Why do we play games? Is it the challenge, the adventure, thrill of exploration? Crouched at the top of the Colosseum, starlight illuminating Rome spread out beneath me for as far as the eye could see, I pondered this question. As the moon rose, I rose also, stretched my arms out, and dove gracefully into a bale of hay hundreds of feet below. In that moment of improbable beauty, I know why I play games.
The world is an increasingly frightening place. Tsunamis sweep structures thought permanent away as though they were made of straw. Old men in military uniforms and funny glasses starve and even fire on their own people to maintain control. Corporations alter genetic code of the food we
eat with no understanding of consequence.
In a world where the individual seems to have less choice and impact every day, playing a game as the powerful, confident, and graceful Ezio Auditore da Firenze is refreshing and empowering.
As Ezio, a young rogue stripped of his family’s inheritance by the House of Borgia, you seek to unite the people to uprise against a corrupt and oppressive government. Blending in the shadows or crowds of people, climbing buildings as though swimming through a pond, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, striking down foes with the grace of a panther or hawk, you feel nearly invincible as the cowled Assassin. With weapons ranging from the Assassin’s signature concealed wrist-blade to a primitive firearm given to you by friend Leonardo da Vinci, the Borgia have much to fear.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood builds on the framework of the previous games, with much more variety of tasks for you to complete . As you eliminate the Borgia captain of an area, you are then able to rebuild forges, art shops, and even aqueducts that the Borgia have let decay through neglect. The Thieves and Courtesan Guild have many challenges for you to complete, and a mysterious group known as the Followers of Romulus have multiple crypts throughout Rome which lead to a great treasure. One of the most rewarding tasks is managing the Brotherhood of Assassins. When you rescue a private citizen from bullying soldiers, they gratefully join the Brotherhood. You can call on them with a hawk-like whistle to assassinate targets for you, while you remain safely in the shadows. You can also send your assassins on missions which earn them better armor and weapons. Managing assassins is fun, one of the best new additions to the game from Assassin’s Creed 2.
Although Brotherhood gives you many challenges, sometimes it is more fun to simply roam the huge city of Rome. The architecture and scenery of the game are beautiful, and it is relaxing to call a horse and ride for a half hour from one end of the city to the other, or climb tall monuments and watch the sun rise. I’ve spent more than a little time skulking on rooftops, stalking a hapless guard and deciding which way to dispatch him. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood gives you a rich world to play in when the real world is overwhelming.
Though it may take me a long time to finish Ezio’s Quest, I will continue returning to Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood’s Rome, and I rate the game:
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood was played for 24 hours and is 31% complete. Click hearts for explanation of rating system.