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Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Amidst the chaos of E3, we were able to experience Assassin's Creed Brotherhood in two parts: a hands-on multiplayer demo and a presentation of the single-player mode played by a Ubisoft staff member. The long lines that were present throughout the duration of E3 at Ubisoft's booth were not without good reason, as Assassin's Creed Brotherhood introduces multiplayer to the series.

Single player:
According to Ubisoft, the story in single player picks up where Assassin's Creed 2 left off. You'll play as Ezio, the legendary assassin from AC2, as you unite with fellow assassins in a war against the Templar Order. In Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Ezio will need to assemble his own guild of assassins and will be able to command the assassins, even sending them out on assignments. If they return, they will bring Ezio money and become stronger, more experienced assassins. If they die however they are gone for the rest of the game and you'll have to recruit another to take their place.

Graphically slightly more refined than Assassin's Creed 2 (AC2), Brotherhood is a beautiful game with gorgeous cutscenes. The game is set in Rome, which Ubisoft has claimed will be about three times the size of Florence from the AC2. The role of horses will also be expanded in Brotherhood. Ubisoft explained during the demo that Ezio will be able to complete assassinations while on horseback and have the ability for more advanced combat as well. Players will also be able to ride horses within the city walls, allowing for faster travel around the large city of Rome.

Ubisoft also promises new enemy types like the Swiss Guard which will be formidable opponents in the game. Ezio will also be up against gunmen in game. One little detail that has irked some gamers has been addressed in Brotherhood. Now enemies will attack even during the player's battle animations, no longer just standing there and waiting while Ezio finishes a move.

But by far the coolest gameplay element shown in the demo was the synchronized attacks by Ezio's assassin pals. In the presentation, we watched as Ezio was able to command his assassins to take out several guards at once which was a visually striking moment.

Multiplayer:
The multiplayer section of the Assassin's Creed Brotherhood E3 demo was hands-on. First, we chose our character and our skill sets before the match. Once the game is released, there will be about 10 characters to choose from in the multiplayer mode.

This mode is all about outwitting your opponent. Once the match starts, you are assigned another player as your target that you must assassinate. But at the same time you're pursuing your target, you are being pursued by another player. This focused game of cat and mouse combined with the need for strategy and stealth is what sets Brotherhood's multiplayer apart from most other free-for-all multiplayers we've seen.

You can climb buildings just like in the single-player mode and you can also use disguises to evade you pursuer. But you have to keep in mind that doing things like jumping across rooftops will tend to give you away to the other players in the match. Overall, Brotherhood's multiplayer is a great concept that's successfully executed and adds a new spin to multiplayer gameplay.

As one of the most anticipated games of 2010, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood will be released in November, just in time for the holiday season on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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