Sunday, December 05, 2010

30 Minute Playtest: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Must admit that I was a little torn as to whether I should pay full price for a game that appears to be glorified DLC... but if you do take the plunge and buy Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, you won't be disappointed!

For the sake of this 30 Minute Playtest (full review will follow soon), first impressions are that everything seems reassuringly familiar... with an underlying sense that there's more on offer this time round.

The story picks up where Assassin's Creed II ended, so our suave protagonist Ezio makes a welcome return, funky cape and hidden knives included. After a brief exile, he is welcomed back to the villa you so carefully built up in the previous game - everyone's missed him and is pretty chuffed to be home. All is back to normal and everyone's happy...

But as soon as some of the NCPs encourage you to practise with some newly-installed cannons on your battlements, you get the sense that it's all about to kick off and that calm will soon be shattered.
It's not giving too much away to say a huge battle ensues and Ezio and the townsfolk flee. It all quite nicely sets up a trip to the vast city of Roma - offering plenty of new towers to climb up and loads of lovely vistas to gawp at.

Again, there are the occasional shifts into the future that see you take control of Desmond Miles - the guy who uses the Animus to sync his memories to the Assassins of old. At the start of the game, there's a really clever scene where Desmond has to get into the Villa from which Ezio had escaped all those years before. As he negotiates the walls, bridges and broken paths, he sees ghostly figures run past - their distant voices explaining Ezio's escape. It all works really well and perfectly links the two eras and stories.

As the 30 minutes drew to a close, you're back to the really good stuff - with Ezio tasked with shadowing guards, assassinating bad guys and running along the rooftops. It all amounts to brilliant fun, and fuels your insatiable appetite for free running.

On the face of it, you may be disappointed if you were expecting a game radically different from its predecessor... but there's plenty more on offer too, including the ability to call on your brotherhood to carry out your assassinations or even the odds a little when confronted by several soldiers. There are also multiplayer options but I'll leave that until the review. All in all, 30 minutes is nowhere near long enough...

Verdict after 30 mins... keep on playing