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) ...of strategy thrown in too, as you pick and choose who to send, where to send them to and try and build up their stats effectively. If they die on a mission, you can't help but feel totally responsible.
Just those two new features alone demonstrate the wealth of choice that you're given in the game. There's a lot more to do than any previous Assassin's Creed games and as a result the experience feels a lot deeper and more engrossing. Quests are scattered about freely and there's plenty of choice available so that you can pick and choose your favourite mission type, or simply follow the markers to the next new Memory. There's tons to do, including hunting for collectibles and treasures, but the biggest new feature is needing to complete side objectives if you want to achieve Full Synchronisation in each main mission. It might be a timed mission, for example, or you might be tasked with carrying out the whole mission while remaining undetected. Once again it adds something extra to the Assassins' Creed single player experience, where you're rewarded with more memories if you complete them. Though the time-frame between this game and the last is relatively short in game development terms, it feels like the series has incorporated everything that is good from the previous games, but fine-tuned it and really evolved it; more than we imagined was possible.
And if that wasn’t enough, we then have the all-new multiplayer mode. The good news just gets better. We’re hard pressed to think of a better looking online multiplayer game, but more importantly the gameplay feels totally different to anything we’ve played before and makes such a refreshing change from getting head-shot every few seconds. The process of sneaking around and assassinating enemies is intense and very exciting.
Catering for up to eight players, the Wanted mode is the solo multiplayer experience. You get the choice of a range of characters, including a Courtesan, a Priest, a Doctor, and an Executioner. Each of these characters boasts different weapons, for example, the Doctor uses a syringe as his main weapon, whereas the Executioner users an Axe. Similarly, they also have different abilities which you gain access to through the leveling up system; for example, the banker can use poison and has a hidden gun if you need to use it, whereas the executioner can use the brilliant disguise ability to blend in with the crowds.
This particular mode is a cat and mouse game of assassination, where you hunt for assassination targets while others hunt for you. Maps are exquisitely designed based on ones from the series, such as the busy streets of Rome of the confines of Castel Gandolofo, and it’s all about using stealth and keeping your wits about you to take out players and earn points in the process which you can use to improve your abilities. It’s a rewarding mechanic that encourages you to use the variety of abilities and skills at your disposal.
You can blend in with citizens in the street, or use abilities such as the decoy where you can fool enemies into thinking that you’ve moved in another direction. Ubisoft has obviously thought long and hard about how to make this blend of combat and stealth effective and the combination of the compass and score meter works extremely well. While the compass points you in the right direction of the target, without revealing the exact position, and fills up when you are close, the score meter indicates how many points you’ll achieve if you opt to assassinate at that precise moment. Conversely, you lose points for giving your position away and being detected. The typical Assassin’s Creed gameplay of hiding in hay bales, breaking the line of sight and dashing across the roof-tops comes into play, but there’s also some neat ideas that give you a fighting chance as well, such as platforms that collapse once you’ve jumped on them, so enemies have to find another way to get to you.
Alliance Mode caters for team play, three teams of two players to be precise. Once again, you are assassins chasing down other killers, while they chase you, but this time -- with the addition of a team-mate -- you ... (continued on next page)