Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

by Angela Simpson
author awarded score: 90/100

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Review
Developer: Ubisoft
Format Reviewed: PS3
Reviewed by: Angela Simpson

It’s only been around a year since “Assassin’s Creed 2″ released, which in development terms for a triple A class title is fairly short. Needless to say there was a little skepticism with regards to “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood”, in similar fashion as to when “Left 4 Dead 2″ released. Would this title merely feel like an add-on as opposed to a full fledged release. Belay your worries my friends, Ubisoft have brought the magic, Ezio is back and this time he has friends.

After picking your jaw up following one of the most beautiful intro sequences in gaming, it’s time to step back into the shoes of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, master assassin. A short intro level showing you how to run, jump, fight etc is first up which is simple for the novice to master and familiar to the veteran. Cleverly the game is set up in such a way that if you’ve not played the previous “Assassin’s Creed” titles, you can still pick up the overarching story and controls easily (though I would suggest you have at least played “Assassin’s Creed II” prior to this for a more in-depth story).

So what is the story? Well, as a reviewer part of my job is to not ruin things, so let’s skim the story. As with previous “Assassin’s Creed” titles there’s a present day element to proceedings, with hero Desmond Miles who, by connecting to a technological device called the Animus 2.0 is flung into the body of the games main hero, Ezio Auditore. The story begins in1499 and involves the infamous Borgia’s of Italy, namely Cesare Borgia and Rodrigo Borgia. Play it and experience the rest yourself, and I would go so far as to say, play “Assassin’s Creed II” first to get the full Rodrigo Borgia story.

Gameplay involves you as Desmond, as Ezio (confusing eh?) running around cities offing certain people, collecting things and doing various quests (that usually involve you offing people). Combat is where it’s at, with Ezio being able to assassinate in a variety of ways, be it good old fashion longsword, throwing knives, spring loaded wrist-mounted daggers or a variety of other weaponry. Exploration has Ezio climbing, leaping, jumping, diving and generally being ninja like all over the city. Controls are fairly tight, though perhaps not always as precise as you might wish.

Graphically “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” is a gorgeous title. As with the previous game, renaissance Italy is restored, with huge structures to climb, rooftops to traverse, rural areas to ride through and explore, most of which is teeming with citizens. Every now and again there’s slight clipping and texture pop issues, but overall “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” is one stand out, stunning title. The cut scenes are masterful, with detail upon detail, just wonderful. Attention to detail is pretty much a solid ten out of ten.

Ubisoft Montreal mastered the art of great audio fully in “Assassin’s Creed II” and nothing has changed in “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood”. Superb voice acting is underpinned with musical accompaniment that brings the entire thing to life. The only thing I missed slightly were the smart-ass remarks of the townsfolk that littered “Assassin’s Creed II”, perhaps they weren’t to everyone’s taste since that seem to have been removed.

Although “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” – once more – features a male hero as lead playable character, it isn’t without quite a few good female characters however. There’s Claudia Auditore, Ezio’s sister. His mother Maria Auditore and quite a few others including Caterina Sforza and a multitude of ladies of the night shall we say. Given the setting of Ezio’s story, most of the powerful characters in game are male, which is to be expected really, given it’s the 15th century. In the modern day setting there’s the characters of Lucy Stillman (voiced and modeled by none other than Veronica Mars herself Kristin Bell), she’s a genetic memory researcher who helps Desmond. Lucy also reminded me of Buffy from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” games. As well as Lucy, there’s also Rebecca Crane (voiced by Eliza Schneider who voiced so many things in “Dragon Age: Origins” they barely needed anyone else! Rebecca is the creator of the Animus and general tech geek.

Don’t forget there’s multi-player this time!
Yes “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” features some multiplayer goodness, in which you can play a female character. Sure it’s not as cool as getting to play a female assassin in the main story, but as this is a sequel to “Assassin’s Creed II”, that probably would have been rather difficult without bumping off handsome hero Ezio.

Overall “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” is as classy as its predecessor with a little bit added. There’s huge sprawling cities to explore, plenty of action, stealth and exploration to be had. Whether you’re new to this series or a veteran, “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” is a great title. Fantastic graphics, great sound and sprawling environments all add up to one of the best action adventure titles presently available.

This review originally appeared at our partner site Thumb Bandits