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We can never see enough of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and lucky for us Ubisoft has released a brand-new multiplayer trailer straight from Comic-Con. If you’re not excited about the new multiplayer aspects of Assassin’s Creed, then maybe you should check out the previous multiplayer trailer from E3 that gives a fairly detailed walk-through of the “Wanted” game mode. If that’s not enough, then I suggest you look at what the single-player campaign has to offer. If you’re not a believer after that, then I’m pretty sure you never will be. But that’s ok, I forgive you.


I’m sure most of you who have been following our E3 coverage of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood have already seen the Official E3 Trailer and Multiplayer Trailer, but that’s not everything Ubisoft has in store for you. They’ve also just released a single-player walkthrough video with details on the campaign and Ezio’s involvement in the ongoing struggle between the Brotherhood and the Templar Order. The campaign will also include a lot more involvement with horses this time around by playing more of a major role in free roaming and mission sequences. The video also reveals a few new additions to the combat system that reward the player for executing a more preemptive attack, as well as a few flashy new moves. Everything that this game has been showing has been getting me pretty excited for its impending release. November 16th here I come!

It’s been almost a year since the public got a preview of Assassin’s Creed. Developed by Ubisoft. This stealth/action based game has received loads of hype since its first unveiling. The game has been present at almost every single major gaming event. Much has been promised — a living, breathing world that’s entirely interactive; a combat system, which is simple and fun at the same time; and finally an intriguing plot that’s been teased for quite some time now. The game has finally arrived and everyone has the same question on their mind: “Is it possible that a game with this much hype can live up to its expectations?” It’s obvious the developers had a great idea, but your enjoyment of Assassin’s Creed relies on what you expect.

(Note: The following reveals certain parts of Assassin’s Creed’s story line. If you don’t want to know the story until you play the game yourself, skip the next two paragraphs.)

So, let’s get the big question out of the way: What the hell is the story? You actually play as two characters in Assassin’s Creed. In modern day you play as Desmond Myers, a bartender who has been kidnapped by a secret organization. Their intent is to use a device to search through your genetic code. They claim that your genetic code holds the memories of your ancient ancestors. During Desmond’s segments of the game you’ll spend your time walking around big, gray, bland, open rooms. Every now and then you’ll be forced to sit through a ten-minute dialogue scene. Other than walking around and waiting, you’re pretty much watching cut scenes. This makes Desmond’s segments easily the weakest parts of the game and really breaks up the action.

The other character you’ll play as is Desmond’s ancient ancestor, Altair. As Altair you’ll play in the Holy Lands of Jerusalem, Damascus, and Acre during The Crusades. Early on in the game Altair fails to complete an assignment and ends up being responsible for the deaths of a few of his fellow assassins. Because of his failure, Altair’s venerable master demotes him to the lowest rank and only allows him to live if he can redeem himself by killing nine important figures throughout the Holy Land. The story works pretty well, but the Desmond sections seem entirely useless since the story of Altair would’ve worked perfectly fine without this Sci-Fi add-on. Luckily, the majority of the game is playing as Altair, so you won’t see too much of Desmond.

(Note: This is the end of story spoilers)

With assigned task in mind your master releases you into the Holy Land. The game slowly brings you into the massive world by blocking off parts of the cities at the beginning so you’re not intimidated by its prodigious size. Despite the limitations, it’s still easy to tell there’s plenty of life and interactivity within the cities. Damascus acts as the Middle Eastern desert city, containing a very dry, but bright look. Acre is a large, dark, populated, European city, while Jerusalem is a mix of the two. Each city is unique in its own way and continues to become even more interesting as the game progresses and you’re presented more sections of the world. The downside of these cities is that there’s nothing to do. Your main and only quest is to assassinate nine people. You can explore the city looking for hidden flags for achievement points, but there’s really nothing else. This seems like a huge waste as the cities are so well done and detailed. Scaling buildings seems unique and fun in every occasion, but you have no initiative to explore.

It’s nice to take a minute and soak in the atmosphere that exudes from each city, but you still have a job to do. In order to take down each target you have to gather information by doing a various amount of side jobs. These jobs range from pick pocketing information, beating information out of someone, or eavesdropping on a conversation. It’s a good gesture of Ubisoft to give more than one way to acquire your information and making it so you don’t have to do every single side job. Unfortunately, all jobs are boring and seem unimportant. You only have to perform two or three tasks in order to start the official assassination. If you choose to continue to gather information, you acquire little bits of information which sound as if they’re supposed to help. In actuality, it’s nothing you wouldn’t have figured out yourself with a little bit of trial and error. This makes these side quests more like desperate attempts to lengthen the game rather than important parts of the storyline or gameplay.

When you finally get past the side quests and start the assassination, there’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s much danger to be found in the city: guards, drunks, thugs, and anything else that can bring attention to you. As an assassin it’s your job to go unnoticed while accomplishing tasks. The game introduces a new style of stealth called “Social Stealth.” As opposed to sneaking in shadows and hiding from everyone, social stealth is based on attempting to blend in with the crowd. This type of stealth adds quite a bit of realism to the game, making it more practical and fun to play.

Unfortunately, that’s where the greatness of the game stops and where flaws are revealed. Social Stealth is a good idea in theory, but the execution doesn’t make much sense. In order to “blend in” you hold down the A button, which makes Altair walk slower and lower his head. Apparently ducking his head makes the guards oblivious of his existence despite the fact that he carries daggers and a giant sword hangs from his waist. In some cases you’ll end up being chased by the guards, instead of running you can turn around and slaughter twenty guards, then simply walk away from the battle. Despite everyone knowing you’re the one who laid waste to hundreds of guards in a single city, there’s no reputation of you being an assassin or someone who causes trouble, which just doesn’t make any sense. For some reason, the guards just stop chasing you.

The game suffers from these types of complaints all throughout. The fighting system is easy to handle and fun to play, but when you’re faced with ten guys at once you can’t help but wonder why they don’t use their numbers to take advantage of the situation. Along with these impractical design choices, there are a handful of glitches in the game. Important figures not spawning, people randomly disappearing, visual glitches such as climbing on a ledge that isn’t there and a few other problems all occur. Luckily none of these problems are so severe that you can’t play the game, but it’s annoying when you have to redo a side quest for the seventh time because the NPC you’re supposed to talk to ran to some other location and you can’t find him.

Finally the stealth section of the game is entirely broken. Ubisoft claimed there are two types of stealth: regular Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid stealth and social stealth. Social stealth only works for people who have the patience to walk around town for four hours since it takes so damn long. And the traditional stealth gameplay isn’t even present in the game. There’s no “sneak” mechanic at all, you have to run or walk everywhere, so everyone always knows where you are. Luckily stealth is never required, more of a suggestion, but what’s the point of being an assassin if the only way you can kill people is by jumping down and slaughtering people. The game might as well have been called Rambo. Instead of bright white robes you could wear an equally useless attire, something along the lines of a giant sign that floats over your head that says “I’M GOING TO KILL PEOPLE.”

Assassin’s Creed is by no means a bad game; it’s fallen to the fate of many other games by having too much hype surrounding it. If you’re expecting a ground breaking Game of the Year quality game, you won’t find it. If you’re expecting to play an average action game, then you’ll find yourself very pleased with your purchase. For everyone else pressed for money with all the November releases, you’ll be better off renting the game, platforming around the city for an hour, and then returning it.