Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate – Review (PS4)

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The Assassin’s Creed series arrived on the scene back in 2007 with an interesting premise but repetitive and unrefined gameplay. It was well received and when the second game arrived two years later, it had almost everything we wanted. Again the next title in the series, Brotherhood, improved and refined the way the series played and was an absolute blast. That was in 2010 and in the five years since we have had a mainline Assassin’s Creed game released every year.

Aside from 2013’s Black Flag it has been a case of diminishing returns, with not much innovation and too much clutter getting in the way of the gaming experience, culminating in 2014’s Unity, which was a broken game upon release. I didn’t finish Unity as I didn’t like the main character and felt like I had better things to spend my game time on.

As you can imagine, I approached Syndicate with some trepidation. It was ticking boxes for me pre-release: Victorian London? Check. Two main playable characters? Check. One of which is female? Check. It looked good on paper but after playing nine of these games in eight years (including a few spin off titles) the potential for burn out was extremely high. So did another new setting and main characters do anything to stop the slide of the series?

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The answer for me is a resounding yes.

Let’s start with the characters, twins Evie and Jacob Frye. For the first time in a long while I genuinely felt attached and interested in Assassin’s Creed’s main stars. As much as I enjoyed Black Flag and felt Edward Kenway was a likeable character, I didn’t really care for his story. With Syndicate I was keen to progress the story and enjoyed the freedom (some missions aside) to choose between controlling Evie or Jacob.

Both have slightly different skills, Evie is more stealth based while Jacob is more aggressive, but you can use either for most situations and be confident you won’t run into too much trouble. A huge part of their appeal is the delivery from actors Victoria Atkin and Paul Amos, both in terms of motion capture and vocal performance. The sibling banter flows freely and feels genuine enough to convince.

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The gameplay is still rooted in the maligned Assassin’s Creed template – you’ll need to climb a viewpoint to see all the side activities in an area but with climbing more efficient and easy to navigate it wasn’t too much of a hardship. The side activities were varied enough to keep me coming back, whether it was smaller stuff like protecting horse-drawn cargo, carriage racing (not a high point), bare knuckle fighting (surprisingly fun) or bigger things like taking over gang hideouts or assassinating Templars commanders. Do enough side stuff to clear out a borough of London and you trigger a gang fight, with each of these having a gang leader with back story and lines of dialogue etc. It reminded me a little of Shadow Of Mordor’s nemesis system but more static and less in depth. I’d love to see them work on this and try to incorporate something more dynamic for future titles.

There are also some interesting side missions that you can do for historical figures of the time – Dickens, Alexander Graham Bell, Darwin, Marx and even Queen Victoria have some really nice missions. In addition to that you’ll also find yourself bumping into others, like Florence Nightingale and Prime Minister Disraeli. Fun stuff and the game doesn’t take any of it too seriously, which is good.

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Another welcome new addition is the story based assassinations themselves. Nothing was more frustrating for me in previous games than sneaking up on a target, going to take them out, only for that to bring up a health bar and trigger a ‘boss fight’. Here you have the freedom to do as you like and the game also provides some ‘Hitman‘ style optional extras – interesting ways to get close to your target and perhaps activate a unique kill on them. Very cool stuff.

The game looks fantastic with some really cool lighting and a day/night cycle that also features various weather effects. Considering the issues in last year’s title I didn’t experience much in the way of technical problems. There was, of course, a bit of open-world ‘jank’, which isn’t uncommon in games of this size but there was nothing that dampened my enjoyment of the game.

Thinking of negatives, to be honest there aren’t many. I would’ve liked to have seen a little more variation in the bigger side missions – having said that I spent hours taking over London and finished them all, so they can’t have been that bad! The characters themselves handled fine but the horse drawn vehicle stuff was painful at times. I guess it would be tough to race through the streets of London in the 1860’s but a little more control would’ve been welcome. Also having the same button to get into a vehicle and pick up a dead body meant some extremely frustrating moments where the game picked the wrong option for me. Minor complaints in the grand scheme of things.

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So, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was a really positive experience for me. The fact that Ubisoft are giving the franchise a year off in 2016 is great news as it allows for some breathing space and gives them time to improve the game a lot more. We know the next game won’t be returning to London and the twins Frye but I genuinely hope we see a return to England with Evie and Jacob in the future.

Rating: 9/10

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Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger – Review (PS3)

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The Call Of Juarez games have always been a bit hit and miss. As Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek always says, you’re never quite sure which Techland you’re getting… Good Techland or bad Techland.

Thankfully for Gunslinger it seems ‘Good Techland’ were on duty and have delved back into the series’ Western roots.

Gunslinger sees grizzled cowboy legend Silas Greaves in a saloon drinking and sharing stories with those at his table. You relive events as flashbacks and the great thing about this game is that Silas is a pretty unreliable narrator, which gives his audience in the saloon a chance to pick him up on elements of the story they know he is fabricating.

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This means levels can change drastically while you’re playing them, in terms of both design and content, as Silas adjusts his story. It’s a pretty cool idea which works well in the context of the game.

As you progress through the game you can invest in different skill trees for rifle, dual pistols and shotgun respectively. This allows the player to decide what approach they want to take for the majority of the game. Even without much investment the weapons still pack quite a punch and the linear design of the levels means you can, for the most part, use whichever weapons you want to.

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There are lots of boss battles, against real life cowboys like Billy The Kid and Butch Cassidy – though these take place in Silas’ fictional telling rather than true historical events. The developers have included some collectibles that unlock the true story of the people and places in the game, which is a nice touch.

Gunslinger is a download only game and for the price (under £12) this is a really solid and enjoyable game. The story certainly didn’t feel too short and was well written with some nice touches and characterisation. There are extra time attack and dual modes but I found once I’d finished the story I’d just about had my fill of Gunslinging.

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I’d say if you like first person shooters, especially ones with a slightly different hook, then Gunslinger might be worth picking up – especially at it’s low price point. I found it to be an enjoyable romp through the old Wild West.

Rating: 8/10

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Far Cry 3 – Review (PS3)

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Far Cry 3 puts you in the shoes of Jason Brody, a rich kid who is partying with his friends on a tropical paradise island near Bangkok. However, as becomes apparent in the game’s opening, everything is not quite as idyllic as it seems.

With your friends scattered and captured it’s left up to you to try and get everyone together and escape from this hellish nightmare.

Fortunately there are plenty of guns around and lots of armed enemies to take out in the process.

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The setting is beautiful and the developers have done a great job of creating a stunning and believable environment for you to mess around in. And mess around you will because Far Cry 3 is positively loaded with things to do in addition to the story missions.

The story itself starts strongly, wavers in the middle and finishes well – though it felt like there were different directions Far Cry 3 could’ve gone in that might’ve been better suited to the early story stuff. I certainly would’ve liked to have seen it take longer for Brody to turn into a frenzied killing machine after his fantastically timid beginnings but having said that, it does fit in with the story stuff that follows.

Enemy AI is ok on the whole, though it has to be said it’s at its best when unscripted emergent events happen – like wild animals rushing in and attacking you and your enemies. Some of those moments were superb and gave the game a real feeling of vitality and freshness.

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The missions were good overall and I felt that Far Cry 3 was well paced, aside from a few instances and one particular ‘boss’ battle that felt a little out of place. Mainly due to it’s length rather than it’s place in the story.

Having everything in first person gives the game a nice feel, especially when driving a vehicle. And it says a lot that for the most part I avoided using the fast travel system and would just drive wherever I needed to go.

On your travels you’ll encounter random enemy patrols or wild animals and for me, these were some of the highlights of my playthrough. Likewise capturing enemy bases was always fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge presented by the radio towers you need to activate to unlock chunks of the map.

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I did feel the story outstayed it’s welcome a little, possibly trimming an hour or two off the campaign might’ve helped but the characters dreamt up by the developers are pretty awesome and it was nice to see some colourful personalities that were fun to interact with.

Unfortunately during an early mission I experienced several game breaking glitches that meant restarting the mission. Whether it was a game crash, an online connection error that froze the game on the pause screen or something else, it meant redoing the same mission 4 times, which was pretty frustrating. The game also locked up on me a few times beyond that and because of Far Cry 3’s lack of manual save options I lost a fair bit of valuable progress.

I found the multiplayer offering to be pretty robust and good fun. There isn’t anything revolutionary here but it’s solid and will offer further hours of gameplay within the universe. There are also a batch of co-op missions that you can tackle with friends which further boosts your potential playtime.

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Overall, after initially being impressed with Far Cry 3 by the end of the game I felt a little let down by the way the story developed. I felt a couple of great characters were wasted and I suppose having enjoyed the opening it just highlighted the disappointment by the time the game ended. Added to that were the technical issues that disrupted my playthrough and it made for a slightly disjointed experience.

Rating: 7/10

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Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation – Review (Vita)

Liberation has long been hyped as one of the ‘saviours’ of Playstation Vita (the others being Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified and Persona 4: The Golden). Offering a scaled down Assassin’s Creed experience to better suit the handheld style of play, does it do enough to shine?

The good news is that Liberation is a very solid game. Telling the story of Aveline de Grandpré, an assassin in New Orleans in 1765, it sees the series take on a female main character for the first time. Aveline is modelled really well and has some really great animation – especially her fluid movement through trees, which mirrors Connor’s animation in the full PS3 Assassin’s Creed III.

I found the story of Liberation to be pretty engrossing for the most part and Aveline as a character was fun to control. The game uses a new idea in terms of disguise – you have three different ‘personas’ available as you play, each with individual abilities.

The ‘Lady’ will not attract much attention from guards and can also charm characters into talking to her/following her. However she can’t climb. The ‘Assassin’ has the normal abilities of an assassin and will raise attention in guards very quickly. And the ‘Slave’ persona allows Aveline to blend into crowds of the poor and also pass for a servant/slave to gain access to restricted areas.

This gives you a fair bit of freedom to approach missions in different ways (although certain missions require you to use a specific outfit) and another thing I really enjoyed about Liberation was that it brought back a more stealthy element of play.

Unfortunately you still have your usual open world glitches, such as people spawning into the game in front of you, characters stuck on geometry and just random odd things. This isn’t limited to Liberation of course, lots of open world titles suffer similar issues and actually the game does have a small get out clause in that Liberation is a game created by Asbergo (the fictional bad guy company from the Assassin’s Creed series). Yes, you’re playing a game within a game 😮 Very Inception isn’t it? 😆

The touch controls are fairly intuitive, you open letters that Aveline finds by running your finger and thumb across the front/back of the Vita touch screen/pad together. Once you kill a few enemies you can activate ‘Chain Kill’ which pauses the action and lets you highlight enemies by touching them – Aveline will then despatch them in turn. Sadly my Vita bugbear returns… ‘Hold the Vita to a bright light source to see the note/letter.’ This should always be optional in my opinion, not very convenient when on the train or in the office 😦

There is also a little bit of cross-over with the PS3 version if you link your Vita to Assassin’s Creed III on PS3. You get a playable mission as Connor and unlock his Tomahawk, along with a few other bits.

Overall Liberation is a good, fun experience. It’s certainly one of the better Vita games out there at the moment and if you like Assassin’s Creed it’s well worth checking out. I won’t know for sure until I finish Assassin’s Creed III (I’m halfway through) but at this stage I prefer Liberation to Assassin’s Creed III, which is pretty surprising and speaks to the quality of the Vita game.

Rating: 8/10

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Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – Review (PS3)

Ghost Recon: Future Solider puts you in the boots of a member of the Ghost Recon squad ‘Hunter.’ After a bomb denotes and wipes out another squad, ‘Predator’, you are assigned the task of finding out who set the bomb off and where it came from.

So far, so military third person shooter. What supplements the usual gameplay here is that because the game is set in the near future the developer has given you a few ‘toys’ to play with.

Active camouflage is probably one you’ve seen in other games (most notably the Metal Gear Solid series) but it’s done well here and comes in very handy when making your way into enemy territory. You also have UAV drones that can scout/mark targets, a big hulking robot walker that looks a bit like ED-209 from Robocop and a few other, less impressive, gadgets.

The gameplay is solid, this is a third person based shooter that also features an iron sight view for those that want it. It reminded me of SOCOM 4 in terms of control and feel but obviously having those extra gadgets makes it a different beast to play through.

There were times when the game dragged a little – that troublesome 2nd act around halfway through that trips up a lot of games – but for the most part Future Soldier was a really enjoyable experience. I didn’t see any of the techincal issues/glitches that we reported in early reviews of the game but I suspect most of that will have been patched out by now.

The online is good fun but with so many other great third person shooter multiplayer games out there (Uncharted 3/Mass Effect 3/Max Payne 3) I just don’t think there was enough to tempt me into coming back and really putting some serious time into the online experience.

Overall I would recommend Ghost Recon: Future Soldier if you enjoy third person action games. It’s not a title that will blow you away but it’s a really solid, enjoyable experience.

Rating: 8/10

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Assassin’s Creed: Revelations – Review (PS3)

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations was met with a slightly mixed response when it was announced. Mainly because it was only a year since Brotherhood had hit shelves and people were concerned the series might end up stuck in a Call Of Duty style yearly release cycle.

The game continues Ezio Auditore da Firenze’s tale while linking in Altair from the original game, meaning that Revelations rounds the story out nicely in anticipation of Assassin’s Creed III, which is released in November.

Ezio now finds himself in Constantinople and is on the trail of a set of keys that unlock a hidden fortress, in which Altair hid a weapon so powerful it could finally end the war between the Templars and the Assassins.

The gameplay is fairly similar to the last few games with the new addition of a tower defence style mini game. I only played it once in the mandatory main mission as it wasn’t of any interest to me. I don’t really feel it was needed but thankfully if you’re not bothered you’ll only need to do it once.

One of the few additions to make a difference is the Hookblade which, as well as aiding in combat, can also be used to climb up buildings quicker and, in certain locations, be used as a zipline between buildings. It genuinely increases the speed at which you can traverse the environment and is a welcome new accessory.

You can still buy shops and banks etc and build up your portfolio of property, which increases the money you’ll earn. You’ll be spending time capturing districts and running all over town, as well as completing the main story missions. There is a lot to do and plenty to keep you entertained but you can’t escape the feeling you’ve seen it all before.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the third Assassin’s Creed title in as many years and the burn is beginning to show. Thankfully Assassin’s Creed III (with a new game engine, character and setting) is just around the corner and looks set to revitalise the series.

Revelations is a good, solid game that does build a little on what went (recently) before. It closes out Ezio’s story in an interesting way but does little to really advance Desmond’s story. If you’re a fan and not burnt out on Assassin’s Creed then you’ll love this. I enjoyed it but I am definitely ready for a change of scenery.

Rating: 7/10

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Driver: San Francisco – Review (PS3)

Since the well received original Driver game back in 1999 the series has lurched from one average game to another, with the last few being sub-par overall.

So another Driver game wasn’t exactly cause for celebration on my part but the more I saw of the game the more I thought maybe this is the one where they will turn it around.

The previous game’s star John Tanner returns along with Tobias Jones (his partner). The villain of Driver 3, Jericho, finds himself locked up in San Francisco and is being transported from prison when he escapes and Tanner ends up chasing him in his car. Just as he is about to catch him, Jericho rams Tanner’s car into the oncoming path of a truck – leaving Tanner unconscious.

This plot device leads to the introduction of the ‘shift’ mechanic – a means for Tanner to zoom out of the vehicle he is in and select a different car to ‘shift’ back into. Much like Quantum Leap everyone else still sees the original driver of the car rather than Tanner, leading to some great comedy moments.

I initially thought this might be a bit clunky in practice but it’s easy to pull off quickly and can be used to great tactical effect.

The handling of the cars is arcade-y rather than simulation, which is just right for this type of fast paced driving action. At times I found the steering to be temperamental, which was frustrating but in general the vehicles had a decent heft to them and felt great to throw around the tarmac.

My biggest complaint is that staple of story-based driving games, becoming stuck on one mission and not being able to progress. In Driver: San Francisco this is stretched further by the fact you had to finish enough side missions to trigger the next story mission.

It really did feel like a chore at times – especially the ‘race’ style side missions where one mistake (often not of your own making) would cost you the mission. This game could’ve done with being a couple of hours shorter in my opinion.

Driver: San Francisco is by far the best game in the series for a long, long time and it’s one you should definitely give a spin. It’s a bit bloated in terms of length but the driving is good and the story is fun as well.

Rating: 7/10

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Well it’s been a few months since the release of the Playstation Vita handheld console and while there is a break in game releases (Resistance Burning Skies hits later this month, while Mortal Kombat will be out by the time you read this) I thought it would be worth going over my thoughts on the device and doing a round up of ‘mini’ game reviews.

Firstly the device itself – ‘Wow’ is probably the most apt description. You genuinely have to play one to see just how amazing the screen is. Screenshots just don’t do the thing justice.

The analogue sticks work a treat – not as responsive as the PS3 ones but bearing in mind they are on a handheld they do what’s required of them.

You have a whole host of non-game stuff as well, Twitter/Facebook/Skype are all supported. Netflix is rumoured to be on the way, along with plenty of other social stuff I’m sure. Near is the one I use the most as it tells you (less interestingly) who is playing what nearby and (more interestingly) is a way to pick up in-game goods or challenges from your friends.

I went for the Wi-Fi model and have had no problems with it. I’m always somewhere with Wi-Fi when gaming online and in a worst case scenario I can tether to my HTC and use that as a Wi-Fi hotspot. I personally don’t see the benefit of 3G at the moment.

And so onto the games!


MOTORSTORM RC (Download Only)

When I heard about this game and realised it was a cross between Micro Machines and Super Off Road I was stoked. I had no idea just how addictive it would become. The fact you’re constantly reminded of your friend’s times and compared to them means there is great incentive for ‘just one more lap’. The fact you get the PS3 and Vita version for the princely sum of £4.79 just adds to the value of the title.

Rating: 9/10



It makes me sad that Sony shuttered the company behind this game but I can understand why – their last few games have been competent but not polished. Unit 13 is no different. A third person shooter focusing on score based, bite-sized missions is a wise move on Vita and this is a great game. Unfortunately it’s hampered by a fairly serious issue – every now and again the game will ‘brick’ your Vita, requiring a hard reset. Very annoying. However the fact that despite that I persisted with Unit 13, aced every mission, earned myself a platinum trophy and loved playing it hopefully gives an indication of how highly I rate it.

Rating: 9/10



The poster child for the Vita. Great graphics and great gameplay. The proper voice acting and motion capture, just like the PS3 games. Bend Studios have previous – the Syphon Filter and Resistance games on PSP they did were some of the highlights of the handheld’s output – and they have done a fantastic job on this. The only issue I had was with the pacing in the first half. It was far too ‘stop start’ for my liking, with minimal interaction before triggering another cut scene. That improves greatly in the back end of the game and the second half was a blast.

Rating: 9/10



FIFA on the go? Yes please! Whilst this is based more on PS3’s FIFA 11 than FIFA 12 this is still the best football game on a handheld by miles. Essentially the full game in the palm of your hand, this boasts the career mode and plenty more beside. The gameplay is just as good (though based on FIFA 11 remember) and the graphics are pretty good, despite some dodgy stuttering in the opening cut scenes. Looking forward to the refined FIFA that will no doubt appear when FIFA 13 turns up. Cross platform play/saves? Don’t rule it out.

Rating: 8/10



I’m not generally a big fan of platforming games but Rayman Origins is a wonderful title. Visually stunning and with some inventive game mechanics this is a must have for people that enjoy this genre. I’d certainly recommend non-platform fans to at least give it a try as well.

Rating: 8/10



Probably one of the best looking games on the Vita at launch, Virtua Tennis 4 is everything you’d expect from it’s console big brother. Smooth controls, wacky training mini-games and an indepth career mode mean you’ll be playing this one for a long time.

Rating 7/10



I hadn’t played any of the previous Stardust games on PS3, despite their great reputation. But at just under £7 this seemed like a steal. You control a small ship and must avoid enemies while destroying rock/ice formations as they land on your planet. It’s a twin stick shooter with some great graphics and a competitive leaderboard 😉

Rating: 7/10



As much as I enjoyed the PS3 version of Modnation Racers I feel United Front Games have dropped the ball somewhat with the Vita version. The game looks fine and actually controls a little better than the PS3 one but the fact that you can’t set times offline and have them uploaded when you’re next online (like Motorstorm RC, Super Stardust Delta et al) is a real shame. For someone like me who is mainly offline that really makes me less inclined to play it.

Rating: 6/10


F1 2011

Formula 1 for the Vita is a bit of a mixed bag – when in full flow on a wide open track the game is great. However when you’re at lower speeds or there are a lot of other cars around the graphics take a big hit. It’s a shame as this seems like it might just be a port of the PSP title upscaled, rather than being linked more to the PS3 version. There is a robust career mode which should keep you entertained but I can’t help feeling you might be better off waiting for the next F1 Vita game, which hopefully may make more of the console’s abilities.

Rating: 6/10



As part of the recurring theme for a lot of these games, Lumines is a game I wouldn’t normally play at home but, like Super Stardust Delta, really seems to suit portable gaming. It’s a music-based puzzle game that requires a great deal of thought if you’re to do well. As someone who isn’t into puzzle games I found this challenging – challenging but fun.

Rating: 7/10


HUSTLE KINGS (Download Only)

A port of the PS3 version of the game (buying either version gets you both, which is cool) Hustle Kings is a nice pool game with lots of different modes and some interesting features. I hadn’t played the PS3 version but after trying the Vita demo I grabbed this as a title that is great to play when I only have 10 mins spare.

Rating: 7/10



I thoroughly enjoyed Everybody’s Golf on my PSP a few years back but once all the courses were done there wasn’t much in the way of replayability. Thankfully as well as a great set of single player events the Vita version takes advantage of the devices online capabilities to give you daily online tournaments to take part in. Getting involved in these will see you rise (and fall) in the World rankings – addictive!

Rating: 9/10



Wipeout 2048 is one of those games that you can use to show off how gorgeous the screen is on your Vita. The sense of speed is impressive and this is Wipeout as you know it, although as it’s set in the early days of the Wipeout universe it might be the first time you’ve seen these ships race on grass 😆 You can connect and race against people that playing the Vita or PS3 version and I can confirm there are no issues on that front – it works as described. The killer here unfortunately are the load times. Apparently these are being patched but it just takes too long to get into a race. It’s a big issue, especially for a handheld game where your time might be limited.

Rating: 8/10


So anyone else out there with a Vita? What do you think of these games so far? What else is on your radar for the device?


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Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – Review (PS3)

Coming so soon after Assassin’s Creed II, and with the accompanying marketing campaign focused on the multiplayer aspect of the game, a lot of people dismissed Brotherhood as a glorified add on pack before a surprisingly deep single player component also emerged.

This is Assassin’s Creed III in all but name.

The single player campaign is as long if not longer than Assassin’s Creed II, clocking in at around 15 hours for me – including a fair bit of side mission stuff.

The story continues with Ezio Auditore in 1499 and Desmond Miles in 2012, picking up exactly where the second game left off. There is also a helpful recap of the first two games events – although I still didn’t fully understand it all 😆 – for peeps who need a refresher or for people new to the series.

The changes Ubisoft have made to the game feel subtle but really they have honed this title so much it really doesn’t do much wrong.

Firstly there is now a very welcome fast travel system around the city. This was definitely needed as there are times you just don’t fancy having to trek all the way across the map to your next objective. In game they are via underground tunnels and you have to unlock each location by ‘renovating’ the entrance.

Renovation is a big part of the game now and you can spend cash to renovate shops within an area (netting yourself a few decent discounts along the way) and even buy up property to restore.

The more stuff you renovate the more cash you get back per cycle (20 mins in real time). This is one part of the game that is entirely optional but it’s fun and pretty helpful as you go through the game.

There are lots more side mission types and your map will be chock full of things to do if you fancy a change of pace away from the main missions.

The climbing system seems to have been tightened up and I found myself doing a lot less random jumping off buildings than in Assassin’s Creed II.

My favourite two additions though are the Borgia Towers and the Assassin’s Guild.

The Borgia Towers allow you to liberate areas of the city from your enemy’s control. Essentially you have to get into a restricted area, kill the Borgia Captain and then set fire to the tower. Once that is done you’re free to renovate shops within that tower’s area.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed these missions to be honest and I found myself doing them wherever possible.

The Assassin’s Guild sees Ezio building his own army of Assassins. 😎 You can recruit citizens by helping those who are being harrassed by Borgia soldiers. Once recruited you can send the assassins out on missions (you don’t see/control the missions, they are just to increase each Assassins stats) or, and this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a game for a while, you can call them into action to help you.

Yep that’s right. Your own army at your disposal. You can either select a victim and press L2, which will see a recruit emerge from the shadows/a haystack/a roof and perform a stealth kill, or you can hold L2 to have a stream of arrows rain down from the rooftops to take down any enemy soldiers in the area. It truly is an awesome sight and a brilliant inclusion.

Another new feature is the execution streak, in which once you counter kill one enemy you just need to hold the left stick in the direction of your next victim and press square to kill them with one blow. You can chain this together endlessly (at least until another enemy attacks you mid flow) and while some may feel it lowers the difficulty of the game I enjoyed the sense of empowerment I got from it.

The story is more of the same which wasn’t a problem for me although I personally would’ve liked to have seen a few more parts with Desmond in 2012 throughout the game.

But what of the much publicised multiplayer. When they announced Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood would have multiplayer I was not keen, deathmatch and team deathmatch as an assassin? Capture the flag? Surely not I thought.

And thankfully Ubisoft delivered one of the most unique multiplayer experiences around today. Playing completely to the main game’s strengths multiplayer sees you stalking opponents whilst also being hunted yourself.

The main mode, ‘Wanted,’ sees you given a picture of your target and a small radar indicating their rough position. While you track them down there could potentially be up to three other players also chasing that target.

In the meantime you could have up to four people chasing you! So essentially the idea is to act as normal as possible and blend in, while also tracking your prey and looking for the right moment to take them down.

Despite a sometimes questionable stun mechanic (as in it can be difficult to stun your pursuer even if you know who they are) the balance is pretty much perfect, with all the perks and unlocks cancelling each other out (if you happen to have the corresponding one equipped that is).

It is a wonderful game of cat and mouse and I genuinely think every gamer should at least rent this and give the multiplayer a shot. You won’t have played anything else like it and it is great to see a developer bringing something fresh to the table.

There are also team versions of Wanted and some other variations to keep you interested but I find myself drifting towards ‘Wanted’ almost every time.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is not without it’s flaws (the stun mechanic in multiplayer needs tweaking and the pacing of the main story missions could’ve been better) but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s an improvement on the previous game in almost every way and features a great, original multiplayer mode. I have no problem giving it the GREGHORRORSHOW PLATINUM SEAL OF APPROVAL™

Rating 10/10

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Scott Pilgrim vs The World – Demo Impressions (PS3)


I’m still yet to see the film or read the comics (I’m waiting for an omnibus :smile:) but I was most definitely interested in this PSN title. So when the demo popped up I grabbed it straight away.

Essentially an old skool 8 bit brawler, Scott Pilgrim looks and plays great. You make your way through various levels from left to right in the tradition of great games like Double Dragon or Street Of Rage.

You have various special moves as well as your regular kick and punch attacks to take down the bad guys. The demo takes place in the streets of Canada but there are plenty of places to work your way through in the full game.

You can have up to 4 players locally but sadly there are no plans to incorporate any form of online play. I think that’s a real shame as this probably would’ve been a must buy for me if it had featured that.

If you remember older titles, such as Final Fight or Golden Axe, and like the way they played then Scott Pilgrim looks like a nice update on that type of game.

As I said I’d have picked this up if it had online co-op but as it stands I may buy this if it gets a price drop on PSN. It’s worth checking out.

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