The AI has been sharpened; guards can now grapple you much more efficiently and will hold you there for their friends to smack down. You can break this grapple of course; they will also attack in groups rather than waiting for you to kill them off one by one. The various kinds of guards are back, they all employ better tactics this time around and the seeker style guards are just as paranoid.
Your guild brothersí AI is superb and they will actively seek out targets, engage in battle and take down enemies with a variety of attacks. An upgraded assassin is a powerful foe and they can make mincemeat of the heavy guards using coordinated attacks. I called one assassin in and he leapt onto the guardís horse, stabbing him and riding off with the guyís mount before he vanished out of sight.
The AI has been improved in terms of the rooftop guards too, they have better seeking AI and they can be fooled into falling for some traps. Not all. Guards change their patterns during the day and night, so do the citizens as well, with lantern toting crowds and nightlife coming out when the sun goes down.
Crowd AI has been improved too.Physics
The physics of the game have been improved, thereís more weight to combat and the bodies donít just slide everywhere when you perform an assassination on them, they slump down in a variety of ways and often remain that way until you move them. Sound
The sound is excellent and thereís a lot of ambient atmosphere here in the game, you can stop and listen to the city as it changes between night and day and thereís more meat to the battles, the clash of blades and the cries of the enemy as they take damage are great.
The music is excellent, in fact I want the soundtrack to this game on a standalone CD it is that good. It can be extremely subtle, with a strange haunting quality or driving and dynamic matching the on screen action perfectly.Voice and Dialogue
Brotherhood has superb voice acting all around that complements the extremely well written dialogue. I canít say much more than that really.Play against and with friends
Not content with giving us some amazing 15 hour+ gameplay for single player that definitely continues the story of Ezio. Ubisoft have taken multiplayer by the throat and made an extremely addictive, experience driven and rank system based assassination gameplay that fits in with the Assassinís Creed mythos as well.
You are an Abstergo (Templar) employee and you are being trained via your own Animus, to kill the last of the Assassin Order using their very methods. The simulated killing ground is your training zone and you are thrown in with up to 6-8 other people for a damn good time.
You get experience for being sneaky and playing like an assassin, remaining incognito as your chosen avatar and dispatching your target with style. Itís not as easy as it sounds though because your vr gamespace is populated with clones of the archetypes that you can pick and any one of those npc clones could be your target. You wonít know until you strike, get the wrong one and youíll suffer for it.
To help you thereís a HUD element that creates a slowly filling circle that lets you know youíre close to your target Ė it doesnít point them out but it does give you an idea. Now it is just a matter of looking at for the targetís image in the top right box and matching that to the dozens of similar characters that are walking around, talking, doing their thing. A clever assassin will try and blend in and fool you by trying to act like an npc, or even standing in a crowd of lookalikes.
To make matters worse, youíre also the target of one or more killers and the HUD lets you know someoneís on your trail. So itís a deadly game of online cat and mouse which is immense fun.
There are other gamemodes, but Iíve only tried the free for all and team based modes so far. Thereís no real lag online and the whole thing is awesome fun. You earn xp and rank up, you gain Call of Duty 4/MW2 and Black Ops style perks to add to your character and unlock new stuff as you do so.
This kind of multiplayer is killer, in both senses of the word. It is a heart-quickening feeling to know that youíre seconds away from killing your target and that at any time the Courtesan that you think is an npc, could leap on you and slit your throat with her razor sharp fan.
Thatís the only word we can add to this game, it is simply astounding and an amazing achievement for just 12 months of development. Ubisoft has done the Assassinís Creed franchise proud and created for me one of the best games of 2010, if not the best and you know how much I love Red Dead Redemption.
So, get it...get it today!
Now if youíll excuse me, my dudes are back from their mission and I have some points to distribute!
Requiescat in pace