As you may or may not have seen, I completed AC: Brotherhood on Sunday. I thought I’d share some very brief thoughts on the game as I wrap up my time with this entry in the series, and prepare for the next.
Both Assassin’s Creed 2 and Brotherhood are incredible works of art. I won’t go into intricate details here, but suffice it to say that the music, presentation, and historical research that went into these games comes together to create an unforgettable experience.
My favorite part of Brotherhood, specifically, is how the plot unfolds. There are several factions, and each sequence essentially focuses on one of the factions. It was a smart way to layer the story, and it worked particularly well in the context of building a brotherhood of assassins.
It’s just disappointing that all of this falls apart so easily during the gameplay.
Alas, AC: Brotherhood inherits a lot of the bugs and glitches that its predecessor had, and somehow seems to make them worse, to boot. As both @ndoto and I played, cries of “Ezio! You idiot!” accompanied almost every task. Foremost in our frustration was controlling Ezio. He randomly grabs walls and items nearby to him and starts to climb them or scale them. Sometimes this is what you want, most times it is not. This is frustrating, but as you play the game you learn to adapt to it and go with Ezio’s spastic flow. What is absolutely unforgivable, though, is Ezio’s tendency to leap to his death. He could be lined up with a wooden beam right in front of him, but for some unknown reason, he will leap off to the left, away from the wooden beam, and plunge to his death. The first couple of times you think perhaps you aren’t controlling the character properly. But as this scenario repeats, you realize that, no, the game is just that glitchy.
To add insult to injury, Brotherhood added the concept of “full synchronization” – completing a sequence successfully with a certain restriction. With the controls the way they are, meeting the full synchronization requirement often requires a lot of time and patience. Needless to say, it was early on in the game that I gave up on the hope of achieving full synchronization for every sequence.
There is even one part of the game that completely glitches out, such that you can’t successfully experience it. It’s not game breaking, but it’s disappointing. And this is one year later. It should have been patched long before now.
Despite all this, I feel that the Assassin’s Creed series of games is something that should not be missed. That being said, though, the current story arc is on its way to being resolved. Ubisoft has stated its intent to keep the series going – but if these bugs don’t get fixed, no one is going to want to invest in the next chapter.
I don’t foresee AC: Revelations fixing any of these problems. But it would be encouraging to see at least some improvement – a promise from Ubisoft that they care about the future of the series as much as its fans.