Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Review

Kid Safe: Low                     Game Quality: Very High

Genre: Open World Action/Adventure
-    This game takes place where choice is everything. Rather than providing a set story that a player has to follow, they are provided a world that they can explore and do as they wish with a focus similar to an action movie. Likewise, as players adventure through this title they will find alternate means of completing their tasks including battles, negotiation, and puzzle solving.

Internet Requirements: Moderate
-    This game features a moderate amount of online content. The game features a very in-depth multiplayer mode where players can battle with and against individuals from around the world in a variety of different game modes; the more someone plays, the more weapons and special abilities are unlocked for usage in battle.

Story Summary: In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, you take on two roles, the first as
                           Desmond Miles, a man from modern day who is on the run from the Templar-run
   Abstergo company who desires to take over the world; the second as Ezio
   Auditore da Firenze, a master assassin and the genetic ancestor of Desmond
   Miles who Desmond is studying (and you play) through a high-tech machine
   called the Animus that allows individuals to access genetic-based memories. As
   Ezio, you must travel to Rome after your home is attacked and many of your
   family murdered by Cesare, the head of the Papal Guard and aspiring ruler of
   Italy. Upon arrival in Rome, you must build relations with the Thieves' Guild,
   Courtesans, and local Mercenaries before rebuilding the Assassins' order and
   taking your revenge on Cesare and the Papal Guard. 

Kid Safe: Low
-          Foul Language: Without Captions - Low / With Captions - High
o   Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood features a very interesting approach to foul language by presenting almost all cuss words in Italian due to a "translation program error". The observed foul language consists of the following words: f*ck, w*ore, a*shole, s*it, and b*stard. For individuals not using captions, the amount of foul language is low and is presented solely when using Desmond Miles. The majority of foul language instead takes place with Ezio is only translated from Italian to English through caption usage.

-          Violence and Gore: High
o   Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, as the name might imply, features a high amount of Violence and Gore. Players are able to kill guards and soldiers with a variety of weaponry and skills including crossbows, daggers, swords, hammers, axes, guns, and Ezio's Hidden Blade which is a blade that is hidden beneath his wrist and snaps out when he wants it to. This title features depictions of very up-close and personal killing where the character Ezio will stab enemies, often showing a small amount of blood and a blade sticking through wherever was stabbed (including head, chest, or neck). Likewise, there are scenes in both single player and multiplayer where characters have their neck broken violently as well as have their throat slit up close to the camera. There are also scenes of individuals who have been hung up and crucified as well as a woman who has been hung.
o   Blood and Gore requires special mention in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. To begin, there isn't really that much to begin with in the Single Player story. The blood that is shown is low with it primarily being red spots on clothing as well as small amounts of red spray from an enemy that is attacked. However, in the multiplayer mode, the gore is increased. Whenever a character is killed, there is often a long spray of blood from whatever wound is sustained on the obvious exception of manual wounds (such as a broken neck). This aside, the reason the Blood and Gore requires special mention is because the game allows you to turn off depictions of Blood; therefore all of the above is avoidable should the player so choose.
-          Sexually-Related Content: Moderate
o   Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood features a moderate amount of sexually related content. This content is primarily done through reference with the exception of some hints of nudity and sexual contact. To begin, the hints of nudity and sexual contact occur first between Ezio and one of his allies who take to the bedroom. You see this young woman strip to lingerie and then there is an extended scene of them kissing and grinding against each other. After a black out you see them together under the sheets with the suggestion that they are nude. The second scene slight nudity/sexual contact takes place at a large party where individuals run about spanking each other and giggling in their underwear. Finally, the sexual references occur in the form of sexual innuendo as well as discussion concerning cuckolding, orgies, sexual preferences, and the fact that you are in league with a Brothel.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Very Low
o   Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood contains a very low amount of use of drugs and alcohol which pertain only to alcoholic references in conversation as well as a scene at a party where individuals are imbibing alcohol.

Game Quality: Very High
-          Graphics / Visuals: Very High
o   The graphical quality in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is absolutely astounding and stands out as some of the finest work to date. To begin, the detail that goes into every visual in this game is incredible and, so long as you have an HD TV, are able to make out everything from the the fine grooves and intricate designs of Ezio's armor to the aged and pockmarked appearance of the rotting stone of Roman buildings. And should the sprawling city of Rome not be enough, you are welcome to take to the countryside and marvel at ancient monuments such as the Coliseum or Aqueducts. On top of this, the character animations are nearly flawless and people move realistically with no single action being the same over and over no matter if they are walking, climbing, swimming, or fighting.
o   Probably the only graphical flaw that we have found in the presentation of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood are in the horses which do not seem to move realistically but instead have this odd loping action that seems to move slower than all the other characters around it. That aside, they also don't seem to have a fur texture but instead look like glossed plastic.
-          Audio: Very High
o   Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood features a very high audio quality in almost every form. To begin, the music of this title is impressive, on par with an epic play or musical, and features a full musical score by Jesper Kyd. The music covers a full range of emotions and easily heightens the player's experience as it rises and falls, quickens or slacks; making chase scenes hard throbbing and the loss of a friend earth-shattering. Likewise, if the music doesn't get you, the voice acting will. Bringing back the talent of Roger Craig Smith and others from the previous title, "Assassin's Creed 2", the voice acting is absolutely spot-on and brings emotion and feeling to each scene whether it's with the tone of someone's voice or perhaps the soft, amusing banter between friends as they try and lighten the tense mood. Finally, if the first two didn't appeal to you, perhaps the ambient sounds of the world will. The changing clatter of horse hoofs as they pass from different types of stone or soil or perhaps the soft creaking of rotting wood and rope as your clamber across it after your target. The audio for this title is a treat and I encourage the usage of headphones or surround sound.

-          Gameplay / Playability: High
o   Overall, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood features a high amount of Gameplay and Playability. To begin, the controls are streamlined so that they work quickly and cleanly and so that almost every action seems natural and smooth. With just the touch of a button, players are able to seamlessly scale a massive tower or building. Likewise, combat is simple and effective, allowing players to specify weapons that they normally use and draw them without delay. Once in battle, players who are able to kill an opponent can quickly glide from enemy to enemy, killing each with a single button. This was so smooth that we were able to kill 32 enemies in a fight.
o   However, while the controls are generally smooth, Assassin's Creed's problem boils down into telling you what those controls are. The game generally presumes that individuals played the previous iterations of the franchise and only vaguely explain the controls in the middle of a massive battle. It took some time to fully get a hang of them, but once I did it worked well. The one other problem that we found was concerning Leonardo da Vinci's Flying Machine which, once again, explained the controls slowly and I had actually crashed and died twice before I was told how to properly control it.
-          Dollar-Value: Very High
o   Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood features an impressively high dollar-value. To begin, the game's single-player story will merit somewhere in the range of 14 to 20 hours of gameplay, depending on how thorough the player is in completing everything that can be done. In the single-player story, players will not only be able to explore the vast expanses of Rome, but also pilot prototype flying machines, tanks, boats, parachutes, and more. They will be able to purchase and rebuild sections of Rome and ancient Roman monuments. They will be able to rescue, train, and call in the aide of other Assassin's to help take down their enemies. Likewise, should they want to practice their skills, players have a vast array of training and challenges sections where they can bolster their skills. Finally, if players still aren't satisfied, they have a vast multiplayer mode available online where they can challenge other Assassins from around the world in several different game types where points are awarded based on subtlety and skill rather than number of kills; as is common with most online games. 

-    While Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood might be a bit too gruesome for your taste, several other titles may be appropriate with Sly Cooper and Infamous both able satisfy a player's need for exploring a vast city in any fashion they so choose. However, the reviewer feels it necessary to note that, should blood and captions be turned off, this game very likely could be enjoyed by younger audiences with little issue.

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