Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Review
- Posted November 16th, 2010 at 17:01 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is everything we wanted it to be and more. It's not just the most epic, focused and action-packed Assassin's Creed game yet, but it's a real contender for Game of the Year.
- Free-running and fighting around Roma. It feels more fluid than ever
- Burning Borgia towers down and re-building the city. The money system is very rewarding
- The refreshingly unique multiplayer experience
- The texture popping, but we're really picking at straws
(continued from previous page) ...it’s nice to be able to recap on those dangerous trips you had through the Holy Land and Renaissance Italy - and it’s equally as important to remember that events kick off straight after Assassin’s Creed II, where you learned that the fate of humanity hangs by a thread.
The storyline in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is such an integral and enjoyable part of the experience that you'll want to sit through and listen to the cut-scenes, which kick in quite frequently but rarely feel intrusive. These well-produced scenes help to flesh out the game’s characters and further add to the historical time-line of the series impressively. Indeed, this is a strong script told well through a cast of believable voice actors. These scenes drip-feed you with information about the plot, which is well-paced, and they also add a cinematic, movie-like quality to the game, thanks to the high-quality production. It’s a testament to the quality of these cut-scenes that we’ve been totally engrossed in the plot and not once thought about skipping a scene, even when things do get a little crazy and occasionally complicated. It’s also a nice touch that you can move back and forward between the Animus 2.0 and step back into Desmond’s shoes during the game and talk to your colleagues to further build on that back story, as well as take part in some enjoyable sections where you get to play as Desmond himself.
Like the other two games in the series, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is just as much about the glorious sandbox environment and the high quality production as it is the gameplay. And it’s clear to see that this latest game has grown in stature in all departments -- incorporating the high quality graphics that are synonymous with the series, but also implementing new ideas that make Roma the ultimate Assassin’s playground. Standing on top of one of the many viewpoints across the city is still a sight to behold, with buildings and scenery sweeping into the distance as far as the eye can see. On a few occasions scenery - usually rocks and trees - crudely pops-up in the not-too-far distance, but considering the scale of Roma and the high attention to detail around ever corner, it’s still refreshingly impressive looking out across the miles of rooftops, or wandering through the bustling squares.
On firm ground, the people on the streets bring the game to life. Crowds gather in town squares to listen to prophets as flocks of birds scatter as you breeze past. Courtesans chatter, as smoke bellows out of chimneys, while locals barter with shopkeepers and pickpockets ply their trade, blending into the crowds to steal and flee in the blink of an eye. The setting is made more authentic by architecture that is typical to the era, none that is more impressive than the iconic structure of the Coliseum. The atmosphere in the bustling streets and across the rooftops is amplified impressively by the haunting blend of natural sounds that are complemented by string-based orchestral music and delightful choral flavours that echo with the religious tones of that period. Quite simply, it's the quintessential Assassin's Creed environment that we know and love, but this time around it feels grander than ever before and designed in a way that makes it as easy and enjoyable to move around the districts.
Each location not only looks stunning but also is designed with freedom of movement in mind, crafted specifically so you can explore the areas from many different angles and reach different parts of the city in a variety of ways. Ornately designed buildings, where ladders, platforms, and the new merchandise lift lead to rooftops, offer gateways to a world that begs to be explored. The design of the environment seems to have been handled better than previous Assassin’s Creed games to make the most out of Ezio's movement and flexible animation, with more ways to get from 'A' to 'B' made possible through even more platforms, poles and ways to get across the roof-tops. The merchandise lifts, which provide a swift escape as you tap the lever with your foot and shoot up the pulley system to the rooftops, adds another means of fleeing from the city guards, and comes as an impressive new addition that ... (continued on next page)