Review by Big Bob

"Not much different from Assassin's Creed II, but very enjoyable nonetheless."

With the release of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, I can safely say that I am a fan of the series. The first Assassin's Creed had a number of problems, including repetitive mission structures, lack of information about the backstory, and the fact that Altair had as much emotion as a wooden plank with a mean face drawn on it. Thankfully all of its problems were revised for Assassin's Creed II, where we could explore a huge game world, enjoy a well-written story with memorable and interesting characters, and best of all, know what the heck is going on.

That said, Brotherhood isn't all that different from Assassin's Creed II. Though I'll make the recommendation right here: if you haven't played Assassin's Creed II, don't bother with Brotherhood yet. Go dig it up, it should be cheap by now. All the things that were great about ACII are back, including the beautiful scenery, great cast of characters, etc. You still have all the different weapons at your disposal, there's still the city-building aspect, and another plot concerning a conspiracy that's been lasting for centuries. There are a few things that have changed, though. Now you're located solely in Rome, rather than the 3 cities in the last game. Leonardo da Vinci's still in the game, though not nearly as often, and now you do sidequests for him involving tools of destruction he's been forced to make. A touch that I particularly enjoyed is that now each mission has a "100% sync" sub-mission, giving you incentive to play the game more stealthily or tactically, while not forcing it on you.

The most noticeable difference in the game is Ezio's Assassin Brotherhood (hence the game's title). Throughout the game you'll be allowed to recruit various non-player characters into your Assassin ranks. You send them to do missions throughout Europe, where they'll get stronger. When fighting around town, you'll have the ability to call your assassins to help you out during battle. Several missions even encourage you to use your Assassins as part of the main story. Overall though, I didn't feel that this added much to the game, as I prefer to do my own dirty work, and not much strategy is needed to succeed in the missions across Europe.

The other big addition to ACB is the multiplayer, a first for the series. Rather than a standard deathmatch, each player is set loose in a city, and is given a player to kill. The city is filled with NPCs, so rather than run around climbing on everything, it's in your benefit to blend into the crowd, both to get you closer to your target, and to make you harder to spot for a pursuer. Like in most multiplayer games these days, you can level yourself up, gaining new abilities, but those are just bonuses. Overall, the multiplayer is excellent, but I'm still much more of a fan of the game's single player mode.

Overall, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is fantastic. Again, don't play it if you haven't played Assassin's Creed II, and don't expect them to drastically change things up. You're still playing as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and you're still in Italy. You're still reliving the memories of Desmond Miles in the future, and you have the same techniques at your disposal. Regardless, this is one of the best games of 2010, and I can't wait for Assassin's Creed III.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/03/11

Game Release: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (US, 11/16/10)

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