OK, so I didn’t get the all-singing, all-dancing Codex edition direct from the Ubishop (it was £14.99, but they cancelled my order), but I did get the standard edition for £8.28-ish, so it’s not bad. Blimey. This £18 Rule has addled my head – I used to think £30 was cheap for a game!
I’ve played about the first hour or so of Brotherhood now. It carries on directly from the previous game, and there’s a quite clever sequence where you lose most of your weapons, armour and health points from the previous game, which is better than in other games where it is unexplained, or something.
At the moment, I’m in Monteriggioni – as Desmond. Which is awesome. I’d be very surprised if a later Assassin’s Creed game isn’t almost entirely Desmond. Anyway, it’s great so far!
Since I was so close to getting all the achievements in the game, I went back and, er, got all the achievements. Collecting all the feathers was the real time consumer, especially since I only had 30 or so of the 100, and after that I just had to wear my prize in all the game locations (easy) and perform a few fancy fighting moves for the remaining achievements.
And that’s it! I could go and get all the treasures now, but I get nothing for it (except money, which I have more than I could ever spend anyway), but I’ve done everything else!
Brotherhood needs to be bought now. And soon. I did buy it from the online Ubisoft store, but they cancelled my order, so I hate them now.
That’s probably the best game I’ve played in quite a long time. So good, in fact, I’m a bit disappointed it’s all over. Well, it isn’t quite, as I immediately went back in a mopped up some achievements, bagged the last few glyphs, and started the trawl for feathers.
Luckily, being behind the times with the series, I can now pick up the follow-up, Brotherhood, for peanuts as the game after that, Revelations, is out very soon. Excellent! Sometimes living a little in the past is good 🙂
The end of the game was brilliant, but the final boss fight was unexpectedly short and easy. Very, very easy, in fact. The guy at the end of the first game was really difficult, but this guy? If you hold block you can’t get hit. At all. Oh well. At least it wasn’t frustrating.
Many years ago, I played the original Assassin’s Creed. I mostly enjoyed it. It was very good. But, as I said back then:
The down points are the annoyingly repetitive fighting (especially later in the game when you have to block every attack and can’t just wade in) and the dodgy sensitivity of the wall running and ledge-grabbing when sometimes you can’t climb up even though you know you can – it just won’t let you, you have to climb down and back up the exact same bit to make it “work”. The way the save points work is irritating too, since it saves for you, but sometimes you still have to go back a fair way if you quit and reload.
Thankfully, the sequel fixes all that. There are more ways to prevent fights (better assassination moves), more moves within fights, fewer fights in general, and it’s easier to get away from them – partly because the wall running and ledge-grabbing is mostly fixed. There are more checkpoints too, so saving is less of an issue.
And it’s fun. More varied than the previous game. The cities seem bigger and better designed. Getting from one city to another is streamlined. And it looks even more impressive. Even the story is better. The Assassin’s Tomb raiding is fun. Looking for glyphs is fun. It’s all just brilliant. And fun – but I think I said that.
In terms of story, I’m part way through sequence 9 (of, I think, 14), and it’s taken easily 20 hours to get here. However, much of that time has been glyph, tomb, treasure and codex hunting. I have all the best armour and nearly all the weapons, and have upgraded the villa as far as I can, so I no longer need money, and can just get on with doing the missions for the most part. I’ve still a few codex pages and glyphs though, but nowhere to look for them just yet.
Only had two bugs so far – one where two guards on a boat didn’t appear (a pain since I was supposed to kill them), so I had to kill myself (the only time I’ve died so far!) to make them reappear. It’s a common bug, apparently. The other one was when I fell off a building, and landed under the floor. I stood up and my knees down were underneath the floor as I walked around. Once I’d climbed up something it was fine again though.
That’s right. Completed. Although I was only about half the way through yesterday, I played it rather a lot this afternoon. And this evening. Yeah, so pretty much all day. Oops.
Naturally, I assassinated the last few targets, leaving me with Robert – the guy who I ran from at the start of the game. However, he’d left a decoy in his place, so I had to go off to meet King Richard on the battlefield to tell him of Robert’s treachery. This involved lots of tedious multi-participant fighting, which was just long rather than hard. In fact, most of the fights towards the end of the game turned into “block-and-counterattack” confrontations, making it all a bit samey.
After bumping off Robert, I learned something I’d suspected for a while – the real baddie, the guy behind everything to do with “the new world order” that was being set up, was none other than Al Maulim. The old guy in Masyaf. My teacher.
So I won’t spoil the rest of the ending, but it finishes up in the lab having bumped Al Maulim off (finally – he was bloody hard!), and some truths are discovered. Oh, and exploring the lab and siderooms is a must afterwards too…
The verdict then. The good points are the story, the graphics, and the free-running across the rooftops. The down points are the annoyingly repetitive fighting (especially later in the game when you have to block every attack and can’t just wade in) and the dodgy sensitivity of the wall running and ledge-grabbing when sometimes you can’t climb up even though you know you can – it just won’t let you, you have to climb down and back up the exact same bit to make it “work”. The way the save points work is irritating too, since it saves for you, but sometimes you still have to go back a fair way if you quit and reload.
Having said all that, it’s not a bad game at all, and is worth far more than the 5/10 scores some magazines (like EGM) seem to be giving it. I won’t be going back to it to get all the flags, though – that’d just be silly.
So I’ve killed the bloke in Jerusalem, and then it was off (via Massaf) to Damascus again, to kill a fat, and overtly gay, businessman who was holding a party just so he could poison all the guests. Amazing.
He was the easiest kill so far, and with him bumped off I went up a rank and got some more items, and then set off for Acre again. I’ve not done anything there yet, though.
So I’m enjoying the game, trying to avoid the annoying bits, but the thing which is actually holding my attention more is the hated-by-most “meta-story”. That’s the science-fictiony bit set in either the present day or near-future that’s supposed to be a secret but the powars of the intarnets have ruined it, so it’s not. Of course, the actual plot hasn’t been given away (at least, I’ve not seen it), so it doesn’t really matter. Besides, the secret is let out as soon as you leave the title screen.
Some preditions: the old guy who is head of the Assassins is going to be the end of game baddie. At some point, I’ll escape the lab that I’m trapped in. And Desmond and Lucy will, well, you know. Tune in later for the results!
If only the game was all in Taggart-speak. Imagine how ace it’d be then! Not that it’s bad – it’s just… varied. The running over the rooftops is excellent, and the fighting isn’t too bad. I like some of the “investigation” things, but others are tedious. The horse riding from city to city is also pretty tedious.
The actual assassinations (so far – I’ve only done two) have been great, but the running away afterwards has mostly been luck-based. You can’t really plan a route, as the leaps are too hit and miss and the guards sometimes give chase, other times don’t.
How do the save points on this work, exactly? Last time I played, I’d made it all the way to Damascus. When I started playing today, I was 15 minutes away, although all the view points I’d reached previously were still “counted”. I don’t get it.
Anyway. I ran round the city a lot, which was fun, eavesdropped some people, beat up lots of guards who seemed to enjoy harassing locals, and climbed all the view points.
Then, it was time to do the kill. Which was easy, although I was less sneaky assassin, more blundering sword swiper.
Started this for the sole purpose of trying out something other than Tony Hawk on my new speakers. It doesn’t (yet) have the immersion, soundwise, but then I have only played it for just over an hour.
Well, I say I’ve played it for just over an hour. In reality, I’ve watched it a lot, pressed a button every now and again, and been shown how to press buttons. Oh, and I’ve been killed and somehow came back to life. Or something.
The running around and climbing is fun. The fighting is OK. The handy-holdy nature of the game isn’t so great, though. But I have found a traitor by eavesdropping and “interrogating” (i.e. punching him in the face), then got a horse, rode most of the way to Damascus, and climbed lots of lookout points on the way.
Oh, and had some scenes where I’m not Altair. But I won’t spoil it for you, even if half the internets have already…