In addition to getting messed up by an ear infection this past weekend, I beat Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood! Thoughts:
- The actual story was a little underwhelming. Brotherhood has a satisfying arc tied around the restoration of Rome, but the story of Assassin’s Creed 2 was stronger. Early in the game it looked like the story would spin off plotlines for the courtesans, mercenaries, and thieves guilds, but they were minor deviations from the main story, which revolved around Cesare from beginning to end.
- The different guilds ultimately provided a lot of the optional content, which is why I can say I beat the game despite finishing only 60% of the content. There’s a lot to the game! If I played this when it came out, I could easily see myself chasing down all the assassination missions and side quests and be satisfied for quite a while, but now I’m a bit more inclined to move on to the next game.
- Rome was amazing. Despite being limited to the one city, I didn’t feel at all constricted. And I barely used any of the tunnels to quick-travel; instead I’d grab a horse, and enjoy riding through the narrow street… or along ancient Roman ruins… or through the countryside… or through the Vatican. Just mind-blowing.
- I thought most of the missions were pretty good. I did getting angry a few times. One time the mission turned into a chase from the Colosseum to a ruined market just outside the city proper, which would’ve been OK except that the guards were after me (even after respawning); the guy ran past a couple groups of guards including the annoying sprinters who run faster than Ezio; there was insufficient time to call or steal a horse before falling too far behind; and once I finally did manage to get to the end, the game didn’t care that guards were after me at all. And some of the missions had a real problem with player agency, ie: I’m dressed as an actor and supposed to go on stage, but if I walk past the guards to go on stage, they instantly kill me. Eh?
But in all, it was an amazing game. And utterly gorgeous. Buying the Assassin’s Creed bundle during last Christmas’s Steam sale was an excellent idea.
… But not as good as the Wireless XBox 360 Controller dongle for the PC. *That* was a legit for-reals life changer.