AC Brotherhood Changes Series Direction

By Rebecca Smith, 8 years ago
In a series of interviews with members of the Ubisoft Montreal team and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood development team, they attempt to clear up some of the misgivings and rumours that have surrounded the development of the game.

In an interview with PSM3 magazine, Steve Masters, lead game designer for AC: Brotherhood, has tackled whether the game is a true sequel to Assassin's Creed 2 or whether it should be considered as an expansion pack:

"We have a very long campaign - it's almost the same as Assassin's Creed II. We have a fully-fledged multi-player game now, which is a brand new thing for the franchise. We have several new gameplays, you know, a much improved fight system where it's faster, more brutal, more offensive. The whole Rome upgrading system and the Assassin's Brotherhood are two very deep systems that you'll have a lot of fun with. So I think people who have been checking that out will realise that, yes, it is a full game in its own right. [...]the additions that we're making to the gameplay and to the storyline change things forever. It's going to be a huge experience that people are going to really enjoy."
Mathieu Granjon, artistic director for the series, also confirmed that newcomers to the series will not miss anything important if they start with AC: Brotherhood:

"Newcomers to Assassin's Creed will feel at home with Brotherhood. Although it picks up immediately after AC2, a Previously On section at the beginning summarizes prior developments, and, since Brotherhood is an entirely new chapter in Ezio's life, there isn't a sense of missing past information. The experience will be slightly more layered for those who played AC2, but that's about it in terms of the difference."
In a separate interview, Eric Gallant, senior international brand manager, explained why the game has not been titled Assassin's Creed 3:

"The mindset for the team and the vision for the franchise is that a number is attached to a new Assassin and a new time period. Currently because we are keeping ourselves in the Italian renaissance and to the story of Ezio we didn't want to put a number on this game even though it's the most complete game so far. [...] Internally though this is the considered as the third game in the series."
He also answered why they have chosen to add multiplayer at this point in the series, and whether Assassin's Creed is no longer considered a single-player only franchise:

"It has been in development for almost three years now - we always had it in mind and thought about it but we didn't want to rush it out if it wasn't fitting properly. We wanted to do it right and as part of the development cycle and the time it took we felt that this was the right time. [...] we spent a lot of time to make sure the core values of the game are reflected in the multiplayer experience. We didn't want to do it just for the sake of doing multiplayer, we wanted to give the consumer a different experience that fits with the AC philosophy.

I'd be surprised if we move towards online more but that doesn't mean the online won't evolve and get more exciting. We're going to listen to feedback from consumers but the answer is no, we're not going to move away from our single-player core."
In a third interview, Patrick Plourde, lead designer, admitted that too much content had been cut from their previous games, and that this content could be "exploited" in future releases:

"There is, especially with Assassin's Creed 1... there's stuff that I don't want to talk about because there are good ideas that can be exploited later on for our brand.

The conception period was three years... too much stuff was cut from AC1. If you analyse the final product everything was polished but there isn't enough variety. With AC2 and Brotherhood, since we're a sandbox it's different from a linear game. Look at GTA - it's more like the overall experience and throwing in enough toys to play with, that's something we failed on in AC1, there weren't enough toys or tools to play around with the AI or the world given. So, we've had a massive list of ideas and made them all happen."
In a final interview, producer Vincent Pontbriand confirmed that changes had been made since the beta for AC: Brotherhood:

"Most of it relates to signs and feedback. People get the core gameplay loop, it's just balancing and everything you need to show on screen for feedback. Stuff like score, next target, are you being spotted, are you anonymous - there's a lot of information we need to show without stuffing the HUD. A lot of it revolves around that but then there's smaller details, looking at what we can do to improve that."
He also discussed improvements for any DLC for the game, especially as the post-release DLC for AC2 was not "well-received":

"I think people felt cheated at the impression that there was stuff that didn't make it into [Assassin's Creed 2]. It's frustrating since I can understand that view but it wasn't our intentions at all.

We want to give more of the game so we have plans for post-launch DLC. It's a mix between maintaining shelf life, which is going to be easier with multiplayer I think. It's obvious what you can do with that. It's harder to expand it story wise in terms of single-player because otherwise you never have closure, you have to re-open doors if you know what I mean. It's a calculated risk."
Does anybody else get the impression from Pontbriand's final comments, that we're unlikely to see any single-player DLC for AC: Brotherhood. Personally I'm hoping that this isn't the case.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was released yesterday in North America, and will be released on Friday 19th November in Europe.
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.