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Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Day#1: Bentornato Ezio

LA Noire hurt and made me need to play something I knew would be fun, so I went back to a safety game: Assassin’s Creed. Brotherhood’s been sitting on my shelf for a while, so it seemed like a good palette cleanser. And day 1 has borne out my expectation. The Ezio stuff is not as good as AC2. Still,  it’s the same kind of fun I’m used to. Session 1 has a few new elements, but they don’t matter. It’s the parkouring and the stabbing from the shadows that I expected. The real world stuff is even more awful than I remembered, but running around Renaissance Italian has not ceased to be cool. Spoilers within.

I needed something interesting to play that I knew I would like, and AC2 was OSSIM, so I had no doubt I would like Brotherhood. Here we go. The game is pretty old now, so I have to update first. It starts with the familiar white loading screens and the simple title screen with logo and start button. I start story mode and cut to lab flashback, which reexplains the war between two organizations: the Templars, now known as Argo Industries, seeking world domination; and the Assassins, who safeguard humanity’s free will … by wantonly massacring people. I now remember how silly the morality in this game is. And oh right, love interest Lucy is an UGLY model. There’s all this backstory, but all I can think is that this Templars taking over the world thing is so dumb, and the modern character Desmond is the most boring action hero I’ve ever seen. It’s like wtaching a popsicle save the world. Anyway, I cut to a medieval war in scratchy quasi-computer-looking load. I get control of Ezio briefly for a  quick time event to kill somenoe that Maria Auditore told me to. What that actually means is that I hit x a lot and then cut to a  CS of Ezio overviewing a battle. The screen shifts to  weird computer space as Rebecca (another stupid modern character) covers diagnostics, and we cut to a flashback of AC2 where Ezio being told by the gods that Desmond is the future. It’s going to be a dull future, I guess.

I get control back in the Vatican. It’s interesting to take the story from the very last moment of the last game. There’s a CS of Ezio noticing the pope got away. You have to read my post from AC2 to know why that is pissing me off.  Ezio goes to take the staff, but it sinks into the ground and the whole platform he’s on descends and walls come in and rotate. Ezio’s uncle Mario shows up at the top of the pit to tell him to climb up so they can leave. I get control to climb up and after a minute of relearning the controls, I get out. We leave the room and there’s a CS of monks condemning us as we run through them and out of the church. We fight a bunch of guys in the next room and defeat them easily. We then get to the top of a tower. In CS, Ezio weighs dropping the orb but hesitates. He gives it to Mario to hold for him and they CS jump off the tower in a leap of faith. That is still OSSIM.

We cut to Monteriggioni, Ezio’s manor. Mario and Ezio ride into town after seeing the manor’s new artillery fire. They see Ezio’s sister (the past models are SO much better looking) who tells Ezio that the Countess of Forli is here to see him. I get control and enter town following Mario. Once inside, there are a bunch of mission alerts on the lower left hand map. I take the first one and find mercenaries at the cannons. They CS say that they need to find the guy who made the cannons to get them working. I get control to find the engineer and after a short CS conversation of no importance, I escort him to the mercenaries. When the cannons are fixed, I get to fire them  — they are awfully slow moving. I hit 5 targets to finish the quest. The next quest is to bring flowers someplace. Ezio flirts with the girl I’m following and she doesn’t know who he is and accidentally reveals a surprise party for him. It’s just a follow the girl as she walks kind of quest, so it’s trivial. The final quest guy has lost Mario’s favorite horse just outside the manor. I get on the horse and bring him back. The horse handler tells me to not spend so much time in battle.

I go back into the manor. There’s a CS with Countess Catherina.  She wants an alliance to defend Forli against papal armies. I then talk to my family about what happened last game. Machiavelli is here and he says Ezio should have killed the pope. AND HE’S RIGHT!!! You tell me, Machiavelli. Mario backs Ezio up for no good reason. I go up to the bedroom. There’s a CS of Ezio removing armor and talking a bath and then the Countess enters to massage his shoulders. To cut to the chase, Ezio gets some from the Countess. It’s a pretty unimaginative suggestive scene that’s kind of the standard sex scene of  “serious story” games today. When that’s done, there’s a CS of them talking as they hear cannons fire and then a cannonball flies into room.  We’re under attack. Ezio CS throws a shirt on and runs outside for a nice long shot of a tower being destroyed.  Mario tells Ezio they need to hold the invaders off with the residents escape. He rides off as Ezio tells him to take care of himself, and it’s plain as day that Mario will be leaving his earthly concerns behind before this battle is over. I get control and I have to use cannons to blow up enemy artillery while people escape. There’s a count in the right corner that counts down as I blow things up. I’m not sure I can lose this scene. However, at the end, the enemies breach the wall and I have to fight them. I run along the top of the wall into a fight, and kill a bunch of them but I die against a knight a couple of times because I don’t remember the controls very well. I finally beat them to see a CS of Borgia (he’s a Templar bad guy) entering with the orb I gave Mario and see Mario on ground.  Borgia shoots Mario in the head and Ezio gets shot off of the rooftop here’s standing on.

Ezio dragged away by his men to another part of the manor and then calls some mercenaries to continue the fight. I’m not sure why we needed that cut. I kill some guys and then save my sister and follow her, protecting her from guards to get back to the manor. They CS enter a hidden tunnel, run to an antechamber and see their mother. We escape to a field, and there’s a CS of Ezio telling his sister to take their mother to Firenze.  Ezio is going to Rome. His mother reminds him to remember for whom the assassin’s fight, and he rides off.  We cut to another later CS where Ezio collapses as he rides at night. We snap back to the present where our cipher-heroes are in some truck. They are looking for the other pieces of Eden, and they need to get Ezio’s apple first. The van stops and they are at the Monteriggioni manor in the real world. They all start talking some nonsense about synchronization and some memory of Ezio’s they can’t access, but I can barely listen to this horribly paced dialogue. Man, these  modern women are ugly. How do they get this so wrong with the modern characters when the Renaissance characters are decent?  I get control to follow a ghost of Ezio through the villa to a basement. Lucy and Ezio are going off alone to get the rest of the team inside the ruined manor. This is a very Prince of Persia climbing sequence, but it is coupled with terrible, TERRIBLE writing of the flirting between Desmond and Lucy. It is hard to express how bad this exchange is. It’s like the developers had no sense of timing at all, that they just triggered lines at random. The characters crack jokes while they are in the middle of other actions, and their attempts at humor are painfully overdone. Desmond sees ghosts of people running out of the manor, and Desmond then explains exactly what we are looking at for the stupid audience. I do my parkouring, and  they make a bad joke about the last game I can’t even remember even though I’m writing this AS I PLAY. There’s a CS of them shooting up a pulley system, more running and trading off pulling levers.  There’s one really annoying room where I have to jump into water at points, but it’s totally not clear when and the room takes twice as long as it should. There’s more climbing and trading off bad flirts until we get to the sanctuary at the bottom of the manor.

When they arrive, there’s a CS of Desmond looking at ghost of Ezio. I get control as Desmond and use eagle vision to see a set of numbers and get the lock open to let the rest of the modern team down here. We cut to a CS of conversation among the team, and cut again to setting up a lab in the sanctuary. They CS joke about me running through sewer, which is awesome since I had no choice in doing it. I have to follow Sean to get power for the lab, which is a quest where I have to use eagle vision to find all the boxes around the manor. I do so and we cut to CS of them finishing the lab. I get control to go into the animus. There’s an interesting moment here where Rebecca controls the actual game interface and sends me into a virtual training mission. That’s pretty cool. This training mission has something to do with chaining enemies, but I can’t remember how to do that so I fuck that mission up completely. I select the memory interface and pick a memory. The codes we found coordinate to spots in the animus for me to check that Sean will highlight. We cut to CS of someone cleaning Ezio’s wounds. He’s told some guys left him here with his assassin gear and told him to find Machiavelli. I have to climb a church to find him, but I first have to find doctor because I’m really hurt. I do so, and the doctor mentions Ezio being older. Ezio is a bit put-off by that and comments on it. See, guys, you can do good characterization in the past. Why can’t you do it in the present? Ultimately, the doctor gives me something to dull the pain. (I don’t heal, but I can run again). I climb the church and get a feather. Oh, it’s a VIEWPOINT!!!!! I love these!!! I get my cool look around and dive off. I’m then instructed to tail guards for a long while, which I do, until I find them attacking some random guy. I kill the guards to save him, because I guess that’s my morality – save this random guy, kill that random one.

Once I save him, I see he’s a father mourning over his daughter who was hung.  He wants me to kill the executioner perp. I say, why not? I accept the quest and run to the spot where the target is. I jump in and fight off the guards to kill him. When I’m done, I only half sync because I didn’t kill him with an aerial attack. Oh, I was supposed to kill him a certain way. Umm…ok.  I didn’t realize those things were tracked. I do it over and this time I kill him first with an aerial. We cut back to Ezio in Rome. I now have to get to a new unknown goal.  On the way, I see that I can buy buildings in town. I also see that I have to unlock certain buildings by killing Borgia captains first. I try to but that area’s not unlocked yet. Oh well,  back to quest. I find Machiavelli. He CS tells Ezio he did not send for him. I have to follow Machiavelli around town and face “dangers”. I accept the quest (of course) and on the walk,  he gives me money to buy stuff which I do. There are no other dangers. In CS, Ezio wants a horse because Rome is big. Machiavelli says that the Borgia control these stables, and Ezio gets an idea. I get a mission to kill the captain. It says to throw him into the scaffold, but I have no idea what that means. I make an attempt, but I alert a lot of guards and I die trying to find the scaffold. This is getting frustrating so I call it a night.

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3 Responses

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  1. Michael Hartman says

    Maybe I didn’t search enough, but I’m dying to know what OSSIM stands for.

  2. admin says

    OSSIM is LOLCat for awesome. It’s obscure, but it stuck with me and it’s now part of my internet vocabulary.

  3. Michael Hartman says

    Got it. So instead of trying to figure out what O.S.S.I.M. stood for, I should have just said the word out loud. 🙂


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