Customer Reviews: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
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VINE VOICEon November 16, 2010
First off, I loved the feel of Assassin's Creed, but hated the game play. Assassin's Creed 2 completely sucked me in and made me absolutely love the game. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood brought a big smile to my face that completely satisfied every impulse, knee jerk reaction to what I wanted from the second one.

It starts with a combination of two events. 1) Right after you defeat the Borgia pope you return to your Villa. This, of course, is where you are lead to your training sequences for the new maneuvers of the game (which incidentally is much easier to use. instead of going to your Villa to train you can simply hit Start and choose training). 2) You are taking part of the 2012 world of Desmond and your exploration of the Italy of that time, with its typical 21st century erosion on the old world. Both are fantastic. I couldn't help but love returning to the world of Ezio and exploring around. Even more so was the absolutely huge world of Rome, noticed straight away as you pan around to the distances. This is an absolutely different and way more majestic world than the world of Assassin's Creed 2. You know that although you will not travel to as many cities you will certainly explore more just by the huge size of Rome.

The graphics are amazing, touched up and refined from the last one. The controls are almost identical, allowing you to jump in to the game with ease. The added addition of the Brotherhood adds a lot despite the tendency to overuse your assassins and leave yourself vulnerable, when you would certainly want to use them. Regardless, the overall game play has improved, despite the fighting mechanisms still feeling a bit droll and not to unique.

Finally, after trying for awhile with little success I was able to get in and log on to the multiplayer server. This seems like a problem straight away because it shouldn't take 5-10 minutes to log in to a server, and then the next time you log in a matter of seconds. I found that after I waited for 5 minutes I had to cancel out and go back in in order to play. The play itself is a joy. You play anywhere from 6-10 people mixed in amidst a ton of "civilians" for about 10 minutes, stalking and hunting your prey or just straight up chasing them. This multiplayer has a much different feel than the typical slugfest and bullet ridden multiplayers of other games, simply because you literally have to get up close and personal before you can make your kill.

The campaign play is long and worth it, definitely not feeling like an add on and more so like a real stand alone game with its own merits. The multiplayer is well worth it as well, although not sure if the replay ability will get old or die down, something of which only time will tell. Add the two together and you have an absolute winner in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. A definite recommend.

5 stars.

Update: A direct comparison would show the following. AC2 has considerably more collectibles than ACB, but ACB's collectibles are much easier to find since maps are made available for any and all of them. That being said, there are a lot more side quests/missions that you can go on in ACB. When all is said and done I spent about 32 hours in AC2 and it took about 24 hours for ACB, athough there are still a lot of side quests to be completed (and clusters) and so it will take a bit more time. With game complete and all feathers, flags and treasures found, I am only at 51% sync, which shows that there are a good amount of hours left to be played. That being said I still haven't found all the feathers in AC2, and thus could still spend a lot more time there, so it is a wash. AC2 had 5 cities, plus a visit to the Vatican at the very end. ACB has just one large city, although you visit several other places on your missions.

I found that there was only one aspect that I wish were done differently which would have made the game that much better. You visit several villas when completing the quests to destroy DaVinci's war machines, as well as Firenze (sp?) and Viana Castle. It would have been so simple to make these places that you could visit and explore after you completed your mission. Viana Castle and its surrounding countryside, for example, would have been fantastic to explore and just run around. Instead you only visit it briefly and you are running and fighting the whole time you don't get to see it. Additionally, you don't get to climb up or explore around San Pietro. You see it always in the distance, then at the end you get to go up to its gates and then nothing. There is the Lair of Romulus that puts you in San Pietro but you are chasing a Cardinal at such a frantic pace you barely get to notice the huge and majestic building that would have been absolutely fantastic to just stop and hop from ledge to ledge. A simple touch to allow us to explore it after the game is compelte would have made this game that much better.
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on November 19, 2010
Like many people, I enjoyed the first Assassin's Creed for what it was but felt that it was lackluster in it's mission variety and repetitive in nature. Assassin's Creed was leaps and bounds ahead of the original, and the good news is that Brotherhood is a continuation of that winning formula. Coming out a year after the previous game might make this seem like a glorified expansion at first glance, but Brotherhood is anything but that.

The story shifts back and forth between Ezio, returning home to find that war has broken out and his arch nemesis does some nasty things that warrants Ezio's motive for revenge and overthrowing him, and to Desmond in 2012 as he and the rogue scientists attempt to unravel the past in order to escape the murderous templars in the present. The plot is not overly engrossing, however it's the characters that bring everything to life and Brotherhood really excels in this area. Ezio is a compelling character a always, and the game is filled with a rich cast of colorful characters that are both new to the series and returning from the previous game. The difference in this game is that you are not supposed to run through the story on your own; you are expected to recruit assassin's to assist you througout the game and they are yours to summon whenever needed. Sadly, the AI is not spot-on and sometimes they are not as useful as you would hope, but they do come in handy when you are getting slaughtered in battle. A character in and of itself, the city of Rome is vibrant and bustling with interesting and sometimes amusing people. Beggars line the streets, prostitutes beckon you to hire them and groups of vigilantes gather in the public squares, all adding to a sense of realism that made the previous game so endearing. The bulk of the game is spent in Rome, which may feel like a step back from Assassin's Creed II, where you would travel between cities, but Rome is so vast and populous that you'll easily overlook this. The story missions are well paced and full of intense action, and the platforming segments in the shrines are fantastic as well.

The gameplay is largely unchanged from Assassin's Creed II and the free-running mechanic works as well here as it did before, so anyone familiar with the game can dive right in. Rome is a huge city with plenty of rooftops, so it's sometimes fun to just run around and take in all the sights. In addition to the story missions, there are various things you can do around town to earn money. Like Assassin's Creed II, there is an economy system here in which you purchase shops and they add to your treasury balance, which is essential for upgrading your weapons and armour. A new addition that's a nice touch are the areas of the city that are under the tyrannical rule of Borgia and his armies, and you can liberate these areas by destroying their towers and killing the captains. This adds some of the most intense and exhilarating moments in the game, since these tasks ramp up in difficulty fast. Graphically, this game is a sight to behold and it is easily on par with Assassin's Creed II. The character animation, cutscene quality and design of the city are all well done and, despite some noticeable pop-in, it provides a wonderful sense of immersion.

Like all video games, Brotherhood is not perfect and it does have it's share of flaws. The free-running mechanic is tight and responsive for the most part, but it is not always accurate. There have been several occasions where I meant to jump in one direction and I ended up going the other way, sometimes falling to my death or losing valuable seconds in some of the time-based objectives. This even happens when you are clearly facing a place where you can jump. Additionally, there is some glitchiness with your AI controlled assassins and even some of the friends you need to interact with. For example, they would get stuck in walls, stand there doing nothing or simply teleport to another area. It's not a huge problem, but it does pose some annoyances when you really need things to run smoothly. Thrown in to add a level of challenge, you can now achieve full synchronization by completing missions a certain way. For example, if you complete a mission in under a certain number of minutes, avoid losing health, or killing someone in a particular manner, you will achieve full synchronization and this will add up to achievement points/trophies. Unfortunately, some of the sequences are lengthy and it's disheartening to know that you've failed this so early into the missions. This does add some frustration, but it's hardly a deal-breaker and some might actually view this as a strength.

The last thing I'll touch upon is the multiplayer, which is something very interesting and unique. You are thrown into a large area with other players, given a person to assassinate, and likewise someone is after you. The objective is to kill your target before you get killed, and the style in which you do it will determine how well you do. For example, if you run up and knife someone in the back, you've achieved your objective and move on. But if you do it with style and stealth, you earn more points. This is a refreshing change from all of these online shooters that mainly focus on kill streaks, so being a hardcore online player doesn't ensure that you'll do well here. It's definitely something different. On the other hand, the pace will definitely feel slower to those who prefer the breakneck pace of online shooters, so this is an acquired taste. If you don't like multiplayer, you don't lose out because the single player campaign is 20+ hours long and there is plenty to keep you busy.

The speed at which this game was released certainly attracted some sceptics, however I am happy to say that Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is every bit as fun, challenging and beautifully done as the previous game. Those expecting an entirely new game with a new plot and cast of characters might be disappointed, but anyone who loved Assassin's Creed II is really missing the boat if they don't pick this up as well. Highly recommended.
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on November 17, 2010
The story line is awesome. But the biggest improvement in this AC is that there's always something to do. You can wander off and find other things to do besides the main storyline. You'll come upon all kinds of side quests and towers. I love how well designed everything is. One giant city with non-stop activity. Catching pickpockets and couriers is way less frustrating. Combat is way more balanced. More challenges more content. And they scaled back the whole collect the flags/feathers/etc stuff to just 111 items total.

And the huge set piece puzzles are amazing too. In ACII I loved the church where you had to get all the way to the top because it was epic. It seems like there are pieces like that everywhere. So if you enjoyed just trying to figure out how to climb the different things there are so many different things in this game that it puts the first two to shame. And what a real shame is is how this game came out so late in the year and might not win game of the year.

I'd say I like it as much as Red Dead Redemption in story telling arc. And it blows most other games away with it's action combat and graphics.

I'm thinking possibly game of the year.
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on January 1, 2011
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood picks up right where Assassin's Creed 2 left off with Ezio in Rome. You do not need to play AC 2 to enjoy this game, but you will enjoy it more if you do.

High Concept: 10/10
Take a character like Batman, make him an assassin, drop him into Renaissance Italy, and surround him with corrupt government and church officials that need to be exterminated for the good of mankind! Allow this character to become a millionaire and renovate Rome while building a guild of Assassins.

Story: 10/10
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood has a story within a story. On the outside, you play Desmond, the ancestor of Altair and Ezio, who's hooked up to the animus (a virtual reality simulator) in order to uncover clues from the past to stop a diabolical secret organization by recovering a powerful magical artifact known as the "Apple of Eden."

In the Virtual World you are Ezio, an aristocrat who gets swept up in the political turmoil of 15th Century Italy. A change in the government makes you a fugitive, so you use your assassination skills to tip the balance of power and rescue Rome. You get your weaponry and gear from none other than Leonardo Da Vinci and you form the Brotherhood of Assassins with Niccolo Machiavelli.

Ezio is up against a megalomaniac named Cesare Borgia who wants to rule Rome. Under his influence, Rome begins to crumble. It's up to Ezio to cleanse Rome of his foul stench. Through the story, you meet many fascinating European historical figures with their own dark pasts. Similar to the Da Vinci Code, the story may have you questioning your beliefs, researching historical figures, or wanting to take a more active role in the world around you. It's rare that a video game story actually makes you want to rethink history.

Gameplay: 9/10
The combat is similar to Assassin's Creed 2, but the animations and gameplay are more fluid this time around. You can kill enemies with daggers, swords, hammers, maces, poison darts, crossbow bolts, throwing knives, a pistol, hired thugs, summoned assassins, and stun them with smoke bombs. The combat is also very easy. As you kill one enemy, you can insta-kill others by pointing the analog stick at them and pressing the X button. You can easily kill 12 guys in 20 seconds and you do feel like an assassin while doing it.

Although, the free running is good, it's not perfect. At times, Ezio may jump in the wrong direction and fall to his death. This is extremely rare, but when it happens, it sucks.

The Open World: 10/10
The problem with most Open World Games is that moving through the world to your next objective feels like a waste of time. You often spend 2-7 minutes just traveling. Well, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood has created some interesting ways to mitigate this.

This time around, it is a lot easier to get from one place to another in Rome. The overall land mass is a bit smaller than Assassin's Creed 2 and Ezio runs faster. You can also go about 25% faster by pressing the Y button to summon a horse, or horse-jack someone. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood also uses underground sewer entrances as "Fast Travel" Spots. Enter them, pick where you want to go on the map, and you teleport there.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood also rewards you just for playing, so there is NO Downtime between missions. The main objective of the game is to expunge the Borgia influence from Rome. You do this by assassinating the magistrates and burning down their watchtowers. As you destroy the tower, you are free to renovate shops, blacksmiths, and landmarks in the area. Improving Rome also pays you in dividends. Every structure that you renovate adds to Ezio's bank account every 20 minutes. You get paid for playing!

Another way to profit from downtime is the use of the Assassin's Guild. Halfway through the campaign, you get to recruit rebellious townsfolk to your cause. By using messenger pigeons, you can send your recruits on missions to gain more money for Ezio and XP for the recruit. It works similar to a Facebook Game. You scroll through a list of missions with a difficulty rating of 1-5. You choose which assassin(s) will perform the mission. The game gives you their % of success and the time it will take to complete the mission. You press a button to send them on their way. If they succeed, you get rewarded. If they fail, they die. As the recruits gain XP, you can upgrade their weapons and armor. This makes them more powerful when you summon them in game. So, as you are running through the world, you get text updates that say: Mission: Assassinate a Herald Complete. When the mission has been completed, you are free to upgrade them and send them on more missions. This is a really innovative idea with only one drawback. You have to believe that an assassin can travel from Rome to Constantinople, kill a guy, and return to Rome in 6 minutes. It's best not to think about it and just count your gold.

Missions: 6/10
The only flaw in this game that prevents it from being a true masterpiece is a handful of mission designs. Every Mission in the game has an objective, "Kill the Magistrate" with a condition "Avoid Detection" and an optional condition "Kill him with your hidden blade." The optional condition makes the game more challenging and gives you a 100% synchronization bonus. If you were to kill the magistrate with your crossbow, you only get a 50% rating for completing the mission. The synchronization bonus isn't really used for anything though, it just makes the game more interesting.

Some Missions are amazingly great and drive the story, while others are just plain bad.
Here are some tips for Mission Designers:
- If the Player can Fail a Mission within 1 second of starting it, while they are reading the objective, it is a bad mission.
- If you need checkpoints every 10 meters with a paragraph explaining what to do, it's a bad mission.
- If there is only 1 way to complete the mission and 142 ways to fail it, it's a bad mission.
- If the Player can fail a Mission because an arbitrary clock on the HUD hit zero, but Ezio still has a chance of completing the mission in the world (he's standing right next to the target with no guards around) it breaks game fiction and is a bad mission.
- If the Player can fail a Mission because an arbitrary distance counter on the HUD said you were too far from your target, even though you are in a locked room with the guy, it breaks game fiction and it is a bad mission.
- If the whole purpose of the game is to upgrade your weapons and gear and you have missions that forbid the player from using their weapons and gear that they have spent 15 hours upgrading it is a bad mission. (Especially when there are six in a row.)
- If the rules of the mission are inconsistent with 99% of the rest of the game, it is a bad mission.
Your mission designs should never get in the way of the Player feeling like an assassin.

Note: The game is broken into 9 Sequences. After you complete Sequence 7, the game becomes a linear string of missions that you cannot decline until you complete the game. If you want to do optional missions or upgrade your guilds, do this before you finish Sequence 7 or after you complete the main campaign!!!

Multiplayer: 6/10
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood features an interesting Multiplayer Mode where you are in a room of 200 clones. 6-8 of the people in the room are players. Some are trying to assassinate you while you are trying to assassinate someone else. There is no combat, you just press X to kill them for the most part. You are awarded "Style Points" for your kills. It is an interesting gameplay mode, but it lacks depth. As you gain XP, you can upgrade your character and unlock more gear like smoke bombs, disguises, throwing knives, and poison. The gear is designed to give you a better chance at killing your target or escaping from your pursuers. If an assassin is about to take you out and you see them coming, a B button icon appears above their head. If you press B you have a chance at punching them in the face, and stunning them to escape. There is a problem though. Pressing the B button doesn't aways work. I'm not sure if it is a latency issue or what, but it just seems odd that the game tells me to Press B to escape, I press B, and die. The game should give the player a 1.5 second invulnerability window to press B and escape. 60% of the time that I press B, I die. Games should never kill the player if they do exactly what they are supposed to do.
There are also some team modes where you work in groups to take out another team and they try to take out your team.
There are a few major drawbacks to the Multiplayer Modes. The wait times to actually join a game can be from 1 to 40 minutes long. To make matters worse, you can't do anything while you are waiting to join. You can't organize your gear, set your preferences, study the map, research the complex scoring system, choose the map that you want to play on... nothing. You just stare at a static progress screen. There are also a few problems with assigning targets. This is a major problem because the only way to score points is to escape assassins or assassinate other players. I've had 3 minute stretches of a 10 minute match where I wasn't assigned a target and nobody was sent after me. I could only wander around the level and watch everyone else outscore me.
If you can actually get into a game, the Multiplayer is pretty fun, but you can tell it's very rough. It's very simple and rewards you for playing, but it lacks the depth needed to keep people hooked for months.

Graphics: 10/10
One of the best looking open world games of all time, in terms of art direction and quality. The environments, characters, effects, and animations are all phenomenal. The highly detailed buildings, clothing, and props all realistically fit the world. The characters look and animate great right down to their facial expressions. It actually feels like you were transported into 15th Century Italy!!!

Sound: 10/10
The sound track and sound effects are amazing. The music is appropriate for the setting and gives a sense of action, mystery, and danger. The sound effects put you right into the action or they'll make you want to seek comfort in the shadows as you stealthily plan your next assassination. The soundtrack is also available on itunes!!!

Replay Value: 7/10
Assassin's Creed II offers 12-24 hours of gameplay, which is especially impressive in this day and age where most action games are 7 hours long. After you finish the game, you have the option to keep everything that you've earned and continue playing to collect items, finish side quests, or unlock achievements. However, there's no reason to start the game over from the beginning. Even with limited replay value, you're still going to get your money's worth. There is also a multiplayer mode where you assassinate other players and gain XP to upgrade your characters.

Overall: 8.5/10
When the concept, story, art, and music are all amazing, you have a very immersive world. The criticisms about Assassin's Creed Brotherhood are that it doesn't offer much of a challenge, and 10% of the missions are unfun.

Buy it if you liked Assassin's Creed 2 or Prince of Persia.
Buy it if you like fun and easy games that constantly reward you.
Buy it if you want a thinking man's Action RPG.

Rent it if you want to try it out and have about 15 free hours.

Avoid it if you like a challenge or hated everything about the original Assassin's Creed.
Avoid it if you are EXTREMELY Catholic. The portrayal of the Vatican may upset you.
Avoid it if you don't like the idea of being a dude, who's playing a dude, who's playing another dude.

And there you have it. If you can't trust a guy whose name is Poisoned Blade and dresses like an assassin (seriously look at my profile pic) then who can you trust?
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on February 21, 2011
I've got mixed feelings about this game. Having played both of the main previous iterations (I passed over the handheld side games, however) I wasn't sure what to think of this one before I played it, especially considering that AC 2 only came out about a year or so ago. In the end, it does a pretty good job of what it set out to do, but it'd be a stretch to say it did a great job.

One of the biggest improvements over AC2 is that, like in the first game, you can replay *every* mission, not just the side missions. Of course, this makes it all the more curious why Ubisoft STILL hasn't updated the second game to allow for replays. A great innovation in the mission structure is the "full sync" feature. This time, to get the maximum out of a mission, a certain sub-objective must be met, which can vary from taking no damage to remaining undetected to using a certain weapon to kill the target. This is definitely a great innovation, although the fact that failing this means restarting the ENTIRE mission is an automatic docking of one star. Even if the sub-objective is failed after the last checkpoint and you reload, it's still failed. I didn't let that slide with Grand Theft Auto 4 or Mirror's Edge, so it'd be hypocritical to ignore that flaw with this game. With one glaring exception, I did enjoy trying to get full sync with the Leonardo's weapons missions (anyone who's played the game most likely knows which mission I did not enjoy; rhymes with "the bank mission.") There is no reason why we should have to keep on retrying the same mission from scratch and having to completely redo everything that we have already successfully accomplished just to get to the one part that tests our ability to do the full sync requirement. The aforementioned mission is a prime example of this. Also, replaying a mission doesn't allow you to keep a treasure chest if you exit the replay. For some reason, you can keep a feather or a flag you collected, but not a treasure chest.

Some other minor gripes include the fact that courtesans still automatically break off to distract guards, even when you need them around to distract another set of guards. Why Ubi couldn't be bothered to fix this problem is beyond me. And what I like to call the "What the H are you DOING, Ezio?" problem still plagues this game in full force. This usually manifests itself when you're trying to escape the guard, and instead of running through a doorway, Ezio instead runs up the side of the doorway, even though no path exists. Three games running, and this problem still crops up! Sometimes music will play for a mission, then restarting it means the music is gone.

The story doesn't feel as inspired, either; it feels similar to an expansion pack's storyline as compared to the main game. This is at least partly due to the fact that early on in the game, a key ally is killed off, rather needlessly at that. A lot less dialogue this time around, too. It's almost as if Ubisoft decided that the minimalist approach to character development used in almost the entire middle and end game of AC2 was the best way to go with this game. Obviously, the whole concept that assassins are truly this noble, enlightened group of saviors meant to protect us from the evil Templars is just as ridiculous as the Da Vinci Code (search History Versus Da Vinci Code) and the hidden blade isn't based on any real weapon, but the story world is still interesting. It's just that the story itself in this game felt a little bland.

But there's plenty to love about this installment. For one, the crossbow is a nice addition. As it makes killing unaware guards far easier, and because that was one major obstacle both games had to complete a mission undetected, I only have good things to say about this weapon. And if you don't like the crossbow, then don't use it. The game's not putting a gun to your head and forcing you to use this weapon, and there are plenty of other guard-killing items at your disposal. In fact, don't even buy it. You don't get it from the start of the game; you buy it at a weapon's shop. Poison can now be used as a projectile as well, so it's actually useful this time around. And while not necessary a must-have, Leonardo's final innovation does come in handy for missions where falling a great distance is a part of the mission, but to get full sync you must take no damage. And those who remember the end of the first game likely remember thinking "Well, okay, so what happens now?" The ending for this game will also instill that feeling, along with a healthy dose of "What the hell did I just do?" It's one of those things that you won't likely see coming until 10 seconds AFTER it's too late to do anything about it. Kind of the same feeling you get when playing Jade Empire and the major plot twist is about to happen, and all you can do is sit back and watch. Also, do Subject 16's puzzles; it's worth the time spent. Speaking of time spent, this is definitely a completionist's dream, as there is more than plenty to do in Rome, from renovating the city to hiring new assassin recruits, to helping out the friendly courtesans, to assassinating minor targets to collecting stuff; there's no reason to just stick with the main storyline. Although, another major disappointment in this area is that two unlockable capes, both of which are very difficult to come by, both do the exact same thing; lower notoriety to 0%. Why one couldn't be full notoriety and the other 0 notoriety is beyond me. I enjoyed having the Auditore cape in AC2 and retrying the side missions to see how much more of a challenge it'd be to have every guard notice me almost immediately.

So this game is definitely for the fans of the series, although people who didn't like the second game for whatever the reason probably won't find much to like this time around either, as it does for the most part feel like an extension of the second game, whether that's a good or bad thing. It seems like that's largely what the developers were going for; to give us another dose of the series while the next iteration is being made, and to that end they do succeed. It's not perfect, but it does an admirable job of what it set out to do. The one and only thing that I do miss from the original game is that when a target was killed from the first Assassin's Creed, each kill had a true purpose. Like in the second game, this is more about just finding and killing the person. You don't take the time to learn more about the target before going in to make the kill, you simply find them and kill them. While I don't miss the STRUCTURE of how you gained information on your target in the first game, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have the concept put in. It should just be a lot less repetitive.

In any case, the good outweighs the bad, hence the 3 stars. The full sync requirement loses one by itself, and the other complaints combine into another negative star, so 5 stars minus 2 equals 3.

Addendum: Just finished the DLC package "The Da Vinci Disappearance," and I can see why it got so many mediocre reviews. It's not that it's bad, it's just not very good. The gameplay is standard fare for the Assassin's Creed games, which in itself isn't a bad thing, but it doesn't tread new ground or have any big reveals save for the end, which history buffs will smack themselves in the head upon viewing. I get the whole higher powers leaving clues for man to find thing, but there is the slight logical problem that standardized longitude wouldn't be invented for almost another 400 years. Notice I used the word "invented." Latitude of course was always standardized, given that the equator is always the same, but the same cannot be said for longitude. It wasn't until 1884 that the Prime Meridian was established, and that was subjective in itself - Greenwich was picked as the point of reference for 0 degrees longitude because it was the largest seaport yet used in its time. (And like many other things, it was determined by rich fat cats.) So if the course of historical events were different and the PM would have been instead established in, say, Rome, or if Spain never lost its major naval influence and the PM would have been selected for its port, for example, then the same coordinates would be in a whole different area.

But the main problem I had with spending $10 on this DLC is the simple fact that the story was very threadbare. Also, the fact that the final mission's full sync requirement is to take no damage - unquestionably the single most frustrating requirement, and especially for this mission - didn't help. It bothers me all the more because I've seen just how engaging the story can be when the writers strive to make a good story, so this lackluster effort is all the more disappointing. Mediocrity is mediocrity whether the game is great or otherwise. But, Revelations is right around the corner, so I am cautiously optimistic that this will be the game that outshines the others.
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on September 21, 2015
This is when the Assassin Creed franchise started getting fun. You start accessorizing and sending fellow brothers out on missions. They gain xp over time and the missions get harder and harder as well. All this is going on in the background as you progress through the story mode. It's a nice little distraction from the mundane to and fro that the franchise carries sometimes. The story is very compelling, both inside and outside the Animus.

I highly recommend playing this version and Revelations, as well as the predecessors in order to get the best of this Assassin Creed franchise. Anything after Revelations is crap btw.
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on December 10, 2014
I really enjoyed this installment of the Assassin's Creed series. I was fishing through some old games recently, when I realized I had never finished AC2. As I was coming to the end of that game, I only then understood that Brotherhood and Revelations were direct sequels. Once I finished the story I had to get Brotherhood.

The game does a great job picking up where the last game left off. The gameplay mechanics are very similar, and the graphics have the same feel, which is not a bad thing. Rome looks great through the eyes of Ezio Auditore. In the previous game your entire base of operations was housed at Villa Monteriggioni which had to be upgraded and renovated. In Brotherhood you must rebuild Rome. In order to do so, you have to weaken the Borgia Influence by taking out key strategic positions. These actions would allow shops in the area to be renovated, allowing you to have more options to shop.

There are some new gadgets, weapons, and abilities, but other than that, it feels a lot like AC2. There are pistols and crossbows now, giving Ezio more options to take out opponents at range. Horses can finally be taken through the city, which is extremely necessary. And there are more quick-travel options than in AC2. One of the most helpful additions is the execution kill streak. Now, after executing an enemy (usually after a counter attack), you can immediately take out another enemy by continuing the kill streak. I admit, it is a little overpowered, but you aren’t invulnerable during this period, and there are certain enemies who are invulnerable to the one-hit-KO.

The last major addition is what the title itself hints at. Through his travels, Ezio has become quite the Master Assassin, and must begin training new recruits. You can choose to assist certain citizens throughout the city and recruit them to your cause, training them to become part of the Assassin’s Guild. When you have trainees, you can call on them to take out targets or assist you in battle. All it takes is a full Assassin’s bar, and a nifty little eagle whistle.

If you are the kind of player that likes to get collectibles, there are a lot in this game. The Assassin’s tombs have been replaced by Romulus Lairs (but are of the same concept), the feathers are replaced with Borgia Flags, and there are some other collectibles as well.

Overall, I think UBI Soft did an awesome job on Brotherhood. They identified a lot of the gaps and weaknesses in AC2 and worked on fixing them. They also managed to capitalize on the strengths of the previous games as well. They do a good job of not making the game too repetitive (a la Assassin’s Creed the First). Oh, and most importantly… IT’S FUN!
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on November 29, 2010
Brotherhood has taken the empty parts of AC2 and filled it in, the game is amazing!! First off, the new combat system is a huge plus; now I actually feel confident dealing with 10 guards, or even 20. I can finally take the offensive for once, hit one guy with my sword then get the next one with my pistol. Ezio also gets more gear, including the crossbow that should have been in AC1. Also, the setting of the game, Rome, has been well made by the producers. The missions in the game are well made too, there aren't just extras put in, they actually seem to tie into the main storyline. Finally, Ezio is slightly more customizable, you can change the color of his robes and cape, choose what sword you want to use, and you have the option of using heavier weapons lie the axes and claymores from AC2 and KEEPING them! I've played this game for a good week and a half, and I am impressed.
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on December 19, 2014
Let me start by saying, I do not personally play this game. I tried. I died.

However, I have two sons. They felt this was a game they HAD to have. I can't say if I was paying attention when they asked, or not. But they insist I agreed to purchase it. I should have considered all options and possible outcomes first.

Day 1: ordered the game- things seem OK
Day When Game Arrived: Game Arrived- things seemed OK
14 minutes later: WW3 begins, with even the dogs picking sides after a harmless "oh, let your brother play first" slipped out of my mouth and throw the entire world into chaos and suffering
Day 3498395: They are still fighting over whose turn it is.

Right about then, I mistakenly thought I had discovered the answer to having a peace treaty- I purchased another Xbox and another copy of this game. Okay, moms.... at some point, in the middle of the horrible fighting and crying over a game- you will suddenly get this idea that buying a second game, and then a second console to play the game on is the perfect solution. Let me stop you right there...

It will NOT fix anything. It will suck a few more hundred dollars from your bank account, but it will NOT solve the problem. Because the first console will have all their "saved" stuff on it, and the second console might as well be laced with every single vile of anthrax every made because NO ONE wants to play with it. No one. Ever.

Yes, yes, yes.... I know- I have spoiled children. But the review isn't about my children, or my lax parenting skills- it's about the game. Which is clearly a good enough game that it's been the source of more disagreements than Obama Care.
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on December 18, 2015
Good game, I liked the second one a little better. Being for the xbox 360, the graphics were actually surprisingly good. A lot of people don't like the new system for getting the assassins, but I found it compelling. Not the best game, but definitely one worth picking up if you like free roaming, strategy games which involve assassinations.
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