Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Single-Player Impressions

Ezio gets to control an army of assassins in Brotherhood, as we found out ahead of Ubisoft's E3 2010 press conference.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood continues the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze in dramatic fashion. After waking up in bed next to a buxom redhead who's begging him for another round of action, Ezio finds Villa Auditore under attack from a torrent of cannonballs. Our hero makes his escape across the rooftops, before jumping on a horse and mounting a counterattack. It's an impressively bombastic return for the Italian assassin, and considering that we called him a "terrific new character" in our review of Assassin's Creed II, we're incredibly pleased to see him back.

Brotherhood takes place pretty much immediately after Assassin's Creed II, in 1499. Ezio is happy and his villa is prospering, but there's a new villain on the scene named Cesare--the general of the Papal army. Cesare happens to be the son of Rodrigo Borgia--the villain of ACII--and they're both out to get the newly contented Ezio. Cesare launches an attack on Ezio's villa, with cannonballs lobbed into the town as large towers deliver the evil general's soldiers over the walls.

Ubisoft promises that new advanced equestrian moves will improve on the horseback riding from the last game, with new attack and acrobatic skills on offer. Ezio is also able to use the town's cannons to launch a counterattack on the army, using it to destroy other cannons and towers that are used to get soldiers over the walls. All of the action is directed in a fast and frantic manner, highlighted by Ezio's new ability to use merchandise lifts to scale heights quickly. Ubisoft claims to have listened to fan feedback about ACII, particularly in the combat system. You'll now be rewarded for striking first and hard, with one combo that we saw ending with him shooting his opponent dead from close range.

Ezio's fight didn't end successfully in the demo we saw--despite Ezio's valiant attempts, Cesare breached the gate, showed off an item called the Apple of Eden, and proceeded to shoot Ezio's uncle Mario. At this point, Ezio passed out and fell off the rooftop, in a cutscene that hinted at a major new development in the story. Ubisoft then moved on to demonstrate Brotherhood's new gameplay mechanics. You'll be able to give hope to the people by building up an army of assassins--the Brotherhood of the title--and help restore balance to Italy.

The section we saw jumped forward to Rome in 1503. The archers on the rooftops are now gunmen, and we watched as Ezio called in another assassin to jump in and use concealed blades to bring the guard down. If you need to take out a group of enemies, you can call in an arrow shower, or your team can jump in and fight alongside you hand-to-hand. We watched as Ubisoft demonstrated all these techniques to kill a religious figure in a church, before fighting a group of enemies outside. We didn't get a good feel for how the commands were issued, but it looked simple and impressive in action.

You'll be able to upgrade your team of assassins as you progress. You'll have a set number of tokens to spend, and you'll have to allocate them wisely so that you have the right balance of skills for each situation. The assassins can also die in a fight, so you won't want to send them into a situation they won't be able to handle. If you improve their experience enough, they'll become master assassins and will really be able to help you take care of Cesare.

Brotherhood will also continue the story of Desmond, and according to Ubisoft, "very important things" will happen to the contemporary character. We weren't given specifics, other than that the developer will "start to close some doors" on Desmond's story, so we'll have to wait and see what that rather ominous statement means. Thankfully, Rome will be three times the size of Florence from ACII, so there will be plenty to do in the game as Ezio. Watch out for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood on November 16 2010, and in the meantime, you'll be able to check out our multiplayer hands-on later on during this year's E3.

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Discussion

161 comments
fire-afro
fire-afro

@rhymesmatter ubisoft isn't wasting their time on AC brotherhood. Brotherhood is a full fledged videogame that will be just as good as AC II if not better. Ubisoft decided to go with brotherhood because they needed to finish some of the plot elements in the story and they didn't want to go to a new line of ancestry, which is what they would have needed to do if they went into AC III before Brotherhood. They are most definitely not wasting their time.

cyberdejin
cyberdejin

Well I guess this stands for ACIII mates. Only the name is not ACIII but Brotherhood. The story keeps on where it stopped in AC2. So we might accept the next game (if there will be any) would be AC IV after this "Brotherhood"

rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

pfff instead of wasting time on an AC 2.5 they could start creating AC 3...This feels like when Bioware announced KoTOR 3 would actually never come and instead are releasing The old republic...as for that ridiculous online protection..I guess Crack teams are gonna have the fun of their lives humiliating Ubisoft once again..

speedy5212
speedy5212

@ThAdEa82 , no its a sequel with continuation of the story from AC 2 unlike AC 1 and 2 , we don't have separate heroes and stories

JoeShmoe0987654
JoeShmoe0987654

Does anyone have a video of the church part of the demo?

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

So wait, is this the 3rd one? Or is this just a version 2.1 just to make more money from what was supposed to be a trilogy?

Nascimento17
Nascimento17

Sounds like a good game yet I agree with termadoyle.

termadoyle
termadoyle

all this economy and token system isn't making me excited. Assassin's Creed should be about cool assassinations and advanced acrobatics not managing money and acting like a role-playing/strategy game. :-/

animated153
animated153

I so hope there isn't any of those stupid collect the flag or feather missions they are a proper waste of time! What a great birthday i am going to have when this comes out though!

talyo
talyo

its the best game in the world

never-named
never-named

Please Ubisoft grow some sense and cut this online-only DRM before this game gets released...its killing us!

bobberts7
bobberts7

rts style gameplay just as i like it

Kou-Nurasaka
Kou-Nurasaka

This is looking to be a very good E3 so far!

Wild_666_Child
Wild_666_Child

it's not a DLC it continues the story of Ezio and Desmond

pakhair
pakhair

wow what a standalone DLC :D

electr0boi
electr0boi

okay, am i going crazy or did they just say 'multiplayer'?? words cannot describe how much im looking forward to this! :D

-Carge-
-Carge-

Wait is this a new game that continues the AC story? or just DLC?

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

AC2 was the best overall game from story to character animation, gameplay, and graphics. Looking forward to the third one.

Helllish
Helllish

@shadowolf612 Actually there will be an AC3 as AC:BH is simply the continuation of the second title.

NemanjaVidic
NemanjaVidic

doesanybodyknowwhatthatlongkeyattheendofthekeyboardisforthanks.

ravemaster_866
ravemaster_866

So I need to get the second one so i can understand what has happened. I'm looking forward to this tho.

Philx3
Philx3

video link to this demo?

reeree746
reeree746

This is just to tide us all over till 3. They didn't even give us an assassins creed in 2008 so stop whining and be happy.

JOKEROFHEAVEN
JOKEROFHEAVEN

i still say just give us ac3 with Desmond in modern times to finish the story and not make it feel dragged out

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

does this take of after Ezio says "who is Desmond" to the goddess??

albertCmoon
albertCmoon

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jwsoul
jwsoul

Gotta say Number 2 is one of the best games i have played and i have played a lot of games.

shadowolf612
shadowolf612

so would this be AC3 or just a branch off from AC2?

Smisel
Smisel

Nice! Ezio is back but it would be better for ubisoft to create a new assassin( century doesn't matter as long as we are jumping on the rooftops). This can also be a nice diversion for gamers during their expectation of assassin's creed 3.

looooloo56
looooloo56

no one know what is inside the game maybe there is alittle present day assassination but awesome

Darkness7089
Darkness7089

What about the DRM nonsense they put into AC2? Whole reason I came here was to read about whether or not it'd be put into AC3, but it isn't even mentioned. The ridiculous DRM in AC2 was the reason I didn't buy the game. Want to know if they learned from that terrible mistake or plan to keep repeating it.

snake8304
snake8304

i was hoping that the next chapter of assassin's creed will take place in the present days, but whatever i guess that although Ezio is back ,this is going to be as good as it's predecessor.

armedvigilante
armedvigilante

but i was kinda hoping for a modern day assassins creed like they hinted at the end of assassins creed two when you got to play as the main character and fight the security guards that was probly my favorite part of the game

armedvigilante
armedvigilante

assassins creed II was my favorite game its the only game i bothered getting all the collectables cuz i wanted every bit of the story i loved this game and ezio is a stud so im so glad they kept him cant wait for this

Scorpion1333
Scorpion1333

A great news :) Assassin's Creed II was one of the last year games that draws in so much , so if they can improve it more with new weapons, moves and good new storyline it will be great for sure . Can't wait to play this game .

jakeowens93
jakeowens93

As long as they actually make it so that I can see all of Rome this time instead of just the Vatican City, I will be satisfied with this game.

Prime05
Prime05

Oh and to answer some of the questions about guns that I've seen in the comments, I believe the rifles we see being used are called an arquebus used from the 15th to 17th century. Same guns used by Columbus in the New World when he sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Peace and Hair Grease

Prime05
Prime05

I think this segment of AC ties up some loose ends. I'm just guessing, but you kill Rodrigo Borgia this time, not leave him alive in the Vault. I'm pretty sure we're gonna kill Cesar, and I guess we'll get expanded commands for NPCs, which is sweet cuz I just blowing money on prostitutes and mercenaries at the end of AC2. Don't get me wrong , that's fun too but having a group of assassins to upgrade and command is more interesting and sets up AC3 nicely. Roadhouse!

fLaMbOaStiN
fLaMbOaStiN

Chaoslord yea you have guns in the 1500.. Very primitive like ones like what were used in AC2.. Anyways, i didn't enjoy AC1 much, it was pretty much of the same in different places for me.. But i REALLY enjoyed AC2, and unlike AC1 i really got into #2 and beat it within a few days, poured like 40hours into it within a week lol.. With that said, iam really lookin foward to BH, mainly for the single player as someone said before the MP will prolly be fun until you get into an actually sword fight.. Let's face it, AC2's combat LOOKS great, which keeps it from getting too stale, but it's extremely simple and mundane; i just don't see it AS IT IS being fun against another player.. Tho, maybe they'll let you have a posse along side that you customize and lvl up during multiplayer skirmishes, maybe add a little bit of a RTS element, or go the COD4/BFBC route and add unlockable bonuses / new weapons as you gain more online XP.. Some elements like that would make the online play more enjoyable.

Ordermage
Ordermage

@Nradd LOL exactly! Everyone forgets the story is experienced by Desmond reliving the past!

chaoslord300
chaoslord300

Were guns even invented in the 1500s? (In real life not in the game world)