Review by Zylo the wolf
Rome is a big city, but it shouldn't have been the only city in the game..
Every generation of gaming needs some new series that gets popular enough to compete with series which have been around for at least three generations. Assassin's Creed is without a doubt one of the most popular new series this generation, or Ubisoft wouldn't have released 5 games and currently make a 6th for this generation if the games didn't sell well. Even if the series haven't managed to capture me yet, some of my friends seems to really like this series and since you can find the older games really cheap now I thought I shouldn't give up on the series just yet.
The previous game was all about how Ezio learned about his family lineage and revenge on the Borca family for killing Ezio's two brothers and his father. This did take Ezio a couple of years and he aged from a young boy to a mature man. Without spoiling the story to much I must say that Assassin's Creed 2 ended in Rome, and that's exactly where this takes place. But first we see how Ezio is back in his own town that gets attacked by the Borca family. Ezio manages to escape, but his city is in ruins and now he must raise a strong army of Assassins to once and for all defeat the Borca.
If you for some reason don't already know this let me tell you how you play these Assassin's Creed games. They are all open world games where you are free to go where ever you want and can do a lot of different side quests if you don't want to do the main plot. Since you are an assassin, you can climb on wall and roofs with ease which will make your traveling much easier in Rome. Remember Rome is big and full of big buildings so it's important that you climb at the top of some so you can expand your map.
In this big city you have to go to different places and do different missions. In the previous game it was usually a bad guy that you had to assassinate but now in this game it's usually that you have to track someone without getting detected by guards. Some missions requires that you are very careful and don't get detected by anyone, while it's ok in other missions except that you just have to kill a couple of guards and then stay away from the enemies for a while to make them think of something else. Remember Rome is a big town and they can't waste all their attention on just one man.
As always there are a couple of things you can do to make the enemies focus on other things than you. For example you can throw a couple of coins on the ground and hope that a guard will try to pick it up and fail to notice you. You can also hire "company" ladies that can keep the guards busy while you are doing your stuff.
The combat is just as simple in this game as it was in the previous game. You got a couple of attacks that will do damage on the enemies, but there still are some more advanced like one command which makes Ezio grab the enemy's weapon and then use it against the bad guy. You don't have to worry about getting hurt either since you can carry much more healing items than you will ever need.
One new feature is that you can recruit soldiers that you can call for when you need some help with the fighting. In order to do this you must find someone who gets attacked by four soldiers and then kill these soldiers before they kill your new friend. If this person survives he or she will join your cause. Each soldier gain more experience the more you send them out to fight and if they get enough they will gain one level and you can make them stronger.
What this really means is that easy battles will now become even easier. I'm not the guy who needs to be challenged all the time in order to like a game, but I hate when a game treats the player like someone who just picked up a game system for the first time. The first game was good in that way that it was always tough to escape to the headquarter after the killing had been done, but all you need to do here is to call your comrades and they will turn this game to a peace of cake.
The online mode is a game which actually has potential to be really fun, but for some reason I never clicked with it. The first thing you do is that you get to choose how you want to look, then you get a target that you need to kill. The game takes place in a small part of a city full of people, and you need to notice who your target is in the crowd by looking if a character moves a little more odd than the others. At the same time you have to watch out since there are also players who needs to kill you. After a while the round ends and the player with the highest score wins.
My main complaint about this game is that the previous two games had a couple of different cities that you could explore. All you get in this game is Rome. Now don't get me wrong I love to learn about all the famous buildings in that city and I don't disagree with the game when it tells me that Rome might be the most important city of all in our known history, but I was really surprised that I never got away from the city.
The game is also very short, but seems like it wants you to think it's a huge game that will take a lot of time to finish. For example you can now buy different buildings in Rome, and some a so expensive that you think that the game will last forever. But then the game just ends. Few games have managed to surprise me as much as this game when it comes to being so short. The story really builds up and then it just ends. There's a lot of downloadable contest, but I don't think that need to be included in a review of the original game.
Then again Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was exactly what I expected and wanted at the time when I bought it. It's a short action game that I beat the day after I bought it. I think I only had to redo something like three times so people who have played Assassin's Creed II will have no problem to finish this game. II, Brotherhood and Revelations are supposed to be a trilogy and if nothing else it's important to play through this game just to see what happens in the plot. It's would be wrong to call Brotherhood a bad game, since I actually thought it was fun as long as it lasted, it just never felt like a really good game.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (EU, 11/19/10)
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