this game locked in your system for a month straight, like Black Ops or Arkham City. It’s a great time to pick up this title if you’ve yet to. With its price down from the release of Revelations, and AC III coming soon, Brotherhood is a must own for fans of the previous titles, and a good starting point for those who haven’t experienced the series.
I’ll admit to being concerned when I realized Brotherhood carried a multiplayer feature. It wouldn’t be the first game to have its single player experience suffer from the addition of multiplayer. However, the campaign actually improved from the previous title, and playing online was pretty fun. Another great soundtrack and a surprising twist of events in Desmond’s journey puts together the most entertaining installment yet. From chaining together a combo of ten kills, to following an older story of Ezio’s love life, to hiding in a bale of hay to evade an online opponent, the only thing Brotherhood expands on is greatness from the previous Assassin’s titles.
The Assassin’s Creed games have become quite iconic. What is your favorite in the series?