Review

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood picks up directly after the grand finale of Assassin’s Creed 2, with Ezio still in Roma in the late 15th Century and against the threat of Cesare Borgia and the Templars who have taken control of much of Italy after destroying Ezio’s home of the Villa Auditore.

If that is all nonsense to you then you have most likely missed playing Assassin’s Creed 2 where we were first introduced to Ezio, a distant descendant of Desmond Miles and Altair (from the first Assassin’s Creed). Desmond is able to access Ezio’s memories by use of the Animus, a virtual reality for the mind, where certain historical events are linked our hero (past and present) which are covering an ancient conspiracy with the Templars of 2012 also out to get at Desmond and the Animus before secrets of the power of the Apple of Eden are revealed.

Its a bit like ‘Da Vinci Code’ on steroids and lots of cool free-running and set in the past. So nothing like Da Vinci Code really then! But it does link back to the 1400′s where the majority of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood takes place.

So apart from a great story and more of the same fantastic free-running over the rooftops of Rome, the new additions to the series is now being able to build up a Brotherhood of your own and train them as you see fit to their own Guilds. Whether you want Thieves or Assassins to help you with your quests, the Brotherhood will open up a new level of play for Ezio as you try to defeat the Borgia and burn down their towers. You are able to upgrade the Assassin’s with skill points that they earn after being successful on missions. Be careful though as if an Assassin is sent out on a mission and dies, he will not return and you will lose the experience and time you’ve put into them.

The city of Roma can be renovated after defeating a mini boss at each district. Once the boss (normally a soldier in some heavy duty armour with some guards) is defeated you can spend your coins on reopening and renovating the banks, stables, blacksmiths and art galleries to not only allow you to purchase equipment and upgrade but also each shop you reopen will earn money over a period of time which can be collected from an opened bank.

The combat has been modified slightly since Ezio’s last outing. The AI enemies won’t now wait for you to attack them and can sometimes attack together, meaning a group of Borgia soldiers surrounding Ezio won’t be a series of 1 on 1′s with counter attacks – it now does feel like Ezio is really in a fight.

Another new feature is being able to leave the Animus at any time and return to 2012 and Desmond. Every now and again you will get a message flash up when in the Animus to say you have a new email – leaving the Animus to play as Desmond lets you read these and interact with the environment in the modern day. This helps provide a bit more freedom to the game overall as you’re not stuck to doing what the game says, when it says it.Assassins Creed Brotherhood game review PlayEject

The Multiplayer version of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is another new feature and a very welcome one. There are a variety of game modes from Manhunt (Team) where staying hidden and evading the hunters is the key, to Wanted (free for all) where a contract is placed on the head of a player and everyone else comes after them but rather than a team effort it is very much free-for-all.

The Multiplayer works very well – a sense of urgency while running across roof tops, free running over buildings, up ladders and through the streets trying to escape the real life players trying to take you down first is intense but when you’re one of the hunters, a rival player can turn their attentions to you at any time to take you out of the running by using a sneaky Assassinate move or a well timed blow from a crossbow – you have to be on your toes at all times. Thrilling stuff.

Overall this is one of the PlayEject team’s top games – can’t get enough but can’t wait for the next installment either…!

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