'Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood'
Mike Gonzalez, Crispy Gamer
'Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood'
With only a year in between "Assassin's Creed II" and "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood," it's truly amazing just how much Ubisoft Montreal was able to refine this franchise's gameplay. But improvements don't just stop at gameplay. There's more depth in Ezio's world, from setting to side quests, and a new element of dynamism breathes grandeur into this title that was lacking in "ACII."
The "AC" combat system has always been a blotch on these otherwise great games, but Ubisoft remedied that problem. "AC:B" introduces a new chaining system similar to that found in "Batman: Arkham Asylum." When in combat, you can bat away at opponents with your weapons until their armor finally gives way, or you can counter. In the past, this was the go-to strategy, but now is system is more dynamic. Once you perform your first counter, by aiming the left stick towards another enemy and pressing the attack button, you'll lunge at that enemy and perform a quick-kill, and so on. It does vary because guards frequently attack in the middle of a chain. Yet you can continue the chain by countering, or dodging said attack. Sub-weapons also zest up chaining. Particular weapons, like the sword and knife, automatically bring sub-weapons, like the pistol and throwing knives. After any counter or dodge in your chain, if you hold the attack button instead of just pressing it, you'll activate your sub-weapon. So after a sword counter, you can quickly aim your pistol and fire. Sometimes, if you're close enough to your next target, you can even impale them with the hidden blade to drag them in line with another enemy, thus taking out multiple guards with a single shot (this is with the sword/pistol configuration only). The result is the sort of graceful and lethal flourish in combat you would expect from Ezio, truly a splendor to witness.
As a vivid and thorough set piece,
And overall, there's just much more to do than in its successor's. "AC II" gave us assassination-contract hits and races next to the main story and that was about it. Along with the Romulus armor quest, there are also challenges and missions specific to the courtesan, thief, and mercenary guilds, which may involve anything from gaining so-many stealth kills, or performing, so-many disarms. In the fight to liberate
"Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood"
really defied expectations with such a short turn-around time. The sort of full-bodied, satisfying experience that seemed lacking in "AC II," now gluts players with the sheer mass of missions and side quests. And not just throw-away missions either, but quality ones where tact and planning always leads to thrilling gameplay. This franchise has finally hit the point where it's truly catching its stride, blossoming into the better half of its potential. Marauding about
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