Review by Xyphas
Theres nothing quite like killing another human being; Assassins Creed Brotherhood takes the best from its predecessors and combine them into one great experience. Whether you are planning your next kill on Borgia targets in the main game or running along rooftops with friends in multiplayer, Assassin Creed Brotherhood delivers thrills that carry far pass the games credits. This isnt just Assassins Creed; this is Assassins Creed Perfected.
Dont let the familiar interfaces fool you, Assassins Creed Brotherhood is more than a mere expansion to AC2. The most impressive improvement lies in the combat. While you are still able to counter your way through groups of hulking Borgia body-guards, you now have the option to perform combos more fluidly thanks to new additions like kicking (breaks your opponents defense) and chain killing. The animations are really impressive; with each weapon having its own set of different animations its very entertaining to explore them all. Each has its own speed and feel. Combat is finally enjoyable, but unlike other Assassin Creed titles, Brotherhood seems to encourage being stealthy the most part.
Every mission has a Sync percentage. To acquire 100 percent on these daring missions, you have a set task to perform, such as infiltrate the castle undetected or do not take any damage. These can be fun because they will require you to explore Ezios capabilities, though some of these are very difficult. Speaking of challenge, Ubisoft has created V.R missions that you can try in the animus. So the hardcore crowd will always have a challenge and they will be rewarded, while casual players can still complete the game.
This uses the same graphics as AC2, which are very pretty to look at. Rome is the only city in the game, unlike previous entries. However, Rome is three times the size of Florence in AC2 and looks very pretty. There were a couple frame rate issues here and there. For the most part the game remained smooth and clean.
As I mentioned, this is no expansion pack. Assassins Creed, despite having to go back into history and explore the lost memories of your assassin ancestors, its mostly about Desmond. Brotherhood continues his story and you control him more often. Sometimes I feel the plot is getting too caught up in its own lore, and the ending will make you want to assassinate the culprit responsible for such a horrendous ending. But overall characters are well done and it seems to be inspired by Uncharted 2 in some segments. Its taken a more cinematic approach, meaning the main story missions are more linear than previous games. Its no big deal as they are fewer in number; they feel more like the original assassins creed in terms of scale. Each kill had more meaning in this game, which is something I liked. Overall I came away entertained, despite the cliffhanger at the end (Why with every Assassin Creed Game!!!)
What better way to accompany blood-gushing, flesh skewering kills than an awesome sound track? Whether you are being haunted by armies of Borgia adversaries or doing simulated training in V.R missions, the music fits perfectly. The voice acting is also very well done, even if you are mostly hearing dead Spaniards.
Another thing I felt Brotherhood does better is the content. This game has a massive amount of unlockables and side missions. It also takes the Villa from AC2 and turns it into a huge economic simulation. Much like the villa, you will buy and renovate shops and banks, making Rome richer in the process. Over time the City will change from the rusty, shabby buildings and into more exquisite homes and churches. You also have to take down Borgia towers, which are side missions where you assassinate a Borgia captain and burn their towers to the ground. Theres a lot to do in this game, I could go on and on about the pile-upon-piles of content in this game. But be assured you will get your moneys worth.
It also has a separate multiplayer game that includes the Call of Duty-type leveling system. Making getting to the next level very addicting. Players who are starting off will defiantly feel like a noob, however. The match making is not that great, there were times being level 50 would play a game with level 30 opponents who had a vaster array of skills than I did. The Multiplayer component is defiantly focused on the abilities and perks you have equipped.
There are 4 modes so far: Wanted, Alliance, Manhunt, and Advanced wanted.
Wanted has you going for a specific targets whose face is displayed at the top right of your screen. Its not that easy. Somewhere, in the crowded streets is a stalker tracking you every move; thats what it feels like as you have a purser coming for you and a target to assassinate. A compass helps guide you in direction to your target, but there are often times your target will be running around like an idiot, so you wont need it. Advanced Wanteds compass is less precise, meaning the same game only more difficult.
Alliance is a lot like wanted accept now you have a partner. You have to work together to kill your targets and avoid a team of pursuers out for your blood. The most impressive of these modes is Manhunt; it pits teams of 4 against each other. There are two rounds where both teams will alternate killing each other and hiding. This mode is more psychological than the other ones because it has a more intense focus on coordination and careful observation.
Overall this could be a game you are playing for months and for Assassins Creed is a first.
Lots of new content
Thrilling Sound track
Loads of unlockables
Story feels shortly than AC2
Couple Bugs here and there
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (US, 11/16/10)
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