Why yes that is my blade in your eye.

Oh thank the stars in the heavens above, not only do I get to talk about a good game, but a game and series I love.  Like any good love story, this one had a rocky start and they weren’t sure they’d make it, but after a second chance their love flourished.  There were rocky moments, disagreements, fights and the like but in the end, they were happy to have each and the joy certainly outweighed the sorrow.  I’m talking of course about the Assassin’s Creed series…perverts.

Ezio Auditore and Desmond Miles return once again for the third installment of Assassin’s Creed.  Brotherhood picks up where the second installment left off. Desmond is on the run from the Templars and Ezio’s exiting the vault and heading back to Monteriggioni for some much needed rest. Ezio rises, after a good night of snogging, to the lovely sound of cannon fire, which he thinks is just training until one explodes through the wall and destroys his assassin’s outfit. He rushes off to fight but is eventually over run and escapes half dead.  He’s discovered passed out on the road by a good samaritan and is nursed back to living.  It was actually a clever way to reset Ezio’s stats.  Flash forward 512 years and Desmond and crew are fleeing from their last hiding spot and turn up at Monteriggioni. Desmond displays some Ezio level skills and eventually leads the group to the under belly of the assassin’s hideout.  After some play time in the future its back to 16th century Rome to continue the quest for vengeance.

Brotherhood, thankfully, keeps the same gameplay as Assassin’s Creed II.  Parkour is still a huge factor in the game play, and while it’s still a little buggy at times, it feels smoother than in the 2nd installment. There are times when I politely asked Ezio to climb up onto the roof which he inferred as do a back flip off the wall and land perfectly on the cobblestone below face first.  Those incredibly frustrating moments aside, the movement is nearly on par with infamous, which I believe to be the best to date. (*reviewer’s note: Mirror’s Edge loses that title since the blind jumps nearly cost me a controller).

The amazingly awesome hidden blade is back and the standard fare weapons.  New to the collection are the crossbow, poison darts and briefly the Apple of Eden.  The crossbow and poison darts work like the hidden gun, although the poison darts come with the added bonus of watching your victim act all crazy and what not and attack whoever is closest.  The Apple of Eden is interesting but you’re stuck with it when you have it on you. It also sucks your life but does unleash a blinding wave of energy that turns everyone caught in its wake against your enemies. I’m not sure why you can’t just slam people in the face with the apple, but sadly is not an option.  Da Vinci is back as well and provides you with a parachute that can be used to glide gingerly to the ground.

The game keeps the somewhat linear story in a sandbox setting.  Along with liberating Rome and rebuilding the city, there are flags to be found, paintings to be bought and side quests to run.  New to Brotherhood is the group of assassins you train into an incredibly helpful group of killing machines to be called in at will, as long as your kill everyone meter is nice and full. The assassins are insanely helpful in almost every situation when you absolutely have to have someone’s eye replaced with a blade.

The story line can be a bit tricky at times which I chalk up to the use of really authentic sounding Italian names and sometimes forgetting who is who.  Even with that it is still one of the better story lines out there.  You get to spend a bit more time with Desmond, especially at the end of the game, most of which is spent doing precision jumping while having a conversation, a moment that frankly pisses me off a little, mostly due to my inability to multitask away from a computer.

DLC is available that tells the story of Da Vinci’s disappearance at the hands of a rival group of thieves.  Its a fun little romp and does continue the story line but is on the short side.  The DLC will set you back 800 points, or ten bucks for you normal people out there, so unless you’re crazy addicted to the game and story (like i obviously am) its totally worth it.  If you lean to the more frugal side of life, wait until late October when the price will most likely drop on eve of the third game.

Multiplayer joins the list of features new to Assassin’s Creed.  Ubisoft even developed a cool story line for having the multiplayer, which is a nice change of pace from the usual shoehorning of multiplayer in because everyone has it.  Honestly, I haven’t cracked the multiplayer yet, mostly due to the large amount of crap I’ve been playing lately, but hoping to dive in soon and stabbing virtual strangers in the eye.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood has been the shiny beacon in a sea of shit and has restored my faith in gaming.  Don’t read into that too much, I’m very fickle.  Anywho, the 4th and supposedly final installment of the series is due out in November and is expected to tie up all three story lines. I’m ok with the story line for Desmond and crew coming to an end, all good things must, but I hope they continue the gameplay style and excellent writing.

On a side note E3 is next week, or around here known as the week I wrap myself in my Kingdom Hearts blanket and cry myself to sleep to help dull the pain from not being there.  If anything ground breaking is announced, I’ll attempt to write it up through the tears.

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