Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is another console port that took its sweet time to reach the PC. However, fans of the series will enjoy what it has to offer. It’s way more than merely a multiplayer based expansion pack, and there are quite a few story revelations with new twists and turns.

Gameplay: Even more refinements to the already polished Assassin’s Creed 2.

Graphics: Looks good but not really better than the last game.

Sound: Good voice acting, and epic music

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Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Publisher: Ubisoft | Release Date: 2011 | Genre: Action / Adventure | Website: n/a | Purchase: Steam

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood was released shortly after Assassin’s Creed 2 and continues the story directly. Thus, my initial thoughts were that Brotherhood would be a glorified mission pack to showcase the new multiplayer mode. Since I had no interest in multiplayer Assassins’ Creed, I thought that this game would hold very little for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead of one or two new memory sequences, Brotherhood carries the story forward with an entire single-player campaign. Best of all, the game is comparable in length to the last two games and arguable even more feature-packed.

After the mind-boggling conclusion to Assassin’s Creed 2, Desmond and the rest of the group pack up and leave for Monteriggioni. Ezio, on the other hand, faces the consequences of letting a target live as a new antagonist, Cesare Borgia makes an appearance. With his home destroyed and “Apple Of Eden” lost once more Ezio travels back to Rome to exact his revenge. Players who have not yet played any of the previous titles will be a bit lost with this one as it dives straight into the thick of things. Initially, it looks like nothing has changed, but all hell soon breaks loose, and from there it’s another rollercoaster ride straight to the end.

While Desmond has a few moments to shine and show off his newfound acrobatic skills the star of the show is once again Ezio. With the entire game taking place in Rome and the surrounding countryside, one would think that there is far less to see and do. However, on the contrary, the game is bursting at the seams with content. Rome is split up into twelve districts, and each one of them is under Borgia control. To make life easier for yourself, you can similarly liberate these districts to the game, Saboteur. By assassinating the guard captain of the district, you gain the ability to set fire to the Borgia tower looming over the area. Once the tower is on fire, the guard presence will decrease, and you can start re-opening shops in the same was as back in AC2. The entire process is entirely optional but a cool new addition one the less. The guard captains are usually safely ensconced in heavily guarded compounds and will bolt at the first sign of trouble making these missions very tense and action-packed.

The main storyline sees Ezio on his quest to retrieve the apple and take revenge against the Borgia, but it lacks the emotional impact that AC2 had. A lot of familiar faces like Leonardo make an appearance, but it was the mission variety and abundance of side quests that kept me hooked and not the plot. Don’t get me wrong Cesare is a worthy nemesis and a very unhinged character, but the game lacks the urgency and emotional impact the last title had. It is, however, a fitting end to Ezio’s tale and enjoyable to see him take on a leadership role. Desmond’s story doesn’t show many revelations and even getting out of the Animus is optional, although snooping around has its benefits.

Expanding on what was right in the last game but falling short of a full-fledged sequel, Brotherhood nevertheless has a lot to offer to fans. As the name implies, Ezio can now recruit fellow assassins and call upon their assistance in battle. Their help can turn the tide and make some missions a bit too easy, but it’s an excellent new addition to the franchise. Their numbers match the number of districts you’ve liberated, and there’s a cool-down period when making use of their skills. Even with this limitation, it’s still easy to misuse them to make Ezio’s life easier. You can send them off on missions, so they earn money and experience making them unavailable for the duration but these typically don’t last more than ten minutes. Thieves, courtesans, and mercenaries are still available for hire, but I found myself making less use of their services. Faction buildings can be opened up to increase income and put more members of one of these three groups in the area. There’s also loads of side missions associated with these groups and even the shops so if you are a completionist you’ll have a lot to keep yourself busy. Speaking of which if you want to complete a mission with 100% sync you’ll now have to fulfill some additional criteria. These can range from only killing the target, or not swimming to not touching the ground and more. Fail to adhere to the rules, and you’ll only get a 50% sync rate upon completion. In a way, this balances out the assassin assistance you have at your beck and call.

Combat has also been made easier thanks to the addition of kill combos where you can slaughter a series of enemies in a row. Their numbers have increased to compensate for this, however. The new crossbow weapon makes stealth killing from a distance much easier, and items can now be replenished by looting enemy corpses. Ezio can instantly summon a horse and even use it to ride around in the city. Players that enjoyed the underground missions will have new “Sons of Romulus” challenges they can tackle. There’s even some Metal Gear Solid style “VR” missions to try out inside the Animus.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood seems to run on the same engine as the last game but still manages to look good. It’s obviously no longer cutting edge, but for a console to PC port, it doesn’t look bad. Rome feels like a living, breathing city and making your way around it is still exhilarating. The voice acting is solid, and there’s plenty of sound effects and ambient noises. The various cries and shouts that ring out in the city can become a tad repetitive. The music is suitably epic, but once again if you play the game for extended periods, it can become somewhat grating. I didn’t have any issues with the controls even when playing with the keyboard and mouse.

For the first time in the series, there is a multiplayer component which, for the most part, seems to work pretty well. Provided you can find decent opponents the deadly games of cat and mouse will serve as a pleasant diversion from the main quest and extend the life of the game. While the game was loads of fun to play, it does fall short in certain areas. The mission where Ezio has to lead twenty mercenaries disguised (badly) as French troops through the city felt like herding cats. It is mostly due to the game not being very consistent with where it allows you to go. A few steps to the left might get you a “failure” while a few meters to the right is okay and vice versa — the same thing with missions where you have to tail people. Chase missions can also cause some hair-tearing with tons of enemies literally appearing out of thin air next to you when you thought you have escaped. Not cool, especially with a timer ticking down and a checkpoint that tells you to “become anonymous” to continue. All I can say is that smoke bombs and arrow strikes are your friends.

While Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is not the big leap forward that Assassin’s Creed 2 was I don’t think that ever was the intention. The multiplayer mode may have been hogging the limelight, but I was surprised at the amount of content included with the single-player. This game offers a lot of value for money and certainly whets the appetite for Assassin’s Creed 3.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows® XP (32-64 bits) /Windows Vista®(32-64 bits)/Windows 7® (32-64 bits)
  • Processor: Intel Core® 2 Duo 1.8 GHZ or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4GHZ
  • Memory: 1.5 GB Windows® XP / 2 GB Windows Vista® – Windows 7®
  • Graphics: 256 MB DirectX® 9.0–compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (see supported list*)
  • DirectX®: 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0 –compliant sound card
  • Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, optional controller
  • Supported Video Cards: ATI® RADEON® HD 2000/3000/4000/5000/6000 series, NVIDIA GeForce® 8/9/100/200/300/400/500 series
  • Note* * This product does not support Windows® 98/ME/2000/NT
    Requires a Uplay account.
  • OS: Windows® XP (32-64 bits) /Windows Vista®(32-64 bits)/Windows 7® (32-64 bits)
  • Processor: Intel Core® 2 Duo E6700 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or better
  • Memory: 1.5 GB Windows® XP / 2 GB Windows Vista® – Windows 7®
  • Graphics: GeForce 8800 GT or ATI Radeon HD 4700 or better
  • DirectX®: 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB
  • Sound: 5.1 sound card
  • Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, joystick optional (Xbox 360® Controller for Windows recommended)
  • Supported Video Cards: ATI® RADEON® HD 2000/3000/4000/5000/6000 series, NVIDIA GeForce® 8/9/100/200/300/400/500 series
  • Note* * This product does not support Windows® 98/ME/2000/NT
    Requires a Uplay account.

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