A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a violent action game with explicit language and sexual themes. Missions typically involve brutal, knife-based killings depicted with authentic character animations. The complex narrative tells of a struggle against injustice and evil oppressors, but players have freedom to carry out some pretty evil acts of their own, such as killing civilians. It is a game clearly intended for adult audiences. They can also work with thieves, murderers, and prostitutes to achieve their objectives. Note, too, that the game supports open online voice communication, so that players may hear cussing from others and could be solicited for personal information.
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What's it about?
ASSASSIN’S CREED: BROTHERHOOD continues the tale of modern day protagonist Desmond Miles as he uses a device called the Animus to remember the life of Ezio, an Italian assassin who lived in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Desmond and his friends are members of an ancient fraternity of assassins that wage war against another centuries-old sect known as the Templars that wants to exercise control over humanity. Like previous games in the series, players spend most of the time in the past, exploring an open world -- Rome, in this case -- by running through streets, up walls, and over rooftops. Players are free to engage in missions that further the game’s narrative -- many of which involve assassinating key targets -- or take on optional side quests, such as renovating Rome, exploring underground mazes, and reclaiming areas of the city by defeating prominent military officers. New features include the ability to call on fellow assassins for aid and a multiplayer mode that has players hunting specific enemies while being hunted themselves. This game is intended for adults.
Is it any good?
The Assassin’s Creed narrative has grown so complex that players new to the franchise will likely be at a bit of a loss as to what’s going on. Brotherhood provides a quick overview, but the only way to fully appreciate the story is to play the series through from its first game. Assuming you’ve done that, you’ll likely find this second glimpse into the life of Renaissance-era assassin Ezio fascinating as he toils to free Templar-oppressed Rome while modern-day Desmond explores some of the very same locations 500 years later.
Combat has been improved to allow players to go on the offensive rather than simply defend and counter, and the ability to work with allies creates a sense of fraternity and strength that previous games lacked. It sometimes feels a little like a glorified expansion to Assassin’s Creed II (you’ll note that this is a sequel to a sequel rather than the third numbered entry in the franchise), but the narrative twists, tweaked fighting, and new multiplayer element combine to make it worthwhile.
Online interaction: This game supports online multiplayer with open voice chat. Players could be exposed to inappropriate language and topics of conversation as well as solicitations for personal information.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about open world games that offer players the freedom to act as they choose. Are these games more immersive?
Families can also discuss the sort of things can be learned from this game. Did you take the time to read the historical notes about famous locations and people scattered throughout the environment? Do you think they are accurate and educational?
Do you think the option to kill random civilians -- even if not exercised – makes a game world feel more realistic? What is the role of violence in this game?
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