The Assassins Creed: Brotherhood story line is a direct continuation of Assassins Creed 2, this may be a problem: According to Ubisoft only about 40 % of the players of AC 2, had the patience to play the story to the end, and it’s even worse for those who have not played the first or second parts and with Brotherhood being the first experience of this game saga. While the start of the Brotherhood game recaps the events of AC 1 & 2, at the start, let’s face it. For someone who’s never played the series before or only one of the titles, it’ll be tough!
The game itself starts exactly where AC2 left off. Ezio had just defeated Rodrigo Borgia and gained entry to the vault under the Sistine chapel, standing before him in the vault, the goddess Minerva, the assassin can only gape in awe as she delivers a cryptic message, the meaning of which escapes Ezio. Afterwards he escapes the Vatican with the apple of Eden and his uncle Mario in tow.
Back home in Monteriggioni villa Ezio barely has time to bed the countess of Forli Catherina Sforza following the victory celebration, when the Borgia launched a surprise attack. Following the attack the apple is lost to the Borgia and Ezio himself is severely wounded. He wakes up and finds himself in Rome. This is where Ezio’s efforts begin to not only liberate Rome from Borgia occupation, but also to rebuild the Assassin order and deal with the Borgia once and for all, who were the masterminds behind the treachery that ended with the hanging of Ezio’s family with the exception of his sister and mother. As it says in back cover of the case “Rome wasn’t build in a day and it won’t be conquered by a lone assassin.”
The fact that the game takes place in a single city instead of several as in AC I and II, is not necessarily a downside since Rome is a large city where there is plenty to do. There are different districts within the city itself of which are significantly different from each other. It would however still be nice to be able to go back to Florence, and Venice, even Monteriggioni for that matter, to see the destruction.
Those who have played the previous parts have a low-to-non-existent learning curve to controls. I’ve played both parts before brotherhood and the controls felt almost identical without a noticeable difference. But they do work without a hitch, so no complaints there. One major change however is present in game mechanics. Enemies in this game can and will attack Ezio during kill animations and can interrupt them, unlike AC I & II, where you were untouchable as soon as the animation started.
Micro-managing, has also yet again wormed it’s way into this series, AC 2 introduced this meta-game in the form of renovating Ezio’s family villa, this was fortunately kept at a tolerable level, without being overly complex or time-consuming. This time you’re responsible for renovating the entire city of Rome, (with exception of two districts). As well as micro-managing the several guilds. Apparently micromanaging is here to stay. Not too bad in my opinion..
In AC 2 Ezio had to collect invisible feathers, all 100 of them scattered all over various cities, with nothing to help but eagle vision. In this game feather scourge is still present but only 10 feathers, however you now need to remove a grand total of 101 Borgia flags from scattered across Rome’s various districts and secret locations, while the developers have apparently, learned their lesson, by providing maps, which mark flag positions on maps when purchased, or spotting a flag or feather with eagle vision also marks the location permanently, map or no. Still this is one aspect of the game that should either be ditched altogether, or barring that, keep the number of items on a tolerable level.
As for the memory synchronization, in order to achieve 100 % synchronization. There are conditions that must be fulfilled in completing memory sequences to achieve total synchronization. Some the conditions in these sequences are unreasonably difficult to fulfill, and once fail a condition mid-memory, you’re forced to replay the memory from the start, with a clean slate. Again and again and again until you can fulfill the unforgiving demands. This, mind you is not challenging, but closer to hazing.
Overall the campaign was great and has considerable replay value, especially with the open world still there.
Now for the multi-player. There are three basic game modes, Wanted, Manhunt, and Alliance. There are hardcore type game modes to go along with those, but instead they are called Advanced Wanted, etc. Wanted is a free for all, Manhunt is three vs three, and Alliance is 2 vs 2 vs 2. There are nine multi-player maps, Rome, Florence, Venice, Siena, Forli, Castel Gandolfo, Monteriggioni, San Donato, Mont Saint-Michel. All locations in Italy. With seventeen playable characters, you choose who you want to be at the beginning of each game. The leveling is much like Battlefield and Call of Duty where as you earn experience you level up. As you level up you earn things like perks, loss streaks, kill streaks, abilities, and gear and colors to change what you characters look like.
Multi-player is not as great as it could be but definitely as good as it was hyped up to be. While yes they could have made it better it was the first time they implemented this idea into and Assassin’s Creed game and I give them props because it must have been kind of tough!