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Review Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - Because sitting on a bench makes me invisible.
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  1. #1
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    Default Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - Because sitting on a bench makes me invisible.



    Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    Publisher: Ubisoft
    Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows (Feb 22nd 2011)
    Release Dates: October 19th 2010 (NA)
    October 21 2010 (AUS)
    October 22 2010 (EU)

    Intro-
    Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood comes out on the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed and much improved sequel, Assassin’s Creed 2, and brings with it a continuation of Desmond and Ezio’s story, as well as a never before seen multiplayer mode. While the last time we went through Italy with Ezio was a lot of fun, does this sequel carve out a place to belong in the series?

    Even with only a year in development, Ubisoft has pulled out all the stops and has made Brotherhood a very solid and meaty experience. You won’t be revisiting very many places from Assassin’s Creed 2. Well, at least not how you’d expect. Almost all of your time (barring a few side missions) is spent in one city, Rome. You may be wondering how varied Rome can be, and to be honest, it didn’t strike me as nearly as intricate, beautiful, and different as the previous locations in both Assassin’s Creed games were.


    Setting-
    Rome is mainly a dusty city, with a handful of notable landmarks. There are different areas to Rome that look different, however through most of my journey around Rome, I found that besides some farmland and the aforementioned landmarks, the city is quite boring. There are different areas based on affluence of its citizens, and a criminally underused Vatican area, but the landscape just doesn’t have enough personality. Sure, you have the famous landmarks dotting the area, but in between is what feels like copy and pasted buildings. Rome doesn’t have the individuality or great construction the previous cities had overall. To me, this felt like a case of “We are only going with one city, let’s make it MASSIVE” without really planning it out as well as someone like me would prefer. And it is massive, make no mistake--from end to end, running will likely take you a good 20 minutes. Keep in mind that you are Ezio, and navigating a city quickly is what you do.



    Sometimes, in the story, you will find other environments to explore in search of dismantling war machines, like a Renaissance Era tank, or a battleship, etc. These offer a great change of pace, but are ultimately too short. Also, you can do side missions called "Memories of Cristina" which will bring you back to a limited area of Venice, complete with AC2 soundtrack and look. Coming to these locations made me miss the other environments that much more.


    Gameplay-
    You’ll find the controls are unchanged from Assassin’s Creed 2. Unlike AC2, the game drops you into the city far quicker and lets you have free rein over the city, barring any “cannot access memory” areas which are reserved for quests. Why would you need free rein? You can collect feathers, you can collect Borgia flags, you can burn Borgia towers to decrease their influence, and once a tower is burned, the closed-down shops in Rome can be repaired and reopened and start earning you money. When you restore a business, like a Doctor’s Office, a Blacksmith, a Tailor, etc. you will receive a kickback of money every 20 minutes that you can pick up at a Banker office. Yes, you have to restore those as well. This method of earning money always keeps the carrot in front of you, always ready to buy the next big, expensive monument or the next weapon.



    Also, one of the side ‘jobs’ is assembling a Brotherhood - you can recruit citizens in your fight against the Borgia. This involves you saving someone from some guards, and then they appear at your Assassin’s Hideout. You can use them in battle by hitting a button, and they will swoop down and murder any guards you have targeted. They’re useful, as it draws no attention to you and the perceived power you have by summoning killers is...well, it is a guilty pleasure. Your Brotherhood individually levels up in a very shallow leveling game, where you can also send them on contract missions to other parts of the world. Each contract has a difficulty level, XP reward, and a florin (currency) reward. Sending your Brotherhood on these missions makes them unavailable for a set amount of time, but is worth it with the XP and money bonus. There is a small element of risk as you have a % readout before you send your people away to see how successful the mission is. If you fail the mission, your Brotherhood members you sent on the mission die - however there is no need for this to ever happen, since you can see the percentage of whether or not they will return, and it is very easy to make 100% sure your missions will not fail.



    Also added in is Virtual Training - basically VR missions for Desmond to undertake in the Animus. One of the major revamps to this game is the combat, and there are plenty of combat VR missions to undertake, with goals for bronze, silver, and gold rewards. The overhauled combat system makes killing easier, and less a game of waiting and countering ad nauseum in a group of ten enemies. Ezio can now dart between multiple targets and one-shot them to disperse the crowd. Also in these VR missions are sneaking missions, assassination missions, and more. It is fairly robust as far as the missions go, and a welcome addition to anyone wishing to hone their skills.




    Story-
    Now that the mechanics and look of the game have been explained, let’s talk about the story. Personally, last year’s Assassin’s Creed 2 had my head spinning at the ending, and Brotherhood begins not long after its predecessor ended. Surprisingly, Brotherhood lets you leave the Animus whenever you like, and explore your environment. It is a far cry from the first Assassin’s Creed, as you have a lot more room to explore in. There’s not much for present-day Desmond to do, however, and you’ll find yourself back in the Animus much quicker than anticipated. For perspective, if you don't leave the Animus you will miss some small story bits by not leaving it every chapter.


    The majority of the cast from Assassin’s Creed 2 returns. Some of them, like Bartolomeo, are just as fantastic as before. However, others, like your mother and sister, are either woefully underused or act out of character a bit. I found myself enjoying any of the criminally few cutscenes that involved Rodrigo Borgia - a truly fantastic character in every way. A few new characters are introduced and serve their purposes well - I enjoyed the main antagonist of the story, and there are many, many things afoot in the story that can change how you view things. I don’t want to give anything away, but to put it bluntly, the end of Brotherhood is a complete mind**** in a good way. It’s just a shame the mixed quality of the cast brings the overall feeling down a small amount, especially considering its predecessor and the quality of the new characters in this installment.




    Multiplayer- For multiplayer tips check out this thread DirtyDMan created.. http://www.gamers-forum.com/showthread.php?t=17396

    Multiplayer does need to be written about with this game. The overall idea behind it is that Abstergo is training agents in the Animus to be killers, and you take on one of their roles and go into the Animus with others and play a game somewhat like hide and seek. In “Hunter” you are given a target along with 6-8 others. You have a compass and a picture of who they are - it is up to you to make it to your target without being obvious about it, and kill them...while someone does the same to you. If you run towards your target, they will be alerted by your presence and can run from you. As you level up in the multiplayer, you unlock different perks and equipment to use, like smoke bombs, disguise switching, and more. It is a cat and mouse game, and unlike anything else on consoles these days.



    There are other modes, such as Assassinate the VIP, and 5 on 5. Each of these has roughly the same mechanics behind it, but things change depending on the objective. It is surprising how well implemented the multiplayer is, and I found myself going back to it (when it worked) a lot more than expected.

    Final Thoughts-
    - City does seem a little copy and pasted.
    - Combat is Tight, even more so then AC2.
    - Collectibles are fun and rewarding, as are Side missions.
    - It's NOT just a Filler in between AC2 and AC3 it does have it's place in this Series.
    - If you liked AC2 you will love this Game.
    - Multiplayer is surprisingly very addicting and fluid.


    Score-
    8.5/10
    Last edited by Shixx; 11-29-2010 at 06:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    awesome. I would rep you, but I can't....

    Just know the intent is there.

  3. #3
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    Great review!!!!! I love your reviews man!
    Losing Is Not An Option.



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  4. #4

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    I really enjoy your reviews Shixx .. and another good one here.

    As for AC:B I dunno .. I've been following Tobuscus' playthroughs and the only thing that's kept me watching really is his humour, rather than the game. I guess it might be OK in some respects, but i dunno, it just doesn't grab my imagination that much.

    Gj on the review though mate .. +rep

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    Brilliant review shixx!
    If you send me FR, let me know who you are!


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    great review shixx. I just got AC2 last week friday and soon I will get this one... maybe soon, maybe next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HamadaLFC8 View Post
    Great review!!!!! I love your reviews man!
    I completely agree your reviews are amazing love them
    <3 thank you knibbler <3

    <3 Knibbler Gave Me My Crush <3


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  8. #8
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    Shixx - this is easily the best review I've ever read by you; REALLY nicely done! You stick to the select major points that made the game fun and a drag for you and stay with them... coherent and focused writing throughout!

    Also, well done sneaking in the reference to DirtyD's multiplayer strats thread

    +rep for sure
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for reading the Reviews guys, there would be no point in writing them if you guys didn't read, no matter how good they may or may not be.


    @Jango There's a Tobuscus playthrough you should Link me somehow.
    and did you try AC2?

    @Dili It's really easy for me to write reviews on this particular Game(series), I'm a huge AC fan.

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