Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood feels like an unnecessary Direct to Video sequel to ACII

Avatar image for bigsocrates
BigSocrates

2030

Forum Posts

42

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By BigSocrates

I went into Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood thinking it was the last good one before IV, a final really solid game in a franchise that quickly nosedived after. I remember it getting a lot of attention during 2010 game of the year proceedings, a five star review from one Ryan Davis (R.I.P. big fella), and a generally positive reputation among gamers to this day. While in the end I, on balance, enjoyed the game, I thought it was incredibly uneven and a big step back from AC II in a number of areas.

ACB is a violent game with some dynamic camera angles at time. It's more Assassin's Creed for better and worse.
ACB is a violent game with some dynamic camera angles at time. It's more Assassin's Creed for better and worse.

ACB wore on me as I played on, though. I did not end up liking the Rome map nearly as much as the maps in ACII, which were more varied and brighter and more colorful. Rome under the Borgia is an oppressive place, with a depressed populace and lots of death and misery. Much of the city lies in ruins and it didn’t have the impressive buildings of AC II’s Florence and Venice. This might be historically accurate but took away some of the best climbing, though climbing in ACB is also improved in some ways, including having more variety in the visual representation of handholds and often requiring some backtracking and dropping down rather than just having straightforward routes to the top. I also thought that Rome was more of a pain to navigate in the built up areas, with a less intuitive street layout and more annoying rooftops, and it has massive stretches of open rural land where there’s nothing to do but ride your horse and pick up the occasional treasure chest. Thankfully this is the first AC game where horses can be ridden on city streets, and random civilians sometimes have them too, which was another neat addition, and along with the much needed fast travel system within the map (using a set of tunnel entrances throughout the city) helped make navigating the new map not so bad.

Desmond and Lucy share a moment at Mario's villa. They flirt and climb around much like Nathan and Chloe in Uncharted II, a game that clearly influenced this one.
Desmond and Lucy share a moment at Mario's villa. They flirt and climb around much like Nathan and Chloe in Uncharted II, a game that clearly influenced this one.

My opinion of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood swung wildly from one pole to the other as I played through its twenty or so hours. I liked the initial segment in Mario’s villa and enjoyed Ezio’s planning for some peace and recreation even as I knew it would never happen (just when he thought he was out…) The cut scenes were more dramatic than they had been in II, with off kilter camera angles and dynamic events, and Mario’s death was more emotional than the deaths of Ezio’s father and brothers in ACII because we’d spent so much time with him in the previous game. I also liked that the game continued to try to establish some gameplay for Desmond, and while I wasn’t wild about Lucy being repurposed yet again from badass mentor to wise-cracking love interest, I like Uncharted and ACB’s off-brand Uncharted vibe worked for me. Setting Desmond and crew set up in the modern day version of the villa strengthened the emotional connection between Desmond and Ezio, and it all seemed to be going somewhere good. Then Ezio got to Rome. I really liked the first couple hours I spent in Rome even though I wasn’t super into the darker tone the game took. The first mission you do upon getting there is killing an executioner who killed a woman unjustly and the quest giver makes sure to tell you that the people who watched her grow up spat in her face as she was dragged to the gallows. That, along with the fact that the civilians in Brotherhood seem generally poorer and less happy than the rather spirited NPCs in Florence and Venice from II set Brotherhood up to be darker game than ACII, which had dark themes but also a spirit of youthful adventure. Brotherhood continues this darkness throughout its run, with Ezio’s best friend Leonardo working for his hated enemies the Borgia and then being kidnapped, and Ezio’s allies on the ropes and at each others’ throats. But despite missing the tone of the prior game, I enjoyed exploring the new map and coming to grips with the new systems, including an expanded loot system, buying and opening shops after you free areas from Borgia control, and, a little later, being able to hire and deploy assassins. I also really liked some of the early missions, with the first lair of the followers of Romulus being a particular favorite, again dipping ACB into off-brand Uncharted territory, and providing a change of pace from the open world just like the tombs did in II.

Horses play a bigger role in this game than the last one. So does following people. So much following.
Horses play a bigger role in this game than the last one. So does following people. So much following.

The issues weren’t restricted to just tone and map, though. The property buying and assassin management stuff becomes more of a chore than a pleasure after a while, with dozens of shops to track down and open if you want to raise your income, and constantly having to find pigeon coops and mess around in menus to level up and upgrade your assassins. There’s less interesting equipment to buy than in ACII (though you do have to buy back some of your equipment from that game, which is…it’s a video game sequel so fine) so the investments feel less meaningful than they did in II, and as far as I could tell there was no real benefit to renovating the landmarks (apparently you get something if you buy them all, which would take a long time.) Liberating the Borgia towers was great, though, and led to some really good random open world encounters, such as when I ran into a captain at the edge of his territory, shot him, got attacked by a huge wave of guards, summoned my assassins and fought through a massive melee to the base of the tower, which I eventually climbed and blew up. That was honestly some of the most thrilling open world gameplay I can remember, and was better than any story mission in the game.

Leo and Ezio share one of their few moments in the game. The friendship between the two of them barely factors into ACB, and Leo is depressed and harried rather than fun and cheerful.
Leo and Ezio share one of their few moments in the game. The friendship between the two of them barely factors into ACB, and Leo is depressed and harried rather than fun and cheerful.

The story missions are another area where the game falls short of its predecessor. ACII didn’t have a great plot but it had fun characters and a light, campy, tone that made it breezy fun most of the time. Brotherhood is more serious and suffers for it. It brings back many of the characters from ACII, but they tend to be more muted and brooding. Machiavelli, who was a minor figure at the end of II, especially if you didn’t play the DLC sequence 13, is now Ezio’s main contact and mission giver. Leonardo is hardly in the game, and is miserably working for the Borgia, only able to meet with Ezio in secret. Caterina shows up long enough to have sex with Ezio, get kidnapped, and then run off back to Forli never to be seen again. Volpe suspects Machiavelli of betrayal and urges Ezio to eliminate him. The Borgia villains are evil, but in a more generic way than the various villains from AC II, all scheming with and against each other to take over Italy and/or kill Ezio. Nobody is particularly likeable and none of the stories are great. Ezio has also changed significantly from his prior incarnation, being presented as a more serious leader type, which is not nearly as fun. He’s still a good character, but not nearly as good as he was in II, and while the liberation of Rome seems like an important theme at times, it’s also something that Ezio doesn’t seem all that interested in compared to his feud with the Borgia and desire to get the apple back. The game wants to be about rebellion but doesn’t spend enough time on the rebellion part for it to really land.

Burning the Borja towers is the best part of the game. The open world antics are great, as opposed to many of the scripted missions which feel constrained and too reliant on trial and error.
Burning the Borja towers is the best part of the game. The open world antics are great, as opposed to many of the scripted missions which feel constrained and too reliant on trial and error.

If the plot and characters are a step back, the main story missions are often flat out bad. I liked some of the early stuff, but by the mid-game point where you have to carry Lucrezia Borgia down to Caterina’s cell to free her, and then carry Caterina out of the castle, I was flat out irritated with the game. Not only did I keep getting lost on the confusingly laid out map, but these missions eliminated much of what makes Assassin’s Creed fun, in favor of watching Ezio walk down hallways carrying women with his ridiculous prancing animation when he’s holding someone. Other missions involving tailing people or infiltrating areas were either flat out buggy or just annoying and unfun. One midgame mission has Ezio dressed up as a guard and carrying a lockbox to a target without knowing the route. Your fellow guards verbally correct you when you go in the wrong direction so you have to navigate by audio cues, with guards saying “isn’t it the other way?” when you go the wrong route and “we’ll be there soon” when you’re going the right way. This is awful and whoever decided it would make a good mission in the middle of a game about stabbing people in the throat should not be designing game missions. In general the game often wants you to approach things in one particular way, and punishes you for deviating, but while that can be okay in the handcrafted areas it is a bad philosophy of mission design for an open world game. Open world games are about improvisation and making your own fun, and when Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is doing that it’s pretty good, but when you’re following a script in an open world area it feels constraining and frustrating. Sequences 8 and 9 were particular low points for me. I hated everything about Sequence 8, and Sequence 9 was saved only by the fact that it was pretty short and straightforward. I can honestly say that by the end of the game I was not having any fun and thought I might actively dislike ACB as a whole.

I hope you like map icons because this game has a lot of them.
I hope you like map icons because this game has a lot of them.

But I kept playing after the end because I hadn’t done some of the optional Leonardo and Romulus lair missions, and I found those to be much better than the mainline story stuff. They involve handcrafted Uncharted style locations and some fun sequences like chasing a cardinal through the rafters of a cathedral, or exploring areas outside of Rome where Leonardo’s designs are being tested. Using the Leonardo weapons themselves is pretty bad (except for the tank, which was fun) but the handcrafted levels were well designed and focused on sneaking around and murdering bad guys rather than following Borgia stooges halfway across Rome or random fetch quests. The Leonardo Is Missing DLC was also decently entertaining, though not at the level of the weapons or lairs, and a couple missions where Ezio remembers his old flame Christina and returns to small sections of Florence as young Ezio were short diversions. My post-game experience redeemed the game in my eyes and reminded me of its good aspects despite its terrible main story ending.

The levels where you control Leo's machines are another area that feels rushed. This machine gun level is not fun (though sneaking in to get it is) and you kill so many innocent horses. If PETA cared about video games they would have protested this one.
The levels where you control Leo's machines are another area that feels rushed. This machine gun level is not fun (though sneaking in to get it is) and you kill so many innocent horses. If PETA cared about video games they would have protested this one.

On the whole, Brotherhood feels rushed and uneven. The map is not as carefully constructed as II’s were, even though it’s far from bad and the fast travel options are appreciated. Everything feels less hand made. There are still treasure chests throughout the world but there aren’t guarded chests in courtyards anymore, they’re just in random places, often pretty much in the open. Overall the world is just blander and worse, with lots of activities but not as much moment to moment fun. There are some good additions to the gameplay, including the assassin management minigame and the ability to call assassins in to assist Ezio, but they aren’t as fleshed out as they could be. Lots of assets are clearly reused from Assassin’s Creed II, including things like comments from the crowd when they see you climbing about the city. The additions of a crossbow and poison darts mean that Ezio can now kill from a range stealthily, which helps a lot on the rooftops, but it also means that there is less risk/reward to the stealth because you can sneak around and snipe people. The graphics have a kind of PS2 quality to them, at least in some of the geometry, lighting, and camera movement when showing the route the game wants you to take. That’s not to say it looks like a PS2 game; it is clearly from the PS3/360 era, but it doesn’t look as good as II does, at least to me. The music was great though. Best in the series that I’ve played, and among the best open world soundtracks I can remember. I also thought the day night cycle and detail was pretty impressive.

The aftermath of my favorite moment in the game. The open world battles with aggressive guards can be a ton of fun.
The aftermath of my favorite moment in the game. The open world battles with aggressive guards can be a ton of fun.

The serious tone of the game is at odds with some of the mechanics, including the fact that while guards will attack your summoned assassins in combat they will otherwise be ignored, even though they fight with guns and smoke bombs. There were several sequences where my assassins were shooting guards around me and fighting with axes in platemail while the target I was following wandered about his business, ignoring them altogether. The game feels stitched together from disparate parts, which is likely how it was developed given Ubisoft’s studio structure and quick timeline, but not enough time was taken to make it all fit properly. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, there are lots of enjoyable parts and even though there’s not a big upgrade over II’s gameplay. But playing it now, especially back to back with the second game, it feels inessential in a way II did not. Ultimately the story of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood just rehashes the same story that II told, but with worse characters, less interesting locations, and much less impact the second time around. The same could be said for the gameplay. It’s more Ezio in Italy but with a lower budget and a few decent twists in the form of the management elements and assassin summoning. It is the first Assassin’s Creed game that felt B-tier to me.

And now some end-game spoilers:

The levels where you had to use the Apple of Eden all felt broken to me. In the level where you have to defeat Cesare’s bodyguards the apple actually did not work well and one of them was left alive, but I had no means of attack so I had to lure the last guard (who was the only combatant left standing after the fight) to a rooftop and nudge him off twice to finish the mission. Fortunately these levels are short and other than that dumb one they were all easy, but it makes sequence 8 a fractured mess, including weird time skipping and a story that makes no sense. It was by far the worst part of the game and I’m positive they ran out of time. Sequence 9 was also a mess. My armor broke (because of the damage inflicted on me when I used the apple) and there was no place to fix it, which makes it fortunate that the end fight is so easy and bad, but still. The last quarter of this game was horribly rushed and just not at all fun or satisfying. The less said about the final Desmond sequence the better. The parkour stuff was okay but killing Lucy off just to raise the stakes compounded the problems with women that this series has had since its beginning. It’s a baffling decision, especially considered how its handled in later games, and it removed the only interesting character from the Desmond part of the games.

Avatar image for oursin_360
OurSin_360

6305

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I remember being obsessed with ACII and then burning out hard on Brotherhood. I did end up finishing it and liking it a lot, but I think I came back to it like 6 months to a year later to finish it. It was just too much of the same

Avatar image for therealturk
TheRealTurk

723

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This is actually my favorite Assassin's Creed game, and I think the series has been on a steady decline ever since. It's right at the point where they introduced some fun new mechanics (territory control/Borgia Towers), and refined the ones they had (upgrade Rome instead of just the Villa), without making the game so large and bloated that it wore out its welcome.

One of the consistent problems the series has had is that once it introduces a mechanic, it has a really hard time getting rid of it in future installments, so the games have a tendency to get bigger and bigger and more bloated. At the same time, they don't spend as much time on any individual mechanic, so each part feels more and more sloppy at the same time. The sailing is a really good example of this. It was a cool little side diversion in ACIII, then they built an entire game around it with Black Flag and it was really good. But after that, it just started to feel obligatory. It was super-cursory in Origins and it is straight up bad in Odyssey. I have a sinking feeling they chose the setting for the next game (Vikings), in part so they would have an excuse to put long-ships in.

I believe I also remember reading that they had to kill off Lucy because Kristen Bell got too busy/didn't want to continue with the character. It's not entirely an excuse as they could have recast the character, but it at least it provides a partial explanation. I also think they kind of realized how they were doing women dirty and so created the post-Desmond character of Layla, who is the most obnoxious, unlikeable, focused-grouped to death, wish-fulfillment driven characters in video games. You'll see what I mean if/when you get there.

Avatar image for boozak
BoOzak

2785

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 8

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is kind of like Far Cry 4 to me, a slight refinement of the past game at a time when we wernt burnt out on the formula, but I could see how playing it today would feel different.

If you thought ACB felt like a direct to video sequel i'm not sure you could handle Revelations. Ubisoft were really scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas with that one. (bomb crafting? why not! tower defence? sure!) That being said I still think I enjoyed it more than AC3.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
BigSocrates

2030

Forum Posts

42

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@therealturk: I wonder how this game would have been different for me with a year's difference between it and II. It might not have felt quite as redundant and I might have gotten more of a kick out of seeing those characters again, instead of being a little disappointed that they just rounded up the old cast and didn't do much with them (Someone could write a whole entry on Caterina's "arc" in this game and how it undoes everything fun about her character in ACII.) I also think that the mechanics would have felt a bit more exciting. I also think that parts of the game, like the assassin management and the Borgia towers, haven't aged great because other games have either copied them and done them better or found other interesting open world stuff to do.

I can definitely understand your issues with mechanical bloat. I think the main theme I've seen through the first 4 games (I've finished Revelations just haven't posted about it yet) is that Ubisoft needed to give teams a bit more time. There's so much to like in all the games but there's a lack of polish and, more importantly, cohesiveness, that really bothers me. Brotherhood would have been a great game (for me) if its map had been a bit better thought out and it hadn't had so many slapped together missions, especially at the end. The script also needed another pass. The games are amazing for being pumped out as quickly as they are, even with a lot of teams, but they also feel pasted together.

I've played through Revelations and the very beginning of III, and Lucy's death still bothers me. They should have recast her, but if they didn't then she should have died in some heroic way that gave her agency, not been stabbed to death for reasons the series may yet explore but just hasn't gotten into at all yet, a full game later. Also the characters are still following and praising Juno et al even though they made Desmond kill Lucy, and nobody seems interested in it or resentful of Desmond (they all seem to trust him) etc... There's some mourning in AC Revelations, but no real fall out. This would all have been much cleaner if Vidic had caught up with them while they were leaving the Villa and Lucy had sacrificed herself to stop him, or if they didn't want to involve Vidic they could have had Desmond be in some other kind of trouble and she could have saved him. Having him stab her and having everyone just sort of shrug and move on is just really bad and offensive. It's not like she's an all-time great video game character, she was very inconsistent in her characterization, but she was the best thing the Desmond sequences had and they discarded her very casually. In the weird Desmond's journey platforming stuff in Revelations he's like "These last months have been hard but I don't regret any of it." You. Stabbed. Your. Best. Friend. To Death. my dude. You should at least be angry and sorrowful. Bad stuff.

@boozak: I have played through Revelations and while I will post more extended thoughts, my short summary is that I liked it, though it is the worst of the first 4 games, and it feels super slapped together. I agree that the bomb crafting stuff was a serious reach, though I thought the loot in ACB was even worse because it doesn't do anything useful. You can use it for shop quests but even though I looted a lot of stuff and grabbed a ton of chests I didn't finish a shop quest until after I was done with the game. I guess you can sell it too, but money isn't hard to come by. With bomb crafting and getting medicine and other stuff from corpses at least there's a reason to loot.

Avatar image for frodobaggins
FrodoBaggins

2209

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Fight me. Brotherhood was on par with 2, a good game.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
BigSocrates

2030

Forum Posts

42

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@frodobaggins: I don't think we need to fight. I didn't say it was a bad game (I said I enjoyed it on balance) but gave reasons why I think it's uneven. Some of that stuff was personal preference (I liked II's cheerful attitude while you might prefer Brotherhood's darker tone) and some of it might have been less notable if you played them when they were current or with a long break in between.

Brotherhood has some great high points and some serious low points (especially at the end) and different people react differently to that stuff.

I prefer IIs greater consistency, better (IMO) maps, and and more involving story and characters, while acknowledging the strength of some of Brotherhood's enhanced mechanics and expanded, enjoyable, side missions.

Avatar image for frodobaggins
FrodoBaggins

2209

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@bigsocrates: just to be sure, I dont actually want to fight you. It was just a light hearted response. Have a nice day!

Avatar image for bigsocrates
BigSocrates

2030

Forum Posts

42

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#8  Edited By BigSocrates

@frodobaggins: It's all good. I interpreted "Fight me" to be an exaggerated way of saying "I disagree with you." Fair enough.

Avatar image for alias
Alias

125

Forum Posts

385

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I played it at the time, I enjoyed it but not as much as the 2nd one and I can remember next to nothing about it. Was also the last game in the series I played outside the intro Revelations which I really wasn't feeling when I tried it out.

Avatar image for rebel_scum
Rebel_Scum

1475

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 3

I preferred Brotherhood to 2, but that could be because I played it first. I'm surprised you say the map is bad considering when Venice in 2 was awful how it had a major choke point where you would always end up to get from one side of the map to the other.

Avatar image for cornfed40
cornfed40

620

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I played it at the time, after exhausting both I and II at their releases. To me, next to Black Flag, Brotherhood is my favorite game of the series. Im admittedly biased, because setting is really important to me in an AC game, and ive always been fascinated by Rome. I personally enjoyed purchasing properties throughout the city, and I thought the lairs were for the most part really well done distractions. Having the guild on the shoulder button was so much fun at the time. Having my green assassin drop out of nowhere from a rooftop right on top on the guard I needed killed, or letting loose and stream of arrows onto a guarded bridge never got old, even though the combat was easy enough that it didn't really matter anyways.

The surprise that Brotherhood gave (to me at least) was that leading up to its release, all I had heard talked about was multiplayer. I thought that it was all this was going to be, a massive multiplayer expansion more or less. To find out that this was actually another entirely new AC game when watching the Quick Look was an amazing feeling. And I didn't see it mentioned, but the multiplayer was actually pretty fun! Not at all what I would come to an AC game for, but I played at least 50 hours of Brotherhood multiplayer and had a blast.

I also actually really enjoyed exploring the ruins of the villa and the town as Desmond after having spent so much time there in the past as Ezio

Avatar image for rorie
rorie

6189

Forum Posts

1141

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 3

#12 rorie  Staff

I think the "calling for help" mechanic was kind of broken (very few enemies would survive you whistling for backup), but I also thought it was super fun to play around with. I barely even killed anyone in that game by myself; I'd just set up a vantage point and let my peons run in to chop people up. Maybe it's an indictment of the game that it was more fun to watch stuff happening than it was to do things yourself, but man, I kind of miss the old "use poison darts on a few guards and watch them beat the shit out of each other" times in AC.

Avatar image for mezza
MezZa

3083

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#13  Edited By MezZa

I loved 2 and found brotherhood to be average. The coolest part was calling in help, but even that lost its luster shortly after you did it a few times. 2 just felt more focused with a more motivating revenge plot. Brotherhood didn't go anywhere nearly as memorable for me. 2 is probably my best experience with the series though, so I can't say any other have really beaten it. Maybe I should give origins and Odyssey a shot.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
BigSocrates

2030

Forum Posts

42

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@rebel_scum: The Venice map was only one of 2's numerous maps, and I didn't really care about it having a choke point because taken as a whole 2's maps had more verticality, detail, and variety. The Rome map isn't bad, but the Venice map has so many interesting landmarks that are so beautifully detailed that it made it much more fun for me to run around on. I also found the rooftops easier to navigate in that game than in Rome.

@rorie: I think that the 'calling for help' mechanic was certainly cool and fun to play with, but I think that may be something that was more impactful in 2011 than it is today. I find it easy to go back and play old games; the clunkier controls and less impressive graphics don't tend to bother me, but that kind of technological impact is something that's impossible to re-experience. I liked using the mechanic (when all my guys weren't busy on some random overseas mission) but it didn't wow me. It's not something that was copied in a lot of games, though A Plague Tale: Innocence, which I played through in December, had some parts with a similar mechanic.

@cornfed40: I played this on the Ezio collection with no multiplayer. I do have a 360 digital copy that I acquired at some point and I could play, but I figure the multiplayer is long dead, and even if there were people playing it they would have been playing for almost a decade at this point so it wouldn't be a lot of fun for me to jump in.

Avatar image for shindig
Shindig

5112

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I wouldn't say it was unnecessary but it was definitely the point where I checked out from Assassins Creed. II was good. Brotherhood was more of II but, arguably just too much.

Avatar image for junkerman
Junkerman

567

Forum Posts

371

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 5

I actually quite enjoyed Brotherhood, the addition of the summonable assassins who work for you I found endlessly fun.

I think Brotherhood was the one with the flash back vignettes to Ezio's first love and how they slowly drifted a part over the years. That was a really nice little slice of life segment that helped flesh out his character.

ACII is, if anything, a love letter to one of the most endearing protagonists in games and I'm always a sucker for stories that take their heroes journey from wide eyed youth to wizened agedness.

Avatar image for acharlie1377
acharlie1377

152

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I think AC2 is the better, more accomplished game, but ACB is the more fun, sillier playground. The story is much worse, the assassin summoning is too good, the crossbow is absurdly too good, the parachute is just ridiculous, and the combat is even more trivial than before, but it all just makes it more fun to screw around and kill guards. I think the epitome of this is the horse-to-horse assassination; it makes no sense! This did not in any way need to be in the game, but jumping from your horse to another horse, killing the horse's rider, and then just riding into the sunset on the new horse is so hilarious it never gets old.

ACB is sort of the peak of the trilogy in terms of fun, for me. AC2 laid the groundwork, and Revelations added a bunch of mechanics that just weren't as fun as they should have been (the hook blade and bomb crafting come to mind).

Avatar image for inevpatoria
inevpatoria

7584

Forum Posts

2136

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

#18  Edited By inevpatoria

So, I have a question for you, @bigsocrates.

How are you feeling about all this?

There was a point a few years back where I idly considered playing through all the Assassin's Creed games back-to-back-to-back like this. That line of thinking pretty much stopped with the thought that these games' size, scope, and wealth of filler content would burn me out. Especially as you near the point where the franchise started flirting with redundancy, are you eager to play the next in the series? These essays have been fairly quick turnarounds—are you even playing anything else?

Avatar image for bigsocrates
BigSocrates

2030

Forum Posts

42

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@inevpatoria:

How am I feeling about it? I've enjoyed the experience overall. I'm on AC III right now and taking it slower than I did the first 4 games (I haven't posted my Revelations thoughts yet but will.) I was worried about the same issues that you were but the first 4 really aren't super long games (Together they're like 60-80 hours even if you do side stuff, so the length of one very long open world game) and there's enough variation to make it interesting. AC III is kind of a different beast, both in terms of being more sprawling and being a very different games in some ways than the prior 4 (especially the way it tells its story) so it doesn't feel redundant to the others, but it's also harder to just binge through because it has such languid pacing.

I haven't been playing anything else but I think I'm going to take a break after AC Liberation. I am getting a little burned out on open world games for the moment, and the meta narrative is the worst part of the AC series IMO, so it is not making me necessarily want to see what's next. I do still want to play the back half of the series though.

I was always curious about the AC games and I've really enjoyed this experience as a way of getting to know what they're all about. I'm going to post some overall impressions on the first chunk of the series after I finish III and Liberation, but overall the biggest take away I have is that they really do suffer from having been churned out as quickly as they were. After AC II each game has had some clear cut corners that has really hurt it, and they just don't come together as cleanly as an AAA experience should. This is something Ubisoft would definitely continue throughout the 2010s, not just in the AC series. You can just see the seams in these games and the places where content was skimped on.

Avatar image for nutter
nutter

2799

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 9

#20  Edited By nutter

@therealturk: It’s been too long to remember all the reasons, but I recall liking AC1 more than most, finding AC2 bloated and repetitive, and thinking that Brotherhood struck a nice balance of variety given it’s stupid-large open world.

I bet the whole Brotherhood aspect, sending assassins out on missions with cooldowns and shit, does not age well.

AC4 was a breath of fresh air and probably my favorite of the series, but Brotherhood was a close second.

EDIT: Oh, Oh, Oh! Oh, shit! Did brotherhood let you tap the d-pad or a bumper to summon a trio of assassins to merc fools? THAT mechanic was fucking great!

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.