Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Preview for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PC
Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
Back to game info
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood screenshot
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood screenshot

What's the worst thing that can happen when you're frolicking about in bed with an attractive lady friend? In fact, don't answer that, because I can already tell you're thinking along the wrong (sexual) lines. No, the worst thing that can happen in such a situation is having a cannon ball fired through your window by a ten-thousand strong Templar army who want nothing better than to bury you neck-deep in rubble. This, incidentally, is the exact problem facing Ezio Auditore at the start of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Poor guy. He takes some time out of his busy killing schedule to enjoy the company of a woman, and there's a full blown war going on outside his front door. No rest for the wicked, eh?

The opening scenes of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood see Ezio scrambling across the rooftop of a villa as thousands of soldiers exchange blows in the streets below. The faint sound of cannon fire is soon confirmed by thunderous explosions overhead, as parts of the renaissance architecture come hurtling down from the grey heavens above. It's an explosive opening to the game, and a stark reminder that Brotherhood is a fully fledged sequel, and not some ambiguous spin off trying to cash in on the Assassin's Creed name.

As Ezio takes a moment to scan the horizon, the camera pulls back to reveal the sprawling city of Rome. Where previous games in the series took place over multiple environments, Brotherhood is set exclusively in Rome. Worry not though; although the action has been condensed into one location, the game still feels suitably epic. I was assured that Rome is three times as big as Florence from the previous game, which in itself was pretty sizeable. With the gameplay concentrated into a single area, the action remains focused, and the tension and pacing is controlled to a higher standard. Both of these facts can be seen first-hand in the E3 demo.

After being caught off guard by a particularly well placed canon ball, Ezio is flung from the relative safety of the rooftop and onto the street below. Regaining his composure, he proceeds to fling himself off a second rooftop (on purpose this time) and onto the back of a helpfully placed horse. Strangely, Ubisoft has improved the quality of these horseback sections by actually taking control away from the player. If you think about it, this actually makes a lot of sense. Horses aren't like cars; they're living beings that act based on their own instincts. Obviously the player needs some control over the beast, but by placing a greater importance on the horse itself, movement feels far more natural.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood screenshot

Combat and acrobatics have been intertwined with riding to a much greater extent this time around too. As Ezio weaves through decaying streets of Rome, he picks off enemies with his bow and eventually leaps from the animal mid-gallop to re-ascend the battlements. After an impressive display of athleticism, Ezio eventually reaches an unmanned canon at the top of the battlements. By taking control of the contraption, Ezio fires on the swarms of enemies milling about below. Ubisoft described this as an 'exotic' mission; a memorable set piece that takes players out of the usual Assassin's Creed experience. One of the fundamental problems with the first game was a lack of variety, and although this problem was resolved in Assassin's Creed 2, creating a diverse experience is still of the utmost importance with Brotherhood.

It wasn't long before Ezio found himself surrounded by Templars, and the demonstration's first combat scene unfolded. Ubisoft takes pride in the fact that they listen to as much feedback as possible, and a common complaint that came out of Assassin's Creed 2 was that combat felt uninvolving. In response to this problem, Brotherhood has actually been made more difficult from a combat perspective. Enemies no longer wait to be attacked, and won't hesitate to throw themselves into the fray. The player is urged to take an offensive stance; to 'strike first and strike fast', and a much greater importance is placed on successfully blocking attacks and incorporating them into your combos. In the demonstration I saw, the Ubi rep racked up a combo nearing double digits, a feat simply not possible in previous games.

New stuff to check out

9 Comments

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ Mr_Ninjutsu

After compleating it to the max I have no intention of playing it again anytime soon! Thinking about the game bores me..
Posted 11:16 on 30 June 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ thompo555

I want to get Assassins Creed 2 again, might go town tomorrow infact or today. Trade in Red Dead Redemption and get AC2, I have no idea why I traded it in.
Posted 11:10 on 30 June 2010
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555

After 100%-ing AC2 I'm not sure I'm ready yet. They are going to have to make some pretty big changes so that it doesn't feel like a 'Rome DLC add-on'. The Bow could be cool, as long as its not as crap to use as the wrist gun on AC2. Leonardo gave me it and I only ever used it to assassinate the guy on the ship. Hated that mechanic.. Hopefully they may make some graphical improvements?

Good read btw :D
Posted 11:08 on 30 June 2010
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Wido

Yeah I read that as well somewhere mate.
Posted 14:28 on 25 June 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ RAGE_OF_THORN

Ah right. I thought originally the plan was for 3 Assassins Creed games... Hmmm, I can remember reading a piece of news on here about it.

Oh well. I just hope Brotherhood isn't rushed or anything. Maybe DLC was another route for this?
Posted 14:16 on 25 June 2010
RAGE_OF_THORN's Avatar

RAGE_OF_THORN@ Wido

No UBISOFT is talking a yearly series I think..... Question is how long can they drag this out. I say just finish the story.
Posted 05:29 on 25 June 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

its not the last assasins creed."jamin said its a great stop gap for the 3rd one" so theyre must be another one. wasnt too sure on the multiplayer at first but now it seems quite a lot of fun! i hope therye is more than just that online functionality. would be cool to have co op in it.
Posted 13:06 on 24 June 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

I'm interested and I will get it. Seeing as its the last Assassins's Creed?

I do like how you can use horses now in the cities, settlements and whatever. Should of been a gameplay mechanic implemented in the first Assassins's Creed. Finally the cross-bow is also in the game. Altair had a crossbow in the trailer to Assassin's Creed, but the weapon itself was never in the game.

Will wait for this to drop in price or I'll most probably get it because of reviews or something
Posted 09:42 on 24 June 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Really looking forward to this after E3.
I hated the thought of it before.
Posted 08:06 on 24 June 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 19/11/2010
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 1,844 5
View Full Site