PS3 Reviews: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Review

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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Review

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Graphics:

 

9.1

Gameplay:

 

9.7

Sound:

 

9.5

Control:

 

9.2

Replay Value:

 

9.3

Online Gameplay:

 

8.9

Overall Rating:       9.4

 

 

Publisher:

Ubisoft

Developer:

Ubisoft

Number Of Players:

1-8

Genre:

Genre

Ah, Italy. There’s just something about it. Ubisoft goes to such incredible lengths to painstakingly recreate 1500 Rome and other cities that one is often tempted to sit and watch for a moment. The teeming masses of people going about their daily business, the intricate labyrinth of the confined side streets that suddenly open up into courtyards where even more people congregate, etc. I’m harping on the atmosphere in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood because I’ve decided that the environment has become the primary appeal- for the same reason we all prefer certain Grand Theft Auto entries; it’s our surroundings that draw us in. Of course, what lies beneath is a bigger and (in some ways) better version of last year’s Assassin's Creed II, and that’s sort of important. It may not take the same giant step forward as ACII did in comparison to the original title, but there’s no doubt that if you loved ACII, you’re gonna adore Brotherhood.

For whatever reason, I note something different in the visual presentation. This one seems to harbor softer, more muted colors and – strangely enough – less overall detail. Now, because the screen-tearing issue that plagued the previous installments appears to have lessened (somewhat), I’m wondering if this minor overhaul was to combat said problem. Big fans may recognize the difference of which I speak but then again, maybe they won’t. As I just mentioned, Ubisoft puts a ton of effort into producing a believable, immersive environment that is never devoid of life. Character detailing is still great, the backdrops are downright amazing, and the animations are a joy to behold. I keep thinking we’re missing a bit of crispness and sharpness but that might be all in my head… The end result is yet another engrossing graphical depiction that beautifully captures almost every last facet of Renaissance Italy.

Wonderful voiceover performances and a fantastic soundtrack once again bolster the sound category, which only seems to be hampered by occasional effect drop-outs. In other words, not every slice of your blade or grunt of a foe is spot-on; in fact, it may just drop out entirely. But considering the sheer number of times such effects are heard, we should bear in mind that it’s still a 99% stable audio presentation. And once again, it’s the myriad of ambient effects that helps bring the cities alive; we appreciate everything, from the cries of the shop owners to the random civilian conversations. I keep thinking that awesome soundtrack should swell to the forefront a bit more often but as it stands, one can’t deny the music’s professional quality. And really, the realistic lilt of the Mediterranean tongue is a pleasure to my ears and you can even select the Italian voices if you so choose. Honestly, I could listen to a woman speak Italian for…a long time.

Here’s the thing about the gameplay, and it’s probably the most obvious observation a critic can make: it’s really no different than ACII. I believe this may be the reason some sources have given scores well below what Brotherhood deserves (although I see 9s are still the norm). In truth, not all the additions really seem like big steps forward and as soon as you work past the opening sequence, it will feel very much like you’re simply revisiting the game you played last year. Even the inclusion of your assassin friends don’t represent a large advance or departure; for most of the game, they’re little more than tools for Ezio. Plus, the storyline seems a bit more muddled. In ACII, it was an emotional, gripping plot that involved Ezio’s family, a desire for revenge, and a mysterious secret of humanity worked in for good measure. Well, that secret is back and more mysterious than ever but the rest…eh, it seems a little erratic to me.

But let’s start at the start, shall we? Brotherhood picks up right where ACII left off and although Ezio opted to let his target escape, he has completed his mission and everything is right with the world. His sister, mother and uncle remain safe at the villa (the one you restored in the previous entry) and although the Borgia threaten everyone’s way of life, Ezio and Co. are happy. But the slightly older hero barely has time for one of his patented rolls in the hay – with a beautiful and powerful woman who has a ridiculous amount of influence – before everything goes to hell. I won’t give anything away but let’s just say Ezio must re-embark on yet another quest and this time, the future isn’t so clear. On top of it all, we’re reminded that Desmond, the modern-day descendent of Ezio and Altair, is working with the descendents of the assassins. And now, Desmond is starting to take some cues from his ancestors…

The free-running is back and if you mastered this flowing form of platforming in ACII, you’ll still be quite competent. Nothing much has changed; it’s still the same effective, efficient, and surprisingly accessible mechanic it was last year, although one should note this mechanic was greatly refined between the first title and ACII. But hey, I don’t think it needs more refining. The combat is about the same as well: you can lock on to a foe with the L1 button, dodge with X, and hold R1 to defend and prepare yourself for a counterattack. Choosing weapons and items is as easy as holding down the R2 button to access the selection wheel; when you do this, by the way, the game pauses and I love that. You can still execute a counterkill by entering your R1 stance and hitting the Square button the instant an enemy goes into his attack animation. But here we get to one of the new battle additions that, while not a game-changer, remains a significant upgrade.

You can string together counterkills by angling the left analog in the direction of another soon-to-be victim and pressing Square. The kill chain is flashy and great for taking down a large group of enemies fast, but you have to remember you’re open to attack during the chaining process. On top of which, your opponents can now grab you from behind, which can halt your assault in its tracks. It can get pretty annoying but you only need to hold the L1 button and hit the Circle button rapidly to break free. This latter addition is one of those, “eh, I suppose” features that I’m not sure we needed. It’s a great idea, to be sure, but as the game has to give you a chance to break free, the enemies just stand there and watch you being held. It just looks silly and seems to detract from the flow of battle. You can grab enemies, too, but that’s not a big surprise and it can actually be effective.

The other new stuff- a set of virtual training challenges in the Animus, which can be used to fine-tune your free-running, stealth, location and combat abilities (and you can try to top your friends’ best tallies), the Borgia Towers, which – along with the death of the Captain of the territory – must be taken down to free a certain territory, the renovation of recently freed shops, the addition of banks, the factions and friendly assassins, the specific requirements for 100% full synch on certain missions (i.e., don’t drop below one health square, kill the Borgia captain by throwing him into the scaffold, etc.), and oh yes, the multiplayer. I’m not the biggest fan of multiplayer action but when it comes to Brotherhood, one has to appreciate the different style. This is no shooter and carrying out assassination contracts is tougher than you might think. It can get a little repetitive and I don’t think they did quite enough with the multiplayer option, but even so, it works out fine, and I only noticed a few minor online glitches.

Perhaps one will view the inclusion of the Brotherhood as a little lackluster and not nearly as prominent as initially believed. This is understandable because in reality, as I said before, it doesn’t have a huge impact on how you play the game. Having the option is nice, and doing some extra micromanagement – i.e., sending your loyal subjects off to gain some experience – is sort of entertaining, but it’s really just another tool for Ezio. In this way, I suppose someone looking for more of a team-oriented approach would indeed be disappointed. But that’s not how I’m looking at it. In my eyes, this series was built on the bad-ass lone-wolf philosophy and that’s exactly how it has remained. You know what the biggest difference is between ACII and Brotherhood? Simple- there’s just more to do in this one. How is that a bad thing? I could complain that a few of the additions don’t vault AC to another stratosphere but in my eyes, it’s plenty high enough as is so let's not quibble.

There’s just a ridiculous amount of stuff for the completionist. It’s not just about feathers, flags and treasures; it’s about getting 100% synch on every memory, it’s about taking down every Borgia tower and renovating 100% of that particular area, it’s about the multiplayer that offers something blessedly new, it’s about even more tools and techniques for the main character, it’s about completing all the intricate puzzles to learn “The Secret.” If you want to do absolutely everything, there are at least 30 hours of gameplay here, if not 40. And again, I must stress that the atmosphere and presentation puts the game at a lofty level; the meticulously designed environments have always amazed me, the Italian landscape and sonorous voices keep me entranced, the various missions (such a departure from the original title!) keep the experience fresh, and that continual strategic element – “okay, how do I go about approaching this one…?” – makes this game a gem.

Assassin’s Creed II built upon the foundation of the first game, while Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood doesn’t necessarily continue to “build,” but simply expands. I suppose the best way to describe it is that if the original AC was the foundation of a house, ACII finished up the framing, while Brotherhood supplied the paint and furnishings. Oddly, I did notice a few small hiccups I don’t remember in ACII, like Ezio not realizing there’s a ledge right in front of him; he just leans over, thinking there’s a drop. But then again, a fully completed house does come with a few new quirks. And I swear something is different about the graphics even if I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe all these games are taking their toll. But there’s one thing I do know- I love Italy and I love Assassin’s Creed.

The Good: The liveliest, most satisfying environments you’ll ever see. Attention paid to the smallest detail. Beautiful soundtrack and voices. Overall expansion adds to depth and longevity. Great variety. Large amount of historical information adds ambiance. Multiplayer is a refreshing plus.

The Bad: Story seems lacking and a little muddled. Inclusion of allies isn’t as pronounced as expected. Some lingering technical issues.

The Ugly: When suspicious guards lose track of you and go to return to their position, they become superhuman…kinda comical.

11/18/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (96 posts)

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 8:58:20 PM
Reply

I know people are going to ask, so-

The reason this scored the same as ACII is because I think the expansive add-ons that enhance most every aspect of the gameplay cancel out the perceived drawbacks I'm not sure I remember in ACII.

Also, Ezio doesn't get anywhere near enough credit for being an awesome character. Just my two cents.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Victor321
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 9:49:45 PM

I understand what you're saying Ben. That makes complete sense. Score isn't everything, but you obviously know that =)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Teddie9
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 11:05:10 PM

This has been a must buy for me for awhile now and am not at all surprised by the great reviews.
However I planned to get it in a couple weeks from now, but the inclusion of raiden's cyborg body from MGS4 is so awesome that I wanna get it tomorrow on my day off. >.> Though I think I'll save it for free roam/side quests it'll bother me in the main storyline. Though I like the fact that you can see that it's Ezio under the helmet.
Now Ben, I do want to know what are your thoughts on the missions dealing with Leonardo's war machines, I've heard from other reviews that they are an odd change of pace and aren't as cool as they've looked in previews.
Also I know the plot is a little tangled and may be a weak spot this time but does advance the plot atleast with Desmond that the intrigue is still there so I will be awaiting AC3 by the end? The personal tales of the Assassin's is fantastic (like you said Ezio in particular is a great character) but it's really the overall plot that now has me hooked for inevitable finale with modern templars...whenever that happens.

Last edited by Teddie9 on 11/18/2010 11:05:46 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:40:23 AM

I really can't answer that question about Desmond; I haven't finished it.

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HighOnFire
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 8:40:20 AM

Ezio is my favorite character of this generation, alongside John Marston and Andrew Ryan. Awesome game, awesome franchise. Good review.

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SubjectiveTruth
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 11:18:05 AM

Raidens cyborg body? You can use raidens suit?

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PasteNuggs
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 9:29:22 PM
Reply

I picked this up yesterday along with hot pursuit but I haven't been able to put down hot pursuit to start this...oh well. My anticipation for the greatness that is Assassins Creed will continue to grow till I get around to starting it.

Btw, your review just made the anticipation grow a little more.

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Superman915
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 9:48:59 PM
Reply

did a game of the year edition for AC2 ever come out in the US, with the DLC included?

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Victor321
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 9:49:57 PM

Nope. However, if someone else can say the contrary, I'd be happy to know.

Last edited by Victor321 on 11/18/2010 9:50:18 PM

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dkmrules
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 9:49:45 PM
Reply

Darn, so many good games coming out, such little time! Oh well my college apps are sent out, a burden has been relieved. Too bad I still cant afford all these good games!

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Fane1024
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 3:32:31 PM

You might be able to afford more games if you cut down your cigarette intake. ;)

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main_event05
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 10:12:16 PM
Reply

Why do I care about this Quarter of gaming more than my 1st born??

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 10:12:51 PM
Reply

Graphics are a 9.1? Granted I've only seen screens and commercials but it looked awful.

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Temjin001
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 11:17:12 PM

The only thing that really bugs me about the graphics is that Ubisoft doesn't take the time to render separate cutscene based models. Other games that have a heavy story emphasis, like MGS and FF, during cutscenes will use high detailed character models to help capture expressions and gestures. THe AC game's look nice from afar (while playing), but during the cinematic sequences, they are way behind the aforementioned competitors. I would imagine their cramped labor hour budget hinders the AC's from being all they could--sorry, I like kicking this dead horse =p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:01:58 AM

Makes sense, I'm just questioning the score cause (not to hate on AC at all) but the review seems biased and more for the AC lovers than a generic audience. I mean, I picked up Alpha Protocol for a few bucks and the screens on this don't look any better than that game.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:44:39 AM

Um...you think I'm the only one to give a high score to graphics?

That aside, to compare Alpha Protocol and AC in terms of visuals is like comparing Pulse Racer and Gran Turismo.

I have no idea what screens or whatever you saw, but there's nothing that's "bad" about AC Brotherhood. Heh...World, you're just sort of desperate to find something to stop you from playing it, aren't you? LOL

Maybe you should actually, I dunno...see it before doing something embarrassing like mentioning Alpha Protocol and AC in the same sentence. ;)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:45:39 AM

I should also add, that ah... 'cough' ... You and Temjin and others are fairly predictable when it comes to multiplats. Just saying. :)

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Beamboom
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:48:14 AM

I don't understand how you can think the graphics are poor in this game, World. Have you played AC2? When Ben say that *maybe* players will notice a little less details than in ac2 (but also less tearing) that tells me it's about the same quality, and that game looked darn *good* on my tv at least...!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:09:00 AM

Easy friend, I'm not saying the score isn't warranted, I haven't played it, but in your review you even say "I note something different in the visual presentation. This one seems to harbor softer, more muted colors and – strangely enough – less overall detail"

Then a bit later "Attention paid to the smallest detail."

I've seen metacritic, the score is right in line, I'm just questioning the review itself. Arnold had a big beef with New Vegas being more of an expansion pack with mostly recycling going on, and that's what I read about this too.

Also I have no reason to find reasons not to play it, I still plan to give ACII a chance when my backlog is clear. But, just compare screens to Castlevania, ACB looks like a PS2 game in comparison. And the better part of my collection is multiplats including my favorites of this gen.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/19/2010 1:11:07 AM

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Jawknee
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:17:08 AM

I think the graphics are fugly too world.

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Temjin001
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:17:13 AM

Hey, ninja are never predictable.

*spins around in chair while doing back flips*

Did you see that one coming?
.....
Yeah, didn't think so =p

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:26:08 AM

*head scratch* Uncharted 2 got a 10, I see these as at least two whole points behind that. But maybe you gotta make concessions for open world games, I dunno.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/19/2010 1:27:10 AM

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aaronisbla
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 3:04:03 AM

World, you hit the nail on the head, its an open world game, and should be judged as such. I gotta ask what makes this game look fugly (aimed at Jawknee), are you comparing it to something like UC2 or is it something technical like screen tearing and the like?

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sonic1899
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 5:14:35 AM

@Temjin001
This is off topic but, do you still own Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2? I could REALLY use some help with clearing a few team missions. My other friends gave up on it :(

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maxpontiac
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 8:18:51 AM

I spent a lot of time with Alpha Protocol, and the the graphics in that game are no where near the ones in Assassins Creed Brotherhood.

Just pointing that out. A 9.1 for AC:B is a fair score.

However, PSX's review on Fallout New Vegas is the worst one I have seen on this site.

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Temjin001
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:01:08 AM

@sonic1899, yeah man, I still play it, I'm actually working through master ninja (I beat the bone sub-boss last night and I'm almost at the werewolf boss, Vort?).
I have quite a few of those team missions to do. But the game has really poor server support so hopefully our online play isn't ultra laggy. My PSN ID is the same as my PSXe name. I usually play games around 9pm-11pm PST.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:28:53 AM

World: The graphics in AC are not two full points behind Uncharted. While the latter is the benchmark, as would be God of War III and GT5, I of course know AC can't compete as a multiplatform title. I think we know that; it's why Uncharted 2 and GoWIII got 9.8s (and MGS4 a 10).

But if you want to say the graphics are an 8 for AC, that would mean it's in the 80th percentile, which would mean that 20% (1 in 5) of all games released sport better visuals and that'd be completely incorrect.

In regards to what I said in the review, the attention paid to detail has to do with every little facet of city life. That hasn't changed; in fact, it's better than ever. But as I said - and others have said in the Comments section here - it's like they put another coating of...something over it. Something to soften the edges and be less sharp, in some ways.

Trust me, if that wasn't there, the game would get a mid-9 in graphics. It can't quite compete against the best, but the best are basically all PS3 exclusives; for multiplats, I'm not sure I can think of anything that's better than AC.

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Underdog15
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 11:36:18 AM

I liked AC 1, okay. I absolutely adored ACII. So happy AC:B got the review it did. I will definitely be picking it up.

Multi-plats only bother me if I feel quality was sacrificed to accommodate it, regardless of the system of origin. I think AC will keep doing well since it started multi-plat and will always be designed with that in mind.

Also, Ben, I've been noticing the Online Gameplay score as of late. Any chance that can get added to the user reviews as a ratable option?

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Jawknee
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:08:43 PM

@Aaron, I'm just going off screen HD shots and comparisons but from what I have seem, it looks unpolished when compared to say...Castlevania or even Vanquish. Could just be the screens. Don't know. I'll have to try the game for myself but since they failed to fix the screen tearing, (which is bizzare to me because the multiplayer beta had none)I'll be waiting until the price drops.

EDIT: I have been playing a lot of God of War 3 in the last few days and that game looks better than AC:B on my standard definition TV. could be my eyes are spoiled too I guess. :)

Last edited by Jawknee on 11/19/2010 12:18:13 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:33:11 PM

Jawknee: Everything is going to look like hell compared to GoWIII. ;)

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Alienange
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 10:23:38 PM
Reply

I was looking for it in your review and once again you didn't disappoint.

"this series was built on the bad-ass lone-wolf philosophy and that’s exactly how it has remained"

Yes! That was my biggest concern with Brotherhood. You're one of the few, if not the only reviewer that has addressed this.

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X_shadowkilla_X
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 10:36:41 PM
Reply

I tried to assassinate one of the commanding officers that are in the strongholds, from the water...i got spotted by quite a few guards.... they all jumped in the water saying "get back here!," they died.

I also found a pretty bad glitch by mistake...dont ever use the tunnels.... when i came out of one of them...i would die immediately after taking 31 steps...it didnt matter what i did or where i went, i would immediately desynchronize (die), i was in the first area you are allowed to explore, ... i eventually got the bright idea of going back into the tunnel i came out of .... problem solved. I still wouldn't use the tunnels though.

Last edited by X_shadowkilla_X on 11/18/2010 10:43:11 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:42:24 AM

Never had those problems. ...but whatever.

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JDC80
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:15:29 PM

It could be those areas aren't open yet because of that memory synchronized thing, I experience that kind of thing during some missions. As for AC: Brotherhood I ship both games I had from Gamefly two weeks before this game came out just to make sure I got it when it dropped Monday. And thus far this game is a blast, the graphics are nice my only problem I encounter was a house bug when I jumped on the roof and fell through.

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Fabi
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 10:50:05 PM
Reply

I just didn't like the first two games... It just seemed like one of those games that I shoulda liked, but just didn't. Too many reasons to list.

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Underdog15
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:59:28 PM

I know exactly what you mean. I love the AC games, but I've had that experience with others like GOW and GTA. I can tell they have appeal and good production values, and I can even see why people love them, but they just don't click with me. I've even tried forcing myself to play them because I SHOULD like them. lol

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Temjin001
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 10:55:59 PM
Reply

I think what's holding me back from getting really excited about this game is that there doesn't seem to be much "new" about it--I don't care for the online. It seems to be suffering from the yearly deadline syndrome. Basically, more of the same with a handful of new things. A game like Uncharted 2 wasn't mild touch up work; no, it was a completely overhauled experience from top to bottom.

AC: Brotherhood seems great for those fans who didn't get their fill after 20+ hours of play at AC2, but for myself, it would seem that the full $60 value is a hard sell for something less than extraordinary.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 11:09:15 PM

Smells like an expansion pack to me too.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:41:40 AM

No. It's an entirely new game from front to back and back to front. This is anything but an "expansion" and saying it "doesn't do anything new" is like saying Uncharted 2 didn't do anything new, so it isn't worthy of your $60.

...and I think we all know how stupid that sounds. ;)

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Temjin001
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:21:12 AM

but I guy on PSN who is also a PSXe member messaged me that the game feels like a real big expansion pack =p

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sonic1899
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 5:12:15 AM

@Temjin001
That doesn't mean he's right. The game is nothing short than a follow up of ACII, so I'd expect a degree of similarity. Its has more than enough content to make it its own game :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 6:19:13 AM

As you know I haven't gotten into the series, but isn't some of ACII in Rome? Unless they reskinned Rome somehow better there has to be some recycling going on. A-la expansion packs.

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Temjin001
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:16:46 AM

yeah, sonic, I know the game has a lot of stuff in it. It sounds like the biggest game in the series yet. I had just played AC2 for the first time about 2 months ago, so I've sort of had my fill for now. But it was great. It was one of the better games I played this year.

I liked the story in AC2 more than most games so it bothers me when I read several reviews that claim Brotherhood's story is only okay. I've also read that the combat and several of the buggy elements, like the poor AI, are nearly the same from the prior game.

When I read about games like Infamous 2, I see real work with real overhauled components. Greatly enhanced graphics engine, completely new gameplay conventions etc. It looks like a complete upgrade and not a one year rush job that only provides a few extra furnishings.

I'm also skeptical of AC overcoming it's big expansion pack label because the game has had such a narrow dev cycle. Even games like CoD have an A and B team to keep their series annually released. Effectively giving the dev teams 2 years per title. Simple deductive reasoning tells me that Ubisoft Montreal couldn't have put as much labor time into this newer game as other games on a standard 2 year dev cycle--plus, they had to worry about implementing online this time.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/19/2010 10:17:27 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:23:52 AM

Rome is in both games but they've completely redesigned it. And because everything else has been modified to support that change - from the Borgia influence to the guilds - in no way does it feel or look anything like an expansion.

I'm sorry, but anyone who says that is a complete dolt.

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NiteKrawler
Saturday, November 20, 2010 @ 4:25:59 PM

Rome is BARELY in AC2. It's basically just a building you infiltrate. I would say Rome in AC2 is even smaller than Monterigionni. You can't even explore any of Rome. It's very confined. Seriously World...I've seen you hem and haw your way around not getting AC2 just because you didn't like the first one. Please, just get it. lol. Rent it! Anything. Even if you don't end up liking it, you will know it's MUCH better than AC1.

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booze925
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 11:10:59 PM
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im not buying until the price drops drastically. no assassins creed is worth $60

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SvenMD
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 9:25:22 AM

I thought AC:II was worth $60. I had a ton of fun with that game.

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Underdog15
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 2:03:27 PM

But CoD is?? There's a reason AC:II and AC:B gets better reviews, you know.

P.s. (I think both are worth buying new, but I just wanted to point out the comparison. I'm not sure I could trust a recommendation you make on a game. It's never fair and always full of bias.)

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gumbi
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 11:17:05 PM
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Great review Ben. I bought it on Tuesday but still haven't had a chance to put it in yet :(

Hopefully this weekend I can get the kids and wife to bed in time to lose a few hours to my favourite PS3 franchise.

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PharaohJR
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 11:38:44 PM
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wow a 9.4. i didnt have the funds to contribute to the previous AC. AC was a gift & AC2 im borrowing from my friend. overall i enjoy the series the concept & detail real trill(KOOL). Ezio character shapes the game alot Altier was trill also. i like the messages that i get from the series.

i look forward to this, wanna see whats to come of ezio & dezmonds squad. cant wait to experience online.

@worldends at times the graphics look sloppy but overall in HD its not a problem.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:08:36 AM

well, graphics aren't everything, certainly not to me, I was just pointing it out because I was shocked when I saw the commercials at how poor it looked compared to what a top notch multiplat at the end of 2010 SHOULD look like. It looks kinda like claymation pasted onto polygons.

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MadKatBebop
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:04:00 AM
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I guess I could give AC another go, the first two didn't really wow me but I suppose I could try again. Probably have to rent it don't have enough money to buy games I'm not sure of, and I gotta have enough for Deus Ex:HR yeah can't wait for that game!.

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Shams
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:53:14 AM
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Heard from BikerSaint the GT5 preorder KMart's got going...$25 dollar credit, and ACB's going for 39.99 as a part of their pre-Black Friday deals. I'm not the most ardent fan of AC, but $15 for the game is hard to pass up.

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___________
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:56:28 AM
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the graphics are really weird, everything has a orange tinge to it and everything looks like its been bathed in Vaseline!
besides that im really enjoying it so far, not as much as AC2 because it really does not add or change anything but it feels exactly the same as my favorite game of 09 so i cant complain.
its just a shame, AC1 to AC2 was a massive leap forward, like uncharted to uncharted 2, i was expecting not the same leap, but more added to it besides the MP, but there really is not much.
yea you can go on side missions, which AC2 also had, you can hire assassins but than AC2 had similar things.
instead of adding new things they have tweaked, and changed them.
not a bad thing, but in a sequel you expect 3 things.
bigger, better and new.
ACB is bigger, better but not exactly new.
add in some new stuff, be it weapons, abilities whatever, and make the story a little more deep like AC2 was and this would be a easy 10!
much, much better than that NFS hot pursuit crap though!
there goes my most anticipated title of the year.... more like most disappointing title of the year!
the cars dont feel like cars, they feel like frigging tanks!
honestly all you get is under steer, under steer and more under steer!
now i know what it would be like to drive planet earth!

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FM23
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 2:01:09 AM
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Anybody who says ACB has bad graphics has not played the game. The graphics aren't GOWIII or multiplatform RDR, but they are better then alot of games. Ben I think the graphics are better then ACII. And for people callig this an expansion pack...just cause it plays the same doesn't mean it's the same game. New enivroment, story, just familiar combat and platforming which both have been improved. Game sadly still isn't challeging. People need to stop complaining about games they are not interested in. I hate CoD blacks Ops, but I'm not callig it this or that. I say I don't like it and just keep it pushin.

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dante_zero
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 2:32:46 AM
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been playing this since wednesday and its great. i hope Ubisoft keep faith in the francise and keep it ticking over. My only complaint is the combat is a bit finiky at times and the challenges are stupidly difficult and require alot of luck. other than that great its a great addition to the series which just keeps getting better.

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aaronisbla
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 3:08:26 AM
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It seems i shall have to grab this, LOVED the second game

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Zorigo
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 3:59:42 AM
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the second is available cheaply so ill get that and this will shortly follow if i can.

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Cavan1
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 5:45:54 AM
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thanks for the review ben, i havnt actually read it, ive done the mindless thing and just looked at the scorecard, but.... am getting this for christmas, and would of even if its rubbish i loved the first too, and i dont wanna know anything, not just spoilers, but anything about it to keep it exciting as possible. But i know your a fan of the game too, so i know if you give it high marks, it must be good.

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TheOldOne
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 6:27:27 AM
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I will probably get this one and GT5 for the holidays!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 6:28:11 AM
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In that gameplay footage, why do the bad guys friends just stand around and let you kill them one by one?

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SvenMD
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 9:27:52 AM

That's what they do in the other AC games....they chase after you and then huddle around you in a circle and watch all their friends perish.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:03:41 PM

haha

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 2:34:18 PM

Depends on the enemy. Heavily armored foes or those with two-handed weapons perform differently, and can't be countered in the same way.

All you see in footage like that are the peons who don't even deserve to hold a sword. ;)

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noodles619
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 7:04:28 AM
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Let's just hope that the AC franchise doesn't become a yearly thing ala Call of Duty and Halo. I'm not liking how they are milking franchises while compromising quality (which, thankfully didn't happen with Brotherhood). Ubisoft, give yourself a break and take your time with ACIII please. The last thing I wanna hear is Assassin's Warfare: Spartan's Creed

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NoSmokingBandit
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 7:20:32 AM
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I loved AC2, but i dont want to play through Italy again, i'd rather wait for a completely new sequel.

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KidCallaway123
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 7:43:35 AM
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Ben great review as always! I LOVE this game just like I LOVED ACII.

I have an observation regarding the Desmond sections of game play... The witty banter between Desmond and the blond girl (forget her name) is eerily similar to Uncharted 2. Not a knock just thought it was something to mention.

I am a few hours into the game now and I have taken down 9 Borgia towers (totally FUN!.

I am wondering can anyone tell me how do I "recruit" these assassin apprentices? I know each time a tower goes down it opens up a spot for one on your roster but it is not obvious to me how to go about recruiting them.

I will probably play the game on my own like ACII because I like that but I want to at least see what this addition to the game is like.

Thanks!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:20:41 AM

Yeah, Desmond and Lucy are cute together. ;)

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maxpontiac
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 8:20:59 AM
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This game is like Fallout New Vegas. Different story, some new features, but it feels the same.

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ace_boon_coon
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 8:29:59 AM
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I'm sure this is a sweet game, but I'm going to have to pass on it. I'll get it when it hits 30 like i did with AC2.

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Lotusflow3r
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 8:58:28 AM
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I can't wait for this! I had the chance of getting it a week ago (back of store), but i'm gonna wait until Xmas. I was introduced to AC when AC2 was bought for me last Xmas and loved it, so because it's a direct continuation, it makes sense for me to stick to tradition.

Is there another city building sim? I heard Rome can now be modified, am i right?

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 11/19/2010 8:59:13 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:19:43 AM

Yes. Rome has to be renovated and you can renovate shops, banks and properties once you've eliminated the Borgia influence in a particular area (done by killing the resident captain and taking down the Borgia Tower).

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Lotusflow3r
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 4:20:59 PM

Thanks. That's music to my ears.

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jlch777
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 9:50:48 AM
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The problem with the graphics is that they are using Quincunx anti-aliasing to smooth the edges instead of the traditional 2x MSAA. The downside of QAA is that it blurs the entire texture.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:20:12 AM

That must be where I'm getting the idea of the softer, muted colors from...

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Temjin001
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 11:17:45 AM

AC2 used that form of AA also. So no, the softer look has to be from something else.

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Highlander
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 11:24:14 AM

As Temjin said, they used the same AA method before. It's a simpler method to implement, and takes less processor to do instead of the 'traditional' method you mentioned. The thing is that the 'traditional' method is just another AA method, is simply happens to be prevalent on another platform, but that does not make it a universal or correct choice.

I think that Ubisoft made a concerted effort to give the game a smoother feel and removed some of the pointless detail to reduce the processor requirement to keep rendering speed high. I don't know if it's a dynamic thing where they simply drop a layer of texture when the action hots up, or it it's something that affects every texture. But like we have seen in some other games, there can be tradeoffs made when trying to maintain framerates.

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SubjectiveTruth
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 2:49:28 PM

This guy knows what hes talking about. One comes across a lot of smart people around here.

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Akuma07
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:49:29 AM
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Bigger Better and awesome.

Im gona write my own review but seriously, this game is just as awesome as ACII.

ACII was a huge leap forward from AC, but you cant really expect that same kind of leap, not anymore, if it makes anymore massive leaps, i think it would take away from the series.

AC:B feels perfect, now for ACIII they should massively expand on all the things they currently have, with a few new things, and upgraded graphics.

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Akuma07
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 10:52:29 AM

But the small things they added to AC:B seem to stand out ALOT to me.

The kill animations, the kill streaks, alot more focused on horse riding, seems like they have modelled rome from a combination of florence and moteriggoni.

I LOVE the idea of rebuilding and restoring Roma.

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Highlander
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 11:20:14 AM
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One thing about the graphics. You said something in the review which I think is absolutely key, and perhaps not as well recognized by others;

"For whatever reason, I note something different in the visual presentation. This one seems to harbor softer, more muted colors and – strangely enough – less overall detail. Now, because the screen-tearing issue that plagued the previous installments appears to have lessened (somewhat), I’m wondering if this minor overhaul was to combat said problem."

It appears to me that what you're talking about is an apparent reduction in some of the minor detail which has resulted in the game engine being able to keep a consistent rendering performance. I know that there is a fashion for doing static image comparisons to compare 360 and PS3 games, and that there are sites out there that claim to count every pixel and every frame per second, but I do think that you can't compare static images to get a comparison of something that is always in motion.

It seems to me that what Ubisoft have done is recognize some of what Insomniac have said in the past, where they have discussed frame rates, detail level and resolution. It seems that Ubisoft have traded some of the smaller detail to enable better anti-aliasing and stable framerates to avoid tearing issues. Personally I think that is a very good trade off to make. As nice as it is to have every nut, bolt, dent, scratch, thread, fiber or pore rendered on screen in every frame, when a game is moving quickly, I don't notice any of that stuff. I do notice dropped frames, inconsistent frame rate and bad screen tearing. Perhaps that is what Ubisoft has recognized and have modified their game accordingly?

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Temjin001
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:10:32 PM

Games that move in motion, though, are being rendered on a per frame basis. So comparing games frame per frame would be gathered empirically.

But to be agreeable, when a person plays a game in real time it's much more difficult to pick out those minuet differences because a person's eyes are tracking a lot more than just pixel details.

I think as we see more games move towards heavy post processing (Killzone and Vanquish) it'll be much more difficult to spot pixel precise differences between multi-plats because of all the motion noise that's generated because of these newer post-processing effects.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:31:31 PM

You know way more about that kind of thing than I do, Highlander. All I can do is issue my comments based on what I see; I can't explain why they visuals are a certain way.

So if you think your theory explains my explanation, I'll take your word for it. :)

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Highlander
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:00:42 PM

LOL! Well, you've p[layed the game, and I haven't. So I figure your opinion will matter as much or more so than others who have not.

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Qubex
Sunday, November 21, 2010 @ 12:06:29 AM

...but Uncharted 2 proves once again, that exclusives -- with their optimised -- end up giving the gamer everything they want, smooth frame rates and hyper detail...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:34:46 PM
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Maybe Ubisoft should take notice of some things a few of your are saying regarding the graphics.

I've noticed a big difference in the Comments- those who have played it agree that the graphics are great, as well they are. But those who haven't, who have only gone by screenshots and other media that's out there, apparently think the game suffers in the visual department.

I'm not sure if they're going by the screens we have or others they've seen, but it seems Ubisoft might be putting out some crappy media. ...and maybe they shouldn't do that.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 12:40:50 PM
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Judging from the beta...theres no way in hell graphics are 9.1. 8.8 sounds better (I'm picky :D)

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Highlander
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:01:24 PM

You can't judge a final product based on the Beta. things change, debug code get's removed, final polish get's done.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:05:03 PM
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Wow, I didn't really mean to make this all about the graphics, I'm sure the game is great to get over a 9 by Ben.

And hey, if you took the ugly girl home and she was a tiger in the sack, ain't no shame in it ;)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 2:32:39 PM

No, you make a valid point. And you're not the only one to notice what seems to be lackluster media out in the wild, which is something no publisher wants to have.

After all, graphics may not mean everything, but they do mean something, and they're still a primary way of drumming up interest.

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Maiq The Liar
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 1:17:39 PM
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Lovely review Ben, was originally looking foward to this, I am even more now! Its gonna be on my christmas games list.

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erislocker
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 3:36:17 PM
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you see, ben,
i really enjoy reading your reviews...
since you wanted to take your thorough time with it (and i was itching to buy it cause i'm a huge fan of the series) i went over to IGN and read their review. i found it so negative and it really surprised me how complaining it was...
i still bought it anyway (ordered yesterday from amazon) but after reading your review i feel much more excited to play it. even though, you didn't state anything ridiculous that IGN had not.
in other words, i like your style of writing reviews!
thumbs up, my man

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 8:48:38 PM

Thanks. I didn't read IGN's review so I can't comment. I DO know that an 8 is a ridiculous score for this game, though.

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FxTales
Saturday, November 20, 2010 @ 1:08:02 AM
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I love this game. Did not take long, literally seconds, to be so intwined in the story again. Thanks for a heck of a lot more suitable review than what I've been seeing.

Being too picky is not a good quality.

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BengiePR23
Saturday, November 20, 2010 @ 5:27:06 PM
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Ben, wait till you finish it, it has one of those WTF? moments, the game, i found it to be better than AC2, on the graphics department i have to say that, on the characters, it has better graphics, as i see they are more detailed, and on the rest of the game i liked all the additions they included, it took me 23 hours to finish it, rebuilt Roma 100%, but have not finished all side quests. My friends also agree with me in that the game has better gfx than AC2. BTW to all PSXEXERS my PSN is bengiepr234, im on level 12 and with at least 1012 trophies.

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smitch
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 7:02:28 PM
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Best Assassins Creed yet!

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