So I recently acquired Assassins Creed Brotherhood, and if you havent been living under a rock for the last few years, you would have had to have heard something about this game series. As Brotherhood is seemingly a direct sequel to Assassins Creed II, I felt that before I even contemplate reviewing that game, I would review the first game (Ignoring the original which I can’t seem to find in my collection at the moment).
This game is not the generic “Lets go back and play a person who lived hundreds of years ago” instead, this game is the “Lets play as a modern person who plays as a person from hundreds of years ago”. The game generally revolves around the premise that DNA has a secret property that contains parts of a persons family history, which you as the player, can enter and play as an assassin named Ezio Auditore in the 1400’s.
I understand that this is a different game from what I usually play, however it was completely by chance that I got into this series in the first place, as I was doing an analysis on video gaming and violence for a school project (I was for video gaming of course). Whilst the game does have some drawbacks that keeps it from being a perfect play, the whole setting of the storyline, the detailed level design and the jumps off towers all show that the game takes the genre and adds its own spins to it.
Desmond Miles remains trapped within Abstergo Industries, however is rescued by Lucy Stillman, who was a spy for the modern-day Assassins. She takes him to their temporary hub where they ask him to dig around another family members history, that family member… was Ezio Auditore. This was to find a secret relic called the Apple of Eden, as well as train Desmond for any future combat by improving his latent abilities within the Animus 2.0.
Ezio has most of his family taken away from him by a political regime and him, as well as his mother and sister are forced to flee the town and go to stay with their uncle Mario (Yes, he does say “Itsa me, Mario!). He soon realized who killed his family, and from there, goes out to hunt their killers, find out what the real regime is and become an Assassin himself.
The storyline, whilst not having a part of the main storyline which is Desmond’s story, is the main focus of the game. Essentially, while the game starts off slow and has you doing simple quests at the start such as breaking up disputes, finding feathers and rebuilding a town, the game slowly gets more interesting as you are placed in charge of assassinating specific religious and political figures that were behind the murders, flying over the waters of Venice and climbing around towers where you can unlock special items and glyphs. The game continues at a constant enough pace, however the game isnt so restrictive as to prevent you from roaming the open world doing other quests and collecting items, all to unlock trophies.
In terms of graphic quality, the game is really high quality. In terms of the locations, whilst constantly running around buildings can get tedious at times, especially when the building designs are pretty much similar in the same region (Which I suppose was the thing at the time and setting of the game), you are always given the option of climbing onto rooftops and navigating through that which I found much more rewarding. Thankfully, there isnt much noticeable lag, even when you are at the top of a tall tower. In terms of the designs however, it can get difficult to tell how to climb as I found a number of times that the climb ledges were unidentifiable and that it was better just to keep holding the control stick upright most of the time.
Character designs were also relatively good and all character designs more or less suited the era. Generally, the main characters did get a high quality of design, whilst allowing Ezio to have multiple colour schema’s in his clothing designs, my personal preference was the black tone, which is unlocked through collecting certain parts of the Armour throughout the journey. Weapon designs are also very nice and there were a multitude of them under each of the categories within the game.
Voice acting was, for the most part, suitable for the game and it was a very wise move that they added certain parts of the script in Italian to suit the setting of the game. I personally wouldnt have gone with the whole game in Italian with English subtitles but the times when they did were just the right amount. Music was indifferent for me. Whilst I understand the setting of the game in everything else, I did believe they chose way to many soft tracks that do not catch your attention, however, at the right time, they did have a tune which was definitely able to express the mood and tension of the game, and they were ones that I would willingly listen to over and over.
As I stated above, gameplay is generally an open-world action game where you play as an assassins, and do assassinly things. To start off with, whilst there were a multitude of weapons at your disposal, you would find that the best weapon in the game is given to you relatively early on, the hidden blade which I used to beat almost every boss in-game with. However, for those that appreciate the use of other weapons, you will find that the variety of weapons and the collection of them is more then satisfying. The thing is, despite there being some interesting storyline boss fights, there is nothing that stops you from avoiding all the targets minions and going to kill the target straight away, making the target less fulfilling to kill.
The way you kill your targets have a nice variety. You can attack them from hay piles, attack them from the front, behind, from the top of a building, from a plane and many more combinations. You can also use diversions such as smoke screens which give you free rein to kill any innocent guards that stand in your way. However, killing is not the only thing you can do in this game, you are able to RENOVATE YOUR UNCLES TOWN by upgrading shops, buying paintings and generally doing the development sim stuff. It is fun, and you can make a lot of gold doing it, however it does let repetitive fast, and I ignored it several times just to go and kill some more guards.
In terms of gameplay time, I was able to complete the game in about 10 hours from memory, which is relatively short, however, you can add an extra 5-6 hours by completing the somewhat tedious trophy collection quests within the game, which require you to upgrade your town, kill X amount of targets without getting hit, and the most painful of almost any trophy requirement I have ever done, collecting 100 white feathers, which has you running around the towns of the game, hunting for white feathers. The problem is, the game is very good at hiding white feathers among the white buildings and the sky. In my case, I got a map after getting around 50 of them, got to 98 and then realized I crossed off two I shouldn’t have had…. so it is time consuming. If you would want to play the game again…. it is up to personal choice. I have restarted the game, however cannot really pull myself to finish it, but it wouldnt be a bad idea to grasp more of the storyline.
Personally, whilst it isnt the best game I have played, it was definitely time not wasted, and something you will want to play before beginning Assassins Creed Brotherhood.
Music/Voice Acting: 8
Personal Opinion: 7
Overall Score: 7
Note: I do not have any images to go in this review now, I will add them within the next few days.