Renovating Rome, exploring, finding the hidden Lairs of Romulus (not saying anymore on that) killing Borgia captains and building your economy are just a small part of it. There’s also a management-lite part of the game when you unlock the Assassin’s Guild, where Ezio recruits the oppressed people of Rome to join his order. After saving a citizen of Rome you can recruit them into the guild and this is where the game really gets interesting.
There are Contracts to take and each one net the assassin(s) experience, once they level up you can assign a skill point between weapons and armour. This way you slowly grow your assassins so they become finely honed killing machines. Each contract is rated based on its difficulty and the harder it is, the better the assassin must be. You can see how well they’ll do with a handy percentage meter that runs from 0 to 100.
100 percent success and they’ll come back after x-minutes of real time and net xp and money for the cause.
Lower odds mean they could be killed. They’re not immortal, so you need to be mindful of how you manage that part of the game. You can hone them and use them when you’re out in the field too. Once you have an assassin flag (it requires 2,4,6 assassins to be recruited per flag) you can call them in with the left bumper.
They will appear and deal with your assailants before running or melting away into the shadows. You can let them fight it out, or you can directly help them in battle – it is up to you. Remember that they can die and unless they’re particularly badass they may well do so. You’ll need to recruit another citizen and invest time and money into them.
Assassins away on missions cannot be deployed like this, so it is wise to always have a backup team on standby.
If you get 3 flags (6 assassins) you can call in an Arrow Storm which basically kills every guard in line of sight.
Assassin flags have a recharge meter and it clearly shows when you can call on them again.
You can manage the guild from Assassin Towers or Pigeon coops, and you can also get contracts to perform yourself. So there’s even more to do in Rome, you won’t get bored with this game’s single player. Rome is big too, so there are horses, horses from which you can fight...leap...assassinate and ride around the city looking badass on. They aren’t just for show, they’re not as well realised as the horses from Red Dead Redemption, but they do their job.
There’s also a handy dandy VR training sim that lets you hone your skills, compete on leaderboards and earn gold medals for bonuses in Brotherhood. You can visit this at any time and you can also replay memories from within the DNA menu, so you can get that all important 100% synch on every mission eventually.Unleash the blade within the voice
Key to Brotherhood is Ezio’s upgraded combat arsenal, new weapons and new systems have been implemented to make you more of a badass. Taking the lead in combat is important now; if you get first strike you can actually cause your enemy to falter...even the big brute guys from 2. You can perform a kick to break their block and should you manage to perform an execution, you can implement a new trick called a Kill Streak. This allows you to target another enemy close at hand and dispatch them with one brutal hit.
As long as you can keep this chain up, you can murder hordes of guards and feel like a badass whilst doing it. So far I’ve managed 14 kills in a row without being touched once. Key to this is countering successfully when you see a guard moving in for the kill.
Ezio’s arsenal of weapons has the crossbow, first seen in Assassin’s Creed and much more, things that I can’t talk about. The gun is now part of combat and at any time without selecting it you can hold down X and let loose a barrage of lead in your smarmy Borgia opponents face, shocking all who see it. The crossbow though, is a pure joy to use and has good range and is completely silenced, perfect for stealth missions. You can now store a heavy weapon permanently too – as long as you buy the right sheath for it from the shops.
The combat is tonnes better than Assassin’s Creed 2 and the guards are no longer pushovers, but they’re also no longer as uber-badass as they once were as long as you learn the combat system and counters. You can really show off your prowess and brutally slaughter the enemy with style.
There are also other toys that you’ll get hold of, toys that you might have seen in the various videos – but I consider some of these spoilers so I’m saying nothing about them. Apart from they’re cool and provide even more options to creatively dispatch your enemies.Graphical Appeal
Rome is gorgeous, the graphics of this game are a step above Creed 2 and it shows. There is the odd glitch now and then (I’ve seen only one) in the textures. And sometimes people pop-in from nowhere, but hey...this is really set in a giant computer simulation so you can forgive them some odd behaviour now and then. The level of detail has gone up from Creed 2 and the lighting, colour, everything seems a lot sharper. No grumbles there. The day/night cycle is subtle and beautiful.