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 Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Review

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PostSubject: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Review   Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:48 pm

Okay so this game is a love it or hate it game I Myself loved it Rod said it wasn't as good as the second and Micah well he just plain of said he fucking hated it so yea lets get into this

WARNING HUGE SPOILER ALERTS!!!




he Assassin's Creed series has been weaving its tale of the worldwide war between the Assassins and the Templars since the first game released in 2007. And while the first game in the series received a lot of complaints for its repetitious gameplay, its sequel moved the fight to Italy and gave the player a whole new array of activities to take part in as the assassin Ezio Auditore attempted to recover the Apple of Eden from Pope Rodrigo Borgia. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood joins the series directly after the events of the second game and furthers the tale of Ezio's fight against the Borgias. Does this latest entry into the series add enough to both the series' narrative and gameplay to warrant your attention? Let's break down the single player element of the game and, in a series' first, the multiplayer portion of the experience.

Single Player

Brotherhood begins in the exact moment Assassin's Creed II ends. In this sense it truly feels like a continuation of the previous game, though it is much larger than any kind of expansion pack and is definitely worthy of its own moniker. It's built on exactly the same engine, so don't expect graphical upgrades or a different experience visually, but the content speaks for itself. Weaving my way through the storyline, it took me almost fourteen hours to work my way to the rolling credits.

Brotherhood takes the game's fight to Rome and expands the main character's persona from a singular, deadly assassin to the leader of an entire guild of killers. The Borgia family's influence is spreading across the land and the diabolical Cesare Borgia is at the head of the family's plans. Working with historical figureheads like Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli, Ezio and the assassins work to return power to the people and keep the conniving family from taking over Italy itself.

This time around you'll get new weapons like the Crossbow, which can take enemies out from afar, and you can even fight from horseback. You also have the ability to pick up medium-size weapons and knock attackers off of their horses rather than weather their barrage from above. One of the most pleasing additions to the combat system is the addition of execution streaks. In Brotherhood you can chain kills together. By pulling the directional stick towards another attacker, you are able to slaughter them in a single hit rather than waiting for them to attack. This chain of kills can continue until somebody manages to hit you mid-lunge. But you're often able to pick off five or more guards with a single series of attacks. It's a handy way to save time and get yourself out of some sticky situations.

The entire game, outside of a few scattered memories and the final battle take place in the huge expanse that is Rome of the 1500s. The map is enormous and there is an overwhelming amount to explore. And with a city so rich in history, the landscapes manage to remain varied, taking Ezio through city streets, ancient ruins, and into boats on the water. And with a map so big it's easy to get lost, so this entry into the series introduces a tunnel system which allows the player to fast-travel from one point in the city to another. You can also visit stables set across the city in order to procure horses to help you get around.

But these tunnels and stables aren't freely available to you from the start. The Borgia influence is spread far and wide and you'll be need to kill Borgia Captains in order to free up certain areas of the city and allow you to also purchase bankers, blacksmiths, tailors and even landmarks. Only the first Captain fight is part of the main storyline, so it's up to the player's discretion to decide just how much of Rome they want to liberate to the cause. For each business purchased, Rome's value goes up and Ezio earns money which he can withdraw from the banks that he has unlocked.


The problem with all of the side activities is that none of them feel exceedingly important after a certain point. By the end of the tale, I'd liberated less than fifty percent of Rome, synced only around 45% of the sequences but still felt in control throughout. I rarely sought out Borgia Captains to assassinate and only stopped them when they happened to get in my way before a new objective. Other side-activities include fights in the Mercenaries Guild you can bet on, Thief missions, Assassination Contracts, destroying Borgia war machines created by Da Vinci, finding treasures in hidden Lairs of Romulus and taking out Templar targets throughout the city. You'll also stumble across lost memories of a former love of Ezio's named Cristina at various points in the city. You'll never find a lack of things to get involved with, though as I mentioned their importance doesn't feel weighted.

On the note of upgrades, another intriguing system the game brings to the table is the addition of the Assassin's Guild. Throughout the city, Ezio will stumble across citizens struggling with Borgia guards. By killing the attackers, the citizen will offer up his services and you can recruit them to your guild. The only downside to these fights were the scenes where you stumble across a high-elevation standoff. The citizen would be holding the guard at the side of a high cliff and once you began attacking, the citizen would drop the guard...and subsequently get knocked off the cliff and die in the ensuing battle. Once you've recruited the Assassins, you then gain access to a kind of leveling minigame. By approaching pigeon coops across the city or a map in your main hideout, you can send these assassins on missions all over Europe. You're given the difficulty, a description of the event, the rewards and the chances of success. Once you choose which assassins to send, up to five, they'll then be unavailable to you for a set period of time.

In actual open-world gameplay, you can utilize these assassins with the tap of a button. Just select a target and unleash your minions on them while keeping your hands clean. Depending on the number of assassins you've recruited, you have a smaller or larger gauge that has a refill timer depending on how recently you've sent people off to attack. If you recruit enough assassins, a full meter will give you the ability to rain arrows down on your enemies, which kills everyone around you but drains the entire meter. These are unusually useful tools to get you through the game and keep you safe throughout.

The game follows a good story of rattling the Borgias from the ground up, but I found the ending sequences of the game to be more scattered than the events leading up to them. You start jumping through months and finding yourself placed in almost random locations throughout the city as you're finishing off the things you started. It just doesn't have the same organic unfolding that the early chapters do.

The story of Desmond, Lucy and the crew in present day (well, 2012) feels like a bookend. You begin the game with a fun platforming section through the caverns under Monteriggioni where you and Lucy must work together to get to the end. Once the final goal of the tale is revealed you're presented with another interesting platforming section and a final cliffhanger into what we can only assume will be Assassin's Creed III. In between, while you're allowed to leave the Animus at any time you want, you still have very little to do and it presents an oddly cyclical experience. Desmond, Lucy and the gang have set up the Animus in the basement of present-day Moneteriggioni and any time you want to to go outside, you have free reign. But every time you go outside, it's exactly ten minutes to dawn and you have to return to the basement in order to keep Abstergo Templars from finding you. But the odd thing is, if you go outside, return and go outside again, it's magically ten minutes to dawn all over again. And if you let the ten minute timer run out, you're just put back in the basement despite the ominous ticking clock counting down to what sounds like your impending doom. And don't worry, you can go right back outside again. While there are a handful of hidden artifacts for Desmond to discover throughout Monteriggioni and you can now check emails in the basement, the present day scenes throughout the middle of the game just feel like filler. You'll see some email jokes between the team and learn a little more history of the Borgias, but overall you won't be missing much by staying inside the Animus from start to finish.


Multiplayer

Paranoia.

That's the preeminent feeling you'll get as you stroll through the streets of one of Brotherhood's eight different multiplayer maps. You wander through the streets looking at the repeated faces of eighteen or so different types of characters. The real kicker is that several of these people are trying to kill you and you generally don't know who it is. And while you're tasked with murdering one of these people as well, you need to wander with eyes in the back of your head and a quick-reaction to telltale signs of pursuit.

You start your Multiplayer career with a choice of ten different characters ranging from a Priest to a Butcher. Their asset is appearance only and by tier don't necessarily have any special abilities. But as you level up through the game, you'll unlock abilities like Disguise, a Hidden Gun, Smoke Bombs, Speed Boosts and more. These Abilities are on a timer, so once you use them you'll have to wait for them to recharge. And once you get to higher levels, you'll also unlock Perks which are constant bonuses to your playing style. You also get Kill Streak bonuses which add extra points to your kills or Loss Streaks that aid you in a variety of ways if you find yourself on the wrong side of a knife too many times. The real key is that you can customize your character's loadout to your playing style and which aspects you like best.

The game features several different modes of Multiplayer matches: Wanted, Manhunt and Alliance. In Wanted, it's a free-for-all battle of up to eight people. You're given a target to hunt and someone is given you to hunt. Whoever pulls this off first is going to score points. And depending on how artfully you pull of your kill, you're going to gain more points. If you run brazenly through the map in pursuit of your target, you're going to get the least amount of points. But if you nonchalantly walk up beside your target as though you were an AI civilian and subtly slip your hidden blade into their throat, you're going to score a lot higher.

In Alliance mode you're grouped into teams of two. Working with your partner, you're tasked with finding another team of two to slay and subsequently you are the target of another group. Each member of the team gets a certain target, and their partner's target is marked on the radar as well. By working together, you keep each other alive and ideally ambush your targets while staying alive. The same tactical points are given for smoother kills as in Wanted. While the mode can be played like an extension of Wanted, it makes a lot more sense to talk to your partner and decide the best course of action.

In Manhunt mode, you're grouped into two teams, one of killers and one of escapees. To score points as killers, you need to do what you're trained to do. To score points as an escapee, you need to stun the killers, escape, and blend into crowds. There are two rounds, so each team gets to play each side. This is a great match for a communicative team. There are also advanced versions of each mode in which the identification of your targets is more difficult.

In any mode, if your pursuer breaks their stealth, you'll be notified that they're in range and told to run. The game's maps have Escape Gates which will shut behind you if you're running, giving you a leg up on escaping your attacker. By successfully eluding them, you'll gain extra Escape points that add to your total. If you recognize your attacker before they strike, with a little luck you can actually stun them by chopping them about the head and getting away in time. But this maneuver doesn't work every time, so it's not a direct way to block an attack.

The game tracks standard stats such as kills and deaths, as well as escapes, stuns and more so you'll be able to see just how successfully you're pulling off the experience. This addition to the Assassin's Creed world is really good. While there are only two modes and the gameplay is pretty standard, you're never going to experience the same match twice which is quite exciting. Whereas competitive multiplayer games are generally fast, twitch-based and ruled by good aim, this slows the experience down to a calculated game of chess where the most tactical approach is going to win in the long run. While you're inevitably going to get killed by buffoons running up on you from behind, you'll be hard-pressed to drop the smile you get from pulling off a slick stealth kill while sitting on a bench or shooting someone from a perch. It's a long road to Level 50 and you're going to leave a long trail of bodies behind you.

The main storyline and gameplay of Assassins Creed Brotherhood doesn't vary too much from its predecessor and the bottom line is if you didn't like Assassin's Creed II, this new game isn't going to change your mind about the experience. If you did love the second game, you're going to love Brotherhood's additions, tweaks and new content. But the real game changer is the Multiplayer experience which brings a tense battle of paranoia to the forefront and rewards stealth over open-attacks. There are subtle techniques to be learned and to succeed you need to play smart.

With a cliffhanger storyline, Guilds to build and a good multiplayer experience, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is a superb continuation of the series' overall experience. If you haven't yet touched one of the games, there's no better time to start than now. Brotherhood's Rome is a beautifully realized recreation of a historically-rich ancient city and the multiplayer is sure to keep you intrigued well into its leveling system.



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PostSubject: Re: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Review   Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:02 pm

Look, three guards patrolling near the door i need to go through, let's throw three throwing knives simultaneously and kill all three with one swift move.

But wait! An archer standing on a building nearby noticed me moving, now he's about to spot me!
It's alright, i'll just pull out my crossbow, aim, and kill him in a two second motion.

Now, finally i'm in the room i need to be in! Oh, no! Heavily armed guards entered the room from every angle, surrounding me!

Have no fear, i'll just call my eight easily-trained assassin trainees to use arrow rain and kill them all, all i have to do is raise my right hand and clench it into a fist.

Now, my target sits in the garden, i can see him clearly from the balcony here, but wait! Two more guards stand there with their backs facing me, i'll just go and assassinate both at once with my dual hidden blades.

Now.. let's see, the target's barely noticed anything changed, he hasn't seen me yet, but if i wait any longer, he'll notice me and i'll fail the mission.

Hmm... what to do.... oh! I almost forgot i have a fucking pistol attached to my wrist which i can aim and shoot with almost instantly with deadly accuracy. Boom! mission completed.

Wow, that sure was a workout.


Lolseriouslythough. This game's that easy.

The Truth is probably the best part of the game, besides the continued story.

Other good additions are the percentage of sync, giving you a slight challenge, a great challenge in some missions, i must say. Cheats aren't that fun to use, though. Except unicorns! ;D

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PostSubject: Re: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Review   Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:49 pm

Agreed. It's AC2 but easier and the whole 'brotherhood of assassins' could have been done better but instead it was just "oh look, a menu where I can send assassins on missions to bring me money that I don't need because the game practically gives it out for free". Not to say it's bad, because it was definitely fun as hell and the AC storyline is the shit. Also, multiplayer isn't a gimmick and is actually fun and well thought out.
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