We all hear stories from our parents and grandparents about our relatives we never had the opportunity to meet.
There’s the great-grandfather who was a war hero, rescuing his platoon from insurmountable odds; a great-aunt who stood with her peers boycotting businesses during the civil rights movement. even your mother’s second cousin, twice-removed who just had the best recipe for Red Velvet cake.
But what about your relatives from hundreds of years ago—the ones alive during the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, or even the discovery of America? Wouldn’t it be cool to get to know who they were and what they did? Wouldn’t it be even cooler if you could experience it first hand?
That is the formula Ubisoft has been operating with in their hit Assassin’s Creed franchise, now in its third installment.
For those of you unfamiliar, you play as 23-year-old Desmond Miles (voiced by iconic voice actor Nolan North). Miles is an unwilling modern-day assassin, originally kidnapped by Abstergo, an Umbrella Corporation of sorts, and forced to relive his ancestors’ memories. He does this through a device called the Animus, which reads a person’s DNA, draws out the memories of his ancestors and then allows the user to relive these experiences himself.
While the first game in the series, Assassin’s Creed, was generally hit-or-miss with players—mostly due to its repetitive grinding-style of completion—the story was captivating enough to merit a much more popular sequel. A huge success in-and-of itself, the sequel followed an upstart assassin. Ezio Auditore, as he avenged his family’s death at the hand of the Borgia Templars.
Brotherhood picks up where the already intense and engaging story left off—and I mean quite literally only seconds after the second game’s crazy finale. Don’t worry if you haven’t played the first or second games, they recap it for you.
You are immediately thrust back into the action, with engaging tutorial levels to refresh your memory. This makes for an intuitive pick-up-and-play effect, leaving both familiar assassins and new recruits feeling like they have a solid grip on the game’s controls.
While the controls remain the same, if there is one thing Ubisoft has learned in this series, it is that players constantly want new and improved features. With that in mind they have incorporated a lot of fun new features into Ezio’s storyline.
Some assassinations are just too complicated to do alone, so now you can recruit citizens to your cause and send them off into the world to pick up assassination contracts—thereby leveling them up. Once they have returned, you can summon up to three of them during any mission to aid you by killing guards or targets.
I could go on here, but due to the spoiler-laden nature of these games, it would be dangerous to reveal too much. I always suggest starting with the first game in a series, but I wouldn’t blame you if you jumped ahead to Brotherhood in this case.
While some thought Brotherhood would be more of an expansion pack, the game stands securely on its own two feet as a successful and full-featured entry in the Assassin’s Creed storyline.