Full Disclaimer:  This review is only relevant to the single player portion of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood as my Xbox Live Gold account is currently expired and I haven't had a chance to play any online multiplayer.

The Assassin's Creed (AC) series has come a long way since its 2007 inception.  Nowadays we see an AC game release every year, weather it is a significant leap forward in a numbered installment or just a more fleshed out and built upon idea of the previous title.  Brotherhood was the first game to fall into the latter camp.  AC II was by all means a huge advancement from the series' debut in a multitude of ways and Brotherhood continues to build off of what made that second game so fantastic.

The overall game is mostly the same.  All of the core concepts and systems have been retained while adding lots of small details and additions along the way.  For example the economy system is much deeper this time around and will have you invested long after the credits roll.  And boy will you want to keep playing once the credits roll.  The story isn't anything too spectacular but it still does a decent job of leading you along.  The ending will leave you flabbergasted and yearning to play the next entry in the series.

The big new gameplay addition this time around is the aptly named Brotherhood component.  By rescuing citizens in peril Ezio can recruit them to become a part of his Brotherhood.  A good number can be gathered and once joining you new and exciting gameplay opens up.  Each new assassin can earn experience and level up by completing missions for you.  Ezio can also summon them into combat when he gets into trouble, or even if he is too lazy to take out some guards himself.  The Brotherhood is by far the biggest hook this game has to offer and it is very entertaining.

Aside from the big things, little tweaks and polish can be found throughout the experience that make it super rich and enthralling.  The gameplay feels fantastic and is extremely polished.  The wealth of side content is also admirable.  I had so much fun just dinking around that I would get sidetracked for hours before I would actually make story advancement.  I should also mention that even the combat feels better than before.  Counters are still important but they don't rule the whole experience.  I was very pleased with how it turned out and never got frustrated like I have in the previous entries.  Ezio is in Rome this time around and it has been faithfully recreated in gorgeous fashion.  The amount of detail is astounding and I found myself getting lost and immersed in the world.  All in all AC Brotherhood is really a great experience and provides hours upon hours of fun.