Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a fantastic game, proven by both its success with critics and consumers alike, grabbing numerous runner-up spots in TSA’s 2010 Game of the Year awards. Several months after release, players have received a number of content updates, in the form of multiplayer maps and even several new modes, including Advanced Wanted and the ever so fun Chest Capture.
Though only minor updates, each has been completely free, some even being unlocked as collective community events held by Ubisoft.
[boxout]The Da Vinci Disappearance is the first lot of paid content for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, offering a new chain of missions and hideouts as well as a new multiplayer map, two intuitive modes, and several new character skins. For £7.99 it’s an absolute steal.
Set just before the final network of assignments in Brotherhood, Ezio pays a visit to his old friend, Leonardo Da Vinci, who send him to find his apprentice and supposed lover, Salai. After finding the young rogue gambling in the local tavern with a collective of shadowy figures, Ezio and the boy make their way back to Leonardo’s workshop only to find it ransacked with no sign of the legendary artisan.
It doesn’t take Ezio and his new acquaintance long to realise an underground cult known as the Hermeticists are responsible for the kidnapping, Leonardo leaving them a number of clues concealed in his many artistic works which are now scattered throughout Roma.
Played well, The Da Vinci Disappearance will easily last around two hours, even more if you insist on searching the new Templar hideouts and reaching 100% synchronisation on each mission. Unlike the downloadable content which was made available for Assassin’s Creed II, Disappearance doesn’t feel as though it has been cut from the original game. Each mission is incredibly well designed, combining both stealth and platforming, making the player feel as though they are an ultimate assassin as opposed to a heavy handed madman.
The first of the two new modes in Brotherhood’s multiplayer is dubbed Escort and is played with two teams. Scattered across the map are a number of VIP targets and checkpoints, upon reaching these whilst still alive, the VIP will reward the defending team with points which build higher and higher the longer they can keep the target alive. The other team’s objective is to identify and kill VIPs, whilst trying to avoid their protectors, an incredibly tough task and one that requires cunning and teamwork. Once a VIP has been slaughtered, another will spawn, keeping the action flowing until the timer runs dry and the two teams swap sides.
Assassinate is the second new gameplay mode, and is by far the most intense and intuitive, a free for fall clash of blades and bravado which will have players on their feet for the entire duration. Unlike Wanted there are no pre-set targets, using the centre-screen radar, players have to tail, lock, and assassinate other players whilst watching their own backs; the more subtle and skillful your kills are, the more points you chain together.
You will find yourself acting a good 90% of the time, trying to blend in with by-passers, at the same time keeping an eye out for any suspicious movements within big crowds. Stunning one player, poisoning another, and knifing one more in the back, all within a scale of ten seconds, was the most satisfying moment I have had in the series, only possible in this new mode.
Aside from the two game-types, there is a new map called Alhambra, a tight network of corridors and bazaars, definitely one of Brotherhood’s most diverse and perilous multiplayer locales. Four new characters, as well as the Officer and Harlequin will be unlocked too. The Dama Rossa, Knight, Marquis and Pariah each have their own unique weapons and animations, as opposed to the cosmetic-only character packs we see in so many other online games.
The only problem with the online content is that enabling it via the in-game menus will restrict your matchmaking options. Even if you just wanted to played regular Wanted using one of the new characters, you have to enable Animus Update 3.00. With that said, there has been no shortage of players dipping in and out of the new modes.
- Brilliant new missions which don’t feel tacked on, some set in new locations
- New database entries, trophies/achievement
- Assassinate is one of the most tactical online modes in multiplayer history
- The brilliant voicework, soundtrack, and visuals all carry over from Brotherhood
- Those only wanting to play the singleplayer missions may feel out of pocket
For those who only want to extend their singleplayer experience, at £7.99, The Da Vinci Disappearance is a hard sell, despite how brilliantly crafted the new missions are.. However, for those who also enjoy the online multiplayer, it’s an absolute no-brainer, adding hours of additional replay value.