I know I am not in the minority when I say I was quite worried when I heard that Assassin’s Creed was coming out in 2010. First off it is the first Assassin’s Creed with a subtitle. Secondly it comes only a year after the release of Assassin’s Creed 2. Most of the time we see big releases take a year off to give proper development time for further titles. Not only did Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood comes out on the heels of AC2 but it also is shipping with the first multiplayer of the series. Can Ubisoft possibly keep Assassin’s Creed as one of the top franchises with such a quick release? Read our full review to find out!
Something I should point out right at the onset of this review is that Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood takes place right after the events of Assassin’s Creed 2, and as such the developers decided not to take a ton of time to explain what the heck is going on. If you were however, as big of a fan of Assassin’s Creed 2 as we were here at Darkstation.com that won’t be a big issue. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood takes place all in the city of Rome which may seem somewhat cramped in comparison to the various locations of AC2 but in fact it ends up being a marvelous place to house the game.
I’m not going to get into the story of Brotherhood as like an Assassin’s Creed game it really is integral to the experience. I will say that it does go into a lot of the science fiction of the series, and provides what I found to be an even more enjoyable story then what was found in AC2. There are quite a few twists are turns, and an ending that is sure to spark even more speculation on how they are going to wrap up the series.
Much of Brotherhood is continuing what was so great about AC2 while improving pretty much everything. The combat is even more fluid and moving throughout Rome is even more fun then before. One mechanic that was added was the ability to ride horses throughout the city which seems to have made riding horses a bit slower outside of the cities. It’s a nice feature to add it’s just a shame that the horses feel a bit sluggish on some of the wide open areas of Rome. Outside the controls are still solid and riding horses in cities although sometimes a bit difficult quite enjoyable.
The big new feature that changes things a bit is the ability to recruit assassins to your cause. As you continue to take parts of Rome over you can begin to recruit people to your cause. Once you have recruited an assassin you can then send them on missions and have them level up in a very minimalist RPG style. You can also call your assassins into battle with you during missions or just when you’re trying to escape oncoming enemies. This feature provides some of the most fun I had in Brotherhood and is a great addition.
To me Brotherhood shows the level of maturity this series has. Even more then the first two titles you can see that Brotherhood knows exactly what works in this series and pushes those elements in a big way. The pacing of Brotherhood is spot on, the mission design is even better then AC2, and the final hour or so will have you on the edge of your seat.
Of course that is only a portion of Brotherhood which also features the first ever multiplayer experience in an Assassin’s Creed game. The basic premise is your either the one doing the attacking, or hiding from the attackers, or in some cases doing both. The underlying message of the multiplayer is patience in both understanding and also in execution. The multiplayer is not perfect but once you start understanding the mechanics and objective it is actually quite refreshing. Although not a perfect element I could see Ubisoft continuing to make this an even more enticing offering in future AC games.
Although I do miss being able to travel through various cities, the developers do an incredible job creating a virtual representation of Rome. Having gone to Rome twice I can say that even though it was representing a time hundreds of years ago I could still see many familiar places throughout the game. The level of detail and overall design of Rome is fantastic. Then you of course have the amazing animations which are even better then AC2 with more animations and an even smoother feel.
I mentioned this before but I think it bears repeating, Brotherhood takes what was great about AC2 and makes it even better. The story is great, the Gameplay is fluid, the new elements add to the experience, and the multiplayer is very interesting. What is even more surprising is that you are reprising the role of Ezio a character you really do get attached to in AC2 but kind of figure his story is over, however in very impressive fashion the developers weaved his story even deeper into the AC lore and made one of the most enjoyable games of 2010.
It’s hard for me to find a bad thing to say about Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, it’s just an amazing game. I remember thinking last year before we knew there was even going to be an AC: Brotherhood that it was going to be hard for Ubisoft to top AC2, but I am happy to say Brotherhood does in every single way. This is flat out a great game.