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Review: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

It wasn’t very clear what Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood had to offer until I began to play it. My understanding was that Brotherhood was a multiplayer game that took place in the Coliseum, where you would train a group of Assassins. What I didn’t know was Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood would come packaged with a fully developed single player and competitive multiplayer component. The jump from Assassin’s Creed 2 to Brotherhood isn’t as substantial as the first to the second, but the refinements to combat and the amount of content available makes Ubisoft’s latest title an unbelievable package.

Brotherhood begins shortly after the events of Assassin’s Creed 2, and in case you are new to the series, a video will recap the important story events that lead Ezio to his possession of the piece of Eden. The plot doesn’t advance very far with Brotherhood, and it does exactly what Assassin’s Creed 2 did – ended with a cliff hanger to build your anticipation for the third installment of the franchise. The story wasn’t as epic as the previous titles, and things seemed a little dragged out because main story missions sometimes mirror the optional ones. The story line in Brotherhood is sufficient considering everything around it is more entertaining anyways.

The more you contribute to rebuilding the city of Rome, the more rewards you will receive in return. Similar to the last game, tailors, blacksmiths and newer buildings such as banks and horse stables can be purchased for your financial benefit. Money was extremely easy to obtain and you would always have excessive amounts, this time the increase in difficulty makes the money actually feel valuable. Along with the large number of optional missions, you can recruit Assassin’s to complete missions outside of Rome, or assist you in combat. Instead waiting to counter attack the enemy, clashing weapons multiple times will start the execution chain. Successfully dodging or blocking attacks will keep the execution chain continuous and instant. The Assassin’s guild truly makes you feel like an elite Assassin, training your allies to become silent murderers.

Once you have completed the lengthy content filled single player, an interesting multiplayer component is ready for players to indulge in. I expected multiplayer that felt as unnecessary as BioShock 2, though Ubisoft provides a unique experience where how you kill is more important than how much you kill. In the free for-all-mode, you will be given a target to kill and a radar displaying how close your target is with respect toyour position. High profile kills such as gun shots and full frontal attacks provide the easiest way to eliminate your target, though the reward is far less than an unsuspecting back stab from a crowd of people.

As you progress through the 50 levels, perks, abilities, costumes, etc. will unlock leaving you to customize your classes based on the type of play style that best suits your personality. I’m not a very patient person, but I chose to approach my targets silently, without giving away my identity to my pursuer. Matches can become very intense, and the feeling of standing right beside your target ready to kill them, to be interrupted by your pursuer is something I never have experienced. In the team modes the feeling is different since the teams will take turns being the pursuer or target, which is why the free-for-all modes best captures what being an Assassin is all about.

Even though Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood treads familiar ground, the well designed single player and unique multiplayer component is what makes Brotherhood a fantastic game. The story might not progress as much as you would want it to, but progress any further and Ezio will be walking around with a cane. Whether the multiplayer can compete with the other multiplayer games on the market will be determined as time passes, and if the uniqueness is enough to keep players coming back. It might be hard to buy an Assassin’s Creed game that doesn’t end with a 3, but that doesn’t mean Brotherhood is any less important.