Unexpectedly fast after releasing Assassin's Creed II, by the end of this year (for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) and for PC possibly in Q1 next year, the third part of this franchise should be released - Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Maybe the original wasn't perfect, but the sequel - Assassin's Creed II which was released last year for Xbox and PlayStation and in March 2010 for PC - was a very memoriable gaming experience (at least for me). ACII is far better game than original game, with better gameplay, graphic and so on. But the plot of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will now be in Rome, in the period of Italian Renaissance, where players could continue Ezio's story.
While Ezio is relaxing in his bed with lady in villa in Monteriggioni, attack on the town is in full swing. After a cannonball crushes through his bedroom, Ezio quickly gets out, just to fint waves of enemy forces trying to get in the city.
Outside villa Ezio's uncle, Mario, explains that his status of legendary assassin has split factions and war between families has begun. After that, Ezio quickly gets on his horse, which is strange, because in other Assassin's Creed games horse would stop at the enter of the town. In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood horse will reach its full potential. But, when one stone wall collapses it forces Ezio to continue along on foot. He jumps on a ladder which in that moment collapses and he loses his grip. Finnaly, he reaches cannons and tries to kill as many enemies as possible.
When enough damage has been done, Ezio finds out that one seige tower has made to the wall, and enemies are now in the city! Ezio approaches and engages in combat. There we will see another new feature - better and faster combat system. Ubisoft says that players have complained that combat is too slow, so Ubisoft has decided to make AI more agressive and faster, so you won't have to just stand there and wait to counter. Instead, they will attack when they see his guard is down, even if he's in the process of being engaged by another enemy. But if getting close to kill an enemy isn't your style - Ezio can now toss heavy weapons to make a quick kill. So what you need to expect from this: more challenge and better fights.
Following the introductory attack, in the video, you can see that now it's 1503 and Ezio stands over the gorgeous landscape of Roma (Rome). But now he's not alone. There's a lot of assassin's around him. Also, you can see a new weapon he's using - crossbow - so he can swiftly and silently bring down targets from afar.
Once Ezio gets to Rome, he will be able to train and recruit new assassins. Then, you can send them on misssions or to help you on a field. Also, assassins can be male or female but when someone of them die, he's gone forever. To upgrade recruits, first you must put them on training. This is done my sending members on contracts throughout Europe. Each mission has its own difficulty level. Also, when you wont to send a member of brotherhood on a task, a meter displays the success probability. You can send multiple members on a task, but then they split reward. While the members are on a task they can't help Ezio during gameplay. They can die on a task/mission or they can became more lethal member of a brotherhood. The bad thing is that these missions aren't playable, so the members just return with the good news, or they don't return at all.
Throughout the single-player campaign, Ezio will be able to call on one or groups of the brotherhood member to help kill, distract, or protect him throughout the adventure. After you select which member you wont in champaign, you can select his/her specialties and even clothes they're wearing. Also, it appears that there's no limitation to where you can call a member of the brotherhood or what they can be asked to do. In one scene on a rooftop, Ezio called on a female assassin to make quick kill of a Gunman - a new enemy type who protects rooftops with a retro firearm - using the classic wrist-blade weapon, in another hail of smoke bombs masked Ezio's quick getaway.
The Brotherhood can be equipped with any item or weapon and that includes the new crossbow. When this feature is used, the Brotherhood complete the proper action, scuttle off and enter a cool-down state so the entire feature isn't used with impunity. It's so quick and simple that we could call it the Renaissance-era version of Splinter Cell: Conviction's 'Mark and Execute' feature.
For people who enjoyed the villa upgrade system here is the good news - in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood you can acctually upgrade the whole new city and by that bring Reneissance to Rome. Players will still be able to traverse buildings at a blinding speed but can also utilize pulleys to zip-line up to the roof of buildings that are currently under construction. It's a great addition that makes sense in the context of a constantly evolving city.
When I first heard that in a new Assassin's Creed game could be multiplayer I was a bit skeptical. I have played both Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed II but I really couldn't see how the mechanics could transfer to multiplayer setting. But, after I watched some videos, I can tell you - Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood could have really great multiplayer modes for some time now.
When you start playing multiplayer what's the first thing to do? Pick a character and a map of course! Maps will be simmiliar to the ones in single player, but the characters won't. You can pick 8 new - never seen characters. Each character has the same skill set - but you can have 2 special abilites - to make unique character.
The only one known multiplayer mode is Wanted. You pick a character with different weapons and abilities from others and start playing with seven other palyers. Each player have it's own target, which is another human player. Your objective is to track down and kill your target, before you are killed or in this case assassinated by other player. I think it's very simple but cool mode for a start.
You gain experience by killing other assassins, and by that you gain new levels and also new abilites. For now, level cap is 50. Also, everything can be unlocked through use of XP - from modes, new characters even to new maps.
As I said before maps will be simmiliar to the ones in single player, and they will have NPC's too, so you can't spot your opponent so easily. You will have a compass in the botttom of the screen, and as yoou get closer to your target a meter fills up to let you know you are getting closer.
There's no real fighting, no shooting, you just have to assassinate your target quickly and quietly. This makes a change from the majority of titles on the market. It's a simple game of cat and mouse that works perfectly with all the running, jumping and stabbing gameplay mechanics that make Assassin's Creed what it is.
At the end:
This may be Ezio's last quest, and a detour in Desmond's final quest, but through playing Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood you will get more sense of the story ( Ezio's story but also Desmond's). Whether you have high expectations for the game's multiplayer or not, there a certain things I do expect from ANIMUS. Instead evolving the franchise, Ubisoft has just expand it. This may be good, or bad, it all depends on how are you looking at it. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood won't make you fan of this franchise if you already aren't one, but for those who enjoy stalking from rooftops, its new strategis elements may shape it into the best game of the series.
You can watch E3 trailer here.
You can watch single player video here.
You can watch multiplayer video here.