Recently I've been enjoying the stabby-stabby fun of Ubisofts latest offering, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, which I got from my wonderful brother for Christmas. As is the norm for me, I started up the single player game and utterly ignored the multiplayer aspect until I finished the campaign and learned what fate had befallen my hero of Renaissance Rome, Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
Upon venturing into the online portion of the game just this last weekend, I was stunned by how much I enjoyed it. I was so taken, in fact, that I was compelled to write to Monday Musing, a weekly section of the UK Xbox Dashboard. Here is what I sent them last Saturday:
I've hunted Aliens through the deepest, darkest jungles. I've gone one on one against Locust Drones in dark, underground caverns. I've battled Spitters and Tanks among abandoned streets. I've fought the worst of the worst, the stuff nightmares are made from, in games spawned from the darkest, most twisted minds. Despite all this, my heart has never raced as fast as it does after a game of Ubisofts latest offering, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood.This evening I got home from work to discover that I had 93 messages in my Xbox 360 Inbox, several of which were Friend Invites! Amazingly, the good guys at the Xbox UK offices thought my meager Musing was fit for publication on the Xbox Dashboard! Every Xbox registered to Ireland or the UK could see my thoughts on Assassins Creed: Brotherhood! I was popular!
Like most players, I played through the single player campaign first, relishing the fantastic story laid out before me, as well as the beauty of Renaissance Rome. The multiplayer sat on my menu options, untouched. Only once I had exhausted Ezios story did I venture into the world of Abstergos recruits.
And what a world they have crafted! Brotherhoods multiplayer experience is easily one of the most fun aspects of any game I have played in years. Nailing that precision kill and vanishing into a crowd is thrilling. Stalking your prey through busy streets, finger poised over the X button, about to do the deed when suddenly...BAM! Someone shoves a hidden blade deep into your back, and the world spins slowly as your own intended victim walks away, probably none-the-wiser about how close he was to death.
Congratulations to Ubisoft for crafting the most heart-pounding game I have ever played, without the need for scare tactics or shock-horror moments. No monsters, no demons, just other humans that could be as deadly as you hope you are. I'll send you my medical bill when my heart inevitably explodes.
Thankfully, my faith in humanity was upheld by the generally fantastic Xbox Live community. The vast, vast majority of messages were positive and polite. Some disagreed with my opinions, but thanked me for sharing my thoughts, one gamer summing it up nicely as "To each their own". In the minority by a long shot were those with nothing useful to add to the conversation beyond one-word insults or, in one case "Do you work for Microsoft. If so, why did I get banned?" If you're reading this, I don't know mate. I wish I worked for Microsoft so I could get all the Arcade games I wanted, but I don't, so I can't!
I've been trying to respond to as many of the nicer comments as possible, mostly just thanking them for their comment in a cut and paste format. Those who disagreed in a polite fashion got a response thanking them as well. People of all ages took the time to say hi, so I'm trying to return the favour. There have been a handful of voice messages, which have been odd to listen to. They're all nice, but range from really young kids asking me questions as if I'm some new god, to older gamers who didn't feel the need to fumble over the onscreen keyboard.
This whole strange event has happened at the start of my last week in school before we make the big move to Canada. At least I'll have an interesting story to tell people I meet when we arrive. This, and that time last week when we had dinner in the same restaurant as Dominic Monaghan and Elijah Wood, but that's a story for another post.