Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happiness is a Successful Assassination

As a history buff, the factual representations of locations in the Assassin's Creed games has always been a point of joy for me. Seeing Renaissance Italy recreated is pleasing to the eye. The ability to wander the streets (and rooftops) of places like Rome and Venice is nearly as good as visiting them in person for someone who likely will never be able to. The vastness of Rome and its architecture required that some minor statuary and things to be cut for the sole reason of memory restrictions on the game. Aside from this, the attention to detail is much appreciated for those buildings and landmarks included (of which there are MANY). Being able to walk into the Pantheon as it looked in the early 16th century is stunning. The visual component of the Assassin's Creed games has never been a let down and continues to impress.

The same historical value applies to the characters of this franchise. The fictional characters in these games are intertwined with real historical figures such as the Borgias and Da Vinci to name only a few. Ezio Auditore and his family are constructed in such a way as to blend in seamlessly with their real historical counterparts. There was extensive research done by the script writer, Corey May, with the assistance of a Renaissance scholar and author to make sure that historical accuracy was maintained as well as possible. Historical events ,such as the Pazzi Conspiracy depicted in the second game, are a standard of excellence by which the third game is already meeting. Even the historical quality of the language spoken in the game was addressed by creators. All this attention to detail has presented a beautiful and compelling game.

After the recent disappointment in Force Unleashed 2, it is a relief to be playing a sequel that holds up to the game play of its predecessors. While the game still has the collection missions, the addition of the "animus virtual training" modules adds much to value of purchasing the game. These modules allow the player to practice combat for in game use AND achieve ranks and earn uPlay points. That being said, renting this game for a week is fun, but buying it will allow you to complete all the little things AND you will still have the challenge of bettering your own scores in the "animus virtual training".

Another new aspect that raises the value of purchasing vs. renting Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is the new online multi player mode. It is set up as an 8 player free for all where the goal is to eliminate the other players and any Templar Knights that have the ill fortune to cross your path. It adds a level of difficulty that you will not find in the standard game play and, with the ever changing levels of ability you might encounter, it maintains a freshness to it. Also, there are four different TYPES of online multi player. One more bonus to the online game play is that you are not restricted to appearing as Ezio. There are around a dozen avatars to choose from including female assassins. I can't say more about the "why" of online multi player without revealing some potential spoilers. Suffice to say, no one is safe and friends are non existent in this online mode.

Since we have only been playing for about 8 hours total, this is only our initial assessment of the game. However, so far this new installment has done nothing but impress with its continuity, quality, and extensiveness. I will be sure to post an addendum once we have actually finished the game.

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