At the end of November, I started playing Assassins Creed Brotherhood. This is sort of the third game in the series in that it’s a direct sequel to Assassin’s Creed II (AC2), but it isn’t Assassin’s Creed III, which has a whole new primary character. Kind of like the whole FF X and X-2 thing.
Anywho, it is set approximately one year after the events of AC2, other than the initial opening scenes show what happens almost directly after the end of AC2’s events, and that kick off the primary story of Brotherhood. It has a lot of the elements that I loved from AC2. The fighting style is pretty much the same, so I was able to pick it up very easily. Ezio is still an awesome character, I love the story, the graphics are amazing, and it’s central setting, Rome, is a ridiculously beautifully detailed gigantic maze of a city!
It does change some things from AC2: the feathers are really just a side thought with only 10 in the entire game, instead, you have Borgia flags to get rid of, and some different styles of side quests. Where is in AC2 you primarily dealt with collecting feathers, collecting viewpoints, and assassin contracts, plus some other minor side things like races and stuff like that, with Brotherhood you have assassin contracts, courtesan errands, and thief tasks. There are also the Borgia towers to destroy to free up different parts of Rome which helps reduce their influence and allows you to buy up shops and historical buildings in Rome to earn income and help “liberate” Rome from the Borgia (the central bad guys). Suffice to say, that takes place of the villa rebuilding that was a key element in AC2.
Overall I really enjoyed the game, I like that they kept some of the building aspects with rebuilding Rome, I liked the Borgia Towers and that whole bit of the story. I really like that you could see the effects of the events of AC2 as well as the opening events on Ezio mentally. It changed him, his thoughts, his actions, and his personality changes a little bit, he’s a little harder, but at the same time he still kind, he still has a sense of justice, and is very much loyal to his friends. I also like the added element of rebuilding the Assassin’s Guild, where you eventually get to start recruiting assassins, training them, Arrow Storm is just awesome, with all those arrows raining down to a whole group of enemies to surgically wipe them out one big go.
In terms of things I didn’t like, there were really two major things. One, all the present stuff with Desmond. It felt very shallow, almost like it was tacked on just to continue the set up of how things were managed in terms of saving the game and everything in the memory sequences. And the whole ending for that bit was confusing, and the jump sequences were just frustrating since Desmond does not move the same way as Ezio and some of the controls were really fiddly and clearly buggy. And then the ending made no sense whatsoever. My partner kind of explained it to me afterward because I totally didn’t get it. His explanation helped some, he’s also played the thing like three times so he said the chance to really absorb it. Since it was my first round, I was trying to do complicate jumps while also trying to follow the talking bits and so that was hard to do.
Beyond that, the only other thing is the difficulty of getting a platinum trophy. Where is with AC2, platinum was very achievable, and I actually did get the platinum trophy, with Brotherhood it’s made significantly more difficult both through the broader requirements for 100% sync, but also because of the requirement to do the online multiply player elements. I don’t do online play, I hate when games make that requirement for platinum. It’s one thing I really loved about Days Gone: they had the online elements as a completely separate platinum trophy, so for those like me who do not do the online elements and online multiplayer stuff you could still get the platinum without losing out just because you don’t like online play.
Other than that, I did notice there are a few Roman artifacts that were obviously downsized or were missing altogether because of course, we were comparing it to our pictures from our trip to Rome. We did found almost every site that we saw while there, and a few we didn’t! For example, during our trip there, the Pantheon was closed the day we went, so now I’ve “seen” the inside! LOL For the few things that couldn’t be found, it was still fun. Climbing the Coliseum, repairing the aqueduct, all of that. And the missing and shrunk items were understandable given that there had to be some hardware limitations being hit with the amazing amount of detail and the impressive size of the city as is.
They also even put in at least a somewhat plausible set of excuses for Ezio being “weaker” than at the end of AC2 – he was shot, he lost all of his cool tools in the opening, and he’s getting older. I liked the idea that Ezio’s age started to play a part in his abilities, although at the same time it felt a little disjointed because it’s only been a year versus it being like five or 10 years, so it seemed odd his age is playing a factor in anything. Another great thing about Brotherhood is that you find out what happened to Ezio’s true love Christina if you do the optional story subquests, which I highly recommend you do.
I finished it in about two and a half weeks, I think 25 maybe 30 hours of gameplay. Obviously I didn’t go for a hundred percent completion or 100% synchronization because there is no point when I have no chance of getting the platinum trophy anyway. Despite all of the gushing I may sound like I’m doing, I would say overall I still enjoyed Assassin’s Creed II more, and it’s the better game of the two. Still, playing Brotherhood is pretty much a must to find out the rest of Ezio’s story, as is playing the final game Revelations. Even though I don’t care much about the present stuff, I do want to know what happens in Ezio’s life now that he’s where he is at the end of this game.
For now, I have just started Yakuza Kiwami 2, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, and I’m sure I’ll have a post about that later down the line. 😀