After finishing Alice Madness Returns to 100% completion recently, it was time to consider my next game (because I can’t bear to focus too much on Pokemon SoulSilver…) I invited my husband into the games room to “look at games with me” as we are sometimes wont to do. This is an exercise in yearning and sighing usually – we look at the games, sigh, and say ‘when will we ever play them all!’ and then select the next one and move on.
I selected Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. It’s been a while since I’ve played an Assassin’s Creed game, and with the new one having just been released, I though it time to play the next in the franchise. I have this amazing set (the Codex edition) which comes with all sorts of goodies. I loves me some extra bonuses!
I really do love the Assassin’s Creed games and have even been known to wax lyrical about them. I’ve only been playing Brotherhood for a couple of hours, so I’m not far in, but the game starts precisely where Assassin’s Creed II left off. Sadly, there is a sense of eventuality to your first fight, as you know that you are going to somehow lose everything and have to build yourself up again like the previous games. But that’s okay, because the game makes that process enjoyable. Something I really liked about ACII was the upgrading and purchasing elements. It added more of an RPG feel to what would ordinarily be categorised as action/adventure. It was also nice to not die if you fell in water – clearly Altair had never learned to swim despite his upbringing…
The Assassin’s Creed games, at least the ones I’ve played so far, are interesting games in that the frenetic button-mashing fighting that often takes place in the action/adventure genre occur more by your control than by the game’s predetermined design. You can engage in violence whenever you see fit, and cause quite a ruckus, however the AC franchise does steer you away from this style of gameplay into a more stealthy and sometimes frustratingly slow pace with an emphasis on discovery and exploration foremost of your assassination missions. It’s a curious experience to have to resist running and jumping and generally making a scene like you would in most other games – but to rather walk slowly down the street, blending into the crowd, avoiding beggars and box carriers so as not to draw attention to yourself. However, when you are close to your mark, all that stealth and careful planning brings an all the more satisfactory conclusion to your mission. Air assassinations are a particular personal favourite of mine – I like to scale the buildings and sneak along the rooftops, dispatching sentries silently, to better stalk my prey on the streets below. Then when the time is right, I leap upon him and thrust my hidden blade into his neck – death from above! Usually this is then followed by intense running away and desperately trying to lose your enemies amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Your heart will race until you find sanctuary and your notoriety reduces.
Brotherhood introduces a significant multiplayer environment to the AC franchise, which is of much less interest to me, but thankfully the core game remains true to the spectacle and story of the previous games. I expect to see old friends and old foes in the sequences to follow along with more discoveries about the mysterious Subject 16. The AC franchise is steeped in history and mythology and each game takes this immersiveness and expands on it, revealing more conspiracies and synchronicities to pique the player’s interest. The games are beautifully detailed and the sandbox style of gaming, along with many optional missions and sidequests, offers plenty of playtime for all gamers. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series has in store for me!