Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Updated Impressions

Ubisoft shows off Ezio's upcoming adventure at its E3 2010 press conference.

Ezio di Auditore is growing up. He has gotten scruffier and wiser, but he still has a lot to learn. According to Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood producer Vincent Pontbriand, Assassin's Creed II hero Ezio is now legendary. He's a leader, but he's legendary. He's wiser, but he still makes mistakes. He's also deadlier than ever. From the stage of Ubisoft's E3 2010 press conference, Pontbriand showed off Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood in action, though we were first treated to Brotherhood's most recent (and absolutely excellent) trailer. We were even treated to a pre-trailer introduction, which showed us eagles flying and splashes of color, while a rumbling voice-over proclaimed: "Destroy them. But remember for whom the assassins fight."

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our previously published impressions, as well as the excellent trailer. But let's break it down! The trailer takes place in Rome, 1503. Pope Alexander VI is carried through a crowd of Roman admirers, showered by flower petals and accompanied in the carriage by his son, Cesare Borgia. We see Ezio emerge from the shadows and march toward his prey. Gunners take aim at him from the rooftops, but they are felled by unseen assailants before they can fire at the robed assassin. When Ezio arrives at the carriage after leaving a bloody trail behind him, Borgia steps out to taunt him, and a number of guards surround the unfazed Auditore. Ezio captures a feather in his hand, looks to the sky, and gives a nod. Arrows shoot into each guard, again shot by unseen attackers. Guards on horseback set upon Ezio, but they are no match for the agile assassin. Borgia licks his sword as his cronies surround him--but Ezio is no longer alone, either. His compadres, previously concealed, appear behind him, and the two groups rush toward each other, but before we witness the final clash, the game's logo appears on the screen, and we see a release date: November 16, 2010.

We then returned to Pontbriand, who explained that the ongoing struggle between the Templars and the Assassins is escalating. He then cut to a cutscene in which ladies' man Ezio has bedded a comely auburn-haired lass. The sexual bliss is clearly not meant to last, however, as Ezio's quarters--and, in fact, the entire villa at Monteriggioni--is under siege. Ezio leaps out a broken window and onto the roof to see his beloved home base beset by attackers. The entire village is collapsing before his very eyes, but fortunately, his aging uncle Mario is there to assist. Mario tasks Ezio with holding off the attackers while he evacuates innocents from Monteriggioni. As Ezio leapt onto a horse, Pontbriand took the opportunity to inform us that horseback gameplay has evolved in Brotherhood. Players will be able to enter cities on horseback, and apparently there is "advanced horsefighting" toward the end of the game, though it was unclear exactly what this meant.

Ezio scaled to the top of a collapsing edifice, where he found several cannons to man. According to Pontbriand, Ubisoft is hoping to instill Assassin's Creed with more "memorable moments" than previous Assassin's Creed games. As if to prove this, we watched as Ezio manned these cannons and took aim at the soldiers below, as well as at the towers they had swarmed into. "Diversity is a priority" exclaimed Pontbriand, as we watched cannonballs fly toward the angry assassin. According to the producer, your goal is always to strike first and strike fast. To this end, there are new moves and mechanics to learn, and the AI is more aggressive than before. In the combat sequence we saw next, Ezio clashed with multiple soldiers at once. The combat didn't look remarkably different, but we noticed that not every enemy waited for Ezio to finish the move in progress before attacking. We did notice a few new fatality moves, however, including a particularly bloody one in which Ezio impaled an axe into his foe's chest.

Ezio nears the Villa's gates, where Cesare Borgia and his mates have surrounded Mario. Borgia taunts Ezio and holds the fabled Apple of Eden as if to tease our hero. Before Ezio can intervene, the Borgia men cock their rifles, take aim at the prone Mario, and the camera cuts away. We hear the guns fire, and Ezio grimaces, horrified. It seems Mario has been killed. Pontbriand told us that Ezio will now need to take the fight to Rome, the center of the corruption, and gave a brief mention of the game's multiplayer modes. We'll have more on that aspect of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood soon, but regardless, it's clear that if you like Assassin's Creed--or at very least, studly bearded men in robes--you should be keeping a close eye on the newest entry in this intriguing series.

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Discussion

46 comments
TheDere
TheDere

Mario is blatantly still alive. His death was faked with the Apple :o

ash2197
ash2197

Hey guys just so you know, in a lot of the images, Ezio has a crossbow attached to his back. It looks sick.

titan_assassin
titan_assassin

cant wait to buy, multiplayer sounds good but its the single-player that im looking forward to... lets hope they manage to improve on ac2 like it did to ac1.

jrocket22
jrocket22

i think its gonna be a crazy good game, rome is 4 times bigger than venice and florence, you get to recruit assassins, leonardo makes you some more awesome weapons, oh and SPOILER ALERT, ezios sister claudia becomes an assassin.

yingnay000
yingnay000

@snake3rules I definitely agree. I don't understand why they don't just focus on working at and resolving the main story. Ezio isn't the main character, Desmond is! When is his character going to get developed??!! I don't doubt this will still be a good game, but it definitely looks more like add-on content. I'd rather play the finale!

snake3rules
snake3rules

yawn... this whole game sounds like it should be a dlc add-on. And the "ending "or lack thereof for the first and second games make me far less interested in this... I was ten times more interested in the "truth" video and what that means, but instead we get more of the same gameplay with essentially BS mods and add ons, plus the pre-requisite for any idea-bankrupt developers ... MP added (to a clearly SP game that doenst need it)... count me out. And the same cities? People talk about a game metaphorically having nowhere new to go for the future games, well its nice that ubi is making that statement literal for their new AC game.

hartham444
hartham444

You describe it as the gaurds having rifles but that's incorrect. The guns they have are called wheel lock guns. rifling wasn't even invented until later

SperryEthan
SperryEthan

wow... pritty much sums up my impressions on this game, the trailer for it looked sick. i loved the first and second assassins creeds, these have always been my fav kind of games, being stealthy and killin fools! :D

Ze_das_coves
Ze_das_coves

Hey Kevin, he is Ezio Auditore di Firenze, not Ezio di Auditore, lol :P

Zero9698
Zero9698

damn i said i wasnt go get this but now i want it time 4 a job buying games wouldnt matter if i had 1

Jurcekd
Jurcekd

I have a gut feeling that this is going to be a very good game. I hope Ubisoft Montreal makes a good multiplayer, worthy of my school grades going down to s**t. @Kevin-V very good representation of the demo. I don't know why are these guys giving you such a hard time for "spoilers". Good show me lad.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@dark-wolf12 -- It isn't a spoiler when we report something a game publisher shows to thousands and thousands of people watching on the Internet and in person.

5j3553
5j3553

i watched the conference on GT. Can someone say EPIC?

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@juxtapose519 -- This is how Ezio was described at the conference. Growing, but not yet completely mature. He is 40, but still has a lot to learn. These are not ideas I created on my own--I passed on the statements made by the game's producer.

juxtapose519
juxtapose519

"Growing up"? Ezio was born in 1459, and ACII ends in 1499, which would make him 40. How is he not already "grown up"? Way do you your research GS.

Caotico69
Caotico69

Yes, the redhead with Ezio in Monteriggioni in 1499 is Caterina Sforza. Im glad they finaly get into business :P

TheVGamer
TheVGamer

Amazing cant wait for some gameplay footage! And I remember mentioning on ubi's forums that it would be nice to see some deeper action on horses, and many fans agreed....

aaroquesi
aaroquesi

Too many excellent games are coming my wallet is going to suffer!

jokerman_28
jokerman_28

Ezio is LEGEN - wait for it - DARY!!!

alext_b
alext_b

I hate facial hair on myself or others (a light stubble is fine though). I liked the move when Ezio fired a point blank shot into a guy's head, I hope they bring back the defense break ability. And it's a relief to hear that horses are allowed inside cities...I can't wait to see what the special horsefighting is...

tnugent488
tnugent488

I hope to God they take away the ability to fight 12 people at the same time, it totally ruins the game for me sometimes.

soolkiki
soolkiki

This is certainly interesting...

Gambi84
Gambi84

ezio is shot and falls from the roof he's standing on....why is that bit missing?

amo_lang123
amo_lang123

No one seems to be mentioning that Ezio is getting shot as well as his uncle at the end there. You can clearly see a wound from a gunshot. Also, at the beginning of the video (you can find it on youtube or gametrailers) the woman he is in bed looks and could be (to me she looks similar to at least) Caterina Sforza? hmmm.... interesting...

sickorange
sickorange

yay for studly bearded men in robes!! but sad about what happened to Ezio's uncle though, I rather took a liking to his character.

dragonballz4
dragonballz4

man i hpe this one does not have that stupid drm

SHERNEE
SHERNEE

Yes I very much appreciate studly bearded men in robes... along with other things.

Spitz6860
Spitz6860

i can't believe they killed off his uncle, he was my favorite character in that game

Pete5506
Pete5506

Very neat, something to look forward to

kongming30
kongming30

gain apple. lost apple. re-gain apple. re-lost apple. repeat. talking about a legend's "short-coming"... :)

luxus99
luxus99

Ezio is the best hero ever, more charismatic than Altair. I think the only legendary hero who could compare to Ezio is Solid Snake.

xSCxKaos
xSCxKaos

This is going to be so awesome. I can't wait to play it. :D

heroesfan261
heroesfan261

Why can't Ezio ever seem to keep track of that damned apple?

vrillusions
vrillusions

So I guess this means I can't just counter attacks? worked so well in first two :)

bugbag
bugbag

I just can't wait, the second was so good and I know this will be good to.

metalkid9
metalkid9

this is gonna be amazing. I just hope it will be as long as AC2.

Virendra2
Virendra2

waow i'm dying to see trailer or gameplay movie plz gamespot bring stage demo fast