4. The ability to conquer and control Rome
Among the things the copy on the back of the box promises is the ability to conquer Rome, although it’s impossible to tell whether it’s meant in a literal or figurative sense. If it is literal, though, then we’d really like to see a gang-war-style campaign for the city, with Ezio and his Assassins quietly wresting control of one district after another from the Templars. Ideally, it would then be possible to lord over them, much like Ezio does with his own fortress at Monteriggioni in ACII. Landmarks and businesses could be restored and improved, opening up new items and avenues for exploration.
Above: Like this, but more of it, and with Rome
If nothing else, though, city administration was a surprisingly fun part of ACII, and we’d be a little disappointed if it didn’t return in some form.
5. Co-op assassinations
Multiplayer is obviously going to be a big part of Brotherhood, but we’re not entirely sure what that will entail. (Although we can probably get at least a rudimentary idea by looking at the competitive assassinations in the Assassin’s Creed II: Multiplayer game for iPhone.)
Above: It’s going to be, uh… big and confusing!
What we really want to see, however, is Splinter Cell-style co-op enter the equation. Obviously Assassins don’t need to help each other over walls, but it’d be handy to have someone else along to revive you if things get too nasty. We’d also be very interested to see what kinds of two-, three- or four-man executions the minds behind Assassin’s Creed can devise; bringing down big targets with the help of co-conspirators, if handled well, could be a lot of fun.
Above: This looks just a little bit fun, doesn't it?
6. More events
What was the single most memorable thing that happened during the time Ezio spent in Venice? That’s right: Carnival (and even if it wasn’t, humor us for a second). Everyone in costume, revelers crowding the streets and nobody keeping an eye out for a strangely dressed murderer in a hooded tunic.
It made for an interesting change of pace from the normal dynamic of the city, it made the place feel more alive and it was interesting to explore. More events like that, whether they be festivals or religious processions, could make an especially engaging backdrop for Ezio’s usual skullduggery.
7. More devious ways to kill people
Know what would improve the experience of being Ezio? Explosives that could be timed or triggered from a distance. More and better poisons. Environmental kills. Quietly stabbing guys with the Hidden Blades is always fun, but so is having a lot of different ways to dispose of your enemies, and ramping up your options for pulling off interesting executions could make something that's already fun even better.
Above: Like this, but not with smoke
8. The death of Rodrigo Borgia
This is a big one: at the end of ACII, Ezio – after murdering his way through most of Italy’s power brokers – suddenly decided not to kill Rodrigo Borgia (aka Pope Alexander VI), the game’s central villain and the man who had Ezio’s father and brothers killed. The real reason for this was that in real life, Borgia had a separate, famous demise, and it didn’t happen at the end of an assassin’s knife.
Above: "Ha ha, no violent comeuppance for me!"
Known to history as one of the most corrupt popes of all time, the real Borgia allegedly treated the Church as a personal piggy bank, using its treasury to finance his own deviant excesses and attempting to bequeath its properties to his children (oh, and he’s also known for sleeping with his daughter, Lucrezia).
Above: Kind of a dick, really
When Borgia was 72, according to Wikipedia, he and his son Cesare came down with a fever shortly after dining with a cardinal. Cesare recovered, but Borgia didn’t, and his stomach “became swollen and turned to liquid, while his face became wine-coloured and his skin began to peel off. Finally his stomach and bowels bled profusely.” More than a week later, Borgia died in agony, leaving behind a corpse that decomposed so rapidly and so grotesquely that one witness described it as “the ugliest, most monstrous and horrible dead body that was ever seen, without any form or likeness of humanity."
Above: Sort of like this, only more Pope-shaped
Given that both Borgia and his son came down with the same “fever” shortly after dinner, it’s not difficult to see a slow-acting poison as a possible cause. And given Leonardo’s knack for death-dealing creations, it’s easy to imagine him concocting some particularly horrible poison for Ezio to slip into their food. It wouldn’t make for a very dramatic final confrontation, but at least it’d resolve one of the biggest hanging threads from ACII.
9. Better visuals
The architecture and clothing in ACII might have been breathtaking, but the characters’ faces? Not so much.
Above: Meh, we've seen better
Still, graphics are getting better all the time, and we’ll be very surprised if Brotherhood doesn’t show a marked visual improvement over ACII when it ships later this year.
10. No Desmond
So far, Ezio’s descendant Desmond hasn’t appeared in any of the other spinoffs, and frankly we’d be fine with him just staying out of sight until Assassin’s Creed III. As much as he improved as a character in ACII, and as much as we like Nolan North and Kristen Bell, we’ll be happy to focus on Ezio and company for the time being, thanks.
Above: "Is it time for me to break the sense of immersion yet?"
May 6, 2010
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