Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Review for Xbox 360

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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood screenshot
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood screenshot

But this isn't the third in the series by any means; it's a direct follow-up to AC2, the extension atop the series' single-storey flat of a plotline. It's a rough metaphor, but what I mean to say is that the game uses all the same architecture - both literally, in the setting, and figuratively, in the gameplay, look and writing.

The game doesn't change its footing drastically from any of the preceding titles. If you already thought the plotline felt like something Dan Brown wrote on the back of a beermat then you're in for more of the same, albeit a lighter version of what you came across in the last game; the modern-day plotline essentially hovers around the material of the sequel without making much leeway. It's not a serious criticism for anyone used to the franchise's established tendency for taking mere baby-steps when it comes to solving the mystery of what on Earth is actually going on. But Brotherhood is a bit more close-lipped than its siblings, cementing its status as an in-between title that bridges the gap between AC2 and the future AC3.

On the other hand, Brotherhood does successfully join up the game's two plots. The twin storylines of the present-day Abstergo runaways and the historical Ezio all end up funnelling back to Rome and Monteriggioni. The last time we left our contemporary gang of assassins, Desmond and friends were legging it from the Templar-run Abstergo facility. Now they've road trip'd their way to the ancient home of Ezio in Monteriggioni, setting up camp there in an attempt to use their home-made Animus machine to filter through Desmond's genetic memories and find out where the Apple of Eden is before the Templars swipe it. Often you'll be brought to the same place in two different eras, tying the present and past together in a way that neither of the earlier games were able to do coherently. That's the main difference between the original sequel and Brotherhood, right there: this game is tighter, to the point.

AC2 started its story off at a slow jog, with a purely functional introduction that slowly nannied you through the basic movement controls. Brotherhood, on the other hand, hits the ground running - hurtling you into the centre of the supernatural plot that you found yourself in at the tail-end of AC2. The result is a far more concise plotline that immediately marries the game's penchant for bizarre mystical stuff with its devotion to the historical setting.

But the game retains its unblinking focus on Ezio for the most part. AC2's puzzles are largely absent. You'll remember the ones I mean - the cryptic interrruptions that had you finding hidden images in paintings by hovering a cursor across every inch of the canvas. Similarly, the modern day Desmond story only really forms the basic bookends to the historical meat of the game. You'll be able to pop out of the Animus whenever you like, but it's not necessary to the plot beyond the bit of flavoured banter you can have with your gang, and the ability to explore modern Monteriggioni. Actually, it's a bit of a bizarre system: The second you step outside of the confines of the building to explore a countdown timer will pop onto screen, giving you ten minutes before you're instantly teleported back to your base - so any thorough exploration will inevitably be cut short.

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User Comments

BLAZER's Avatar

BLAZER

waitin' for its release on pc
Posted 13:26 on 07 December 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II@ tvr77

It's relevant because I wasn't planning on buying it due to having no hype, then I won MotM and got it anyway.

Misunderstanding on the internet is normal, don't worry about it.
Posted 09:20 on 18 November 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

Good review. I guess it's time I actually played AC2, because I am now certain I will be buying this tomorrow!
Posted 09:15 on 18 November 2010
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77@ Stegosaurus-Guy-II

my comment had nothing to do with you not hyping up games but that you said 2010 has been boring, also well done for winning motm and bagging yourself a free game im sure you deserved it but whats it got to do with this discussion

@ clangod... same here ill be picking up a copy but not untill im done with ac2, iv had the game a while now but i picked up some big titles after so it got pushed to the back of the queue, i too have more than a few other games i need to finish before picking up more titles, sayin that ill be grabbing a copy of gt5 the 24th so i wont be touching any other game for a while, oh well
Posted 10:41 on 17 November 2010
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ Ghost_Dog

Seems to be around the 90%-94% mark. Looks good!
Posted 10:05 on 17 November 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

VG247 had your score as 90/100.

I got them to fix it as I know it would have made Neon furious.

Good review Emily.
Posted 10:02 on 17 November 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

sounds really good, i thought it would be pretty poor and act like ODST did.
looks like i might get this a bit later as the multiplayer despite being buggy sounds good
Posted 01:33 on 17 November 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

It sounds very promising and is certainly another I plan to pick up, eventually, but I still want to finish AC2 before I buy Brotherhood.

With every other game I have yet to finish, it's just gonna have to wait. At least by the time I do get it there'll be patches available and I should avoid any serious issues realised since release.
Posted 23:34 on 16 November 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II@ tvr77

Not hyping up games doesn't mean I don't like them. I loved Heavy Rain, but I didn't 'look forward' to it or anything, I just rightfully won MotM and got it for free.
Posted 23:30 on 16 November 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Preorder bonus options:

http://exclusivecontentgamer.blogspo...ins-creed.html

Shameless plug, I know, but just thought it might come in handy...
Posted 21:02 on 16 November 2010
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77@ Stegosaurus-Guy-II

come on! there's been some great games this year and its not over yet, have you been living under a rock,

halo:reach, god of war 3, black ops, battlefield 2, alan wake, red dead, castlevania l.o.s, heavy rain, mafia 2, splinter cell: conviction, dead rising 2
now they may not appeal to everyone but there still great games and we are still awaiting the arrival of gt5
Posted 19:46 on 16 November 2010
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker

Brilliant review Emily. Definitely getting this when it's released next year on the PC. I've been a huge fan of the series, and you've helped convince me this isn't just a simple cash in on the franchise but a full fledged sequel :)
Posted 19:38 on 16 November 2010
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ rbevanx

Ahh, so it does! Too busy reading to notice! :p

Hope, for all you 360 peeps out there, that it's not a problem with the 360 side of things..
Posted 19:36 on 16 November 2010
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ thompo555

Looks like 360 Thompo as the review box is green and it has the 360 cover plus "PlayStation 3, PC" in the also on part fella.

They could release a patch to fix this asap like with the AC games.
Posted 19:27 on 16 November 2010
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555

Great review! Now I'm stuck between getting this or GT5 >.< Any sugestions? :D

One thing. Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Gera
It's a shame it's as buggy as it is. Even in a full six-person session the game will often fail to assign me a new target after I finished off my last. It seems the only solution is to be killed and respawn elsewhere[...]

I had that a few times when playing on my PS3, however I put it down to network connection. There was deffinately a connection between the few times it happened and when the network kicked me out of the room. What system were you using?
Posted 19:22 on 16 November 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
9
Out of 10
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  • Brilliant graphics
  • Living city
  • Assassin clan levelling system
  • Occasionally frustrating controls
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 19/11/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 1,370 38
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