Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
by: Mike "Pheriannath" Katsufrakis
After the mind-bending ending of Assassin’s Creed 2, I was left wanting more. More answers to the modern-day story, and especially more time with its charismatic protagonist, Ezio Auditore di Firenze. Luckily, Ubisoft granted my wish and gave me Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which not only lives up to its predecessor, it surpasses it in many ways.
The storyline picks up immediately after the ending of the previous game, with Ezio scratching his head over what the hell just happened, and in the modern storyline, Desmond and company on the run from the Abstergo Corporation. After the introductory scenes, Ezio loses the Apple to the evil Borgia family and must spend the remainder of the story rebuilding the Brotherhood of Assassins & reclaiming what was taken.
Speaking of the Brotherhood, they are the most welcome addition to the series since the shift in characters. Ezio can recruit citizens from Rome and train them in the arts of assassination. While in the world, with a quick tap of L1/LB, Ezio while whistle for his allies, and they’ll appear to take out whatever you have targeted. Recruit enough citizens to your cause and you’ll be able to trigger an attack that takes out all hostile targets in sight. My personal favorite moment came when a guard patrol was suspecting me of mischief, so they came closer to inspect me. A simple wave of my hand caused a pair of recruits to dive from the nearest rooftop, killing the patrol at my feet.
Your recruits level up as you use them, and you can also choose to send them off on missions throughout Europe. Successful missions net them experience and you some extra cash or crafting materials.
This marks the third time that combat has been changed up in the series, and I think they’ve really got it in a good spot now. It’s still based on countering an enemy attack and stabbing them in the neck in return, but now you can go on an execution spree. After every kill, you can string fatal attacks to any nearby enemies, and even string more counterattacks in. It’s very remniscient of the combat in Batman: Arkham Asylum, and feels just as satisfying.
About the only criticism I can level at Brotherhood is that 90% of the storyline takes place in a single city. The previous two games were fairly good at changing up the locale often enough, but in Brotherhood you’ll rarely leave the city of Rome. The missions you send your recruits on span the breadth of Europe, which sort of draws attention to the fact you’re stuck in one place.
The multiplayer is a great deal of fun. Everyone picks a character to play as, and a section of city will be filled with crowds of people as well as several doppelgangers of you and the other players. You’ll be assigned a player to stalk and kill, and it’s your job to pick them out from the crowd of lookalikes all while not drawing attention, lest you reveal yourself to the player(s) hunting you.
It’s unbelievable to me that this game was put together in a year. It’s absolutely recommended, especially to those who enjoyed Assassin’s Creed 2.