Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
BAM! There’s a new acronym in game town and it stands for Brotherhood Assistance Moves. The full version is informative and descriptive, but it’s a bit boring, so let’s call it BAM! from now on. Alright… alright… we’ll drop the exclamation mark.
So, what are Brotherhood Assistance Moves? Why, they’re moves with which your brotherhood assists you, of course. For example, you might see a couple of guards and you might think, “Well, I’m all big and tough an’ all, so I ain’t scared of no guards or nuffink, but if I try and take them out myself it might get noisy, so I should call in some help.” Only you’d think it with an outrageous Italian accent because, once again, you’re Ezio Auditore da Firenze, albeit this time with a beard and a slightly deeper voice. It’s the same voice actor, but he sounds a bit like he’s doing that voice you do when you’re 15 and you’re pretending to be your dad on the phone – “My card number? Why yes, it’s…” You know the one.
Anyway, once you’ve decided you need help, you summon it using some sort of coded bird call and within seconds, BUM… sorry, BAM – two of your guild brothers have fallen out of the sky and killed those pesky guards with barely a peep. It’s like a precision air strike but with assassins instead of bombs.
It’s not yet known how many different BAMs there are or how exactly you go about setting them up, but we’d be pretty bloomin’ sure the answers lie in a pigeon coop somewhere.
Oh yes, the Pigeon Coop is like the smartphone of the turn of the 16th Century. Interact with one and, instead of getting pigeon shit all up those lovely frilly sleeves of yours, you get access to a whole wealth of data and options regarding your very own assassin’s guild or, if you will, brotherhood. We’re not sure if you get to name your guild, but if you do, ours will be called Honest Ezio’s Stab-u-Like. No job too big or small.
As we said earlier, the exact method by which you set up BAMs hasn’t yet been revealed, but an awful lot of the things you can do with your brotherhood have. You can, for example, recruit up to twelve assassins, train them up and have them earn money for you abroad.
Recruiting brothers is usually a matter of performing some sort of task whereby you scratch their back and they scratch yours by joining up. Actually you’ll usually be scratching someone else’s back… well, we say scratching, it’s more like cutting really… well, we say cutting, it’s more like… stabbing.
Chances are if some pleb needs Ezio’s help, he’s not going to be much of a fighter. If you tell him to kill someone without training him first he’ll probably go up to them and do that thing where you look away with your face all squinted up and frantically slap with your hands at arms’ length. This is a very inefficient assassination method.
So, the best way to train your noob backstabber is to send him on an assignment where, assuming he survives, he’ll earn some XP (and some cash) that can be translated into skill points, which can be spent on making him a bit less of a wuss. These contracts can take your brothers all over Europe and each has a different difficulty rating, XP reward, cash reward and duration. Up to five of your brothers can be sent on any one contract. The more you send and the more experienced they are, the higher their chance of success, which is presented to you as a handy percentage as you tinker with the contract options. None of these missions are playable in any way – it’s all about resource management rather than action.
The whole ‘Brotherhood’ idea isn’t just a name or a story motif, it reflects an important new strand of gameplay. If you liked what the villa upgrading system added to Assassin’s Creed II, then you’ll be thrilled by all the new additions in this follow-up. If not, don’t sweat it – the micro-management isn’t especially in-depth and most of it can be automated should you wish anyway. We’re sure most of the game’s 15 hour duration will be the familiar blend of stealth, platforming and stabbing fans are looking for.