Let’s take a look at Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, the sequel to the sequel. If you are looking for newer shinier graphics, then this game does not deliver, but that is not so much of a crime since the last one to come out had gorgeous scenery with some astounding historical accuracy. This game starts exactly where the last one left Ezio. I will leave out details to avoid spoilers. Ezio then returns to his home, only to have a moment of peace before Cesare Borgia, the son of Rodrigo Borgia from Assassin’s Creed 2, destroys his villa. Cesare has an enormous army at his disposal and has taken of the city of Rome. Ezio pulls together his allies as well as recruit and train elite assassin’s to help him gradually reclaims Rome. The three main allies are the thieves, the courtesans, and the fighters, which have all had a role in the last Assassin’s Creed game. These groups offer a number of side missions as well. Although 90% of the game takes place in Rome, it is a very large map and it still has enough variety that it feels like several cities within one. The best way to get around is either by horse or sewer passages scattered throughout the land.
Shiny New Toys
Gameplay is very much the same. Try to think of this as an incredibly long DLC for Assassin’s Creed 2. There is tons to do and there are a few new additions to Ezio’s arsenal. First of all, there’s the big one: the recruiting of assassin’s. This occurs pretty late in the game, but it’s a nice addition and helpful for entering area’s unnoticed. Ezio will come across men and women being attacked by guards and if you step in and save them, they dedicate their life to your cause. From there, you go to your assassin’s stat page and send them on missions to get gold, the occasional rare item, and exp. You don’t see what these missions involve, it really is just a numbers game, ie: if you send these people at this level, chances of success are 57%. Once you level up your assassin recruits all the way, they are given a ceremony and promoted to full assassins. So once you have these assassins recruited, you get to call on them to take out enemies for you. The best strategy is if you want to walk by a group of soldiers, you can simply direct your assassin’s there and the soldiers will completely ignore you, even if you bump into them. Another sometimes useful feature is if you need every enemy instantly disposed of, you can use all your available assassins to send out an arrow attack from the rooftops. There is a timer on these abilities, so you have to wait a minute or two before it is available again.
Those rare items I mentioned earlier are somewhat annoying. You will find them in chests, on assassin missions, or on thieves’ bodies. Basically, you’ll want to hang on to them. There are a few shops in Rome that allow you to upgrade equipment via the combination of items. This takes a long time to accomplish, and I’m not convinced it’s really worth it.
There’s a couple of new items you get to use in this game. One you receive from your buddy da Vinci very late, but it’s still sometimes helpful. It’s a parachute. Fortunately it’s not as useful as the wingsuit or jetpack in Crackdown 2, therefore it doesn’t defeat the whole building climbing challenge. It is rather nice when you want to cross large distances on foot.
Probably due to the success of the da Vinci glider mission in the last game, they decided to make a few missions based on da Vinci’s other machines. Da Vinci has been recruited by the enemy and is forced to build war machines for Cesare’s army. Da Vinci manages to let you know where the machines are kept so you can destroy them. Just before you do of course, you get to ride in them. These include a boat with a cannon, a machine gun chariot, a converted glider bomber, and an odd looking circular tank.
They told me I coulda been a collector
Those damned flags are back from the first Assassin’s Creed, but there’s only about 100 so thankfully they are manageable with maps you can buy. There are also 10 feathers which don’t seem to serve any purpose other than an achievement. There are of course, those hidden puzzles on landmarks, just like Assassin’s Creed 2. I enjoy doing them, and I think they add something very unique and exciting to the game, but some of them are freaking hard! There are a bunch of weapons, armor, tools, art, and maps to collect, but the thing that will probably take you the most time to do is renovate buildings. This includes historical landmarks like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Sistine Chapel.
I think the game was a fun addition to the last one. Not a whole lot of new things and I didn’t find the villain very interesting, but I did enjoy playing it. It’s quite long and worth the buy or rent. There is also a whole multiplayer aspect that works very similar to Bioshock 2’s. I didn’t get a chance to try it, but be on the lookout for a review from your other Horrible Nighters.
Giant Bomb (images)