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From a Bowl of Rice: Assassin's Creed and its Brotherhood

by Tubatic   //   1:41 AM on 10.20.2011


"I'm prepared to scour the Earth for that motherf*ck*r. If Butch goes to Indochina, I want a (dude) waiting in a bowl of rice ready to pop a cap in his *ss."
-Marcellus Wallace, Pulp Fiction

Looking past the way he says it, Marcellus Wallace expresses a poignant value of being the big man in charge. As a person in a position of power and leadership, Mr. Wallace can both request and expect the near impossible to happen at his very whim. While the concept of a man popping out of a rice bowl to exact revenge is farfetched and comical, the intent is serious and clear. By his command, Butch is not intended to get far, and Marcellus has the network and resources in place to facilitate the end of Butch, without laying a hand on him.

At the beginning of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, we find Ezio Auditore on the cusp of knowing this same level of power and control. After spending much of his life fighting his own battles and gaining the respect of several certain powerful people in his world, the older and wiser Auditore sets about to execute both a personal and honor bound plan against the controlling faction in the city of Rome. To this end, Ezio revives the Assassin's Order, with himself as the leader. As he recruits and fills in the Order, we the players come to experience the fruit that preparedness and organization can bring, without ever having to consider the logistics of food based stakeouts.



Ezio can call in death on any target he chooses with just the bare minimum of preparation, simply by raising his fist. Wether near a river dock, the congested city, or the open fields, Ezio's assassin recruits will appear as if the strike had been planned for days. His agents of death will jump in over fences, ride in on horseback, or even emerge from blind corners that the couldn't have possibly know to hide in on such short notice. By whatever means available, the order will get it done. The sensation of it is pure satisfaction, and no less a power trip than stabbing the group of targets on your own.

What cements the feeling is the investment that the player puts into this team of death artisans. The game has you recruiting each member individually, saving them from the ruling Borgia family's aggression. From there, the player decides how each assassin improves, and even picks their initiate costume color. This is your team you're calling in, and they're as effective as you train them to be.



Mr. Wallace would approve of the training regimen here. The focus in the meta game of assassin order management is on sending out disciples to various locations around Europe and Western Asia to complete contract work, ranging from infiltrating Lavish parties to extracting friends of the order in dire need. Large missions describe far less covert battles against the Templar threat. You never see these events play out, but you're given Marcellus Wallace's point of view on the matter: I want this done, tell me you've done it. As each mission succeeds or fails, your charges earn the valuable XP needed to rise in rank, all the way up to a full fledged Leap of Faith taking induction ceremony as a capital "A" Assassino.

And with that full corp of deadly, trusted Assassins, your rule as "The Man" in Rome becomes absolute. From a gameplay perspective, there were few things that I enjoyed more last year than making the call and having a righteous "plan" come together. I'm hoping there's more of this in Assassin's Creed Revelations, but if not, I highly recommend giving Brotherhood a run to experience this unique gaming sensation.Photo Photo Photo view gallery
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