One of the blessings (and curses) of working in this industry is getting to play unfinished games well before their release date. The blessing part is obvious; we didn’t hesitate to knock off work early to go play Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood on PS3 at an Ubisoft preview event. Heck, that *is* work. The curse part sneaks up on you later; after sampling the first 3 hours of the game, I’ve been dying to play some more – something we can’t do until the game hits store shelves on November 16th.
Don’t feel sorry for us – it was our job to quiz the development team from Ubisoft Montreal on what we saw, and Mission Director Gaelic Simard was all too happy to answer our questions and yours.
A bit more on those first few hours of the game (with as little in the realm of spoilers as possible)…
As someone who saw Assassin’s Creed II all the way through to a Platinum Trophy, I was curious as to what would be cut from the single player experience. From what I can tell – there are only additions.
I’ve seen Ezio man a cannon, sink a ship, and even pilot a primitive, da Vinci-designed tank. You can stray further from the narrative if you like, taking on assassinations for hire. Horses can be ridden in the city streets, making for more dramatic chases and getaways. If you were into the development of Monteriggioni, all of Rome now lies at your feet for renovation.
One of the more interesting changes I saw was in the way you perform your main quests. Sure, you can kill a target outright and advance the story. But if you perform a designated secondary action during an assassination, like breaking the mark’s defense with a kick (oh yeah, you can do that now), then you’ll increase your synchronization level. That can lead to some of Ezio’s lost memories resurfacing, in playable form.
We only scratched the surface of the single-player campaign in our play session. A completionist like myself will have plenty to keep themselves busy with, and that’s before even touching the multiplayer. That’s exactly what I was hoping for.