Sunday, 10 July 2011

REVIEW: Assassin's Creed - Brotherhood

So I finally finish the sequel to ... the sequel in what is rather an addition to Assassin's Creed II rather than a completely new story all together.

The story carries on from pretty much where Assassin's Creed II left off, however Ezio has now basically had that apple thing stolen from him and plans to get it back - with some people to kill along the way. Desmond, his modern day counterpart, is still a bit confused by what's going on inside his head and with the irritating Danny Wallace by his side trying to be funny, you're luckily spending most of your time in Rome.

There are some notable differences though, not only Rome being the main city this time round but also it feels a lot smoother. The hustle and bustle of the city is still mesmorising and I can't help but get completely engrossed in the city, like it's a second home. Brotherhood has advanced some more while Ezio has been away. The idea of renovating different businesses to increase your income is quite an obsessive distraction, however having to kill a nearby head guard person to allow you to do it can be rather tiresome and systematic. The main idea of 'Brotherhood' though is the quite innovative notion of recruiting assassin's and sending them out around the world on missions. Not only do they get stronger and level up as you go along, but during gameplay you can call on them to take out enemies. However, once I'd realised this, completing certain missions became a piece of cake and sometimes made the game a whole lot easier. It's a blessing and a curse.

There's not much to criticise here as Assassin's Creed II was a great piece of gaming and this adds a whole new layer to it but lacks the character depth of it's predecessor. I enjoyed the narrative of the second one, but then this was never meant to be anything to drive the narrative forward apart from the shocker ending. If you haven't played any of these games before, this is a great one to delve into as it has all the glorious benefits from the other titular games but keeps things quite simple. I couldn't be bothered to try and do the game 100%, which I did for the last one as I really felt I'd had enough jumping around and assassinating to last a lifetime, but there's a whole lot here that can keep you occupied for a long time to come.

A lot of this time-consuming business is also a lot of jumping around dark caves, cellars and what-not as you try to negotiate yourself around places. I sometimes wish it didn't have these points, as it lacks the excitement that something like Uncharted would have, and it just turns into some weird platform-esque game, which I can really be doing without. After a while, you just want to stop climbing and jumping around and falling only to do it again and again.

The graphics look great, the city is beautiful, the gameplay exquisite and the story-line, though a little bit cobbled together to get another Ezio story out, still proves to be engaging and fun nonetheless. Had this been more of a turning point for the narrative, then I would give this a higher mark but as it stands, it really is just a bridge to what I would like to have been Assassin's Creed 3 but instead is another Ezio storyline in Assassin's Creed Revelations. It goes to show what great games truly can achieve when you try something different.

Rating: 9/10

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