Last week I bought “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” with only one thing in mind: Multiplayer. I’ve been watching some videos on the internets with people playing online and I thought it seemed fun enough to buy the game. As any other game, before jumping into multiplayer, I felt I needed to play the story more first to get used to the controls and such, just to be ready for the battle. I still didn’t join a single multiplayer game.
No, it’s not that the controls are that confusing. First, I’m hooked into the story. Obviously, over the years playing casual/indie games and MMOs, where story is a side element (sometimes even forgotten). Not that all MMOs ignore story — Rift, for example, have a full story line quests for every zone and every time you “warp” into the zone, the loading screen show your progress on that zone (something like “You freed the peasants from the oppressive goblins, but a deep terror still lurks in the shadows of Zone”, when you’re mid way through the story quests) — but it’s not the main focus of MMOs these days.
Second, it’s the number of side games and my obsessive compulsive idea that I need to complete all them. The main story line is that you’re trying to take revenge on the Borgia family, but during that you can do assassination contracts, remove the Borgia control over certain parts of Rome, which opens small business that couldn’t work due their oppression, which you can reform, which gives you money, which allows you to get better gear, which allows you to claim more towers and so on. I’m probably spending more time in those side games than in the main quests.
Honestly, I was kinda afraid of buying it. I saw a friend playing the first Assassin’s Creed and, although the movement was fluid (as Brotherhood is) and the parkour looked fun (again, Brotherhood doesn’t stay behind), the missions were really repetitive: Go there and kill this guy. Not that Brotherhood goes too far away from it, but there is a mix of the assassination mode, escape runs, stalking walks and such, with the breaks from time to time to tell a story (cinematic like, but using the in-game engine) and those side missions, gives enough variety to avoid the boredom of killing people over and over again.
If you’re looking for a quick summary of how this game works, all I can say is: Remember Tomb Raider 1 and 2 and how it was fun? Well, this is kinda like that, except with less puzzle solving (in general).
It may be somewhat strange that I’m burning Blizzard for it’s Diablo III “online only” play when Ubisoft added the same DRM on this game. Although they work the same, the game in question works in different ways. I’ll expand on this soon, don’t worry.
PS: I know it’s an old game — XBox players have been playing it since November 2010, but the OS X version was released only in May this year.