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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood -- Collector's Edition


ESRB Rating: Mature

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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood -- Collector's Edition

UPC: 008888246251

Platform: PlayStation 3

Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Category: Action

Style(s): Third-Person 3D Action

Synopsis: Ezio Auditore da Firenze's relentless pursuit of the Templar Order continues in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the first game in the series to feature a multiplayer component. To deal a crippling blow to his opposition, Ezio takes the fight to Rome, where corruption and tyranny reign. He'll need help to succeed in his mission, however, relying on a brotherhood of assassins to assist him in reclaiming the city. You'll recruit and train a cadre of killers, sending them off to perform specific missions elsewhere in the city, or having them join you in completing your own tasks.

As you complete jobs, you'll receive money that can be used to reconstruct the capital city, earning the trust and loyalty of the people, which will unlock additional factions and missions. Poison darts, hidden guns, parachutes, and the advanced flying machine are once again at your disposal, along with historical figures Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Caterina Sforza. In addition to the single-player campaign, which spans an estimated 15 hours in length, Brotherhood lets you compete online with an assortment of character classes.

Each class, from the priest and prowler to the engineer and executioner, possesses a distinct weapon and special ability, such as speed boosts or smoke bombs, to gain an edge. The goal in the game's "wanted" mode is to systemically eliminate the competition by using a combination of stealth, special abilities, and acrobatic maneuvers. In the game's "alliance" mode, you'll engage in faction versus faction battles. Brotherhood is available as a standalone release and as part of a collector's edition. The latter includes a bonus disc featuring a making-of video, trailers, soundtrack, and development diary; a fold-out map of Rome; an art book; a jack-in-the-box collectible with the doctor class type; and two in-game maps for the single-player campaign: Aqueduct and Trajan Market. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

Package Contents: Two Exclusive In-Game Single Player Maps

Controls: Joystick/Gamepad

The action in Ubisoft's third Assassin's Creed game is so exhilarating it makes you want to run out of the house and start mimicking the behavior of the lead protagonist. The problem is that said behavior could land you in jail, the hospital, or the morgue. Nevertheless, the developers have taken what was so right in Assassin's Creed II, which includes the cool and charming Ezio Auditore da Firenze as lead protagonist, polished and tightened the mission structure and controls, and placed it in one of the most majestic spectacles of a setting in the series to date: Rome.

Picking up immediately where Assassin's Creed II left off, Brotherhood wastes little time in setting up the story: Ezio's pursuit of his uncle's murderer takes him through the crowded streets of Rome. The overall format is similar to Assassin's Creed II. Instead of a mansion, Ezio operates from a villa, which like before, can be upgraded with artwork and trophies from your exploits. There are shops, banks, and landmarks to be purchased with money earned from your contracts, allowing you the satisfaction of reclaiming and renovating the impoverished areas of Rome from an oppressive regime.

The story is memorable, with the dysfunctional Borgia family taking center stage. The climbing takes more thought and skill than in the second game, to the point where you'll often find yourself stuck and thinking about where to grab or leap, lest you fall to your doom. The combat is tightly paced and offers more variety, and you can even call on the help of other assassins-in-training with a press of a button. Each assassin under your care will grow in stats over time, providing he or she doesn't get killed, making you feel like an actual head of an organization instead of a cog in the machine.

The best part of Brotherhood is the variety of things to do. The repetitive structure of the original is now a distant memory. In addition to the more complicated climbing, you can reclaim parts of the city by purchasing buildings, but only after you've wrested control of Borgia towers guarded by powerful captains. There are underground dungeons filled with traps and puzzles, reminiscent of Tomb Raider, and there are missions were you'll have to carefully infiltrate well-defended compounds. Leonardo da Vinci is back with new missions that will grant players new weapons and gadgets, such as the hand crossbow, to master once complete.

Yet the most surprising aspect of Brotherhood is the addition of a multiplayer mode, which fits the stealthy assassin theme perfectly. Instead of trying to rack up kills while running around out in the open, you instead must hide in plain view, carefully blending in with computer-controlled characters to slowly, silently stalk your prey while trying to avoid arousing the suspicions of other nearby players that are trying to blend in as well. The more creative you are in your assassination attempts, the more points you earn, making for a distinctive experience than the multiplayer modes in other games.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is not the huge leap forward that Assassin's Creed II was from the original game, but it's added enough layers and wrinkles to the action while offering a story that's intriguing and compelling enough to hold your interest even despite the many distractions available in the world. If you enjoyed what the developers accomplished with Assassin's Creed II, then you should do everything in your power to sprint, wall jump, and leap your way past eager shoppers to secure your copy. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.