The lights are on
I am on a bit of a learning curve with the website and
finally found the "introduction" pages to sort through my questions with site
navigation. Therefore, my first review
is in the wrong section on my own little blogging island, due to my low member
level, but I will try this again. I
entered my GI magazine subscription in my profile to bump my blog attempts but
that had no effect so I will go the old fashioned route of leveling up.
While Assassin's Creed: Revelations was just released, I am
reviewing AC: Brotherhood because I just completed the game in order to play
AC: Revelations. As I repeatedly
reference, I only reentered gaming last spring with an Xbox 360 and since that
time I played through all of the AC games to prepare for the release of
Revelations this fall. I am relishing
the exercise of writing about gaming thus I am reviewing AC: Brotherhood while
the game is fresh in my mind and will review AC: Revelations after my play
The AC franchise is heavily story based, perhaps only
rivaled currently by Mass Effect, and both franchises explore how to meld a
complex narrative into engaging gameplay.
From the first game in AC the constantly twisting story is its own
impetus for the gamer to see the game through.
In a rare beginning, AC: Brotherhood begins exactly where AC:2 ended
because of the imperative link to the narrative. The ensuing introductory sequences skillfully
combine story and gameplay to interweave the dual stories of Desmond Miles and
Ezio de Firenze.
Once again, the hunt is on amongst the Assassins and the
Templars for a piece of Eden while we, the masses, remain woefully unaware of
the battle for our minds and quality of life.
In this single minded pursuit to save the world Ezio can only woe women
while wearing a mask and Desmond never takes off his messenger bag. The price heroes pay.
Ezio travels to Renassiance Rome and he is now able to
establish a Brotherhood of recruited assassins who assassinate targets on his
signal. While these new allies are
essentially another tool in Ezio's utility belt for meting out death to those
deserving, much like the previous addition of the crossbow, signaling for a
young assassin to strike down my enemy from afar only increased my sensation of
being a master assassin. Combat as a
whole is enriched with a one hit, one kill execution style series of deaths
amongst a crowd of guards but requires patience to master. The leveling up
system for the assassins in which your recruits are sent on missions across
Europe for experience, money, and items initially requires strategic thinking
but is easy to grasp and complete. In
tandem with recruitment Ezio is tasked with freeing Rome from the Borgia
family's influence by taking over towers in each district. After a district is freed Ezio is able to
invest in the local shops in order in efforts to eventually restore Rome from
the decay of Borgia greed. The economic
system is much improved. While the
economy will eventually break, you will have more money than you can possibly
spend, it will be intact for the majority of the game.
As a sandbox game, there are a multitude of available side
quests that range from great to good. Relative
to the side quests the main story arc is short but each sequence is
strong. Due to spending most of your
time in side quests the gameplay overall plays like a series of short stories
that are based on a central theme. The
tie-ins make sense until you describe the game to a friend and try to explain
that the assassin recruitment is triggered when you free a district from their
Borgia tower then the recruits can earn items on their mission that you take to
shops to unlock items. Meanwhile
different factions have their own series of side quests. Plus you can now strive towards "100% synch"
in all missions in which the mission is completed according to certain
parameters such as to complete the assassination with the hidden blade or
without being detected. Honestly, I
attempted the "100% synch" until the requirements became so difficult that I
preferred to progress the story rather than languish over completing the
sequence in 8 minutes. I attained "100%
synch" when I could and finished the game with 70% at "100% synch." I am excited to jump back in to reattempt my
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