Experiencing a game-breaking glitch is not an easy thing to deal with. Depending on how late in the game it occurs and how long the game is, a game-breaking glitch can screw you out of hours of your life. If it weren’t for the fact that the glitch happened relatively early for me (and the fact that I really wanted to play this game), I would have dropped it like a hot potato. Instead, I gave it a second chance and played it through to completion without a hitch. Was the single-player worth the hours I lost and the frustration I felt early on?
Based on the way Ubisoft has marketed this game, a lot of people don’t even know that Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood even has a single-player campaign. What’s here isn’t Assassin’s Creed 3, but it’s a full-fledged campaign that continues the main story arc from Assassin’s Creed 2. Players who haven’t beaten Ezio’s initial outing may want to go back and finish that, because this game picks up the moment after Assassin’s Creed 2 ends.
Even though Ubisoft only had a year to make Assassin’s Creed formula, the game does go out its way to make some meaningful changes to the core formula. If you felt that Assassin’s Creed 2 was too long, they’ve made this one a shorter and much tighter experience. Ubisoft was able to achieve this by creating a much more cohesive story. In Assassin’s Creed 2, there was a lot of setup and assassinating involved before the game finally focuses in on one main foe. In Brotherhood, the plot in full is basically laid out from the very beginning of the game. Many missions are also smaller portions of one major task, which smoothly link into each other. This helps players recognize how all of the tasks they’ve decide to do fit withing the grand scheme of things. I’m still debating within myself whether or not I liked the story in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood more than the story in Assassin’s Creed 2, but the story is just and meaningful and ends in well…classic Assassin’s Creed fashion. I will not ruin anything here, but the ending of this game is definitely worth further discussion if you’ve beaten it. Maybe we can chat about it in a spoiler-filled post at a later date.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood compensates for a streamlined main campaign by adding a ton of optional things to do. Within an hour or so of playing the game, your map of Rome will be littered with dozens of different things to do, such as renovate various aspects of the city, explore Romulus lairs for armor, destroy Borgia towers and more. If you were to tackle everything the game has to offer, you’ll easily spend dozens of hours in Rome. Many of these additional tasks are as satisfying as the main quest, so it won’t be crazy for you to jump between the main story and all of the side content.
My favourite addition to the game has to do with your ability to create a guild of assassin’s and leverage them throughout the game. Once you have this ability unlocked, you can call in your assassins at any given time. Need help taking out a Borgia captain without being spotted? Call in your assassins to take him out without having to get your own hands dirty. Need a shower of arrows to take out a large group of crowds? Hold down the button when you have three meters full. This definitely makes the game more fun, but not necessarily easier. If you call them in at a bad time or send them out on a contract that they have a poor chance of completing, they can die. Managing your team can be a lot of fun and helpful to your cause throughout.
It’s incredible to know that Ubisoft cranked out such a huge and for the most part, polished game within a year of its predecessor. From a content and gameplay perspective, there is more than enough here to satisfy even the most die-hard fan. Does it make for a great place to jump into the series? Absolutely not. The story as presented here is too far gone for newbies to jump right in without being overwhelmed and bewildered by the plot. At the very least, play Assassin’s Creed 2 before jumping into Brotherhood. It’s important to the narrative of the story and is still an amazing game in its own right.
If it weren’t for the technical shortcomings of this game, I would have said that this game is better than its predecessor. I can deal with the game’s frame-rate issues and pop-in (which weren’t in Assassin’s Creed 2), but the game-breaking glitch will always put a damper on things. I’m still shocked that Ubisoft has already patched the game, yet still hasn’t fixed this problem. Here’s to hoping they will fix it sooner rather than later. As long as it’s in there, this game is not as good as Assassin’s Creed 2.
With that said, if you can avoid the game-breaking glitches, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is another awesome game in the series. If those game-breaking glitches ever get patched, then I can whole-heartedly recommend it without hesitation. If it never gets fixed, or if you’re going to play it now, just don’t quit the game in the present, and during your first tunnel trip, only go to the one you’re supposed to use.