Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Home Arts and Entertainment Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

WADE MANNS – The Corsair

By Ubisoft

Genre: Third-person action/adventure

Players: 1-8 (single/multiplayer modes)

Rating: Mature for Blood, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence.

Through his many exploits, the Assassin, Desmond Miles’ Renaissance-era ancestor Ezio Auditore has become famous (or rather, infamous) for his charisma and skill, including prowess with his killing implements. But he can’t take down the corrupt Knights Templars’ agents, the Borgias, alone; he must enlist help. He must establish a Brotherhood, one that will strike fear in the agents of evil and bring peace and tranquility to the known world.

This is a very worthy sequel to the second Assassin’s Creed (“AC2”), which followed Ezio on his quest to get revenge against the Templars for the death and trauma caused in his family. At the very end after sparing Rodrigo Borgia (who had become Pope Alexander VI through his Templar connections and overpowering charisma), Ezio was given a revelation by a strange, godlike being called Minerva, who told him that humanity was created by her race; there was a cataclysm long in the past and it would happen again in the future. Whether that has anything to do with the story of the current game has yet to be determined.

What is clear is that you spend a lot more time in the present (2012) in this installment. Desmond, the “real” protagonist; Lucy, his savior and close friend and ally; Rebecca, the techie of the group; and Shaun, the historian with a rather dry sense of humor, find themselves in the ruins of Monteriggione, the Auditore villa, where they set up shop to look for clues to the lost Apple of Eden (an ancient mind-controlling device). Desmond finds himself hallucinating ghosts as the genetic memories he experiences in the Animus come to him as he’s up and about. And Ezio himself has a much more sprawling quest this time around…

He finds himself in Rome, tracking down the orchestrator of the assault on his villa, Cesare Borgia. The Borgias’ influence in Italy’s great city knows few bounds, with their guards nearly full-time on the alert for the escaped assassin in their midst. Fortunately, you can ignite their towers throughout the city to reduce their influence, and buy and renovate shops and other amenities throughout the city much like you did in Monteriggione in AC2.

This is a MASSIVE game, and a highly enjoyable one too! The story is still very convoluted and filled with historical references – for instance, the ultimate cynic and power-player, Machiavelli, makes a much larger showing in this game, and Leonardo da Vinci returns with more fascinating (and dangerous) inventions. Completing missions in certain ways will bring forth Ezio’s repressed memories, which serve as a sort of prequel to the previous game, as Ezio tracks down his crush, the beautiful Cristina, and tangles with his rival/enemy, Vieri’ Pazzi. And there is a mysterious yet extremely hostile faction, the Followers of Romulus (the mythical founder of Rome who was raised by wolves), who wear wolf skins and helmets and attack ferociously like their inspiration; but they are the stewards of wondrously protective armor…

There are so many new side-quests and diversions to try in this game; but then, Rome is a huge city, three times as big as Florence from AC2. But when you’re through (temporarily, to be sure) traipsing through Rome, the multiplayer, new to the series, will test your mettle against your fellow man (the rather surprising back story here being that you play the bad guys: a Templar in virtual training against other Templars). In the several modes, you are given a target (another player) while simultaneously being targeted. Your prey can’t see you unless you run close to him; an indicator shows when you’re close, and extra points are awarded for stealth, ranged kills and averting attacks from your own pursuers.

All in all, an excellent game; one you can spend hours losing yourself in. I give it five out of five stars!