Assassin’s Creed kicked off Ubisoft’s all new mainstream franchise in style, and Assassin’s Creed 2 proved to be one of the best games of the generation, proving to everyone that Ubisoft knew how to play their cards. The series had gone from strength to strength in the span of just two years, going from being a wasted opportunity to becoming one of Ubisoft’s flagship franchises.
Given the success of the incredible Assassin’s Creed 2, it was more or less a logical decision to create more games that followed the game down its path. Of course, little did we know that the game would go on to spawn two of its very own sequels before giving way to a full fledged Assassin’s Creed 3.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations may not have been the numbered sequel that everyone was expecting, but they more than did the job of keeping us fans happy, and not just as stopgap, filler titles. Sure, both have their very own share of mistakes, one more than the other, but they’re both part of a storyline that could not have been told any better.
Let’s begin with Rome-
The liberation of Roma has begun
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Debut Trailer
A great protagonist. An admirable adversary. An enthralling storyline. Compelling gameplay. Great new features. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood had it all. Or so it looked like. But a few of the fans were actually a bit skeptical, as has always been the case with this franchise.
Why, you ask? Because just a few months after Assassin’s Creed 2 came out and took everyone by storm, Ubisoft announced that a new Assassin’s Creed game would be released the very next year. It seemed, to everyone, that Ubisoft was also succumbing to the Call of Duty curse, and that soon Assassin’s Creed would turn into a crappy annual franchise. Half of that was correct. It did turn into an annual franchise, but no way in hell was it even half-crappy.
Because when Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was released, everyone’s doubts were put to rest.
Brotherhood can be described in five words- best in series, least impactful. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood built upon the awesome features of Assassin’s Creed 2. Everything that we loved in AC2 was here, and it was thoroughly improved. For instance, the economy- we all liked the economy system in Ac2, and how we were able to re-establish all of Monteriggioni, but Brotherhood took it to an all new level.
Brotherhood had us managing the economy of all of Rome, ranging from activities that had us renovating bridges and arches and monuments like the Colosseum to simple, basic activities like re-establishing shops. You could also establish headquarters for thieves and courtesans and mercenaries through all of Rome to use later on. But that wasn’t even the best part.
While this wasn’t exactly the economy system, it was certainly related to it- the Borgia Towers feature. Hunting down Templar captains and destroying Borgia towers to see their influence decreasing all throughout Rome and seeing the city rise to its former glory was immensely satisfying, and it has to be one of the best features I have ever seen in any Assassin’s Creed title so far.
There was also the “brotherhood” system, which is also what gave the game its name. Not only were you a super badass assassin in Brotherhood, you also had the ability to help citizens in need all throughout Rome against the Borgias and Templars, recruit them into the assassins guild, train them, upgrade them and build your very own army.
Sending them around the world on missions and seeing them level up made you feel like the badass assassin Ezio was portrayed as, and seeing your recruits coming to your aid in a battle or bringing down an entire horde of enemies with a storm of arrows at just one signal was oh-so-amazing.
And there was just so much to do in the game- apart from the towers and the economy and the brotherhood system, there were tons of side missions and so many fetch quests. You just never ran out of things to do in Rome.
The best thing about the entire game, though, was Ezio. He was the star of the game, just as he was in Assassin’s Creed 2 (and Revelations, but more on that later). However, the difference here was that Ezio’s character had already been fully developed, and now he was being shown as the highly skilled, matured assassin he had turned into. Seeing Ezio operate in Rome against the Borgias with his very own set of allies was a joy, and watching the story untold, while exciting and compelling in itself, would lose half its appeal if it weren’t for Ezio. The fact that the villain- Cesare Borgia- was such a tremendous antagonist only complemented Ezio’s calm, composed awesomeness.
And I haven’t even talked about the multiplayer. Neraly three years ago, when everyone found out that Brotherhood was going to feature multiplayer, we were all afraid Ubisoft was just shoehorning the mode into the series to get more money and sales out of it. And while the online wasn’t really perfect, it managed to fit pretty well in the series’ style of play and was extremely enjoyable, even if it didn’t manage to hit Halo or Battlefield levels of fun.
From the set pieces and the politically charged story to the awesome portrayal of Rome and the exciting new gameplay features- Brotherhood was bigger and better than Assassin’s Creed 2 in every way possible, and it still has to be the best game in the series. It set the franchise’s brilliance in stone, with no doubt about it in mind. And then came Revelations.