Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a 2010 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the third major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, a direct sequel to 2009’s Assassin’s Creed II, and the second chapter in the ‘Ezio trilogy’.
The game was first released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November and December 2010, and was later made available on Microsoft Windows in March and June 2011.
The plot follows the centuries-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace with free will, and the Templars, who desire peace through control. The framing story is set in the 21st century and features series protagonist Desmond Miles who, with the aid of a machine known as the Animus, relives the memories of his ancestors to find a way to avert the 2012 apocalypse.
The main story takes place immediately after the plot of Assassin’s Creed II, featuring Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze in 16th century Italy and his quest to restore the Assassin order, and destroy his enemies: the Borgia family.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is set in an open world and presented from the third-person perspective with a primary focus on using Desmond and Ezio’s combat and stealth abilities to eliminate targets and explore the environment.
Ezio is able to freely explore 16th-century Rome to complete side missions away from the primary storyline. The game introduced a multiplayer component to the series, portrayed as a Templar training program.
The game received critical acclaim with critics praising its setting of Rome, content, gameplay improvements over its predecessor and the addition of a multiplayer mode; the story received a mostly positive response, although several critics found it to be inferior to Assassin’s Creed II’s.
It also won multiple awards including a BAFTA award for Best Action Game. It was followed in November 2011 by Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, a direct sequel that served as a conclusion to Ezio’s story and continued the story of Desmond Miles.
A remastered version, along with Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 15, 2016 as part of The Ezio Collection.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is an action-adventure video game with main emphasis on nonlinear, sandbox style gameplay, parkour movements, crowd-blending stealth, assassinations and melee fighting system. The combat system features several improvements and for the first time in the series, the game offers a multiplayer mode alongside 15+ hours of single-player gameplay.
The game introduces a new management system: the player can recruit new members by destroying any of twelve “Borgia towers” around Rome where papal troops are stationed and then rescuing disgruntled citizens in their districts from being harassed by guards. The player, as Ezio, can then send them to assignments around Europe or call them for support during missions (if they are not already occupied).
Tasking the novice Assassins makes them gain experience, and the player is able to customize their appearance, skills, and weapon training to some degree by spending the skill points they have earned. Assassins can die on missions, from which they will not return. Ezio masters new gadgets, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s parachute, which can be used when jumping from tall buildings,along with poison darts, a faster acting poison, a crossbow, and the ability to hold and throw heavier weapons like axes.
The primary setting is Rome, which has fallen into ruin due to the corrupt rule of the Borgia papacy and the Templars over the Papal States and concentrating all the wealth in the Vatican. Just like the town of Monteriggioni in Assassin’s Creed II, the player is able to invest in the city, witness its development, and unlock rewards.
The player has to conquer and destroy Borgia towers to free city zones from the family’s influence. Completing this unlocks new missions and opportunities. Rome is larger than any of the cities in the first two installments (Rome is three times bigger than Florence from Assassin’s Creed II) and includes five districts: Vatican (Vaticano), Central (Centro), Trans-Tiber (Trastevere), Country (Campagna) and Antique (Antico).
Unlike the previous installments, travel between different cities or regions is no longer present, as most of the action in the game takes place around the city of Rome. Instead, a series of tunnel networks throughout the city allow the player to travel to different sectors of the city with ease. However players will be able to explore the entire city of Rome, visit the harbour of Naples, a part of Navarre, Spain, Valnerina, Lake of Nevi and present day Monteriggioni.
The combat system has been modified. Striking first and offensive actions are more deadly in Brotherhood than previous games where counter-attacks were the most efficient. Before, this made the player wait until the AI struck, which slowed down the pace of fighting. The AI in this game is thus more aggressive and enemies can attack simultaneously.
To dispatch them, Ezio can use melee and ranged weapons at the same time, as well as introducing the hidden pistol in combat. After killing one enemy the player can start an execution streak to dispatch multiple enemies quickly. Ezio can throw heavy weapons (axes, spears, and swords) at his enemies. There are new enemy archetypes in addition to those seen in Assassin’s Creed II such as horsemen, arquebusiers, papal guards and others.
Horses play a larger role in Brotherhood, not only used as a means of transport (inside the city for the first time) but as a component of acrobatic sequences and advanced combat as well, allowing ranged weapons to be used while riding them. Brotherhood also introduces various types of horse-related assassinations, featuring horse-to-horse assassinations.
There are environmental objects like the flower pot in Assassin’s Creed II to move faster inside the city (a system of tunnels around the city allow fast travel), as well as new objects such as merchandise lifts to quickly climb up high buildings or structures.
Unlike previous installments, Desmond can leave the Animus at almost any time. This allows Desmond to explore the present-day town of Monteriggioni. The player is also offered virtual training, a mini-game where the player may test their free-running or combat skills.
Like Assassin’s Creed, characters based on historical figures are present in the game, including Rodrigo Borgia, Cesare Borgia, Niccolo Machiavelli, Caterina Sforza and Leonardo da Vinci. Locations in the game include the Colosseum and the Pantheon in Rome.