A direct sequel to 2009’s Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood is the second outing for Ezio Auditore as he continues to take out unscrupulous officials and corrupt religious leaders of the Knights Templar.
You get to free Rome (get it?) through the ancestral memories of present day Desmond Miles in an open world 15th century version of the Italian capital, and while that concept is identical to the previous game, Brotherhood manages to improve on the experience in all areas. The story of Ezio’s struggle against the insidious Borgia family really does suck you in and push you to clock in some crazy hours behind the game pad.
The mission structure will be familiar to fans of the series, with points on the map prompting you to freerun, sprint or gallop across Rome to help progress the story. The added touch this time is synchronicity. You can still complete missions in any way you see fit, but you get can get 100% synchronicity by reenacting the memory within set parameters. This gives an added challenge to each mission and completists can aim for the “Perfect Recall” achievement.
The other major change in Brotherhood is the ability to recruit and control your own guild of assassins. Your budding troupe of silent killers can be used to aid you in your own missions, or you can upgrade their abilities and send them off to stick their blades in unsuspecting targets across Europe on missions of their own.
The scope of Rome is huge and there’s a bustling vibrancy to sells it as a living city. Each area of Rome is controlled by the influence of the Borgia family. By assassinating the region’s Borgia captain and burning down his tower, players can take back Rome for the people and restore banks, stables or even the city’s aqueduct system. This adds to your coiffeurs and can become surprisingly addictive.
The sword fight mechanics are till super slick and and the core assassination gameplay still gives you the choice of how you approach each mission. Do you take out all the guards on the roof with your crossbow? Or go for a full frontal assault and hope you can escape?
But there’s also a lot more variety on offer in Brotherhood, with Leonardo Di Vinci cropping up with his War Machine missions which sees you infiltrating a base, torching plans for an infernal device and using against its creators, or the Lairs of Romulus missions which are part puzzle platformer, part battle arena.
There is an insane amount to do in this game, so much so that it’s almost overwhelming, with up to 30 hours of gameplay when you factor in all the side missions and a solid cat and mouse style multiplayer too, it represents extremely good value for money.
TWO WORD REVIEW: STABBY SEXY