107 of 118 people found the following review helpful
Superb follow up to Assassin's Creed 2,
This review is from: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (PS3) (Video Game)
Prior to release, I was sceptical. After less than a year in development, it was unlikely that this could be anywhere near as good as AC2. Yet somehow, it builds upon what AC2 did right and manages to add and expand the AC formula, to create, what I believe, is now the best Assassin's Creed game.
But if you already own an Assassin's creed game, and played last year's AC2, why should you buy ACB?
Combat: A vast improvement over the original. Quicker, sleeker, more stylish, much more brutal.
Rome: Bigger, more beautiful and much more varied than all the cities in AC2 combined. Horses can go anywhere barring interiors (obviously) making getting around a breeze, and there are plenty of tunnels, which act as warp points so you can get from A to B in seconds.
100% sync: Completing a mission alone is fine, but fulfilling objectives (such as not touching the water, not being seen, or completing a mission under a certain time limit) will give you further missions which delve into some of the events left unexplained in AC2. These also apply to the Lairs of Romulus areas, making the game a bit more of a challenge.
The Lairs Of Romulus: These essentially replace the Assassin's Tombs in the second AC, but they are much better and much bigger (there's a theme developing here) and just like in AC2, they're extremely well designed making them exceedingly enjoyable areas to explore and complete (with added difficulty coming from the aforementioned time limits among other optional tasks).
Graphics: It's clearly still the same engine, but Ubisoft have improved it for Brotherhood. Close ups of characters now (especially Ezio) are stunning in their clarity, which I don't remember being the case with some characters in AC2. Facial animations seem to be a little tighter too. The horses are no where near as good as Red Dead Redemption's but they're fluid and relatively easy to control. Water looks a lot better too (I found AC2's water too shiny. It was extremely odd stuff..).
Length: I'm currently on the 4th sequence (there are roughly 9 overall I believe) and I've played for almost 20 hours so anyone thinking this was somehow going to be a short game is wrong. Although there may not be as many story sequences as AC2 there are a lot more other things to do. The Courtesans, Thieves and Merchants all have separate sequences and challenges that you can complete throughout the game and even shops will have individual tasks for you to complete which earn you exclusive items/ weapons etc. There are also Borgia captains to kill, Towers to topple, Rome to rebuild, feathers and flags to collect, Leonardo's Weapons to destroy and Assassin's to recruit, send out on missions and build up (stat-wise) individually. Things are continually happening on screen, with information about how much money you're earning, if your assassin recruits have been successful on a certain mission, the availability of new weapons etc. all flashing up on screen pretty much every 20 mins or so (which believe me, flies by). Needless to say, it's a little overwhelming at first, but the game never becomes repetitive as past games have done at points because the sheer amount to do is monumental.
The 'Brotherhood': Probably the most satisying gameplay addition to the series, and I'll want to see it back in the next one. By coming to the aid of certain citizens in Rome, you'll begin to amass Assassin recruits who will be more than willing to repay the favour whenever you require it. They are also individually upgradeable via globe-trotting missions which have you sending them off to London, Paris and Moscow, to name a few, in order to train and hone their Assassin skills. While they're away, they're obviously inaccessible to you, but their missions don't take long to complete and once they've achieved Assassin status (though you can use them beforehand if you want), they're a potent and effective force, which you'll call on time and time again. Sure, they make the game easier, but their inclusion adds tremendously to the experience.
These are just some of the notable improvements which make Brotherhood's existence easier to swallow and recommend for others to enjoy. The fact that it's taken only a year to make, is even more outstanding too.
So no this is not AC3, but it follows the trend of the Assassin's Creed series by incrementally improving itself with every new release and for that, I think Ubisoft should be applauded. If you liked AC, and AC2, you will love Brotherhood. It's as simple as that.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Nov 2010 01:01:46 GMT
I've focused completely on the single player experiences with the game in this review, but as other reviewers have stated, it also has a multiplayer component which does deserve a mention. It's hard to imagine how an Assassin's Creed game can have multiplayer, but it's an extremely entertaining extra consisting of four modes, all of which are successful variations on a chase/ be chased forumla. Simply put, you're tasked with finding and killing another player while at the same time being hunted yourself. It's a far cry from most multiplayer experiences the majority of time, because it doesn't reward the reckless and gung-ho. Instead, you'll gain more XP (to go towards levelling up), by playing more strategically, carefully, and stealthy. It's a refreshing take on competitive multiplayer, where stats to do with k/d, and no. of kills - so important in most first person shooters - are largely redundant (even though they are all still tracked, if you care).
So it's not an after thought; it is fun, especially after you've levelled up a bit, and have some abilities unlocked; there are plenty of maps - which will feel familiar, especially if you've played AC2, and they're all very well designed too; and avoiding your pursuer is supremely gratifying, and possibly better than the hunting bit, which is a turn up for the books.
So if you're looking for a multiplayer experience which is slightly different from the usual, you'll enjoy what Brotherhood has to offer.
Posted on 21 Nov 2010 09:46:58 GMT
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2010 18:48:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Nov 2010 22:58:25 GMT
The shadows are still a little pixelly (which is a problem most of this gen's games suffer from tbh) and there's still quite a bit of screen tearing, so there's still a bit to improve on the visual front, but the size of Rome and the detail within it is enough to overcome those relatively small technical issues. I haven't unlocked it yet, (possible spoiler for anyone that doesn't want to know) but I believe there's a parachute that you get to use at will later on in the game. The flying machine does make a re-appearance though (in one of Leonardo's missions) but it's only available for that mission. All of Leonardo's missions, task you with commandeering a different machine, and these are some of the highlights of the game, though they can also be some of the most frustrating too with regards to the optional objectives needed to complete them for full 100% sync. They all happen outside of Rome too, so if you're getting a bit fed up of your surroundings, they'll take you off some place else for you to do something slightly different. Which is nice.
Posted on 22 Nov 2010 16:41:16 GMT
M. Prissick says:
Superb review, I've been looking for some confirmation that this isn't just a ~10hr expansion pack for AC2 and was worth the extra money if you'd played that game. Thanks
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2010 22:09:49 GMT
I thought exactly the same thing, and was apprehensive before buying it. But honestly have no such fears. It's an excellent game brimming with stuff to do.
Posted on 22 Nov 2010 23:18:45 GMT
Very nice review, this sealed the deal on whether to buy it not. This has to be one of the most improoved series i've played by far ASC 1 short and repetitive ASC 2 & 3 alot less repetitive and a hell alot longer. Must be very good value if it lasts over 20 hours :O
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2010 00:20:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Nov 2010 00:21:25 GMT
I completely agree. Each game has tightened the formula, so that what remains is familiar, but crucially, different at the same time. There were things in AC2 which still needed sorting out, like the combat, some graphical quirks, getting from one side of the map to the other without constantly having to run back and forth, the bits outside of the animus etc. and all of these have been sorted out and with aplomb.
Honestly, the first time you start practising with the combat in the VT missions, with the added pace and brutal finishing moves, it'll be a revelation. They had it in place in both the previous games, but here is where you begin to understand the potential of what was already there. The closest thing I can describe it to is Batman: Arkham Asylum, so if you loved the fluency of that fighting system, you'll love the one that's in here.
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