Assassins Creed Brotherhood review

Review of Assassins Creed Brotherhood video game for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC rated 9 out of 10
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I wasn’t sure what to make of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. I know the game’s supposed to be a trilogy on the consoles but this game represents Assassin’s Creed 2.5 and not a true sequel. You still play through the memories of Ezio in Italy and not as a completely different character in a different era so it should feel more like a big expansion pack. Well, the good news is it doesn’t and the game follows right where 2 left off, even progressing the storyline in the present day as Desmond escapes the Abstergo Agents and flees to Ezio’s ruined castle to re-enter the Animus.

Without spoiling the story, things go a bit wrong for Ezio at the start of the game as the Borgia and later the French decide to invade. This sets you on a brand new journey free running, climbing and fighting your way around Rome most of the time and occasionally in other cities as other memories kick in. Fighting’s been improved. You can still counter, kick and grab people but now you can also perform execution streaks and do away with one guard after another in quick succession. The climbing and running mechanic is identical because if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it. Riding your horse does feel a bit rubbish though but I think that’s down to playing Red Dead Redemption so much this year.

So where does the Brotherhood come in you ask? Well, this time you can renovate areas of the city as you go and set up new guilds of thieves and courtesans. You can also rescue civilians in the game and they will join your assassin’s guild. You can then send them on missions, which will earn you money and items if they succeed, and call them in to help you during battles or kill everyone with a flurry of arrows which is the equivalent of a smart bomb.

There’s also so much to do aside the main missions. As well as viewpoints to climb there are now Borgia towers to climb and set fire to. Those glyphs are back again which you can find in Eagle Vision and then enter glitches in the Animus, solve puzzles and piece together a larger compelling piece of evidence. There are also treasure chests to open, feathers and flags to find, assassinations to complete and much, much more.

They’ve even made the game even more playable by having missions you must perform in a certain way to get ‘100% synchronisation’ such as following someone without touching the ground or battling without losing any health. These do offer extra incentive to play the game ‘properly’ but to be honest there’s so much to do in the game I’m loathe to go back again if I accidentally fail and only get 50% in a mission.

Then there’s the multiplayer. I was expecting some tacked-on game mode here but was really shocked by what I encountered. Playing as assassins you must hunt down other players in the game world. However you don’t know who’s real and who’s an NPC so it all gets rather tense as you try to blend with the crowd and hide or sneak up on someone to perform a swift kill. As you level up in either ranked or player matches you even get perks Call of Duty style such as disguises, smoke bombs and sprint boosts which all help to dangle a carrot in front of you and keep you playing. It’s a superb game of cat and mouse and highly addictive. In fact I’d go as far to say it’s the best, most original multiplayer I’ve played this year.

There’s really not a lot wrong with this game. It looks gorgeous, the voice acting is great, the gameplay is sublime and varied and will provide hours upon hours of entertainment. Being such a massive game though means some bugs do occasionally creep in and I do get a small feeling of déjà-vu playing it. Still, it’s definitely one of the AAA titles of 2010 so it gets a blockbusting 9 out of 10.

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Related: Assassins Creed 2 review, Assassins Creed review, Assassins Creed Brotherhood review on Youtube

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